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Design trends for 2021

Let's say goodbye to 2020 as quickly as possible and look forward to 2021.

In our final blog of this year we're looking at a number of design trends as reported by those in the know.

Interestingly, some of the web conventions we've spoken about in previous blogs are going to be put to the test if these reports are anything to go by.

Curious Elf has cleaned up her brushes and has got to work.

Shutterstock's blog on the colours to watch out for hone in on one particular trend for 2021.

In response to a traumatic year, it's predicting designers will opt for 'set sail champagne' for 2021. With a calming tone which is both natural and organic, this is the colour which will acknowledge the minimalist trend. Look up ancient buildings in warm mediterranean locations and you'll see the similarity. 

The colour signifies peace, legality, tranquility and purity but can also be coupled with stronger colours for even greater impact.

Reported in Social Media Today, the Australian design agency, 99designs has made these top 11 predictions for 2021:

  1. Psychedelic (with abstract thrown in)
  2. Symbol revival
  3. Retro Futurism
  4. Seamless Surrealism
  5. Authentic representation
  6. Irreverent characters
  7. Comics and pop art
  8. Fine art infusion
  9. Elements of nature
  10. Colour blur
  11. Socially conscious design

Creativebloq has said we will be bucking trends and breaking traditions where oversized fonts, colour clashes and disharmony will come to the fore. Their theory is that in response to our feelings of physical restriction which the pandemic has brought us, we're going to tear up the rule book.

  1. Response clutter
  2. Surrealist still life
  3. Maximalism
  4. Outsized typology
  5. Earth x metal
  6. In text photography
  7. Technodystopia
  8. Disharmonous colour combinations

Just Creative has looked at graphic design trends for 2021. Although not specific to the web design arena, we can expect to see elements of these trends in the web world.

  1. Muted colours
  2. Minimalism
  3. Asymmetry
  4. Data visualisation
  5. Flat icons and illustrations
  6. Simple and classic fonts
  7. Motion logos
  8. Overlapping designs
  9. Geometric shapes
  10. Dark mode
  11. Accessible designs
  12. Social slide decks
  13. Text videos
  14. Natural designs
  15. Authenticity

Venngage has whittled this down to 7 trends - we've highlighted them in bold where there's a match with Just Creative's predictions.

Anne Carson's blog on Design Wizard's website, Graphic Design Trends: Predictions for 2021 highlights the emphasis on minimal and understated design and asks 'Why this shift away from bigger and bolder, to quieter and muted?'. It's a probing question and takes us beyond the world of design and into the realms of what we've all been dealing with this past year and our need for peace and calm.

The article continues to detail 2021's design trends and many have already been listed in this blog:

  1. Muted colour palette
  2. Classic serif fonts
  3. Simple data visualisations
  4. Social media slide decks
  5. Flat icons and illustrations
  6. Geometric shapes
  7. Moving text in video
  8. Vintage effects in graphic design
  9. Animation
  10. Nature in design
  11. Mascots
  12. It's all about authenticity

And finally, one more report on the themes for the new decade...

Reported in The Drum Network by Jenny Stanley of Appetite Creative (check out the AC website, it's amazing) focuses on 5 trends (phew - Curious Elf thinks everyone else seems to be covering all bases anyway):

  1. Minimalism
  2. Storytelling
  3. Mobile first
  4. Dark mode
  5. Hand drawn/written elements

First thumbnail includes images by
iXimus from Pixabay
G Lopez from Pixabay

99 Designs report - image by Bathi


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