Happy New Year! To kick off 2020, We are going to share 16 Graphic Design Trend predictions. Please note that being aware of tends is crucial; however, it should not limit your creative ideas. Feel free to experiment, mix and match styles or come up with something different that works for you.

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You can also watch our Video Tutorial below, where Martin goes through some of them in more detail.

1. Liquids and Gradients 

Liquids and Gradients have been around for a while and predict to see more artist using them this year in animation, advertising, fashion and even in Illustration.

If you want to create these effects yourself, then be sure to watch the following tutorials!

2. Digital Painting

Digital Drawing has become a massive trend with thanks to apps such as Procreate and Adobe Fresco which allows even hobbyist to paint like a Pro. Over the next few years, we predict to see more traditional painting effects such as Watercolour and Oil painting being created digitally and used for a wide range of work from Advertising, Posters and Packaging.

Want to improve your Digital Painting skills? Then watch these tutorials!

3. 3D Clay Illustration

One of my favourite style that we will see more of in 2020 is 3D design. Although 3D has been around for a while, recently we have seen a rise of 3D Illustration that emulates Clay style effect. This will become a popular design trend this year, and we will even see artist combining both 2D and 3D styles in films, Illustration and advertising.

4. Overlay and Overlap Effect

Another design trend that I am excited about is the Overlay Effect. Overlapping elements together can make the whole composition challenging to read. However, a great designer can make the design visually more engaging. Here are some examples showing overlapping Illustration, typography and posters.

Want to learn more on Overlay effects? Then watch these tutorials!

5. Rise of Machine Learning 

Many creatives fear that Machines will take over their job in the future. However, we strongly feel that it can instead enhance our creativity and improve productivity.

Our favourites are Khroma to help you choose colours based on your colour preferences. Font Joy to help you to pair fonts better. Magenta for computer-aided drawing. And finally, we love Adobe Sensai for always coming up with new features across all its Creative Cloud products. We are in particularly excited about Image Tango for generating new images from a reference photo. And LightRigtht , to create unique lighting condition on your Photos.

6. Soft Light Effect

We will see a rise of Soft Lights and pale Colour Palates being used in UI, Graphic Design and Packaging.

7. Creative Typography and Variable Fonts

Variable Fonts are available in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator but feel like it will take off in 2020. You can also now download Variable Fonts from websites such as V-Fonts , giving you endless Font options. We will also continue to see designers experimenting with creative Handlettering. 

Want to learn more on Variable fonts and Typography? Then watch these tutorials!

8. Climate Change + Social Awareness

Brands and Consumers are more aware of Climate issues, and we will continue to see more campaigns and movements to raise other social awareness such as equality in LGBT, Gender and Race. As a designer, you may need to be mindful of these issues and use your creativity to improve the world. For instance, you may need to design sustainable and bio-degradable products and packaging.

9. Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) became much easier to access, and we will see a rise of designers experimenting with AR to bring their designs to life. Adobe Aero can now easily create AR experience, add interaction and animation. Please keep a lookout as we will be covering a tutorial on this soon.

10. Lines

Lines are one of the most essential elements of Graphic design. We will continue to use Lines in Animations, Fashion and Illustrations in 2020.

Want to learn more on Lines? Then watch these tutorials!

11. Social Media Designs

Whether you like Social Media or not, most consumers are more likely to be influenced by it. Brands nowadays do not always need to use print advertisements (although print advertising is not necessarily dead).
As a graphic designer, you need to build up experience in designing for Social Media. This can be both static, and animation so get into the habit of creating artwork in 1x1 and 9x16 Ratio formats.

12. Retro Futurism 

We will continue to see a revival of 1990’s influence us in films, fashion and Graphic Design. We will see more use Neon Lights, Geometric and Abstract Shapes.

13. Motion Design and Animation.

Brands are far more likely to use Motion Graphics or Videos to promote their message/products. Learning to create animation or creating videos will be a useful skill to learn for Graphic designers

14. Earthy Colours

As the new generation is becoming more mindful of their environment and health. We predict that cool muted and natural, earthy colours will become popular in 2020.

15. Bold and Monochromatic

Aside from Earthy colours, we will also see Bold and Monochromatic colours continuing to be popular in 2020.

16. Lifestyle Photography

Photography play is a crucial role in Advertising, and we predict that lifestyle Photography will become very important in influencing buyers. The Millennial generation mainly using social media such as Instagram or Snapchat to help them decide what to consume. Big Brands, therefore, are more likely to use bloggers and celebrities to promote their products through ’ lifestyle’ photography rather than polished stock photography.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and feel ready to kick start your design journey. Be sure to check out our Youtube Channelwhere we share weekly Graphic Design and Illustration tutorials.


Graphic Design Trends 2021

Ready for 2021 Design Trends? We are very excited with you our 2021 Design Trends Predictions.

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We are excited to share our 7 go-to techniques to help you enhance your skills as a designer.

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About the author 

Shumi Perhiniak

Shumi is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator. In 2012, she took an entire year off to study Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. In just 6 months, she started freelancing and became a Certified Photoshop Expert. She has worked as an in-house graphic designer for brands such as Toni&Guy, Renaissance Learning and Baker Ross.

She also owned a physical stationery shop selling her art prints and now focuses on selling digital art prints online under the name HerDesignWorld

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