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Breaking the Rules – Graphic Design Trends 2020

November 12, 2021
May 1, 2023

Breaking the Rules – Graphic Design Trends 2020

Red Shark Digital

With the new year less than a month away, we’re geared up and excited to see what new graphic design trends will be popular in 2020. Graphic design has always been, and remains, a medium that relies heavily on inspiration. As an agency that prides itself on keeping up with trends, we plan on making good use of any new tactic here in Greenville, NC. You’ve probably realized by now that, in the last couple of years, the graphic design field has been abundant with bright colors, swirly gradients, and out of this world futuristic compositions. However, after doing a deep dive into what we think will be on the rise in 2020, we’ve come to the assumption that the design world as a whole will have a more reserved approach, utilizing more balanced and natural color palettes. The only exception being illustrations, it looks like they will be getting a lot more abstract next year. Changes in graphic design trends are usually caused by the over-saturation of previous design schemes. It is not hard to look around and see that most of the design styles we drooled over in the last decade have lost their uniqueness, and are now just another common marketing maneuver used by big corporations. To stay ahead of the fast-changing trends, we put together a quick summary of 2020 design trends to look out for and start practicing!


First on our list is color. The bold, bright, in-your-face graphics of 2019 will now compete with the use of muted color palettes. As brands begin to take a step back from the vivid color trends of this year, graphic designers are beginning to explore more simplified, moody color boards. Muted colors are essentially basic colors we all know that have been slightly desaturated with black, white, or another complementary color. Along with muted palettes, we have a strong feeling that layouts and illustrations will make the shift into using monochromatic color effects. It turns out the widely popular duotone trend from 2017 has now made its way back into design in a more simplified way.


Our next favorite change to look forward to involves typefaces. Heavy and simple is the new motto. We’ve seen this trend pick up quite a bit towards the end of this year and are excited that it is sticking around. “Heavy” fonts are more typically known as bold or extra bold. Designers have been using thick typefaces to develop contrast and create a hierarchy within their designs by complementing them with simple backgrounds and lighter, thinner fonts for body copy. Along with heavy type, it is expected that artistic and hand-lettered typography will see a rise in 2020. Innovating standard layouts with decorative typography, modern compositions will be given a whole new look.


And last but not least, illustrations will undoubtedly see the most change in the new year. While we’re already used to seeing simplified shapes and free-flowing lines, 2020 will continue using these techniques, but in a new way. Combining what we know about color changes next year, illustrations will use natural shapes and colors to provide a friendly and authentic mood throughout your compositions. The contrast of less detailed illustrations allows designers to focus more on the message they are conveying. These simple shapes also pair well with thicker and heavier typefaces, which each add their own uniqueness as well. [video width="800" height="600" mp4=""][/video]

Graphic Design in Greenville, NC

Graphic design trends either wow or bore you. Luckily, from what we’ve seen, 2020 should provide a wide range of diverse and impressive design work. The use of heavy typography, natural muted colors, and simplified illustrations set us up for endless possibilities. And these are just a few to start! We’re looking forward to implementing these shifts in our work for the Greenville, NC area. What are your predictions of graphic design schemes for the new year, and how do you plan to use them?

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