7 Modern Graphic Design Trends to Watch For in 2020

It’s no secret that the digital age has shortened the average person’s attention span.  But did you know that even goldfish have longer attention spans than we do?

That’s a low blow.  For companies and designers, in particular, the question of how to attract and hold people’s precious attention is essential.

Looking at the 2020 trends for modern graphic design, we’ll see that a reaction against the previous years’ trends is how you can capture the fickle attention of your audience.

So what are the best graphic design trends of 2020?  Come with me and I’ll show you!

What Are 7 Modern Graphic Design Trends To Look For In 2020?

In a quickly changing world, trends in contemporary graphic design burst into popularity one year and then seem like old news the next.  In 2020, we’ll see trends that revolt against the major trends of the past few years.

After years of being bombarded with neon, bold, and geometric designs, we’re going to see a lot more graphic design that evokes a sense of naturalism, genuineness, and authenticity.

So what are the best trends we can look forward to in 2020?

1. Asymmetrical Layouts

In 2020, watch for graphic designers moving away from the confines of structured grid-based models and embracing the kinetic energy provided by asymmetrical layouts.

Adding complexity and visual tension to graphics and web pages, this lopsided style evokes a sense of movement, authenticity, and unpredictability that helps instill a sense of curiosity in the viewer.

2. Minimalist Homepages

In an effort to rank higher in search results, a lot of companies are choosing to create landing pages with simple and minimalistic designs. This is because Google rewards pages that are compatible with mobile devices and load quickly.

With homepages that are not distracting and easy to navigate, companies are utilizing both the SEO benefits and easy navigation for the user in their design schemes.

3. Muted Colors

Reacting against the bold and vivid color palette of the past few years of design, businesses are choosing to stand out by using more muted color tones. These colors help to create a more authentic, natural feel to logos, graphics, and websites.

Muted colors work beautifully in combination with neutral colors, and are a refreshing sight after years of bright, neon and loud color palettes.

4. Surreal and Dream-like Illustrations

Hand-drawn illustrations have been a trend in design for the last few years, helping to create a sense of uniqueness and authenticity. As it has become increasingly common for companies to embrace illustrated graphics, though, this effect has worn off to some extent.

Illustrators are therefore moving from straightforward, realistic visuals to more dreamy, abstract and surreal imagery. These more imaginative illustration styles stand out in a crowd of simple stock photos and draw the reader in with the potential for more complex interpretation and meaning.

Watch for the muted color palette mentioned above to be incorporated into the absurdist illustrations of 2020, replacing previous years’ bright and bold colored drawings.

5. Color Gradients

Color gradients in design have made a real comeback in the last several years.  Inducing a sense of nostalgia, it was common to see gradients as the background for otherwise straightforward photos and illustrations.

In 2020, the use of color gradients will expand beyond simple backgrounds. Color gradients will be used in complex, dream-like illustrations and as a color filter to add texture to photographs.

Rather than being the central focus of imagery as in past years, color gradients will be used in more subtle ways. Adding depth and texture to graphics, watch for more muted hues to overtake the previous trend of the electric, neo-80s gradients.

6. Authentic Stock Photos

I know, it sounds like an oxymoron.  Is there anything less authentic than a stock photo?

But as we roll into 2020, the stock photo trends will follow the larger trends of the move towards authenticity and naturalness.  Instead of the high-saturation photos of the past couple of years, this year we’ll be seeing more muted, easy on the eyes stock photos.

Watch for stock photos to look a lot more like the pictures you’d see on a trendy Instagram page than your traditional goofy stock imagery.  People are wary of images and sites that look too polished or professional, being drawn to photos that seem more candid and less staged.

It’s no secret that graphics are a crucial part of any site, often being the catalyst for why viewers choose to stick around or bounce. Taking the time to find high-quality, natural-looking stock photos is time well spent.

7. Less Geometric, More Natural Shapes and Lines

Following along with the reaction against the previous years’ trends of brightness and boldness, this year we’ll see a lot less right angles and straight lines in graphic design.

With flowing patterns, shapes, and lines replacing rigid, geometric forms, the imagery of 2020 will appear as more down to earth, authentic and creative.

Bold, simple fonts on top of these more fluid shapes and lines create a beautiful and engaging contrast. Gone are the days of stressing people out with in-your-face sharp-edged designs.  Say hello to a world of flowing, relaxing, natural forms!

2020 Graphic Design: A Refreshing Reaction

It’s fascinating how public opinion can change so rapidly, and modern graphic design trends are no exception.  Modern designs can appear eye-catching one day and tired the next.

What we can expect to see in 2020 is evidence that it’s time to move on from the sharp, bright, right-angled design of the past few years.  What was once the formula for a company to stand out from the crowd is now how they get lost in the shuffle.

Appealing to viewers’ desire for authentic brands and a more naturalistic lifestyle, these modern graphic design trends will help companies gain more attention in a loud and busy digital marketplace.

For more graphic design, web design, and digital marketing tips, check out our blog. And if you are ready to give your website a fresh new look for 2020, contact our team.