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2021 Graphic Design Trends to Check Out

Graphic design trends that will dominate in 2021

2020 has been a strange year for many, and it’s also caused a radical shift in the way that we work. Distance learning, e-commerce and socializing online all feed into the design trends we’re seeing lately, as brands and businesses continue to adapt to this ‘new normal’.

If you’re looking to stay on the cutting edge ahead of 2021, we’ve pulled together the hottest design trends below. Read on to get inspired for your next creative project!

Designs Inspired by Nature

If there’s one thing many of us have wanted this year, it’s to be outside. Whether that’s from the lockdown blues, a busy work schedule or a growing fatigue of fast inner-city living. We’re seeing more and more designs with elements of nature creeping in, and this theme was even featured as a top trend in the latest Top Drawer On-Demand event earlier this year. The “at one with nature” trend celebrates bold organic shapes, leaf patterns and striking florals. All of these natural elements make excellent prints for products such as wrapping paper and Art Prints. How will you start to bring the outside world into your designs this winter?

Muted Color Palettes

A favorite color palette for 2020, this design trend isn’t going anywhere just yet. Muted colors are essentially bright colors that have had the saturation turned down or was diluted with black or white, creating a softer tone. As a more understated way to use color, it can work for a range of different prints, especially if you’re going for a gentler or even nostalgic vibe. If you’re designing (or redesigning) Wedding Stationery for next year, a muted color palette could be just the ticket. It’s also popular among Business Stationery as it has an air of professionalism and quality that gaudy colors sometimes lack. You don’t have to be neon to capture attention!

Geometric Shapes

Despite the seeming simplicity of using geometric shapes in your design, it’s set to be one of the most popular trends for 2021.

There’s a real joy in creating something complex out of simple shapes and that’s exactly what this trend is all about. Taking flat shapes such as squares, circles and triangles and layering them into an abstract composition. The best thing about this trend is just how flexible it can be. Looking for a unique Greeting Card design? Or some dynamic shapes to use with Die or Laser Cut? Perhaps a punchy motif to bring your Business Suite to life? Geometric shapes are the one.

Metallic Embellishments

If you’ve been perusing our page for more than ten minutes, then you probably already know how much we like to talk to about foiling. That being said, we couldn’t be happier that designs that sparkle and shine are looking to be a big hit in 2021.

First things first, if you’re looking for luxury, this is how you do it. Adding a gilded aspect to everyday prints is the easy way to take them from the ordinary to the wondrous. Colors such as gold, silver and copper all carry a high-end charm, plus mixing foil with block shades and minimalist patterns gives a modern, distinguished look. From Flyers and Notepads to Wedding Invitations and Business Cards – all that glitters is here to stay (hooray!).

Optical Illusion Designs

Want to really attract attention in 2021? Opt for optical illusions!

When you can’t quite piece together the visual elements of a design, it can be hard to look away. Optical illusions are actually quite simple to create, and can make a very captivating composition which keeps the focus on your brand. Combined with special finishes such as white ink or spot UV, why not give your next print project a dizzying sense of ‘how on earth did they do that?’. Now that’s memorable!

What do you think is going to outshine the trends in 2021? We'd love to hear it!


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