Designers are seeking to look forward to innovative approaches to branding, print, and graphic design. The graphic design trends for 2023 are set to show creativity at its most rampant in years, with a digital and futurist feel to logos, apps, and brand identities. Font trends in 2023 will also play a starring role as the key to brand identities, with distorted type and condensed fonts bringing a unique touch to projects. While design comes from creative minds, trends are also born out of the context of their time.
Designers respond to circumstances in a number of forms. It is not uncommon for some people to be excited and curious about what lies ahead as technology inspires them to explore the unknown. While others react to constraints and anti-establishment sentiment with defiance, through styles ranging from an escapist yearning to rebellious innovation. One thing is certain, which is that the 2023 graphic design trends are already shaping up to be an eclectic moment in the story of graphic design. In this blog, we will talk about the most popular graphic design trends for this year.
The Most Popular Graphic Design Trends for 2023
In this section, we will proceed to discuss the biggest and most promising graphic design trends for this year.
1. Photographic Branding
Illustration has enjoyed a huge revival in recent years, but in the branding sector, it faces stiff competition from photography, which is used to give brand identities an immersive and human quality. An example in point is PayPal’s choice to refresh its branding with a ‘people first’ photo-centric set of campaign imagery. In 2023 branding trends will steer towards photography as a more tangible and immediate medium than illustration, and one that translates effortlessly to motion video for ad campaigns and social media. But it is not all gloom for illustration, given that more brands are expected to blend illustrations and 3D graphics into photographic settings, creating a surreal or playful result.
In a graphic design context, mysticism involves iconography that relates to astrology and divination. The trend relies heavily on popular symbolism, such as zodiac signs, all-seeing eyes, lotus flowers, and sacred geometry. As in ages past, these symbols act as talismans, infusing the natural and celestial world with profound and deeper meaning.
From a virtuously visual standpoint, there is an innate gentleness to these designs. They are constructed with thin lines and organic curves that feel light and delicate. Colors become calming when subdued through muted tones. And the imagery of moons, stars, and meditative faces produce uplifting peace, an escape from earthly concerns that offers hope and comfort. All of this is what gives the trend its mass appeal. You do not have to believe in tarot cards to experience the serenity of mystic designs.
3. Minimal Vintage
In line with an all-around move towards minimalist styling in print design, the minimal vintage graphic design trend makes a subtle nod to the vintage design styles of the 20th century. The critical approach to this trend is that designs should not look immediately retro or vintage in style, rather a quietly chosen color palette or type style can reference a particular decade.
In the 1980s, the Riso Kagaku Corporation in Japan developed the Risograph printing technique. It paved the way for cheap bulk printing by using dots and desaturated colors, with the result that pictures were often grainy and unintentionally stylized with double exposures.
This year, risograph printing is being reimagined for digital, abstract graphics. Its grainy textures add depth and noise to minimalist shapes. This has inspired many designers to create surreal valleys of abstraction with a glimmer of vintage flair. When depicting real characters, risograph textures and colors are combined with exaggerated caricatures and simplified features, transforming the familiar into the unfamiliar. Finally, this trend blurs the line between basic shapes and machine processes.
5. Punk Revival
Punk is a defiant counterculture with origins as early as the Dada movement of the 1920s. Since then, it has never really gone away. It was born on the fringes of society, and there it persists. But 2023 is witnessing a revival of its mass appeal, as everyday people are finding abundant cause to rail against failing systems. Not only has the exponential wealth gap become more glaring at the onset of a recession, but the death of the UK’s monarch in 2022 has also ignited renewed opposition to the monarchy and its colonial legacy.
Aesthetically speaking, punk tends to be characterized by DIY techniques like scribbled lettering, cutouts, incompatible fonts, and chaotic collages. Punk design is an overall rejection of opulence and decorum. It is not afraid to be muddy because life is muddy, and audiences find comfort in this openness. Further, these jumbled arrangements are visually energetic. You can almost hear the outcry of frustration in the jagged edges and graffiti splatter.
6. Sans Serif
After years of serif dominance, the tide is beginning to turn back towards trusty sans serif typefaces, beloved by graphic designers, minimalists, and accessibility-conscious web designers. Serif logos are beginning to achieve saturation point, which is why designers are starting to find freshness in geometric sans or grotesque Swiss-style typefaces, or indeed, a more evolved version of the serif, Flared Fonts.
Sans serifs not only curate a clean, minimalist style for branding, packaging, and other print designs, but they also enhance legibility and accessibility on apps and websites. As more brands tune into the need for digital output to be completely accessible, we can expect sans serifs to take on a more dominant role online.
Here are the trends that you should be pursuing in 2023 for graphic design. Leverage those styles as much as you can and think of innovative ways to use them in your way.