With the start of a new decade, design trends in 2020 have reached an important milestone and are transforming the way brands communicate. It’s the dawn of a new decade, and design is poised to reach new heights as designers begin to define the era. There’s a feeling in the air that anything can happen—that we are about to witness the next evolution of graphic design as we know it.
Although it might take a few more years for the 20s to hit their stride, designers are already showing us glimmers of what is to come. Let’s take a look at the reigning top design trends 2020 that are already starting to characterize this new decade.
1. Intensifying Minimalism
In the latter half of the 2010s, we’ve seen minimalist, flat design dominate the world of digital. In line with marketing’s ongoing quest for transparency and honesty, design will continue to strip away extra flair and embellishment and move toward a much simpler, straightforward presentation.
The main benefit of flat design is in allowing users to quickly interact with interfaces, and find the content they’re looking for while stripping away aesthetics but maintaining functionality.
While flat design has a reputation for being cold and unfeeling, it needn’t be so. Grady Britton’s senior art director Adam Murdoch believes that design minimalism will shift toward the warm and cosy, with interactive design’s white-and-light, luxury brand color palette going warm and friendlier; and beige, sage and pale yellow showing up more frequently.
Image : Luxury brand palette Source : Pinterest
2. Abstract 3D and vibrant colors
Over the past one year, abstract 3D forms have become popular against the backlash of minimalist designs. For instance, most software companies have revolutionized this trend through rendering 3D designs when pushing updates.
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In the past few months, most designs have created a 3D feel by combining layers of typography, images and abstract shapes, often reflective of the company branding, to create depth. This is often paired with bright, vibrant colors and gradients, which we believe will become a strong trend in the next year too.
3. Type only approaches
Recently, companies that are adopting typography approach as opposed to images for design purposes appear to be growing. There has been a greater use of typography and bespoke typefaces as defining elements in branding.
This technique to has proven to be extremely effective, helping brands to deliver messages via simple, strong, singular statements. It’s a good technique for brands that are straight-talking and to-the-point.
4. Device dependent design
Do you develop a website that works across all devices, or make a device specific app that only works on one of them, such as the iPhone? Harry East, co-founder and creative director at Equals Collective, believes that in the coming year, you’ll increasingly need to do both.
In 2020, we’ll continue to see the chasm widen in responsive design. Although styled similarly, the designed experience will become fully tailored for the platform consuming it. Expect to see websites and web apps designed with unique experiences for each format. Our experiences are now consumed differently depending on the way they are viewed and used. The best web experiences will be defined by their ability to meet this new design challenge and captivate an audience with specific designs matched to experiences across different platforms.
5. Backlash against Insta-perfection
Is the Instagram-inspired notion of showing idealized versions of our selves on its way out? “Lately, we’ve seen a huge shift in how brands are portraying people so that audiences feel a truer connection. In a backlash against the image-obsessed, overly filtered selfie culture, we have seen the rise of un-retouched imagery, using real people over models and representing truer diversity.
Brands are realizing the power in celebrating their consumers instead of promoting just one, outdated aesthetic. This has been happening mostly within beauty and fashion sectors, but I think we’ll see it expand across different sectors in 2020.
6. Organic look and feel
Throughout the 2010s, we’ve seen more and more brand and packaging design focus on the organic, the calming and the natural. And right now, that trend is only heightening.
From digital lifestyle brands like Uber we’re seeing a softening and a simplicity, through their use of more approachable typography with fewer capitals, more circular letter-forms and clean, naturalistic icons. In recent campaigns from Nike and Adidas, we’re seeing greater honesty to styling and photography, focusing on real individuals in less staged environments, reflecting a desire for more one-on-one conversations.
Equity and CBA Loop, banking old and new, are embracing softer, more naturalistic color palettes and stripped-down illustration, a big step away from the authoritative and autocratic banking of old. And we’re seeing technology product companies adopting aesthetics and materials that are inspired by nature and in tune with our homes. Rather than the shiny black tech monoliths of old, soft forms and interesting textiles are being combined.
7. Making brand stories more believable
When it comes to design trends in 2020, brands need to learn and adopt them in their work and designs. This will enable them to be on the forefront of communication and in turn expose their brand to a lot more people