Setting aside the roller coaster ride of events that happened in 2020, we still cannot deny that last year’s design trend has been a field of deep admiration and inspiration to many. From color gradients, bold typography textured 3D design, and isometric illustrations, 2020’s graphic design trend is truly a remarkable era in the history books, as it serves as a driver of growth and innovation for multiple creatives around the globe, especially in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that year 2021 kicks-off, huge new opportunities in the field of design are coming up ahead, so most of us are probably wondering what are the trends that this year has to offer.

If you’re now fully locked on what’s going to be the anticipated design trends for 2021, we compiled below several design trends that would dominate 2021.

1. Ultimate Gray and Illuminating

ultimate gray and illuminating

Defined as practical and rock-solid but at the same time, warming and optimistic union of color, last December 9, 2020, Pantone announced two independent colors for the year 2021, which are PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating. The color of the year establishes a message of happiness supported by fortitude, perfect for design output that responds to the godforsaken year of 2020. As people are still looking for ways to overcome last year’s uncertainties, the Ultimate Gray and Illuminating combo assures the perfect feels of energy, clarity, and hope for 2021.

2. Custom Illustrations

custom illustrations

With the surge of today’s competition, establishing an impactful brand image takes a lot of challenges. Most of the time, organizations juggle multiple tactics and strategies to stay afloat in the industry. On the other hand, some businesses have established effective branding tactics that are supported by innovative and timeless designs, like custom illustrations. Custom illustration trend is not that exactly new. But to be fair, this trend is getting cooler, and cooler. The same as perennial ultra-recognizable logos, custom illustrations are still 2021’s go-to design for branding, especially for websites, social media graphics, and digital ads.

3. 3D Design

3d design

A design trend that has been in the 60s, 3D Design is also one of the anticipated trends for 2021. This design trend is one of the trends that made the most at its best, thanks to modern technological advances and software capabilities. With the availability of platforms that offers virtual reality capabilities, especially for applications and user interface web designs, utilizing 3D for designs still matches the quick surge of 2021’s design demand. On top of that, this hot trend for design could be incorporated with photographic images, illustrative elements, and animation.

4. Minimalism Design


Regarded as a cliched design trend, minimalism has been taking over multiple brands over the past years. Fact that this design trend is organized and straightforward in nature, minimalism is a perfect way for visual and textual elements’ easy viewing. Minimalism will always be present in every design trend, but its constant evolution comes in different forms, such as adopting thin lines that establish a delicate and subtle way of grabbing attention.

5. Nature-Inspired Design

nature inspired design

The idea of capturing nature’s natural lights, earthy colors, tones, and natural gradients in color schemes has been coming back into fashion. The nature-inspired design perfectly fits with minimalism, illustrations, and muted color palettes to create a natural ambiance and textures. This design trend is a perfect example of a relevant design trend, as nature-inspired design fills the need of every audience’s thirst for nature, which is a side effect of the pandemic situation.

6. Duotone and Monochrome Design

duotone and monochrome design

The method of having a very limited palette has been around in every design. As compensation for the complex graphics, such as illustrations, this method helps designers have a limited time dealing with intricate design elements by utilizing simple color themes. As a result, one of 2021’s anticipated design trends would be duotone and monochrome design. Still, with the use of design platforms, experimenting on monochromatic filters and duel tones are now easy. From the consumer’s perspective, duotone and monochrome design simplify the visual design, allowing them not to get washed with a complicated mixture of design elements.

7. Typography Chaos Design

typography chaos design

In today’s trying times, audiences seek to break away from the troubling reality. For this reason, the integration of chaotic and complex designs, particularly in typography is the next big thing for 2021. The lack of text and letter alignment and an unorthodox mix of letters would make this design trend the top-pick design trend, particularly for campaigns. Also, typography chaos design best works with a nostalgic approach, by integrating vintage colors, shapes, and other elements.

8. Gold Design

gold design

Metallic effects in design, such as gold design have already set to become uber-trendy during the latter part of 2020. Already popular in product design, which is evident in the latest smartphone designs gold design is going to be one of the design trends for 2021. This design trend perfectly works with minimalist design, as it implies an innate interest factor that draws one’s eye.

9. Classic Fonts

classic fonts

Since most of 2021’s design trends will be a continuation of what has been successful in 2020,  classic fonts like serifs are making a comeback. With its impact of establishing a nostalgic approach, classic fonts are going to be a trend for design, especially with brand design, campaigns, and social media content.

10. Abstract Psychedelia

abstract psychedelia

Rooting back to its origin in the art and music scene of the 60s, abstract psychedelia design is going to be one of the most dominating design trends for 2021. This type of design trend is often associated with creative experimentation and psychotomimetic, making it popular for designs that depict the chaotic imagery of psychedelia and social upheaval.

All of these 2021 design trends we are seeing are a product of 2020’s tide of events. While others are extensions of popular trends from the past years, most of the time, 2021’s design trends emerge out of overdone designs and design’s constant change. Despite 2020’s infamous reputation as one of the worst years in the history of mankind, design trends never cease to change their impact on bringing out impactful effect for businesses, consumers, and creative professionals.

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