9 Amazing Graphic Design Trends for 2021


Jayraj
By Jayraj | Last Updated on November 15th, 2021 10:05 am | 6-min read
Appy Pie - Graphic Design Trends

The graphic design industry had its work cut out in 2020. Quarantines, lockdowns, and with almost half of the world working, enjoying, and living off of the internet has become the norm. This increased the workloads of the graphic design industry to the next level.

Everything from distance learning to online shopping to entertainment went online throughout the year 2020. The graphic design industry is expected to have a massive leap in its workload in the coming year of 2021.

Throughout the year, there has been an emergence of various trends in graphic design. These trends transcend all the various sub-parts of graphic design like UI, website, mobile app design, and more.

Some of these trends in design are likely to continue in 2021. In this blog, we will observe the various trends that might be popular in 2021. Before we jump to these trends, here are some of the designs that gained the most engagement in 2020.

Graphic Design Trends - Appy Pie

  1. 3D Design
  2. Emojis
  3. Voxel Art
  4. Monochrome
  5. Retro Futurism
  6. Surrealism
  7. AR Experiences
  8. Cartoon Illustrations
  9. Simple Geometry

2021 will be the year of:

  1. 3D Design
  2. 3D design is as old as time. However, it’s about to get more exciting in 2021. With various improvements in graphic design software and graphical hardware( read: Raytracing), designers are compelled to up their 3D game.

    In addition, with VR and AR becoming more and more of an outlet for creativity, 3D design is gearing up for its new second-wind.

    In the coming year, we could see ground-breaking uses of 3D in UI design, website design, video game design, VR and AR software, and apps.

    3D will be used to create hyper-realistic graphics to blur the lines between the physical and digital world. Apart from that 3D elements will no longer be minor elements in various designs but will rather take center stage.

    3d website design - Appy Pie

    Video games have always been the epitome of 3D design, however, games like Half-Life: Alyx showed the potential of VR as a gaming platform. These VR experiences will become more and more common over the next year.

  3. Emojis
  4. Listing emojis as a design ‘trend’ may make you go ‘huh?’. Emojis are the default pictograms and method of communication in the age of social media. Emojis help accent your texts and make it easier for the reader to understand your intent.

    One might think that the emotions and message conveyed through emojis is understood by almost everyone. I mean, we all know what the eggplant emoji means. However, that’s not the case. Apple introduced the animoji in 2018.

    While it didn’t exactly catch on, Apple was onto something. This does not mean the weird AR-esque emoji maker but rather the potential of 3D emojis.

    3d emojis - Appy Pie

    If you notice a Google keyboard in an Android phone, you’ll notice they’re ‘mildly’ 3-dimensional. That’s where the emojis are going. In 2021, we might see rapid growth in the usage of 3D emojis that would convey even more emotions with the pictorial representations.

    In addition, we will experience a rush of new, creative, and imaginative emojis to fill the emoji library even more.

  5. Voxel Art
  6. Voxel art is a type of art that creates 3D models entirely through the use of 3D cubes called voxels. Voxel art was popularized by video games like Minecraft and Roblox. An example of Voxel art is given below.

    Voxel art - Appy Pie
    Source: Mini Mike’s Metro Minis

    Think of voxel art as digital legos. Voxel art is very dynamic and can be used to create attractive designs. Voxel art is a very fun art style that appeals to a childish simplicity and a very ’pixelated retro’ look. Voxel art can be better explained as ‘8-bit design but in 3 dimensions’.

    Ever since Minecraft regained popularity, the capabilities of voxel art were proved. 2021 may see the use of voxel art in more business environments and can be effectively used in web page design to create a memorable webpage.

  7. Monochrome
  8. Monochrome is an old concept getting a new second wind. The use of monochrome seems to be returning in 2021. There is not much to explain in this design trend. Monochrome design essentially uses various shades, tints, and tones of a single hue. Monochrome design usually gives off a cool, sophisticated look to designs.

    monochrome color schemes - Appy Pie

    Monochrome designs are simple to create and can help save designers a lot of time. Many businesses use monochromatic designs for this very reason. Appy Pie has a dedicated blog on how you can use monochrome colors in your designs. You can also create your own monochrome color palette with Appy Pie’s Color Wheel tool!

  9. RetroFuturism
  10. Retro Futurism is coming back big time. For the uninitiated, retro-futurism is essentially a creative style utilizing the past’s view of future technology. Still too difficult? Think of movies such as The Fifth Element, Total Recall, etc.

    Retro Futurism involves creating art using the design elements and the view of the future in old pop culture as an inspiration. These usually involve bright colors combined with geometric designs and whatnot.

    retro futurism - Appy Pie

    Using the environmental style of retro futuristic graphics, designers are creating new graphics and using them actively. Retro Futurism usually involves bright neon colors on dark backgrounds. Purple and pink are pretty dominant in retro futuristic design. With the resurgence of past pop culture, retro futurism will come back in a big way in 2021 especially as a web design trend.

  11. Surrealism
  12. Surrealism is an art style that has been around for decades. Surrealism has, however, been restricted to creative art. With the new year, surrealism looks to become one of the biggest 2021 graphic design trends.

    surrealism - Appy Pie

    Surrealism is a design that is ‘nonsensically realistic’. Surrealism is an art style that brings together something real and combines it to create something unrealistic. 2020 has renewed people’s interest in surrealism and it looks to be one of the largest trends in design in the coming year.

  13. AR Experiences
  14. Augmented reality continues to experience strong growth into 2021. Within the next year, more apps and websites will provide AR experiences. Including these AR experiences in a still graphic will be a challenge for designers around the world.

    AR Design - Appy Pie

    Augmented reality will be one of the largest 2021 graphic design trends. The possibilities of augmented reality are endless. Their predominance will however be in mobile apps. With no-code development becoming commonplace, designing an AR app will also become easier. In fact, you can design a no-code augmented reality app with Appy Pie AppMakr without any coding whatsoever!

  15. Cartoon Illustrations
  16. Cartoon illustrations have been a large part of the design industry for most of the decade. Cartoon illustrations help brands stand out in the ocean of generic designs.

    Cartoon illustrations can be difficult to balance properly. Brands with cartoon illustrations usually have a titular character who they play around with.

    cartoon illustrations - Appy Pie

    Cartoon illustrations are going to be a trend in the design industry for a long time. There is so much creativity to explore in custom cartoon characters that this will be a 2021 design trend for sure. One of the best ways to create a cartoon illustration is to use a graphic design software that lets you create them.

    You can check out Appy Pie’s online graphic design software called Appy Pie Design today!

  17. Simple Geometry
  18. The final 2021 design trend is simple geometry. In recent years, there has been a web design trend that involves overpopulating image backgrounds with simple geometrical design outlines. An example has been given below. From cubes to trapezoids, these designs simply populate backgrounds of illustrations while giving off a cool modern vibe to your websites.

    geometric backgrounds - Appy Pie

    These designs can be animated further to add a distinct, attention-grabbing element that glues your viewers. Website designs are including these geometrical designs more and more.

    In 2021, these designs will become far more common.

Summing Up

That was our list of the 9 trends in design that will dominate 2021. These trends are worth reading up on and learning if you are a professional designer. You will also need to know about various tools that can help you create and use these designs.

Tools and software like Appy Pie Design are excellent for creating and editing such unique trend-related designs.

Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Jayraj
About The Author

Jayraj is a content writer whose goal in life is to be a polymath. He's not there yet but his quest has given him extensive knowledge about many things. He tries to share his knowledge by writing. In his free time, he surfs the Internet and takes long walks.

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