In my experience as a graphic designer, one of the most exciting parts of my work is exploring new visual trends. The beauty lies in the constant change of graphic design styles returning from the past and mixing with today’s movements. They add new perspectives which is always inspiring.
I picked out 5 hot and largely used trends to showcase. My intention is to introduce their visual identity and show how easily they can be recreated and used in your projects. I’ll prove it by creating and adding simple examples of every trend at the end of the article.
1. Ancient Sculptures in 3D
There is an increased use of ancient 3D sculptures or their motifs in posters, web design and representative graphic material. Consider this trend if you want to emphasize contrasts, creativity, authenticity, intellectual concepts or just intend to draw attention. Ancient sculptures in contemporary minimal and clean style backgrounds can look unexpected, but they match very well.
2. Organic Shapes Filled With Funky Gradients
Photos and illustrations are used in visual designs very often. The use of organic shapes filled with vibrant colour gradients could be an alternative route to a new and more engaging design experience. What’s more, they are also huge time-savers and super easy to create!
Apply this effect for either biological designs or to express something intellectual, intangible or innovative…or if you want to create a new screensaver!
Or as I call it — the “create it in a minute effect”. You simply fill a photo or illustration with two contrasting colours, for example, red and blue, adding vibrant richness to the design. This technique was used long ago in printing when CMYK colours were too expensive, but you wanted go beyond monotone. Duotone was the opportunity. And now this effect prospers at its peak. It is widely used by Spotify, in cinema posters etc.
Usually I use the gradient map adjustment layer in Photoshop to create this effect. If you want to achieve the best result — use a monotone colour background.
4. Ruined/Torn/Painted Collage
Ruined, torn, painted, scratched, burnt, cut or prepared in some other outrageous style — this is the kind of visual elements you want to collage together to surprise your audience. I am a huge fan of this trend, because of the expressiveness and freedom you can achieve by combining those scraps.
This trend is something that is opposite to a clean, flat and minimal design. I would even call it a postmodern substance of style, turning normal things into something extraordinary.
Indeed, graphic designer, Paula Scher, once said:
“Creating minimal and clean design is like trying to clean up my room and I need a form that is more expressive, which is about creating a spirit”.
This trend is just about that.
It all began when Piet Mondrian created his famous painting “Composition with Red, Yellow, Blue, and Black” in 1921.The piece became one of the classics of abstract painting, using primary colours and clear lines that have inspired designers to this day.
Nowadays P.Mondrian’s concept of structure has been reborn in web design screens with a new name — “Mondrianism”. Mosaic-like designs are largely used in screens for their rectangular clear layouts that are easily responding to different screen sizes.
Recently, I came across another quite interesting use of rectangles layered on each other. Using the same image in the foreground and background layer, but in different size of clipping masks you can achieve a fresh and trippy effect. In my opinion, this style has a huge potential to become a trend.
Trends come and go — skills are the ultimate gold that need your constant care and love. I decided to use the top 5 trends and create 5 simple examples below to warm up my skills.
3D and photo material used from: