5 Graphic Design Trends That Will Define 2021

5 Graphic Design Trends That Will Define 2021 from UIGarage
Nikka Estefani

Updated on March 10, 2021

In the past decade or two, graphic design is mainly focused on sophisticated design elements and tools. The fancier and more sophisticated your design is, the better. However, in recent years, the graphic design shifted from sophistication to simplicity – and 2021 will be no different.

Although we are already rolling in in 2021, the trends of graphic design are still unfolding for this year. So, what are the graphic design trends that we will expect to dominate and define 2021? Here are the 5 graphic design trends to watch out for.

5 Graphic Design Trends For 2021

In a nutshell, the 5 graphic design trends to expect this 2021 are:

  • Simplicity in design and visualization
  • Authenticity
  • Muted color
  • Use of geometric shapes
  • The power of black-and-white design

Let’s take a closer look at each of the upcoming and unfolding design trends for 2021.

1) Simplicity in design and visualization

5 Graphic Design Trends That Will Define 2021 from UIGarage

As we have mentioned before, simplicity is the new king in design in the recent years, including 2021. Whereas early design experiments on fanciness and sophistication (especially during the time where animated design began to boom in the design sphere), recent design trends go back to the simple roots of simplicity.

But the goal of simplicity in design is not to be merely plain and simple, but to actually be more communicative and expressive to its viewers and audiences.

A good and practical example of this is design in data and presentation: simplicity in design is favored because more and more data is being communicated through design – from icons to charts, and more – and simplicity makes the communication of data more effective and easy-to-understand.

2) Authenticity

5 Graphic Design Trends That Will Define 2021 from UIGarage

Back in the days, design tends to focus on the “best” – the best angle, the best background, the best contrast, the best angle, etc. However, as we focus on trying to maximize the aesthetic value of our design, we also tend to create designs that do not connect and relate well to reality.

Nowadays, authenticity plays an increasingly larger role in design. Instead of just trying to beautify the design to the maximum as possible, designers work on trying to represent or connect their designs to reality – even if it meant designing outside the conventional wisdom.

For example, in urban photography and design, some design focuses on portraying the reality of life in a particular city rather than just highlighting the tourist spots or best places of that particular city. In logo or poster design, this could meant designing that may go against conventional design principles to represent a certain message.

A good example of this is Burger King’s The Moldy Whopper ad. Whereas traditional advertising principles would tell you to show the best angles and takes of your burger – fresh and yummy-looking – in Burger King’s The Moldy Whopper ad, it showed the exact opposite: a rotting Whopper after it was left for 30 days. But the point here is to emphasize their message: this burger is fresh and real!

3) Muted color

5 Graphic Design Trends That Will Define 2021 from UIGarage

If you are not familiar with muted color, muted colors are simply plain colors that are saturated to either lighter or darker tone to give the design new visual perspective. For instance, red can be muted to either darker red or lighter red instead of using the actual color red. We can also “mute” colors by infusing them with a complementary color.

Muted colors are becoming more popular in design because, partly, it does away with traditional bright or plain colors. Instead of using red or blue, we are giving them a tone – lighter, darker, or infusion to a complementary color – which can add more meaning or depth to the design.

So, try out muted colors in your design. You may find that using muted colors give more feel and depth to your own work!

4) Use of geometric shapes

5 Graphic Design Trends That Will Define 2021 from UIGarage

Use of geometric shapes in different types of design had become popular over the recent years, and its popularity will continue in 2021.

If applied properly, the use of geometric shapes provide a modern and contemporary feel to its viewers. They can make the design look sleeker and possibly even elegant, and they are a good way to add value to background design.

5) The power of black-and-white design

5 Graphic Design Trends That Will Define 2021 from UIGarage

There is just something that’s comforting whenever we see “colorless” or black-and-white design. It could be the feelings of neutrality and balance whenever we see this design. Or sometimes, black-and-white design is just appealing and homey sometimes compared to multicolored design.

Now, we won’t of course make every design “colorless”. Needless to say, there’s still power in color. But the point here is to not be afraid to use black-and-white design if you see that it fits in the design that you’re working on. Who knows, black-and-white may better suit your design compared to using multicolored palette!