Design Trends of 2021

2020 was a strange and anxiety-inducing year for everyone. And because of lockdown, forced closure of businesses, schools, and so on have had a detrimental impact. Most of our livelihood has shifted online from education, shopping, entertainment and working from home has seen a lot of online and communication platforms grow rapidly. People and businesses have had to adapt quicker than ever before in this current climate and design trends reflect these times to represent the current consumer needs and attractions.


2021 will be the peak for this design trend. The idea of utilising individual shapes to create larger, more complex and unique ones accompanied by strong colours and outlines produces aesthetically striking and creative mixes.


Natural and soft design trends have been creeping up slowly for the past couple of years or so. The idea of mimicking nature, earthy colour palettes, natural gradients and patterns are coming back into fashion. This is probably due to the present pandemic and people’s longing for the outdoors. People are being denied the chance of going outside for long periods of time and suddenly having the urge to to find a way to escape. Nature-inspired design helps create a calm feeling for people stuck in these situations, thus why its an upcoming design trend.

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Muted colours are subtle colours, that are not bright or have been subdued, dulled or grayed – as opposed to vibrant and flashy colour palette trends in the last few years. The colours feel natural and organic while evoking a sense of nostalgia and security.


The concept of a monochrome or a duotone palette has been around for quite sometime in graphic design. This design trend compensates the increase of illustrations and other complicated graphics. This stylised approach helps simplify the design so the audience isn’t bombarded with complicated mixtures of design features playing off against each other. This simplified and relaxed utilisation of colour holds a website or graphic together as a unified whole and emphasises the emotive effect of colour.


Many companies are using flat icons and illustrations in their website and graphic design while evoking a sense of friendliness. Simple icons can communicate meaning in less space than words and provide a visual aid to worded content.

Left: Malmö Sans by Martin Lexelius
Right: Sans Serif No.5 60 96


Classical serif fonts, one of the oldest style of typefaces, are still in fashion. Serif fonts are usually seen as traditional, elegant and trustworthy. Serif fonts carry feelings of trust and respectability, making them perfect for brand identities that circle around establishment and grandeur. They are perfect for companies who want to build brand awareness, while displaying their trustworthy nature.

Graphic design is experiencing rapid growth and is ever-evolving. Tastes develop and change, innovation and technology move forward, and it is up to designers to adapt with an always shifting environment. These design trends of 2021 are here for you to be informed, inspired, and guide the trajectory of your company.

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