8 Design Trends You’ll See in 2020


Design trends shift every single year. Remember the ’90s, when floating geometric shapes in hot pink, fuschia, and yellow were cool? And Comic Sans was the go-to font? Now, designers cringe every time they see the above font creep into current marketing materials.

Fast forward to a new decade, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on popular design trends, no matter the industry you’re in.

2020 is the year of bold design trends that will make an appearance wherever you go. Vintage styles and street art are making a comeback, while three-dimensional objects and liquid-patterned designs are coming in hot! Here’s the rundown of what you can expect once the ball drops and a new decade begins.

3D: The Illusion of Depth

Credit: Mixpanel
Credit: Dribbble

Do you remember that scene from Willy Wonka, when Mike Teavee reaches into a television screen and pulls out a chocolate bar?

“It’s WonkaVision,” Mr. Wonka says, referencing the technology of broadcasting real-life objects onto the screen. Well, 3-dimensional designs are “kinda” similar, with objects being designed to look so real, you can almost reach through your monitor and grab it.

Flat design is so last year. With 3D technology, designers can create realistic elements on websites and advertising pieces that help the message “pop out” (pun intended). Designers can achieve 3D visuals by playing around with layers and shadows in various editing softwares, InDesign being one of them.

Hand Lettering: Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s

Hand lettering is meant for more than just wedding and baby shower invitations, now it can be seen on a brand’s packaging, website design, and beyond. Hand lettering has been around for centuries – think Middle Ages, when religious texts were handwritten by monks. However, within the last few years, this ancient practice has skyrocketed and can be seen on countless marketing materials.

Credit: Fieldwork
Credit: Silver Spoon Collective

Today, businesses veer towards hand lettering because it promotes individualism. For example, a hand-lettered logo that a designer drew out will be unique from other logos that were created with generic downloadable fonts. People want their businesses to stand out, and that’s where the beauty of this trend comes in.

Clipping Masks: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t

It’s magic!

I’m referring to clipping masks…

Credit: Dribbble

With this popular design technique, the artwork is created by cutting out the shape with a layer mask. For instance, look at the above poster showing the audience cheering at a concert. The designer took a transparent text, layered it on top of the image, and *POOF* now you only see the cutouts with the image behind it. Like I said, design magic!

Credit: Michael Stidham

Liquid Effects: Do the Wave

More contemporary designers are using a liquid effect to create eye-catching graphics. Typically made with vibrant colors that intertwine with one another, this technique has been creating waves for brands looking for a more modern, whimsical feel.

Credit: Spiration Organic Coffee Co.
Credit: Dribbble

Monochrome Colors: Ridin’ Solo

Sometimes, one color is enough!

Monochrome refers to black and white or combinations containing tones of a single color. Using multiple shades of one color can be a clever way to achieve brand identity. A single color is what sets many brands apart (look at Target and the infamous cherry red). Colors also evoke emotions, meaning many designers use one color to easily convey a message or a feeling.

Credit: Dribbble

Motion: The GIF(t) that Keeps on Giving

You see them everywhere. Pull up a Buzzfeed article, and GIFs are plastered all over the site. Retail uses them for promotional emails and innovative sales tactics due to the eye-grabbing movement. But, why is this medium so popular? For one, consumers have a shorter attention span, so the use of clever GIFs in blog posts (like this one!) and other marketing materials is the key to captivating their attention in seconds.

Credit: Boden

Sure, GIFs have been popular for quite some time, but expect to see more clever uses of this trend wherever you go. You can even begin to incorporate more GIFs on your blog through several websites including giphy.com or tenor.com.

Credit: Nike

Street Art: Tag, You’re It

No need for spray paint, designers are imitating this popular style through creative layering and bold geometric shapes. Street art is becoming more and more prominent in concert posters, fashion, etc. for its attractive color palette and retro vibes.

Credit: Hotel Jazz

Vintage Color Palette: That ’70s, Though

Speaking of retro, crank up Earth, Wind, and Fire because the ’70s are back!

Mustard yellow, forest green, and other earthy tones will be the talk of the town in 2020. Many retro trends have already made a comeback, including record players, vintage clothing, 80s synthetic beats, and now, earthy shades that will transport us back in time.

You’ll especially see vintage colors used for organic food packaging and all-natural makeup/skincare lines.

Credit: Belong Organics
Credit: Forest & Shore
Credit: Flatland Kitchen

There you have it! 2020 is the start of a new decade, which means innovation, fresh ideas, and taking risks. Which design trend are you most excited about? Comment below!

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