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Top 3 Visual Trends of 2020

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2020 was a year of challenges and changes. Despite all the hardships, the creative community rallied together to support and inspire each other, and to create work that pushed boundaries and embraced new influences.

We looked back at some of the most appreciated projects on Behance this year to identify three distinct creative trends that defined 2020.

Trend #1: Restorative Escapes

With all the adversities we faced this past year, it’s no surprise that many of us were looking for an escape to help us cope and heal. From drone photography that put our world into perspective to pastel-toned 3D spaces that embraced minimalism, the Behance community found avenues of escape and restoration through creativity. See the full Restorative Escapes moodboard.

Illustrator Xuan Loc Xuan has always gravitated towards nature, even as a child. “Among my artworks, I really like the paintings which have the nature like trees, flowers and the night. Nature gives a relaxing and soothing feeling for me. It gives me a lot of inspiration to compose,” she shares. For Xuan, illustrating nature also provides an escape from reality: “Creating art helps me run away from the reality of this life. It makes me dream up beautiful things.”

Trend #2: Blurple

A distinct color trend we saw among the top projects was an eye-catching purple with bluish undertones. Oftentimes combined with warm tones like orange or pink, this bold hue brings richness and depth to projects across all creative fields. See the full Blurple moodboard.

3D and motion artist Mathieu L.B. created a cosmos-inspired alphabet for 36 Days of Type using blurple as the primary color. “I’m passionate about space and abstract things, it’s really something that inspires me and allows me to escape,” explains Mathieu. ”The color theme ‘blurple’ really has something special compared to others: a big visual impact which allows for very abstract and original color combinations.”

Illustrator Alexandra Zutto also opted for blurple as the main color in her project Spirits. “The inspiration behind this project is the visions that appear just before you fall asleep. They’re abstract and bright, and a mix of objects that can mean nothing or something,” she says about her fantastical illustrations. By combining bluish purple tones with complementary colors, she was able to capture the mysterious mood of these visions: “I like the emotional feeling of it — and this is what I wanted to express in my works. [Blurple] was the best fit for my idea: not super-bright, not super-contrast.”

Trend #3: Artisanal Type

This year also saw the proliferation of artisanal typography. Playful yet refined, these fanciful fonts put emphasis on embellishments and rounded lines, adding a whimsical touch to graphic design and packaging projects. See the full Artisanal Type moodboard.

Violaine & Jeremy developed typeface Jager, for an exhibition at Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. “The font is directly inspired by techniques mastered by craftsmen in their work. You can see the hollowed-out counter forms reminiscent of engravings, or work done with chisels. The angles give the impression of having been cut out from wood, as the contours are rounded and never sharp.”

For the foundry, “typography is almost the most important tool in graphic design,” and when they are creating a new typeface, their focus is on aesthetic, balance, and readability. “If you choose typography with care, you won’t need many design tricks to make a project look good.”

See all the projects in our Best of 2020 moodboard. Here’s to another inspiring creative year ahead!

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