- What Are the 2023 Graphic Design Trends?
- Distorted Typography
- Think Pink
- 90s Sans Serifs
- Ideographic Logos
- Dark Mode
- Mix It Up
- Conclusion: Graphic Design Trends 2023
Out with the old, in with the new graphic design trends for 2023! If you’re looking to give your projects a refresh, you won’t want to miss our edit of the latest graphic design trends, which include the techniques, typography, and type styles that are set to make an impact in the year ahead.
Discover what is trending in graphic design, from the growth of Cannabiz branding to dark mode digital, Pipto-Besmol pink, and the influence of the metaverse on graphic design. In 2023, expect to embrace a more experimental and eclectic approach to graphic design as the post-pandemic world continues to open up, bringing with it new challenges and opportunities for brands and consumers.
Read on to discover the latest graphic design trends for 2023, to ensure your trending graphic design projects stay ahead of the curve. When you’ve brushed up on the modern graphic design trends, put your ideas into action with on-trend templates, graphics, and illustrations from Envato Elements.
What Are the 2023 Graphic Design Trends?
The latest graphic design trends don’t exist in a vacuum, but are influenced by macro-trends in culture, society, and other design fields such as fashion, photography, and web design. In 2023, graphic design will play a major role in communicating these macro-trends on a visual level, with the post-pandemic world offering a clean slate for creativity.
With more individuals than ever living their lives partially (if not mostly) online, graphic design will inevitably be influenced by styles and approaches emerging on social media. The metaverse—a trending cultural topic that’s only set to gather pace—will filter into visual media, with distorted type, avatars, and dark mode designs tracing their roots back to the idea of this immersive virtual world.
It’s not all moody digital designs, however. The legalization of cannabis in a growing number of countries worldwide is fuelling the Cannabiz branding trend, while super-brash Pepto-Bismol pink is set to bring Barbiecore into mainstream graphic design.
So what are the current trends in graphic design? Looking to the year ahead, we can identify eight core graphic design trends, which will have significant influence across graphics, illustration, web design, and branding:
- Distorted Typography
- Think Pink
- 90s Sans Serifs
- Ideographic Logos
- Dark Mode
- Mix It Up
These eight graphic design trends are set to make an appearance across the board in graphic design in the months to come. Scroll down to read about each design trend in detail and discover tips and techniques for putting these exciting latest graphic design trends into action.
In the context of a growing number of US states legalizing marijuana, and Europe set to follow suit (Germany is tipped to soon become the world's largest potential market for legally sold cannabis), the commercial cannabis industry is experiencing a massive surge of growth, which is set to continue into 2023.
As the green rush gathers pace, so more businesses are looking to take advantage of this new market. The legal marijuana market is projected to be worth $70 billion by 2028, which leads us to predict our first graphic design trend for 2023—Cannabiz. The alt-culture reputation of marijuana is shifting towards something far more commercialised and glossy, especially as corporates place a stake in this emerging industry.
Graphic designers will find potential for new creative branding opportunities in the legal marijuana market. A departure from the all-green, hippie imagery of decades past, this new incarnation of cannabis is broader and slicker in tone, and it encompasses a wide arrange of products and brand offerings, from CBD candles to mail-order cannabis kits.
The principle challenge for graphic designers? How to retain marijuana’s spirit of independent, alt-cult cool while branding for the commercial sector.
Until recently an abstract idea of the internet as a series of interconnected 3D virtual worlds, the metaverse is beginning to move from science fiction to (virtual) reality. Meta—the company behind Facebook and Instagram—has invested enough in the idea to have changed its name, and hyper-immersive games like Fortnite are already staking a claim to be the first metaverse platforms.
In 2023 it is anticipated that a whopping 80% of individuals on earth will have a digital profile online. Scary stuff... or exciting times, depending on the viewpoint. In any case, the tech industry’s push towards VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) as the next incarnation of the internet (and social interaction), is going to have a major influence on visual design in the coming year and beyond.
For graphic designers, this means more references to metaverse culture in projects, such as game-influenced 3D illustrations or AI-inspired avatars that replace human models. Web design will be particularly indebted to the metaverse aesthetic, with more brands seeking to replicate the immersive VR experience for website visitors. For print and graphic design, metaverse styling can be achieved with tech-surrealist photography, neon color palettes, and glitch effects.
3. Distorted Typography
Whether it’s letters tied into knots or glitch-fissioned fonts, distorted typography gives an off-beat aspect to typography. This graphic design trend connects with the move towards metaverse styling, allowing designers to make their type feel digitised and a little dystopian.
Melt your letters or allow characters to disappear mysteriously into a gradient for an off-beat typographic effect. Pair your text with surreal-tinted photography or AI-glitched backgrounds for Mad Max impact.
4. Think Pink
Here's a graphic design trend for 2023 that can trace its roots to fashion, reality TV, and cinema. Next year is all about one unashamedly brash and flash color. That’s right, pink is back... and it’s pinker than ever.
“Whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed.”
- Elle Woods, Legally Blonde (2001).
This isn’t the washed-out Millennial pink of years previous. This is Pipto-Besmol pink on acid—a hyper-pink that made an appearance on the Valentino runway and, before long, in the closets of the Kardashians. A natural evolution from the fascination with all things Noughties currently happening in fashion and on social media, pink is set to be the color of the year given the much-anticipated release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie and all things Barbiecore.
Of course, pink doesn’t have to be insipid or stereotyped, and this new incarnation of ultra-pink is quite the opposite, instead loaded with feminist statement and a loud-and-proud attitude. For graphic designers, bright pink can bring power and punch to a wide range of designs, and it embodies a punk attitude when teamed with jet black.
5. 90s Sans Serifs
Curvy, fluid serifs have dominated rebrands for the last few years, bringing more authority and longevity to identities. However, with the market now serif-saturated, there’s a shift just around the corner. Sans serifs feel like a good match for the metaverse mood brewing and are simpler and cleaner, making them a perfect fit for minimalist branding.
Sans serifs with a 1990s vibe are the hot type trend for next year, matching the 90s minimalist resurgence made popular by online fashion and lifestyle influencers. Look for ultra-clean sans styles with a slightly rounded form to nail the minimalist Nineties look.
6. Ideographic Logos
Type logos have been the norm for visual identities over the last few years, with ideographic designs—i.e. designs which represent the brand through visual graphic or symbol alone—relegated to the role of supporting icon. However, as app design starts to overtake web design in priority for a wider range of businesses, the impact of a single effective graphic will take on new relevance.
Businesses can be wary of reducing their logo to a graphic alone, fearing loss of memorability, but in many high-profile rebrands this has had quite the opposite effect. Images can have greater instant impact and memorability than type logos (think of the McDonald’s golden arches as a globally known example), and for smaller brands they conjure up a sense of mystery and exclusivity, making them a great match for luxury products.
7. Dark Mode
As more apps allow users to switch between light and dark modes, so website and UI design is set to follow suit, with more emphasis on dark mode designs in 2023. Dark mode isn’t only mysterious and dramatic, but it's also far easier than pale or colored backgrounds on screen-weary eyes. Graphic designers will find that taking things over to the dark side will bring tech-inspired moodiness to a range of designs and can be translated to print layouts effectively too.
For example, a traditionally white magazine spread can be given inky interest with blackout sections, while you can draw more attention to a marketing message for social media by placing contrasting white or neon type against a dark backdrop.
Dark mode designs don’t have to be black—experiment with midnight blue, dark green, or deep violet-purple to give your layouts a point of difference.
8. Mix It Up
Collage elements, eclectic typography, grunge textures, and messy moodboards define the Mix It Up graphic design trend for 2023. Consider this trend a contemporary take on the gridless approach championed by David Carson for Ray Gun magazine in the 1990s.
Cultivating an eccentric mix of design elements on a layout creates an authentic and gritty mood for marketing campaigns or social media, and as a result is the perfect partner for the Cannabiz trend discussed earlier. Or you could use it for other brands that want to appear genuine and authentically cool.
How to put this 2023 graphic design trend into action? Start with a moodboard template and build up naturalistic images, mixed-weight typography, and noisy textures for instant grunge appeal. Particularly effective for social media channels, this trend lends a behind-the-scenes feel to retail, lifestyle, or product brands.
Conclusion: Graphic Design Trends 2023
The graphic design trends in 2022 were responsive to the post-pandemic climate, with the serene and soothing Japandi trend and cyberpunk styling being particularly notable for their connection to the new digital-centric climate, as well as consumers’ need to feel calm and reassured.
In 2023, we can expect graphic design’s newly creative mood to grow in confidence, with a more eclectic and diverse design offering projected for the year ahead. An emphasis on digital design will continue, with futuristic Metaverse and tech-inspired Dark Mode trends providing major thematic inspiration for designers. We’ll also see the renaissance of cinema influence type trends to bring a touch of action and optimism to social media designs and posters.
We’ll also see the welcome return of sans serif typefaces after a number of years of serif saturation, while logo design will embrace a braver mood by focussing on ideographic icons rather than type-centric identities.
To put the latest graphic designs into action, discover more trend reports and trending graphic design tutorials below. You can also find trend-led templates, fonts, and illustrations for web and print design on Envato Elements, to help make 2023 your most trending graphic design year yet.