Every year, some design trends fade away while others burst onto the scene. This will be as true as ever in 2018, when visual contrast dominates the digital landscape and designers seek clarity and distinction, both subtle and bold.
What are the top graphic design trends of 2018?
- Intersecting Elements
- Duotone & Double Exposure
- Retro-modern illustrations
- Creative Background Patterns
- Bright Gradients
- Thoughtful Animations
- Isometric Design
- Split Page Design
- Responsive Logos (see our responsive logo guide & logo design trends)
- Extra Depth (with semi-flat design)
- Dazzling duotones
- 80s & 90s color paletes & patterns
- Animated Logos
- Cinemagraphs & GIFs
- Bold typography & more serifs
- Custom graphics & illustration
- Authentic photography
- Detailed vintage
Read on for a more detailed description of 2018’s design trends forecast.
2018 Graphic Design Trends Infographic
A huge thank you to Coastal Creative for the above design trends infographic.
Categorize this under a version of bold typography, we’ve seen a huge upswing in typography that intersects with shapes and graphics. It’s a strong visual that plays with perspective and shows confidence.
Duotone & Double Exposure
The duotone look has been a recent favorite across many design mediums, but it reached mass exposure via Spotify and their playlist images. Since duotone has risen to prominence, we’ve been seeing further iterations that layer the effect with double exposure. We expect to be seeing a lot more of this trend in 2018.
Can something be both retro and modern? Yes, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with this trend that combines the sleek lines of modern vectors with throw-back color palettes. Modern illustrations with retro-respect: the best of both worlds.
Creative Background Patterns
Like wallpaper going in and out of fashion in home design, we’re seeing a resurgence of patterned backgrounds. Think of it like the grown-up version of the tiled backgrounds you may have used to trick out your very first online profile. These are often whimsical icons or custom illustrations that take the design to a personal level.
This may have been continuing for a little while, but we’re seeing this trend diversifying and holding strong since it made a strong comeback in 2017. Designers are having fun experimenting with gradient innovations using bright colors and a variety of textures.
Online animations have come a long way since banner ads circa 1999 that aggressively flashed “Click Me!”. These are thoughtful movements built with intention, created to delight and signal interaction. We’re big fans and hope they won’t become overdone.
Perhaps as a reaction to flat design taking over the design world in past years, isometric design is making a strong comeback. Isometric projection is a method for visually representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions.
Split Page Design
As an evolution of the now-stale hero image concept, split design juxtaposes contrasting elements for a striking effect that shows multiplicity. We embrace this fresh change for its great design and usefulness.
The below trends were outlined in 99Design’s inspirational 2018 graphic design trends post.
See here for a detailed guide to responsive logos.
By Anton Avilov
by Yueyuan design.
80s & 90s color pallets & patterns
By Daria Kwon.
Movement: animations, GIFs, cinemagraphs
Extra Depth (with semi-flat design)
Bold typography & more serifs
By Nuture Digital.
By Vasjen Katro.
Custom graphics & illustration
By Willie H
By Alexandr Alexandrov
YOKO by Tom Arends for Bert
Detailed Modern Vintage
By DekoRatio and Szani Mészáros.
By Oscar Bastidas
Do you have any further graphic design trends to add?
Artist names have been supplied where known. Top hammer image by Steve Bullock.