The Main Trends in Graphic Design – An Overview

New trends in graphic design are rare. One can tell when trends replace each other only by looking a couple of decades back.

Trends in graphic design are not short-lived and never disappear without a trace. They penetrate into our life gradually, slowly gaining popularity. All the major trends that will be relevant in 2017 didn’t appear out of a sudden. These trends have been dominating over the past few years, changing a little, but remaining absolutely recognizable at the same time.


Modern Retro

In contrast to the usual retro, modern retro style focuses on the stylistics of the 70’s and 80’s. It’s the era of the first personal computers, video games, active space exploration and rapid development of digital technologies. For example, in the works of the Philippine designer Ralph Cifra, you can clearly trace nostalgia for the recent past. During the work on his Retro-technology art project he collected a lot of items and devices that almost nobody uses today: camera film, audio cassettes, floppy disks, vinyl record players, pagers and much more.

Material design

Modern graphic design and digital technology are so closely connected that designers are influenced by trends dominating in other industries, for example, in web development. When Google introduced its Material Design concept, hardly anyone expected that it would have an impact on graphic design. This visual language is distinguished by the deliberate choice of color, scale typography and bold use of empty space.

Bright color palette

Such trends as modern retro and Material Design have a common feature – the use of bright and unusual color combinations. Therefore, designers actively use bright colors in their projects. In contrast to web design, where the use of muted tones is popular everywhere, from small apps to Ukrainian dating websites, in graphic design we can see the dominance of bright and rich colors.

Geometric figures

The use of geometric shapes is a noticeable trend, although the difference in approaches is obvious. Today, an increasing number of designers use the so-called polygons, which serve for creating 3D models and video games.


Until recently, this graphic technique had been incomprehensible to the viewer, but now everything has changed, and illustrations with geometric figures appear more often.

Negative space

Negative space is an integral part of any decent design. Using this technique allows you to add depth to the design. Most often, negative space is used when creating a logo or in branding, but nothing keeps you from using it in other types of graphic design.

Emotional typography

This approach can be used for creating a dramatic effect. Large letters attract attention, and you can enhance your impressions by using bright color combinations, textures, and unusual arrangement of elements.

Unique illustrations

Designers gradually abandon the use of stock illustrations. The reason is in too similar images and lack of individuality. Designers don’t like the idea of their works looking like a cliché, the same goes for brands that are struggling to stand out among competitors. The use of stock images in the design reduces the originality and, in addition, there is a risk that some elements can be seen in the works of other designers.


Trying new trends is important, of course. But using new approaches in design just because they are in fashion is not a good idea. And if you really want to try something new, it’s better to make sure that this trend fits well into the project. Still, it’s better to remain pragmatic and use only those elements or color combinations that will be appropriate in the design.

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