8 Biggest Graphic Design Trends that Will Dominate 2020

Graphic design trends come and go, and it can be difficult to know how to keep on top of them. You don’t want to throw out your entire brand guidelines every time a new trend emerges, but you also don’t want to be seen as old fashioned or outdated.

Venngage, an online graphic design software, has compiled a list of the 8 biggest graphic design trends you need to watch out for in 2020. Some of these you might be familiar with, some might be a complete surprise. But expect to see these 8 trends everywhere next year.

Check the graphic design trends 2020 infographic below for the top 8 trends you need to know about:

8 New Graphic Design Trends For 2020 & Beyond [Infographic]

Graphic design is both a basic set of rules that never change, and an ever changing set of ideas that break all of the rules. Design rarely has a right or wrong answer, and a lot of design decisions are down to personal taste. Because of this, how you apply these new trends is entirely up to you.

But if you want to stand out amongst your competitors, incorporating newer design trends into your output can be an easy way to get ahead.

Now 8 trends might seem like a lot, but unless you’re a design expert don’t worry about incorporating all 8. Pick one or two trends that feel achievable for you to action, and focus on changing smaller things like your social media posts, or landing pages, as opposed to jumping straight in and redesigning your entire brand.

Muted color palettes is a great trend to start with. When it comes to muted color palettes, this is probably the easiest trend to adopt in 2020. Using your existing brand colors or favourite color palettes, add white or black to the colors to create a more toned down palette to pick from.

You can use this palette on marketing materials, social media posts, or even your website for a modern look. And because you’re using your brands existing colors this new palette won’t be too jarring for your audience. Your graphics will still be recognizably ‘you’, but just fresher.

Interesting color gradients are also an easy way to add new spin to your existing brand or graphics. A subtle change like adding a slight gradient to the background of a landing page or instagram story can be a small signal to your audience that you’re modern and trendy, without overtly switching up your entire look.

Gradients have been big news for a while now, but in 2020 we’re going to see a much more ‘toned down’ approach to gradient use. Colors won’t be too dramatic, and gradients won’t be the main focus of the graphic - instead gradients will be used as a way to enhance the design, rather than dominate it.

When picking and choosing new trends to make use of it’s important to keep your brand focus in mind. If a new look feels too far removed from what your audience knows and loves it will come across as if you are just jumping on a bandwagon, or trying to be something that you aren’t.

This point is especially important to remember if you’re interested in using dreamy illustrations, trend number 3 on our list.

Abstract and dreamy illustrations are going to be everywhere in 2020, with more abstract drawings taking center stage across the board. But if your brand strictly uses stock photography or clip art icons, this trend might not be the one for you.

Heavy but simple fonts is a fairly easy trend to adapt, especially on websites and social media. A heavy font refers to a font that is bold or extra bold, so that it looks thick. Heavy fonts make the ideal font for headers or subheaders as they help grab readers attention right away.

If you have a lot of text, try and limit your use of heavy fonts to one or two lines or headers. The point is using a heavy font is to create an impact and highlight the importance of certain words. But if everything is bold then nothing is bold. Contrast is your friend here.

Contrast can come from the text or the graphics themselves. As mentioned above, with abstract illustrations, this trend might not be for everybody - but if flowing shapes and lines are a good fit for your brand, it can be an easy way to upgrade your look for 2020.

Combining flowing shapes and lines with harsher, heavier fonts you can quickly create modern and interesting looking graphics. Use soft waves, squiggles, and scribbles in muted colors to create a fresh look, just like on the infographic above. Don’t be afraid to layer these shapes and lines on top of each other, but this is one of the situations where less is more.

Stock photos are a stable of most companies digital marketing, but in 2020 bright, bold, and colorful photos are out. Instead brands will be focusing on more natural looking, muted stock photos with a lower amount of contrast. The photos won’t be drab though, they will still be beautiful. But expect to see more browns, beiges, and greys than previously.

When it comes to your website busy is out. Minimalist and engaging landing pages are going to be the height of fashion in 2020, with clean, simple layouts and plenty of white space.

The minimalist landing page trend is great for two reasons: it’s easy on the eyes, and it’s great for SEO. With less distractions your audience or customer will be automatically drawn to the most important parts of your website. And in terms of SEO, the less going on the quicker the page speed for your landing page. The quicker the page speed, the better you rank on Google. And then better you rank on Google, the more visitors you have to your site.

That’s why you’ll see lots of tech and SaaS companies that rely on content marketing embracing the minimalist landing page trend so wholeheartedly.

This minimalistic approach is echoed throughout all of the 2020 trends, with each trend leaning towards the ‘gentle’ rather than ‘busy’ end of the design spectrum. From gentle muted colors, to calming simple fonts and dreamy illustrations. 2020 isn’t going to be harsh or regimented in the design world at all.

One area that you can explore to really be ahead of the curve in 2020 is better branded animations. Branded gifs and animations are still a fairly new frontier for most companies, but they can be used on landing pages, social media, blog posts, and email newsletters - so absolutely worth thinking about.

Something as simple as an animated logo all the way through to a complex custom animated sequence. As long as it’s unique to your company, it will work.

Overall 2020 will be a much more refined, much less hectic year for design. Things will be more fluid, softer, and cleaner than in previous years. Authenticity will be key, especially when using stock photos. Authenticity will also be important when establishing yourself as a unique company in an increasingly crowded market. Graphic design will be used to help differentiate companies, especially through custom illustrations and branded animations.

Read next: How to Step Up Your Video Marketing Campaign Before 2020 [INFOGRAPHIC]
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