The graphic design industry is changing and evolving with the times and the trends that prevail in the competitive market. Now that the start of the new decade is well underway, consumer trends are once more shaping the world of digital marketing and content creation, and of course, reshaping the face of graphic design as a key element of brand-building, advertising, and marketing in general. Designers are starting to leverage innovative tools and technologies like VR and 3D printing, but they are also starting to shift their focus to different style expressions and visual elements that help bring a unique brand identity to life.

From what we can see, the future of graphic design is quite disruptive and innovative, even though some of the trends that we saw in the past are going to prevail in 2020 and beyond. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the six graphic design trends business leaders should know about.

Minimalism is becoming mainstream


The latter half of the 2010s has seen a rise in minimalist design, especially in the realm of graphic design where business leaders quickly realized the power and potential of a clean, clutter-free UI. As user experience slowly rose to become one of the most popular metrics a growth-oriented business needed to keep an eye on, top-level managers and creatives were quick to explore the key elements that influenced UX in a positive way. Unsurprisingly, the answer was minimalist design. This design trend is only projected to keep rising in 2020 and beyond, as it has become the new norm in the field.

Clean lines, a decluttered look and feel, a seamless browsing experience complemented by straightforward yet artistic visuals that bring form and function together – it seems that minimalist and semi-minimalist designs are the perfect recipes for stellar user experience and top-tier brand-building. While there are other trends that will help answer the question of what is the future of graphic design, it certainly seems that minimalism is one of them.

The rise of 3D graphic design


Three-dimensional art is making a comeback in graphic design ever since it was pushed aside by new industry trends in the late nineties and early two-thousands. Now, 3D graphic design serves as a contrast to the prevailing minimalist designs that occupy every marketing channel and are the key building blocks of modern brands. While there is nothing wrong with minimalism, vibrant and abstract 3D design aims to break the mold and infuse brands with their unique visual identities, now that they have all begun to look alike with their minimalist visuals.

As designers and marketers continue to use more efficient technologies and software, creating captivating 3D designs for marketing and branding purposes becomes easier by the day, and we can expect to see more abstract 3D art as a part of marketing campaigns in 2020 and beyond. Some of the key elements of this new 3D movement will include lively colors, digital applications, optimistic aesthetics, and the like.

Replacing blogs with visual content


Long-form written content still brings the most SEO benefit to a modern company, but that doesn’t mean that it’s still the preferred content form among consumers. In recent years, we have witnessed a shift in popularity from articles and blog posts to engaging visual content forms such as videos and images, but predominantly infographics.

And unsurprisingly so, startups like Infostarters and other innovative designers have been fueling this trend with their aesthetic designs, effective optimization, and compelling copywriting to make infographics one of the most popular content types in the modern online world. This year and in the years to come, infographics and other forms of visual content will continue to garner most of the attention in the online realm, with long-form written content serving a more educational purpose while delivering SEO results.

Using typography as an artistic expression


Creative typography has always been a powerful expression of graphic design. Nowadays, however, designers are focusing on creating brand-specific typography designs that complement the uniqueness of its visuals and personality.

We’ll be seeing a lot more type-only designs enter the competitive market in 2020 and beyond, as companies need to put their names first in a creative way in order to stand out and make the brand as memorable as possible.

Remote work as a culture and a trend


Interestingly, graphic design trends don’t just affect the work that designers do, they also affect the work culture and the lifestyle of the modern designer. Ever since digital nomadism and remote work kicked off with the digital revolution, business leaders from every industry have begun creating more flexible work environments for their team members, allowing employees who work from a computer to do their job wherever they find themselves in the world, so long as they meet their deadlines.

And so, in 2020 and beyond, we are going to see a rise in the remote work culture among graphic designers that don’t feel bound to a single location, but also those who seek to work with international clients. As a result, companies and business leaders will gain access to a rich pool of global talent, which will push the industry forward as a whole and create a more opportune job market for the nomadic graphic designer.

Design that stops you in your tracks


And finally, seeing as how minimalism has become the norm and how companies are struggling to create visual identities that boast a unique aesthetic appeal, there is no denying that graphical disruption will become a part of the future of graphic design.

Visuals that stop you dead in your tracks and demand of you to notice them will rise in popularity, as companies are desperate to find a way to stand out in a sea of uniform brands and minimalist elements. This design trend is not meant to appeal to everyone, quite the contrary, its aim is to polarize the consumer market and make you love it, or hate it, there’s no in-between.

Wrapping up

Graphic design is a technical skill as much as it is an art form, and like all skills and artistic expressions, it changes with the times, consumer trends, and the socio-political climates that prevail. With these insights in mind, go ahead and update your brand’s visuals and refresh your marketing strategy to appeal to the new-age consumer.