Whether for an innocuous social post or company rebrand, the need to wow your audience and intimidate your competitors with dynamic and striking graphic design is key in how you flaunt your brand image. Everyone would love a timeless design, but does such a thing actually exist? Even the most recognisable and iconic brands need an aesthetic facelift once in a while. Whilst they don’t always burn the house down and start again, the odd nip and tuck here and there can do wonders to keep your brand and all its graphic assets relevant and up to date to reflect current design trends. The minimalist stripped back aesthetics that dominated many mood boards and aesthetics inspirations throughout the 2010s are already feeling so last decade. Design, trends, fashions, and styles move quick. It’s time your brand keeps up. Here are our picks for graphic design trends to embrace in 2022…
Between the rise of new digital platforms, augmented reality, and virtual reality, static, one-dimensional designs have seen their effectiveness dwindle. There is now a much greater need for your audience to be fully immersed in the world your brand creates. Motion graphics do just that, bringing your brand to life with added motion and animation. With the potential of visually striking and captivating digital billboards or website & app graphics, motion graphics can create a vibrant and energetic campaign for your brand, providing your audience with a much more immersive experience, as well as being a fantastic tool for bolder storytelling. Full motion through movement and animation can help craft a deeper story that resonates far more with your audience, creating a better relationship. Motion graphics are a fantastic opportunity to get creative and innovative, pushing the boundaries of what your brand and its digital graphical assets are capable of. Even your packaging can come to life through something like a QR code. Once disregarded as a mere fad, QR codes have seen a resurgence in the pandemic, providing a charming way to add an extra dimension to something once potentially mundane.
It’s been a chaotic start to the new decade. The 2010 pre-pandemic graphic staples of minimalist, finely tuned, brushed, and balanced designs no longer reflect the world around us. After two years of chaos, it’s time to get a little bit messy. Creating graphics that reject traditional design principles and neat, conventional aesthetics can help energise your brand's assets with designs that feel much more authentic, more raw, real, even a bit dangerous and edgy. Now, this isn’t about terrifying your audience or turning your core targets away from your brand. It’s got to be done in an appropriate way that reflects who you are and your ideals. As cool as it might look, we don’t think baby food with a heavy metal typeface would be too much of a best seller. Instead, create joyful, slightly unhinged and unorthodox designs that are outside of the box, helping your brand find a new bold identity that subverts expectations and finds new ideas and innovative approaches to graphic design. Guerrilla designs with jagged imagery, harsher contrasts, crowded imagery and edgier references and inspirations can create a refined, brand-appropriate version of chaos that challenges mainstream design conventions. In an era where anything goes, where brands are wrestling for your attention, audiences will be looking for innovative entrepreneurs and leaders to embrace and fly the flag for, so be brave and take a risk or two and you’ll find your brand carving out its own niche space through its design.
No detail is too big, no idea too grand, no design too bold. Minimalism is out. It’s time for maximalism to lay its claim as the go-to for graphic design. Unable to occupy the same space at the same time, the flat and geometric designs that frequently inspired minimalist designs have become overused and outdated, laying the way for maximalism to emerge in its place, pushing designers to take inspiration from the complete opposite artistic direction. The era of emerging maximalism will see more all-out visceral, loud, and brash visual experiences to create attention seizing narratives for brands, replacing the limited (albeit aesthetically pleasing) designs that were synonymous with minimalism. Featuring punchier colour palettes and more in your face design choices, the experimental qualities of maximalism are ideal for landing a bigger (and hopefully better) impression with your audience, helping to establish a new, jovial direction of the brand. Even for brands that are synonymous with minimalist designs, now could be the time to try a different approach to demand attention. A chance to celebrate the beautiful and bold potential of graphic design, maximalism is all about being playful and sparing no detail - no matter how audacious or daring.
Key to any design is nailing the typography, helping to tie the full project together and keeping it consistent in tone and presentation. Rather than an afterthought, thrown in at the very end of the process, typography should be front and centre communicating all your brand's key messaging. Where typography may once have been hamstrung by a need to match the tone of the design or your brand, now the shackles are off with developing trends affording plenty of room for creativity and to be more expressive and playful in a way that hasn’t been possible in previous years. Influenced by the prior entries in this list, typography now has a licence to try something different with an amplified personality shown through vibrancy, mismatched letter styles, altering shapes, and challenging prior conceptions about abstract, outside of the box design, and easy to read text. Impacted by developments in style and fashion, as well as the art and media we consume, now is the time to push the boundaries of what’s considered easy legible by creating typography that expresses far more than what the words say, instead expressing who you are and what your new image is all about.