Graphic design is a constantly evolving field, and keeping up with the latest trends is essential for creating visually appealing and engaging designs. As we enter 2023, we’re witnessing a surge of creativity in graphic design, with numerous exciting trends taking center stage. In this article, we’ll explore the top 20 graphic design trends, providing detailed insights, features, and a variety of paid and free solutions for each trend.

3D Typography

Overview and Analysis:

3D typography is a captivating trend that adds depth and texture to text elements. It creates a realistic, attention-grabbing visual impact, making it versatile for branding and marketing purposes. In 2023, 3D typography is set to continue influencing various design projects, from websites to advertising materials.

Features:
  • Realistic depth and texture
  • Attention-grabbing visual impact
  • Versatile for branding and marketing
Paid Solutions:
  1. Adobe Dimension: A paid solution offering a wide range of 3D design capabilities with a user-friendly interface, perfect for creating stunning 3D typography.
  2. Cinema 4D: A professional 3D modeling and animation software with advanced capabilities, albeit with a price tag.
Free Solutions:
  1. Blender: A powerful open-source 3D creation suite, providing a free option for designers to experiment with 3D typography.
  2. Vectary: A free 3D design tool with a user-friendly interface, offering a wide range of 3D typography features for those looking to experiment without a financial commitment.

Neomorphism

Overview and Analysis:

Neomorphism is a design trend known for its soft, realistic shadows, futuristic, and minimalistic aesthetics. It is user-friendly and accessible, making it an ideal choice for UI and UX design. In 2023, this trend is expected to continue to shape the way designers approach digital interfaces.

Features:
  • Soft, realistic shadows
  • Futuristic and minimalistic design
  • User-friendly and accessible UI
Paid Solutions:
  1. Figma: Figma offers both free and paid plans, making it a versatile choice for neomorphic design with its collaborative capabilities.
  2. Sketch: A paid design tool that excels in creating neomorphic designs, particularly for Mac users.
Free Solutions:
  1. Skeuomorphism: An online tool that allows designers to experiment with neomorphic design for free, offering templates and resources.
  2. Framer: Framer provides a free plan for designers to create interactive and neomorphic user interfaces.

Abstract Geometry

Overview and Analysis:

Abstract geometry is characterized by the use of geometric shapes and patterns to create bold and captivating visuals. This design style is highly versatile and can be applied to various projects, from posters to web graphics. Abstract geometry is expected to remain a popular trend in 2023, allowing designers to express their creativity through shapes and patterns.

Features:
  • Geometric shapes and patterns
  • Bold and captivating visuals
  • Versatile for various design projects
Paid Solutions:
  1. Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator is a paid graphic design software well-suited for creating intricate abstract geometry with its vector-based tools.
  2. CorelDRAW: A paid design software offering robust vector illustration tools for crafting geometric designs with precision.
Free Solutions:
  1. Gravit Designer: Gravit Designer is a free vector graphic design application that allows designers to create stunning abstract geometry without cost barriers.
  2. Inkscape: An open-source vector graphics editor that offers a free platform for designing intricate geometric patterns.

Dark Mode and Low Light Aesthetics

Overview and Analysis:

Dark mode and low light aesthetics have become increasingly popular due to their reduced eye strain and modern, stylish appeal. This design trend focuses on creating visually pleasing interfaces and content that are easy on the eyes in low-light conditions. It has gained traction in applications, websites, and operating systems.

Features:
  • Reduced eye strain in low light
  • Trendy and stylish aesthetics
  • Improved readability in dark environments
Paid Solutions:
  1. Adobe XD: Adobe XD is a paid design tool used to create and prototype dark mode interfaces, making it a favorite among UI/UX designers.
  2. Framer X: Framer X offers a paid platform for creating interactive dark mode prototypes and user interfaces.
Free Solutions:
  1. Figma: Figma, with its free plan, enables designers to explore dark mode and low light aesthetics, while also providing collaborative features.
  2. Sketch: Sketch, with a free trial, is a popular tool among macOS users for creating dark mode designs.

Glitch Art

Overview and Analysis:

Glitch art is an avant-garde design trend that embraces digital errors and distortions as a form of artistic expression. It involves intentionally introducing glitches, artifacts, and distortions into images and graphics. In 2023, glitch art is expected to push the boundaries of digital creativity, offering a unique and visually striking style.

Features:
  • Digital errors and distortions
  • Artistic and unconventional
  • Visually striking and thought-provoking
Paid Solutions:
  1. Glitché: Glitché is a paid app for creating glitch art on mobile devices, providing various glitch effects and filters.
  2. Processing: While it’s an open-source platform, Processing offers a paid mode for advanced glitch art creation through coding and generative art.
Free Solutions:
  1. Audacity: Audacity is a free, open-source audio editing software that can be used creatively to produce glitch-like effects on audio, often incorporated into glitch art.
  2. Processing: The open-source mode of Processing offers essential tools for creating glitch art, making it accessible to those on a budget.

Organic and Hand-Drawn Elements

Overview and Analysis:

Organic and hand-drawn elements are gaining popularity in graphic design due to their personal and unique touch. These elements include hand-drawn illustrations, sketches, and natural textures. This trend aims to add warmth and authenticity to digital designs, connecting with viewers on a more emotional level.

Features:
  • Hand-drawn illustrations
  • Natural textures and imperfections
  • Personal and unique design elements
Paid Solutions:
  1. Procreate: Procreate is a paid digital painting app for iPad, known for its powerful brushes and natural drawing experience.
  2. Adobe Fresco: Adobe Fresco offers a paid platform with a wide range of brushes and natural media tools, making it ideal for creating organic and hand-drawn elements.
Free Solutions:
  1. Krita: Krita is a free and open-source digital painting program that provides a comprehensive set of tools for creating organic and hand-drawn elements.
  2. InkScape: Inkscape, a free vector graphic design software, allows designers to create hand-drawn-style illustrations and designs.

Maximalism

Overview and Analysis:

Maximalism is the opposite of minimalism, emphasizing an abundance of elements, colors, and details in design. This bold and extravagant trend aims to overwhelm the senses and create an intense visual experience. Maximalist designs are rich, chaotic, and often challenge traditional design conventions.

Features:
  • Abundance of elements and details
  • Bold and extravagant visuals
  • Challenging traditional design norms
Paid Solutions:
  1. Adobe InDesign: Adobe InDesign, a paid desktop publishing software, provides designers with tools to create complex and visually rich layouts, embracing the maximalist trend.
  2. QuarkXPress: QuarkXPress is another paid desktop publishing tool that enables designers to craft intricate and content-rich designs.
Free Solutions:
  1. Scribus: Scribus is a free and open-source desktop publishing software that offers a range of features for creating complex layouts in a maximalist style.
  2. GIMP: GIMP is a free, open-source image editing software that can be used to add intricate details and textures to designs in the maximalist fashion.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Overview and Analysis:

Augmented Reality (AR) has been a steadily growing trend in graphic design, offering interactive and immersive experiences. It combines the digital and physical worlds, allowing users to interact with digital content in real environments. In 2023, AR is expected to continue shaping various design fields, from advertising to gaming.

Features:
  • Interactive and immersive experiences
  • Real-world integration
  • Engaging and interactive content
Paid Solutions:
  1. Unity: Unity is a powerful and widely used game development platform that offers AR capabilities through its paid services.
  2. Spark AR is a platform created by Facebook for designing AR effects for Instagram and Facebook. It offers both free and paid options for AR content creators.
Free Solutions:
  1. AR.js: AR.js is an open-source JavaScript library for creating AR experiences on the web, making it accessible to developers and designers.
  2. ZapWorks: ZapWorks offers a free plan for creating AR experiences with a user-friendly interface, making it suitable for those new to AR design.

Cyberpunk Aesthetics

Overview and Analysis:

Cyberpunk aesthetics draw inspiration from science fiction, dystopian futures, and high-tech urban environments. This design trend often features futuristic elements, neon colors, and a blend of the digital and analog worlds. In 2023, cyberpunk aesthetics are expected to continue influencing various design projects, especially in gaming, film, and branding.

Features:
  • Futuristic and dystopian themes
  • Neon colors and high-tech visuals
  • Blending of digital and analog elements
Paid Solutions:
  1. Photoshop: Adobe Photoshop is a paid software used for creating cyberpunk-style visuals, with advanced photo manipulation and effects.
  2. Affinity Photo: Affinity Photo is a paid alternative for creating cyberpunk-style designs, offering robust photo editing features.
Free Solutions:
  1. GIMP: GIMP, a free and open-source image editing software, provides tools for creating cyberpunk aesthetics without a cost barrier.
  2. Pixlr: Pixlr is a free online photo editor that allows designers to apply cyberpunk effects to their images and graphics.

Retro Futurism

Overview and Analysis:

Retro futurism is a design trend that combines elements of past visions of the future with a modern twist. It often incorporates nostalgic references to space exploration, technology, and design aesthetics from the mid-20th century. In 2023, retro futurism is expected to continue influencing a wide range of design projects, providing a unique blend of old and new.

Features:
  • Nostalgic references to the future
  • Mid-20th century design aesthetics
  • Fusion of past and present elements
Paid Solutions:
  1. RetroSupply Co.: RetroSupply Co. offers paid design resources and tools that cater specifically to retro futurism, such as brushes, textures, and templates.
  2. Adobe Illustrator: Adobe Illustrator, a paid software, allows designers to create retro futurism-inspired vector graphics with precision.
Free Solutions:
  1. Canva: Canva, with its free plan, provides design templates and resources that can be used to create retro futurism-inspired graphics.
  2. Pixlr: Pixlr, an online photo editor, is a free option for applying retro futurism effects to your images and designs.

In the ever-evolving world of graphic design, staying updated on the latest trends is crucial for creating captivating and engaging designs. These 20 trends, each with its unique features and applications, offer designers a diverse toolbox to express their creativity. Whether you’re drawn to the immersive world of augmented reality or the nostalgia of retro futurism, there’s something for every designer to explore in 2023.

Disclaimer:

The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Availability and features of design tools may change over time, and it’s essential to research and choose tools that best suit your specific needs and projects.