On the hunt for some fresh graphic design ideas? In 2022, there are plenty of graphic design trends to stimulate your creative juices. For devoted minimalists, the Japandi style design trend balances sleek, calligraphic typography with clean, understated layouts, while brand enthusiasts will be delighted by a new wave of logos brimming with movement, colour, and symbology.
As the international conversation increasingly turns towards the urgent issue of environmental preservation, we’re seeing an ever-growing demand for innovative graphics that communicate climatic and eco themes, and popular culture is having an impact on the design trends that consumers are drawn towards for packaging, branding, and websites.
Read on to discover the biggest graphic design trends for 2022, and find your new favourite graphic design ideas in the process. Make a head start on your design projects with trend-led templates, graphics, and illustrations on Envato Elements. Or if you prefer videos, check out this new video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:
What Are the 2022 Graphic Design Trends?
Design is taking a more thoughtful turn for 2022. Individuals developed a taste for slow living over the pandemic, with consumers looking to buy local over global. As a result, brands are increasingly looking for ways to introduce sustainability and climate-friendly principles into their business models, and some of the best major rebrands have tapped into this social shift.
After a number of years of neon colour palettes and ultra-bright gradients designed to capture the attention of distracted browsers, quiet design is making a welcome comeback and is finding an unexpected home on website and app designs. Soothing palettes, natural textures, and minimal layouts are trademarks of the Japandi trend, while symbolic logos and icons have a primal, grounding mood that feels at once both age-old and contemporary.
Looking for something a little less soothing? Running alongside these Japandi and environmental design trends are a range of more playful graphic design trends that aim to bring the fun back into design. Expect to see brand identities with a comfortingly retro feel that are also imbued with energy and movement. Strong, singular colour palettes help to make packaging feel bolder and more graphic, while cyberpunk styles bring a dystopian edge to flyers, posters, and web banners.
We expect the biggest graphic design trends for 2022 to include:
- Environmental Themes
- Retro Brand Identities With Movement
- Strong Colour
- Mincho Typefaces
These seven current design trends will help you stay ahead of the curve in your projects over the year ahead. Read on to discover each design trend in detail and pick up tips and template selections for putting these graphic design ideas into action.
So what is Japandi style? Combining Scandinavian functionality with a rustic interpretation of Japanese minimalism, the Japandi style trend has developed into a major commercial trend in interior and product design. Graphic design is set to follow suit, with this warmer interpretation of minimalism likely to prove popular across lifestyle branding, packaging, and website design.
How can you give your designs a Japandi makeover? Look to photography and graphics with nature-inspired elements, Mincho-inspired serif typefaces (see Trend 7, below), and natural textures across backgrounds and overlays. Foster a sense of calm and serenity with neutral colours and plenty of white space. While Scandinavian minimalism can be a little cool and harsh, the Japandi style is warmer but just as stylish. Use this edgy graphic design trend to bring elegance and a soothing spirit to a wide range of projects.
2. Environmental Themes
Continuing with current graphic design trends, we've got environmental themes. A far cry from the all-green designs of yesteryear, 2022’s eco-themed designs are demonstrating more innovative strategies for presenting ideas about sustainability, climate change, and environmental preservation. No longer a niche theme in mainstream culture, sustainability is now the driving force behind a much wider range of businesses, and consumers now actively expect it to play a greater role in brand communications.
We can expect to see a more stylish take on environmental themes in the year ahead, with minimal icons, unexpected colour palettes, and background textures that make a nod to sustainability. Packaging and brand identities will feel cleaner and more honest in style, with less artificiality.
3. Retro Brand Identities With Movement
This is one of the popular 2022 graphic design trends. With a number of globally recognised brands, including Burger King and Kodak, turning to retro logo designs in recent rebrand efforts, it’s clear that nostalgia marketing continues to be a powerful tool for brands looking to connect with consumers on an emotional level.
Building on this edgy graphic design trend for all things retro, we’ll also see more logo designs that feel energised and dynamic, rather than the static and ultra-minimal designs of recent years. The US Open rebranded with a sleek and graphic take on a tennis ball in flight, with a primary-tinted colour palette of bold blue and yellow that wouldn’t look completely out of place on a 70s-era billboard.
So how to implement this graphic design trend for 2022? Bring more personality to your logo designs with the suggestion of movement, but keep graphics crisp and simple to maximise the contemporary feel. Stretched typography brings another aspect to this dynamic design trend—elongate lettering or conceal aspects of characters to create a playful mood.
Is it a logo for an electronic music night? While it’s not been the most popular rebrand of recent times, the new logo for America’s Central Intelligence Agency does tap into the current penchant for contemporary cyberpunk style in design. With the release of The Matrix Resurrections in cinemas at the end of 2021, expect to see increased interest in 90s-inspired cyberpunk across websites, posters, flyers, and social media, especially in relation to nightlife, fashion, and music.
Abstract glitch and line textures, heavy slab sans serifs, and plenty of moody black define the look of the cyberpunk style. Perfect for bringing edgy drama to flyers and posters, the cyberpunk design trend plays on our ongoing fascination with internet culture.
5. Strong Colour
While neutral, whisper-soft tones will be the perfect companion to Japandi-inspired designs in 2022, some designs will be crying out for strong graphic colour. That's how this one enters the current design trends. Whether they choose a multi-hued palette of rich brights or a brave application of strong, singular colour, designers will feel encouraged to explore the extremes of the colour spectrum in the months ahead.
Why consider this current graphic design trend? The advantage of using bold colour is its simple power to enliven even the simplest of designs, complementing minimal typography and investing designs with a psychological power. Try an all-red scheme across a range of print media or use a range of rich, complementary hues across packaging designs. The message is clear: go bold or go home.
Type logos continue to be widely popular, but in 2022 we anticipate that the pictographic logo is due a welcome revival. As we’ve seen in recent rebrands for the US Open, Pfizer, and Burger King, a combination of type and icon continues to be a common branding strategy, but braver brands might consider using the power of symbology to create designs that have graphic power and invested meaning.
The brand identity for business consultancy Azell created by Spanish agency Lumbral Design is a good example of symbology being effectively used in branding. The gazelle icon implies agility, while the geometric antlers are used as a standalone element on other brand media used by the business. Combined with a type version of the brandmark, the symbol helps to drive home the company’s goals and ethos in a memorable, graphic way.
Wondering how to apply this edgy graphic design trend? In your own design projects, symbols and icons can be mysterious, playful, and enticing. Use symbols alongside typography to avoid disappearing too far down the rabbit hole and leaving viewers confused rather than compelled.
7. Mincho Typefaces
Let's talk about the last of the current design trends. Mincho, which translates to ‘Song’ in Chinese, refers to the style of traditional typeface used to display Chinese, Japanese, or Korean characters. Stylistically, Mincho typefaces feature contrasting vertical and horizontal strokes and have a generally elegant, calligraphic appearance. This style also translates beautifully to English-language type, and is an understated and exceptionally stylish alternative to European serifs.
While display fonts can be used to give designs a more obvious Japanese mood, it’s the Mincho-style serif typefaces that will integrate into designs more subtly and stylishly. Use them in place of body text serifs or sans serifs to give designs an instant update.
Conclusion: Graphic Design Trends 2022
We've covered what the design trends are for 2022. Looking ahead to the coming months, there are plenty of fresh and exciting graphic design ideas to spark the imagination.
We talked about what Japandi style is. With design splitting between two extremes, designers can choose whether they want to embrace a minimal Japandi aesthetic or go all out with strong, bold colour and cyberpunk styling. Thoughtful and considered design also feels much more appropriate post-pandemic, with sustainability and the environment likely to be thematic backdrops for a wider range of brand communications over 2022.
The message for 2022 graphic design trends is to come as you are and push for authenticity. Individually tailored and emotive design that ranges from nostalgia marketing to soothing minimalism will help to transport viewers to their own happy place, whether they engage with print or digital designs.
Don’t be left behind—stay ahead of the curve with our graphic design trend reports and trend-led template and font selections. Discover cutting-edge and contemporary templates, graphics, and fonts on Envato Elements to help you hit the ground running in 2022.
Below you'll find some essential templates and fonts that are perfect for the year ahead: