The Best Graphic Design Trends That Will Dominate 2023

The Best Graphic Design Trends That Will Dominate 2023
Article by Jelena RelićJelena Relić
Last Updated: January 17, 2023

The graphic design trends for 2023 have arrived, bringing a fresh wave of creativity and aesthetic innovation. However, this year's trends differ from those of the past in several ways. In 2022, the graphic design industry was expected to be worth $43.4 billion globally and was made up of 391,328 businesses. However, the world was still recovering from the pandemic, and design trends reflected a desire for comfort, nostalgia, and vibrant expression.

As a result, designers are responding in diverse ways, with some embracing technology and its potential for exploration. Others are adopting more defiant styles that range from escapism yearning to rebellious innovation. In any case, the 2023 graphic design trends, as anticipated by experts from a renowned product design company, promise to be a fascinating and eclectic moment in the ongoing story of this creative field.

With the guidance of a reputable graphic design company, businesses can harness these trends to elevate their brand presence and captivate their target audience.

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1. Mysticism

In the realm of design, mysticism refers to the use of iconography associated with astrology and divination. This trend draws heavily on popular symbols such as zodiac signs, all-seeing eyes, lotus flowers, and sacred geometry, which have been used for centuries as talismans to imbue the natural and celestial worlds with the occult and deeper meaning.

Visually, mystic designs are characterized by their delicate construction, featuring thin lines and organic curves conveying gentleness. Muted tones are often employed to create a calming effect, and imagery such as moons, stars, and meditative faces evoke a feeling of uplifting peace, offering an escape from worldly concerns and a source of hope and solace. This universal appeal makes the mystic design trend accessible to a broad audience, regardless of their belief in tarot cards or other mystical practices.

2. Risoprint

Developed by the Riso Kagaku Corporation in Japan during the mid-1980s, Risograph printing revolutionized the world of cheap, high-volume printing through its use of dots and desaturated colors. The resulting prints often featured grainy, unintentionally stylized images with double exposures. Fast forward to 2023, and Risograph printing is experiencing a new wave of popularity among designers utilizing its grainy textures to add depth and noise to minimalist shapes in digital, abstract graphics.

In depictions of real-life subjects, designers combine Risograph textures and colors with exaggerated caricatures and simplified features, transforming the familiar into the unfamiliar. This has led to the creation of surreal and abstract landscapes, often with a vintage twist. Ultimately, this trend blurs the boundary between basic shapes and machine processes, offering a fresh and distinctive approach to graphic design.

3. Punk Revival

Punk, a rebellious counterculture with its roots tracing back to the 1920s Dada movement, has always existed on the fringes of society, refusing to conform to societal norms. However, in 2023, it is experiencing a resurgence in its mass appeal as individuals find more reasons to rebel against failing systems. The death of the UK monarch in 2022 has sparked renewed opposition to the monarchy and its colonial history. The widening wealth gap has become even more apparent with the onset of a recession.

From an aesthetic perspective, punk design is characterized by DIY techniques such as scribbled lettering, cutouts, mismatched fonts, and chaotic collages. It rejects opulence and decorum, instead embracing a more natural, unpolished style that reflects the messiness of life.

These unconventional designs are visually energetic, conveying a sense of frustration and outrage through jagged edges and graffiti splatter. Despite its rough appearance, punk design has a raw, authentic quality that resonates with audiences seeking honesty and authenticity.

4. Retro Style Art

Minimal line art is a popular choice for designers in 2023 who want to create playful and humorous illustrations. This retro style harkens back to the nostalgia of drawing with felt-tip markers and has a simplistic charm that appeals to many.

Thin lines allow for a cartoonish style, featuring thick outlines and rubber hose limbs, making it an excellent fit for more lighthearted projects. The minimalistic nature of the drawings also allows for the use of ultra-bright colors without overwhelming the viewer.

To further enhance the retro effect, many designers pair these illustrations with throwback bubble fonts and design elements reminiscent of vintage magazine ads, such as oval borders and starburst stickers. This combination creates a playful, nostalgic vibe that is both fun and approachable. Overall, minimal line art is a trend that celebrates simplicity and humor, providing a refreshing break from more complex and severe design styles.

5. Airbrush Surrealism

In 2023, designers are experimenting with an unexpected combination of surrealism and 80s airbrush techniques to create a unique design approach. This trend involves overlaying soft retro filters onto strange and chimeric imagery, resulting in a novel and endlessly inventive weirdness that is intriguing and captivating.

While surrealism has always been a popular design approach due to its ability to push boundaries and challenge expectations, this new pairing with retro airbrush techniques adds an unexpected twist that sets it apart from previous iterations. Overall, this trend is a testament to the enduring appeal of surrealism and the power of experimentation in design.

6. Folk Botanical

In graphic design, patterns are often used as backgrounds or to frame content. One popular subject matter for patterns in nature, with combinations of leaves, fruits, and vines creating compositions as lively as a forest. However, in 2023, a new trend has emerged where nature patterns need to be more polished, featuring shaky doodles, rough textures, and unexpected colors.

This trend gives a whimsical twist to familiar nature themes, rejecting the rigid geometry often imposed by vector art tools. By embracing the imperfect lines created by the human hand, these patterns become more organic and alive. The resulting designs are vibrant and unique and add an element of playfulness to the digital artwork.

7. 90s Space Psychedelia

In 2022, the graphic design industry saw a resurgence of 60s psychedelia, which used bright colors and complex patterns to create immersive, surreal worlds. In 2023, this trend continues with a new twist: 90s space psychedelia.

Unlike its predecessor, space psychedelia is not solely inspired by nature; instead, it combines the past and future, using retro techniques like Memphis Design patterns, cartoon styles reminiscent of Saturday morning shows, and colors reminiscent of Lisa Frank's school supplies. It also incorporates futuristic themes such as androids, spaceships, vaporwave landscapes, simulated environments, and cyberpunk neon. With these vivid and imaginative illustrations, designers look forward to the technological future with positivity and hope.

8. Mixed Dimension

The distinction between the two can become less clear as we increasingly inhabit digital spaces rather than physical ones. In 2023, graphic designers are taking this blurring of boundaries to the next level by integrating digital illustrations into real-life photography.

While this fusion of the artificial and real might sound dystopian, the trend focuses on whimsy and joy. By adding vibrant splashes of color and cheerful cartoons, designers highlight the contrast between the two elements in a playful way.

This trend also presents a vision of the world as we might wish it to be: a place of adventure and enchantment. When life can feel bleak, art's imaginative power offers an escape and reminds us that we can create magic if we put our minds to it.

9. Acid Graphics

Y2K grunge, also known as acid graphics, is the latest iteration of the Y2K revival that emerged last year. This design trend showcases gritty textures, reflective chrome accents, distorted grids, and shapeless forms. Unlike most nostalgia-driven movements, acid graphics channels a brooding atmosphere rooted in the goth subculture of the late 90s.

With its moody aesthetic and use of computer glitches, layered visuals, and crowded text, acid graphics align with related styles such as brutalism and anti-design. It reveals a darker side of the internet, making it ideal for album covers, websites, and social media content. This trend prompts us to question whether the future of digital art will cater more to machines than human perception.

10. Experimental Escapism

The graphic design trend of escapism that dominated last year is still going strong in 2023, but now designers are experimenting with it. Recent technological advancements heavily influence the experimental trend, including AI-generated art, the Metaverse, and the James Webb Space Telescope's interstellar images. Many IT solution companies are at the forefront of these technological advancements, providing the tools designers need to experiment.

Designers are blending these technological advancements with their creative skills to create exploratory compositions that glimpse the digital psyche. These compositions have an element of darkness and moodiness, with impossible landscapes that are both artificial and conceptually adventurous. In 2023, designers are pushing the boundaries of the unknown artistic territory, taking us deeper into the digital realm than ever before.

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