Top design trends expected to take 2020 by storm

Designers that keep an eye on new and upcoming design trends have an advantage over those that only stick to what they know. In fact, one of the greatest limitations of a graphic designer is to stick to your comfort zone. Repeating the same steps every time you take on a new design project will only make your work look dated. However, by knowing what is trending in the design industry, you can meld current trends with your personal style to offer innovative new ideas to your clients.

To help you stay ahead of popular design trends for the coming year, the printing company Coastal Creative has released its predictions for 2020 design trends.

What to anticipate in design for 2020

Expect to see imaginative depictions of products and technology in the coming year. Invigorating mixes of data and design, as well as experimental colours on media, are also expected. Things like flat-lay photography might become a thing of the past, as product photos that play around with textures and structures —going beyond practicality — are quickly gaining attention. Hyperrealistic textures are also expected to take 2020 by storm. For years, gradients and smooth objects dominated the industry, but now, textures seem to be taking the front seat — especially in experiential design. Designs are now brought to life through the details of grains and contours.

View the full list of predictions for 2020 design trends in the colourful infographic below.

Infographic: 2020 design trends

2020 design trends

VR Panorama

As the distinction between “real” and “digital” becomes blurred with each passing year, even the VR aesthetic is no longer exclusive to headsets. Curving, panoramic backdrops add a sense of peripheral vision and physical depth to 2D mediums.

Surreal Product Photos

Forget flat-lays and realistic action shots. Showcasing consumer goods before majestic dreamscapes are at once aspirational and unpretentious. Rejecting marketing that pretents to be organic and authentic, surreal product photos celebrate taste and imagination over practicality.

Zero Gravity Design Trends

What do you get when you take a flat-design backdrop, add 3D objects, and subtract gravity? A futuristic effect that is chaotic yet clean. Marrying visual depth with open composition, this design trend conveys a sense of aimless motion and focused curvation.

Realistic Textures

After several years of etherial gradients and impossibly smooth isometric objects dominating the world of design, textures are making a comeback. With grains and contours that make you want to reach out and touch them, this is a trend with huge potential for experimental design.

Abstract data visualization

Data has now surpassed oil as the most valuable commodity in the world. Designs that illustrate the process of extracting meaningful insights from raw data are a striking reflection of life in the data economy.

Yellow Backgrounds & Accents

With associations of youthful vigour and confidence, even Millennial politicians are heavily featuring yellow in their campaigns. The brightest colour on the visible spectrum, yellow makes an energetic statement whenever it appears, whether as an accent colour or a backdrop.

Multimedia Portraits

As our sense of self becomes increasingly inextricable from digital platforms, merging portrait photography with a bold digital design seems only natural. Mixing these mediums conveys the subject’s character as bold and multi-dimensional.

Earth & Sky

There is a distinct current of fantasy and technology running through these abstract depictions of sky and earth. Even with Mother Nature as inspiration, these designs drawing from astronomy and topography are everything by down-to-earth.