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These are the 8 most popular graphic design trends in 2022

That will blow your mind. :)Trends in graphic design don’t stop and start according to the calendar, so take some things with a grain of salt. Although a designer should at least be aware of the direction that design has been heading (even if only to explain to a client why a certain trend isn’t suitable for their business). In May of every year, we get together and attempt to predict trends that will be hot in the next twelve months. While we don’t always get it right (we predicted VR would hit the mainstream back in the late 1990s), we are able to identify the concepts, themes and styles that are going to dominate in the near future.As a result of many factors, including changing tastes and fashions, as well as social and technological changes, graphic design trends will be influenced by our way of life. This will be the case for the products we use regularly in our lives. The question is, what are the hottest graphic design trends that are likely to emerge in 2022 in this ever-evolving world? This post has taken a look at what’s emerging at the moment. It sounded out designers and branding experts after polling them for their thoughts, to compile a list of eight trends.Would you like to keep up to date with the latest trends by updating your software? Take a look at our list of the best graphic design software available. See our guides about the key UX and UI trends for 2022, the most exciting web design trends for 2022, and our selection of NFT trends for more on what we anticipate sharing in 2022.

01. The Metaverse

Adidas entered the metaverse with an NFT collection in collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club (Image credit: Adidas)

One concept that appears on everybody’s list of graphic design trends in 2022 is the elusive metaverse. Adobe and Depositphotos have both highlighted it as a trend to watch. What will this universe of avatar-inhabited virtual environments look like and what will we be able to do in it? It’s not entirely clear yet, but that’s part of the fun. Basically, any design that can exist in real life, from billboards to T-shirts, can exist in the metaverse, but we haven’t imagined what else exists. Adidas launched an NFT collection in collaboration with Bored Ape Yacht Club, and then teamed up with Prada to invite creators to participate in a collaborative NFT project.

Some of the trends we discussed above may begin to unravel in the metaverse. Despite our mention of a reaction against technology, the fact is that people won’t stop using their phones, and will likely be connected even more, or in new ways. Some brands are still flattening their logos for digital use, but they may find that in the digital metaverse, they want to go back to 3D. Meta (still Facebook to everyone else) was designed to work in both 2D and 3D, so that it could be explored in virtual reality and “live dynamically in the metaverse.” This could open up new possibilities for animators, illustrators, and graphic designers.

02. Simplified symbols

Volvo is one of the latest brands to reveal a simplified logo (Image credit: Volvo/Future)

Some brands are continuing to simplify and flatten their logos in order to make them more suited for smaller digital uses as they realize what designers have been telling them for eons: a simpler logo is easier to remember. While some brands opted to simplify their logotypes earlier than others, examples include Google, Yahoo, and Spotify when they simplified their logos a long time ago. However, in 2021 we saw companies such as Volvo and Cadillac change their logos, though admittedly not always to the most overwhelming response.

As we move into 2022, we expect graphic design to continue exploring simplified, flat symbols (although one caveat will be added to that in number 8). According to Eric Park, motion designer at the strategy, design and communication firm COLLINS, “a simple and effective wordmark can have powerful power, but I think that graphical-based systems are going to become stronger and more popular in the coming year.” “A well-chosen symbol can provide a brand with a distinct personality, convey valuable metaphors, and provide tailored references. A concise and easy-to-remember symbol can be not only catchy but also easy to recall.”

In spite of the fact that some are getting tired of the minimalistic look, and we will see why in the next trend, it’s worth remembering the way strong use of colour can enhance minimal designs. After all, the simple logos of Spotify and Google are so memorable because of their colours. By the end of 2022, we expect to see the exploration of the limits of colour in minimal symbol systems and branding to become more elaborate.

03. Anti-design

Studio Nejc Prah’s design for Boiler Room’s System Restart festival feels “a bit overwhelming” (Image credit: Studio Nejc Prah)

In contrast, a graphic design trend in 2022 completely rejects minimalism. There are some people who cannot accept the neat, harmonious homogeneity that’s emerged from the conventions of app design with their emphasis on usability, whether it’s the Covid-19 pandemic or simple boredom. In its place, they are turning to what’s been described as a kind of anti-design: an anything-goes riot of clashing colors, types, irregular shapes and jarring collages. 

Digital natives are revisiting the heady early days of the internet from the perspective of a generation looking to break the mold of cookie-cutter templates-even if it means making design that’s designed to be disorienting. According to Jennifer Veguilla-Lezan of Bella+Sophia Creative Studio, this represents a design evolution while keeping in mind societal changes, such as social norms and inclusion. Basically, it’s about breaking down barriers. According to its nature, “do what you want – don’t worry about what traditional design rules say and go beyond what we’re told.”

If done properly, there’s a method behind the apparent chaos, and it makes sense during a time of intense competition for attention from digital audiences. Design by Nejc Prah, Slovenian designer, reflects “the diverse, overlapping, and constantly changing festival lineup” of Boiler Room’s System Restart festival, and it fits perfectly with the post-lockdown mood. 

Veguilla-Lezan believes that anti-design may not be the Wild West, but it does open things up for non-designers to challenge traditional gatekeepers. The goal is to create a more welcoming environment for those who aren’t ‘traditionally’ trained in design or haven’t attended big design schools, she describes. “Those people are at liberty because they are not bound by the social norms imposed without their consent. But you also have experienced designers who know the rules and deliberately break them for the same reason.”

04. Ukiyo-e-influenced flat design

A ukiyo-e Super Mario by Chinese illustrator Wenyi Pan (Image credit: Wenyi Pan)

Japandi, a combination of Japanese design and Scandinavian hygge, is another trend that has shifted from interior design to graphic design. Adding some warmth and incorporating natural elements while retaining a soothing sense of calm, it can be viewed as an evolution of recent minimalism. It works well for lifestyle branding, packaging, and website design. 

In the meantime, designers trying to reinvent flat vector artwork imposed by digital design standards are turning to the Ukiyo-e artists of Japan’s Edo Period for inspiration. Woodblock prints of Ukiyo-e artwork featured bold outlines, simple colours, and limited perspective – does that sound familiar? They could add some personality to flat design today.

“I think designers tend to be drawn to this style because of its whimsy, and because they’re looking for beauty in the world after so much turmoil,” Veguilla-Lezan explains. “It almost almost plays into the idea of getting lost in visual storytelling.”t in visual storytelling.” Because of the stylized way things are drawn, it’s really organic compared to the flatness of vector art we have all come to know.”

05. A more sophisticated eco vision

Hermana Creatives used earthy tones and organic in its branding for travel company Be MyJourney (Image credit: Hermana Creatives)

What color is ecology? Apparently it’s Sherwin-Williams’ #68a678A eco-green paint. Any company that wants to be linked to sustainability has put some green in its logo (we’re looking at you British Rail), and lots of companies have been accused of greenwashing along the way. But that’s all changing now. In the same way that inclusion and sustainability policies are becoming norms, communication is becoming less lime-coloured.

Increasingly, sustainable and inclusive practices aren’t just slogans or reflections of business ethics, says Hermana Creatives’ creative director, Aliana Orellano. As a result, both customers and brands actively expect it to play a larger role in brand communications.”

A more stylish yet honest take on environmental themes might come in the form of minimal icons, unexpected colour palettes, and textures that refer to sustainability organically. Possibly a corollary to this is a reaction against technology. “Although we design social media content for smart phones, we have clients saying they no longer want to see technology in their content,” she says. “Rather than influencers taking selfies or working on their laptops, they want to show people actually paying attention to the world around them.”

06. 3D and 2D mashup

Kevin Tang incorporated 2D and 3D elements in his work for messaging app Discord (Image credit: Kevin Tang)

There’s no doubt that flat design has been a trend in graphic design over the past few years. it has also been a thing, and the two are increasingly blending together. The reason is partly due to software like Blender, Procreate, and Spline, but there are also financial considerations, says Park at Collins.
In order to do high-quality 3D work, a workable budget is necessary because bad 3D work is so easy to create. Furthermore,Furthermore,rmore,ntent is everywhere. The world doesn’t need any more retina-burning visuals,” he says. As I see it, 2D and 3D mashups will become more powerful and attractive this year. “3D can fill the depth gap and add allure to 2D design, while 2D integration will alleviateve speed, time and budget issues,” he says. In my opinion, it can be just as effective – and even more aesthetically inspiring – than 3D alone.
Adding a 3D object to a 2D design can add interest, and the combination is also being used in andesigns. This is one of the trends we highlighted in our list of the top UX and UI trends for 2022. Park says that he likes to mix this stuff all together in odd, strange, weird, unsightly unsightly ways. This helps COLLINprovide deliver much more interesting results to clients.  

07. Unlikely collabs

(Image credit: Microsoft)

In the past couple of years, brands have realized that unlikely collaborations can keep them in the news – and the more unlikely the better. In 2021, we had XBox x Gucci, IKEA and LEGO, and Diplo’s psychedelic Crocs. What will happen in 2022? McDonald’s x Apple? Oreo x Crocs? Balenciaga x Pizza Hut Tastewear? Let’s imagine what it would look like.

The trend is seen most in product design. However, graphic designers will also become involved in the madness, especially since brands have discovered that an unlikely collaboration can sell as an NFT. As a result.

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