Picture this. With pixel-perfect imagination.
Back in the day when graffiti was hailed as art, not street kitsch, Saturday Night Fever was not just a flick, but an epic and psychedelic was more than a word to look up in the thesaurus, a prolific, celebrated grafico, Milton Glaser was riding the back seat of a New York City cab.
As his ride sliced through the chaotic New York traffic, a pondering Mr. Glaser scrawled his way to glory with the now iconic ‘I ❤️ NY’ logo.His itch was so contagious that it’s been inked, printed, and replicated on every imaginable surface since then. And perhaps spawned a zillion design trends.
Art is as old as time itself. Way before the Neanderthals turned their caves into an archaeologist’s exploits, nature had its unique design language and expressions. Look around if you haven’t spotted a few yet.
Today’s graphic designs may come across as repurposed hieroglyphics; yet, they are a far cry from the Paleolithic subculture.
If 2021 saw artsy folks root for insane optical illusions, 3D typography, emoji designs, and nature-inspired renditions, 2022 rocks with nostalgic expressions, neon-lit artwork, 2D/3D mashups, crazy experimental typography, vibrant hues, and anti-design techniques.
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2022 is the year of comebacks, aesthetic mishaps, visual inclusion, and immersive experiences. For creators, curators, and consumers alike. “ The new becomes threatening, the old reassuring. ” — this famous Paul Rand quote aptly summarizes the year’s design trends.
Every pixel matters
In a digital-first, attention-deficit world, universes are intersecting with metaverses. Design and art are jostling for rapidly shrinking screens and dilated pupils. The need for visual communication to be on the money and win the money is imperative.
The 90’s look, 2022s outlook
You there ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’, 90s are back and how. Adland is a crib and cradle for nostalgic resurrections.
Graphic designers are reliving the 90s through simple emojis, primitive internet frames, geometric shapes, and illustrations. Use of vaporwave landscapes, neon colors, and Gothic serifs reflect a longing for the past with a futuristic twist. Retro vibes are also seen through the dripping slime, thick fonts, and bright color blocks. This is what they call retro-futurism. How delightfully oxymoron-ish.
2D / 3D: Mishap or Mashup?
The internet has been home to 3D art and characters for years. 3D designs are ever-evolving and offer limitless design possibilities. These hyper-realistic 3D visuals blur the line between digital and physical. But, they have also set in visual fatigue.
In 2022, to explore more possibilities, designers are eager to marry 2D and 3D worlds by clubbing flat illustrative elements and pictures with 3D visuals. The new design approaches make art more compelling, fun, and interactive.
There’s a new serif in town
By 2021, font fatigue had plagued the industry. Overuse of sans serifs had made visuals similar and predictable
Tired of restrained and neutral sans serifs, creatives demanded font diversity. That’s why serif fonts like Antiqua are on their way back. Experimental typography is a big graphic design trend in 2022. Designers look inspired to create bold, chunky fonts and experiment with shapes and forms.
Font manipulation will also blur typographic boundaries. Swash, a typographical flourish that exaggerates the serifs of a character, is making a comeback.
Experimental typography can be applied to logo design, web design, poster design, and brand identity disciplines. This is a way to evoke nostalgia while also appearing elegant and calming
Let’s get swingin
Psychedelic designs hit the scene in the swinging 60s when mind-altering substances were spawning new countercultures. From fashion art to festival collaterals; psychedelic patterns, motifs, and typefaces melted across canvases.
Mimicking the colors and patterns of a trippy subculture, psychedelic designs evoke the chaos of our time, as well as, the nostalgia of a bygone era. From animations to far-out web designs, this style embraces a carefree spirit and hypnotizes users with kaleidoscopic visuals.
Psychedelic also makes a comeback to become a huge graphic design trend because of the rise of a new counterculture. Get prepared to see acid-tripped posters or mind-bending color palettes during 2022
Drive away the blues with candy hues
Outstanding designs stand out because of best color-coordination practices. A right riot of hues and shades can make an otherwise awful piece into an awe-inspiring original. Warm shades, neutral tones, pastels, and earthy hues previously provided optimum results. 2022 is the year to break the clutter and adopt bold,bright, and vibrant tints.
Colour coordination is being replaced with color contradiction. Blues can mingle with reds, Yellows can wed grays. Brands are embracing a hue-centric approach in communication to evoke emotions, aspirations, and ambitions. They want to grab attention, invoke inquisitiveness, and resolve design issues. Colour theorists are encouraging neon shades and vaporwave landscapes.
Bright and vibrant hues will become even more popular and take over the branding landscape until designers gravitate to another new style. Here’s how BrandCare employed 2022 colour trends in their creative expressions.
The aim is to create a background that doesn’t look too busy and distracting. Still here with us? Thanks for not being distracted.
Design smart with anti-design
Though anti-design has its antecedents in the ‘Brutalist’ style, which was a big 2021 trend, they are not the same thing. In 2022, we will see projects flaunting asymmetry, bare interfaces, illegible font types, crowded elements, and clashing colors to challenge traditional design principles and aesthetics.
The holographic design style is a clever spin on diffraction of light which creates a really attractive and modern look. In 2022, we can see holographic style applied to logos, apps, web design, and animation standards. This trend can also be applied to 2D/3D mashups evoking feelings of futuristic and tech-enabled aesthetics.
Logoland: a designer’s La La Land
Logo inspirations for 2022 are rooted in the past with an eye on the future. Logo creators are rehashing and reimagining logos. The logo scene today embodies retro-futurism. Tall logos, candy-colored insignia, and outlined logos are a few of 2022’s styles.
The purpose, simply put, is to heighten engagement and stand out. Mismatched letter styles, mind-bending shapes, and amorphous blobs are all on the table. This can be a risky proposition when it comes to audiences with zero tolerance for artsy experimentation. But the outcome is worth the risk.
Straight off the bat, design trends in 2022 look random and Kafkaesque. But, there’s no denying these styles are unique and ever-evolving. Today’s designs may look like a grand old 90s flashback, but let’s understand that only the best practices in art and visual communication are being renewed and repurposed.
2022’s trends are winning over the design world,
one visual at a time.