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February 18, 2019

Top 10 Graphic Design Trends to Watch For In 2019

Graphic design trends keep changing from time to time with some not so successful trends going out of fashion, while new and promising ones come into vogue. Certain old trends which had fallen out of favor previously also come roaring back. In 2019, we will see most trends popular in 2018 still going strong. 

1. Minimalism: The popularity of minimalistic, simplistic designs in the last few years has meant that this period can justifiably called the “age of minimalism” in design. The popularity for minimalistic designs in an era when technology has made even the most complex and difficult designs accessible to most designers, can be mainly attributed to the rise of mobile applications. A simple, clean UI is seen as essential to a good UX. Hence, designers have tried to do more with less. A classic example is the Uber logo. Minimalistic designs also have great recall value, and most evergreen brands like Nike, Adidas, Coke etc. have traditionally kept design elements simple and minimalistic.

2. Negative Space: Negative Space has long been in vogue amongst modernist painters and impressionists. The overall clean look and inherent symbology draws designers to use negative space in their designs. Case in point, the FedEx logo, which has a hidden arrow between the letters E and X. Or for that matter take the logo of Hope for African Children Initiative which is basically a child looking up to an adult. However the negative space or free space is the general outline of the African continent, which adds depth to the logo. In a way it uses reverse symbology when compared to Rubin’s Vase. Another good example of using negative space effectively is the Google homepage. Although there is no hidden symbology there, the clean look of the page helps the user focus on the main item, which is the search tab itself. 

3. De-familiarized layouts: This has been slowly catching on in the last couple of years. While website designs have generally tended to go from the clutter and cramp of earlier years to cleaner and bolder looks, they always followed a basic structure, if for no other reason than ease of navigation, which is critical to keep visitors on site. De-Familiarized layouts, however, with their zigzag patterns and innovative and eye catching color schemes offer website designers the best of both worlds – a clean, uncluttered look while maintaining an abstract and avant garde design feel. It has also allowed designers to plan the page better, with more freedom. 

4. 3D: The current generation swears by 3D. 3D elements in design have been popular right through 2018 and the trend will continue in 2019. One will see not just 3D logos, but 3D motifs being increasingly used on website templates. 

5. Minimal Navigation: With a majority of users now viewing online content via handheld devices, the old method employed by websites for page navigation has been rendered obsolete. These days designers look for a way to have one single and simple navigational method, which is not only mobile friendly but can also be used to retain uniformity across all platforms. Hence the number of websites with over-simplified and minimal navigation will only increase in 2019.

6. Photo Overlays: Photo Overlays or Text Overlaying Photos or collages have been extremely common for the last few years. In fact, a majority of the quick, run of mill work, that you can expect when you hire a graphic designer online, or outsource to a graphic design company in India will include these elements. Most of these professional designers know from experience that such overlays are mostly liked by clients since they look simple and nice as a design element. This perhaps explains why they are so popular. 

7. Gradients: One other trend that was extremely popular in 2018, especially in website template designs, was the use of color gradients. This trend will become even more popular in 2019. Using different shades of a darker color allows designs to be attractive and neat, without being dull. To avoid a dull monochromatic page, gradients can be used extremely effectively. There is also a subtlety about gradients which elevates the design to look extremely posh and classy, which is perfect for websites with niche products or services catering to a select audience. 

8. Custom Illustrations: Custom Illustrations have quickly replaced bold, in your face designs. 2018 saw intricate and delicate customized designs and motifs becoming the norm. More and more companies are using custom illustrations on packaging, stationary etc. to establish brand identity and make the brand more attractive to audiences. 

9. Bold Duotones: Having disappeared from the scene for a couple of years, bold duotones made a comeback in some designs in 2018. They were  extremely popular back in the rock and roll, psychedelic music influenced 70’s, but disappeared, then reappeared, making a strong comeback in the earlier part of the decade. Duotones became popular enough to get used as one of the themes in the True Detective series. It is difficult to say why their use cooled off after that, given that bold duotones look fantastic on high quality displays, but they have now made a strong comeback and will be very much in vogue in 2019. 

10. GIFs and Cinematographs: I love the concept of GIF’s and Cinematographs as backgrounds. They immediately spruce up a website and make it look unique. The trend was pretty huge in 2018 and it doesn’t look like it will let up anytime soon. If anything, the trend might become more popular. Hence 2019 might see more and more websites adopt GIF’s and Cinematographs as backgrounds. 

The catch, however, is that websites take more time to load and might not display properly on hand held devices like cell phones. 

So, those were 10 graphic trends that I think will hold sway in 2019. Of course, there might be others, but these have a high chance of finishing as the most popular in 2019. What do you think?


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John Tie is working as a Digital Marketer and content strategist with Virtual Employee, remote staffing company, offering affordable and scalable remote staffing solutions for mainly Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) around the world in over 150 domains. He is a versatile tech writer and loves exploring the latest technology trends, entrepreneur and startup column.  

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