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By Eliza Osmo

The great thing about graphic design trends is that each year gives reason for a redesign. We (figuratively) scrunch up the sketches of yesteryear to size up new possibilities. Take a look at how designers are crafting the course of 2021.

Abstract psychedelia

Excessive in colour. Intensely intricate abstraction. Distorted shapes. Designers are expanding minds in 2021, conjuring up art scenes of the 60s with a new psychedelic wave.


Symbol revival

Designers are modernising classic symbols and transcending language with aspirational icons: empowering goddesses, stars and stoic lions are back in 2021.

By Eliza Osmo
By svart ink

Retro futurism

With an emphasis on bright colours, curves, and computer-inspired typography, this trend promises to transport us back to the future.

By kuziola

Seamless surrealism

Designers are intertwining the real with the surreal. Expect to see seamless illusions and surrealist collages as we learn to accept impossible combinations as one.

By Candy Wrappers
By _Ossobüko_

Authentic representation

As designers continue to ditch stereotypes in favour of authentic and diverse people, we see 2021 pushing this even further beyond mere inclusivity to a celebration of uniqueness.

By Vuk N.
By Fe Melo

Irreverent characters

Whether it’s a suit-wearing animal or anthropomorphic sushi, designers are embracing weirdness in characters: and the more personality they embody, the more memorable they become.

By Wintrygrey
By Raluca De

Comics and pop art

Like an arch-nemesis, the design styles of the past never truly die. And this year, designers are resurrecting the grainy colours, heavy inking and action lines of vintage comics. POW!

By Jose Antonio Varela
By Tomie O

Fine art infusion

2021 is less concerned with traditional borders around fine art and design. As such, we’re predicting a mix of acrylic brushwork, abstract expressionism, and old-world elegance.

By Ostecx Creative
By The Clients Agency

Elements of nature

The outside world will be making its way inside 2021’s graphic designs through leafy patterns, earth-tone colours, and landscape illustrations. Graphic Design is going green.

By Shwin
By vanessa ives

Blur and grain

Designers will be veering off from gradients into even more blurry and blended backgrounds. Add in a grain filter, and these designs begin to feel transitory and real-to-the-touch.

By glimmm

Socially conscious design

2020 laid bare many challenges. And designers are stepping up. Whether through protest art or personalised masks, 2021 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in which design gets involved.

By Letters Pray

Formed and inspired by a challenging year, these graphic design trends are setting the tone for 2021 –  designers are turning restrictive rules into irreverent characters. Self-isolation into nature. And confusion into symbols of speech. As graphic design trends continue to shape the look and feel of each new year, it is the designers who determine whether that is for better or worse.