Colour of the Year 2021
12th January 2021
Website Design Trends for 2021
2nd February 2021
Colour of the Year 2021
12th January 2021
Website Design Trends for 2021
2nd February 2021

Graphic Design Trends in 2021 That Will Cause Revolution

Retro and Chaotic Typography

Typography can often be seen as a direct reflection of the cultural times, and for that reason, what could be more appropriate than “CHAOS” typography. The lack of text and letter alignment, mixing the order of letters and words, breaking the rules as it goes. What could be more fitting for 2021 after the 2020 we had? And by adding a dash of nostalgia for our lives before COVID we bring in the new buzzword…RETRO into the mix as well. Ending up with RETRO CHAOTIC font designs that will at the same time warm your heart, mesmerize you and hurt your eyes a little…

Abstract psychedelia

Psychedelia had its roots in the music and art scene from the 60s and is associated with hallucinogens and creative experimentation. It was under the of social upheaval: in short, the opening of one’s mind. In contrast from then to now, it seems to fit the times: the chaotic imagery of psychedelia fostering freedom, the sense that designers are no longer bound by traditional constraints.

In 2021, graphic designers will be reviving psychedelia through excessive colour and intricate abstractions that would make M.C. Escher himself dizzy. Lol. These are designs that take on a life of their own, both in their explosive arrangements and in their complexity—to the extent that none will ever look alike.

Symbol Revival

In design, the little things matter.

Symbols have been about universality. Whether it comes the form of conveying warnings or identifying a cause under shared iconography, the power of classic symbols lies in their ability to transcend language and bring the message across. Designers are leveraging this power in 2021 to create aspirational icons of resilience, growth and empowerment.

Retro Futurism

Retro-futurism is the sci-fi dreams of a bygone era. It is appealing for the spectacular ways in which the past got it wrong.
Through the ages, retro-futurism as a visual style has prevailed due to its bold imagination with a surprisingly optimistic outlook.
Stylistically, this optimism finds its expression through an emphasis on bright colours, computer-inspired typography, and curves—from fishbowl space helmets to arches and domes. Rather than returning us to an idealized past, 2021’s retro-futurism promises to transport us back to the “good old days” of the days yet to come.

Monochrome & Duotone

The idea of a very limited palette has been around for a while in modern design. Partly influenced by a smooth, cool look and vibe but also as a compensation for the increase in illustrations and other complex graphics. Partly this helps the designers, by using your limited time on more complex elements and using simple colour themes. for the consumer, this also helps simplify the design so the brain is not awash with a complicated mixture of design features all playing off against each other.

Gradients and colour transitions have been a popular trend for a few years now. In 2021, many designers will be looking to veer off on a new tangent: into even more blurry and blended backgrounds. Add in a grain filter, and these designs manage to walk the line between feeling transitory and real-to-the-touch.

Seamless surrealism & Optical Illusions

Optical Illusion design is the design holding the attention and 2021 will be the year when designers get truly funky with this fashion. If your brand has something related to the idea of movement and strangeness or spirituality all the better, but even if you just want the design to stand apart, fix in the memory, have that wow factor, then illusion design is worth considering.

‘Surrealism’ is one of those artistic terms people tend to associate with the inscrutable—imagery that is nonsensical by design. But what people often forget is that it contains the word ‘realism.’ The real is intertwined with the surreal, and in no year was that more deeply felt than in 2020, when the pandemics of bad fiction became our way of life.

3D Designs & Geometric Shapes

This design trend is something we’ve noticed coming for a while but looks all set to peak in 2021. The idea of using individual shapes to create larger more complex ones. Large blocks and solids often with strong colours and outlines mix and united to produce imaginative combinations.

This idea seems to break away from reality and in some aspects underlines how simple blocks go to build and grow into more rounded recognizable ideas. The relationships involved forming something much bigger than the individual components, ideal with the growing influence of infographics. Although we could be reading too much into the philosophy, perhaps it’s just a cool and noticeable way of depicting images.

Elements of Nature

There’s no avoiding it: many people spent much of this year cooped up inside. That would go double for designers who might have experienced their work-from-home freelance lifestyle begin to resemble solitary confinement. It may be no surprise then that the outside world will be making its way inside 2021’s graphic designs.
Whether this trend manifests in the form of leafy patterns, earth-tone colour schemes or illustrations of breath-taking vistas, graphic design is going green. The best part about this trend is we are seeing it reach beyond environmentally-oriented products.
The effect of nature imagery is to impart serenity, renewal and growth. All of these are breathlessly anticipated in 2021.


Metallic effects in design are becoming and set to become uber-trendy in 2021. Already popular in product design, look at the latest smartphones, this fashion is going to be a feature of 2021 design trends. They fit in perfectly with a drift towards minimalist design, as they have an innate interest factor but they also work on smaller elements to draw the eye to them.

Designers have successfully been experimenting with different metallic looks such as silver, brass, and lead but gold is still the daddy. Gold shows off all variations of metallic design, matte, shiny, reflective light effects, emboss, scratched and etched and cut out.

Irreverent characters, Cartoons, Comics and Pop Art

Custom Illustrations have become a nifty way of getting your design to stand out from the generic blur of websites with their heavy graphic elements, clean digital look, and minimalist sleek. Illustrations are more varied, interesting, multi-technique than ever before and can enhance the design whilst still keeping on point, and in line with the ethos, you want to present. We are all for illustrations and they aren’t going to fall off the trend radar for the foreseeable future. But the next popular design trend in illustration is going to be custom cartoon characters.

A format that keeps the variety, is adaptable, imaginative but adds playfulness, and raises a smile. Perfect for memorable branding, excellent for creating the atmosphere for product or site, and incredibly multifunctional. You can use your character on the website, business cards, posters, presentation materials, really there are no limits. And everybody without exception enjoys cartoons.

We’ve had great fun finding some of our favourites which are featured below. You’ll be dazzled by the quality, variety, and mixture of styles.

Graphic Design Trends 2021
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