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There is no doubt Graphics design has immense benefits for businesses. However, it has always been debated whether graphics design is art (all about aesthetics and without rules) or if it is more technical (with strict defining rules and functions). The truth is that both camps have a point.
There are limitless possible designs, and being limitless, no principles can particularly encompass them. Some people have tried to create principles for different types of designs, but over the years, as tools advance, cultures shift, and trends come and go, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of these principles, and where they apply.
Hence, it’s not necessarily about the unlimited possibilities or constricting principles, but rather a matter of the function, taste, and tools that make it possible to achieve any design at all.
It is said, God made everything, from the Scarlet Macaw to the Blobfish, and called them all beautiful. Perhaps, God’s omnipotence found unlimited expression within the confines of carbon molecules and saw the aesthetic in the weird.
The world has gone a long way from SuperPaint to now having AI-powered tools like Microsoft Designer. And brands are no longer abiding by strict structures, but are becoming increasingly fun, daring, and relatable.
In fact, today Designers are no longer limited by their skillset, or imagination, as these tools have the ability to generate virtually unlimited designs based on a single prompt or template. This has in a strange way thrown designers into the backseat of an accelerating development because these tools are not done getting better.
In a world where designs are now being led by Artificial Intelligence and culture is becoming more fluid and unpredictable, saying what the trend for 2023, or the years to come will be, becomes as futile as telling what the next evolution has in store for all of the creatures on earth. The best we can do is highlight what is trending now, and learn to appreciate the beauty in design as they unfold, even if some might look like the Blobfish.
God is a designer
What is the graphics design trend for 2023
After hours of research, below are the top ten graphic design trends to expect in 2023
With rising interest in the metaverse – a virtual world powered by technologies such as blockchain, AR, VR, 5G, and more – and more tech giants investing heavily in building it, the MetaVerse design is set to see a rising interest as the technology takes hold.
The futuristic design trend is characterized by sci-fi typography, 3D avatar illustrations, and Matrix-style black and neon colour palettes. It also incorporates glitch-style effects on photographs and dark themes to make the designs feel virtually immersive.
Metaverse designs invoke the feeling of courage, intelligence, and rebellion. Apart from being eye-catching, Metaverse designs are also memorable.
Branded illustrations are tailor-made illustrations and icons that are instantly recognizable and distinguishable. Most times, they still get associated with the brand even without attaching the brand name or logo.
Big brands like Google, Mailchimp, Linkedin, and Dropbox all own an original and unique illustration style.
Since most brands want to distinguish themselves while sharing their message, the design trend has seen a rise in popularity even for smaller brands, and the trend looks to be heading upward even into 2023.
Just like branded illustrations, custom fonts have been a major asset for big brands (like Google, Apple, and more) as it helps the brand stand out and appear “special”
These custom typography are usually gotten by modifying existing fonts, or by creating entirely new fonts from scratch.
Besides, using custom fonts speaks volumes of the brand’s originality, creativity, and attention to detail. Plus no one gets to sue you for stealing their fonts.
From faces to landscapes, incorporating everyday scenery into a design makes it feel natural and relatable. Rather than depending on overused and often flat and boring stock images, more and more designers are opting to take the photographs themselves.
This trend is partly fueled by the dramatic improvement in Smartphone cameras – think of the iPhone 13 camera or that of any other high-end device. Better photo editing apps are also playing a huge role in the fast adoption of this trend.
From Magazine, and website images, down to product photos,, designers are increasingly using original images to tell stories and evoke emotions in their work.
No more using the (more available images) of White people when creating designs for the African market (except, of course, when it’s part of the story).
Mixed dimensions are all about weaving digital illustrations into real-life photography. This can be achieved by embedding 3D illustrations, doodles, typography, cartoons, etcetera into a photo in a way that it’s hard to tell which was imposed onto the other.
Often this type of design looks vibrant, fun, and whimsical. It sparks curiosity and wonder and helps the brand pull its audience into its world.
A bright palette, juxtaposed objects, chrome, and a subtle lighting effect are what make an Airbrush Surrealism design.
Surrealism usually invokes a sense of disorientation, but in Airbrush surrealism, the translucence subdues that feeling, by blanketing the graphic in a uniform haze.
It can create an inviting and transcendent feeling, as the blurred colours create a soft glow. Hence, evoking the feeling of being in a dreamland.
Psychedelia is an extreme design trend that was inspired by the intense experience of acid trips or LSD.
Psychedelia design often involves wiggling lines, intense colours, surreal imagery, extreme stylization, weird typography, and Beautiful kaleidoscopic patterns.
It is the complete opposite of minimal, natural, or aesthetic. It is simply bizarre, vivid, and eye-catching.
Colours are commonly mismatched and images are laid over images to create a dissonant, otherworldly, and “optical illusion” effect that appears animated and screams for attention.
Psychedelia is used to express freedom from the ordinary and mundane.
3D designs give the illusion of breadth, depth, and height. Thanks to tools like Cinema 4D, Adobe SelfCAD, Maya, and Modo 3D designs are becoming easier to incorporate into designs
3D touch can be given to products, architectural images, and even fonts within a design to make them seem palpable and striking.
Of course, there are different ways to do this. The two trending 3D styles for 2023 are
The clean style is clutter-free and simple. There are minimal patterns, ornaments, or decorations added to it.
The most popular colours used for the clean style are often white, light beige, or whitish tints of other colours.
It exudes calmness and purity allowing you to embrace the essence of things
Unlike the clean style with glossy, smooth surfaces, the Plasticine Clay 3D style appears imperfect, with bumpy surfaces as though moulded by hand.
Unlike 3D style designs, the Flat design eliminates depth, shadows, gradients, or any 3D effects.
This design is very simple, practical, and effective as it can be used to send the message across without distraction. Plus, the designs are often light which makes it faster to load on websites.
Logo simplification is a rising trend where fewer colours, fewer shades if any, and cleaner fonts are used to create logos that are easily recognizable and adaptable (or dynamic.
The aim is clarity and memorability.
Motion is all about bringing already existing designs to life.
Thanks to more powerful and affordable tools, animated designs no longer require a large team or millions of dollars to create.
The moving imagery captures and mesmerizes the audience, and at the same time enables the brand to pass its message more effectively without using more pixels or pages.
Experimental escapism is not just about bringing imagination to life, but rather expanding it.
Programs like Midjourney and DALL-E are making creating art with just text prompts and parameters, other images, or even emojis possible. The resultant designs are often colourful, whimsical, bold, and mesmerizing.
These designs can be used for background patterns on labels, and on websites. They can inspire more practical designs.
In all, experimental escapism is a fun type of design, filled with dense intriguing imagery in which viewers lose themselves as they explore
What will graphic designers be producing in the future?
Computers and smartphones are becoming increasingly powerful. VR headsets are becoming ubiquitous, and smart glasses are set to take the world by storm. All these points to a world where designs won’t necessarily be on flat screens, but rather 3D renders, augmented into our reality to give an added depth to this beautiful world we already inhabit.
Mouse and Keyboards may become obsolete as voice commands and virtual gloves can be used to not only mould but experience added dimensions.
We know this because an increasing number of companies including Microsoft, Meta, and Adobe are heavily investing in Web3, VR, and Artificial intelligence-powered tools.
- Augmented Reality Technology.
- 3D Printing Technology.
- Computer Graphics Technology.
- Artificial Intelligence Technology.
- Cloud Computing Technology.
- Human-Computer Interaction Design Technology.
- Internet of Things (IoT)
… continue to advance, designs will become increasingly immersive as the paper will become obsolete. Even now, digital billboards are becoming the norm. All these create more layers, increased personalization, and the possibility of interacting with elements within the designs.
Soon, more companies will switch to these forms of immersive designs as it will enable them to take their prospects on a journey, and sell to them without having to pitch. Besides, designs should tell a story, and the more alive your designs can be, the more you can do this.
With time, designers will not just be needed to sit in front of a computer but will be needed to sit with other professionals like engineers, philosophers, and ecologists to create designs that will not just be beautiful but solve real-life problems.
Graphic designs will inevitably become like the voice of God, preceding creation.