The Biggest Graphic Design Trends In 2021

The Biggest Graphic Design Trends In 2021

Taking a look at 2021, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends that will be dominating the world. Staying up to date and refreshing your brand or company are crucial ways to maintain relevancy and connect with your target demographic.

With the help of our expert graphic and website design team and our research of the industry, we’ve narrowed down the popular trends for 2021. They are as follows.

1. Retro-Futurism

Retro styling in advertising can be fun!  The use of retro-futurist design began to rise in popularity throughout 2016. The high demand for such designs has only skyrocketed since, thanks to the design being a fun fusion of the old and new.

Graphic designers utilize modern typefaces and color palettes, fusing it with elements like fishbowl shapes, arches and more. Pair this with retro-style logos and designers are able to make logos, ads and imagery that hit a nostalgic bone and drive impact.


2. Earthy Or Natural Color Schemes

In 2020, a large majority of the world has been forced to be closed-off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With so many people working from home now, in 2021 it will be important now more than ever to remind consumers of the outdoors and nature.

Illustrative landscapes and natural formations will be a common theme in 2021. Along with that, brands and companies will adopt earthy gradients and color schemes to resonate with their customers. Light greens, sunset reds, warm yellows – these will be a comforting look for people as they shop online and browse the internet.

3. Minimalist Design & Typography

The premise of minimalism is a focus on simplicity and functionality. This particular form of design has been around since the early part of the 20th century, and is still popular today – Apple is a great example.

Minimalist design is expected to hit several brands in 2021. Gone are the days of completely overcomplicating your messaging and identity through a wide spectrum of design elements and features.

Often times, a simple design style is better. On both app and web design, we will see more companies guide users to easily focus on the primary points of action they want them to take (and what they want to do). That’ll translate to fonts and logos as well, with the use of typography that doesn’t include serifs and are simple.

4. Muted Color Palettes

Following both the earthy colors and minimalist designs of 2021, we’ll see numerous brands shy away from bright colors and opt for a muted color scheme. For those unaware, muted colors are actually vivid colors with an infusion of black, white or complementary color. While this may seem dull at first, the results we’ve seen so far have been quite eye-catching.

We’ve already seen this trend on the rise in 2020, with companies like Mailchimp opting for muted yellows, pinks and more. Our team expects that you’ll see several brands shed their bold colors, particularly nutrition or health-focused brands like hims has done.

5. Authenticity

Along with design elements, themes and typefaces that are “trendy”, moving into the coming year there will be a rise in companies providing more authenticity to their messaging and overall brand identity. This will include an authentic representation of their audience, as well as a more authentic voice to their brand.

We’ve already seen this in 2020, with companies as large as Facebook and Amazon to upscale brands and more try to provide more representation to minorities in their advertisements and messaging.

5. Modular Layouts

The concept of breaking up long blocks of text into manageable chunks is increasingly important, and graphic designers are quickly seeing the benefits of making website content easily consumable.

Modular, clean layouts and design ideas create a better viewer experience and encourage interaction. They also look extremely professional (when done well).

6. Geometric Shapes

Over the past year, several companies have started to fill their website’s design with sharp, geometric shapes. Before, we used to notice more fluid, flowing designs. However, several brands such as Twilio and Wistia are utilizing these shapes to highlight their brand and products/services.

Notice how the use of the shapes around the person highlights without distracting the reader. It provides a clean look while letting the designer add some unique touches to bring it together.

7. Handrawn Imagery

Handrawn imagery on websites has been on a rise for the past several years now. We’ve also seen this trend translate over to social media graphics as well, and for good reason. These crafted images provide an easily accessible and translatable message.


Illustrations provide a human element to graphic design and can be used as a simple way to translate complex situations. And, if we’re being honest, they’re just plain fun!


Some illustrations can be simple with a childlike feel that evoke nostalgic memories, while others can be quite intricate.  But, either way, illustrations are becoming increasingly popular with consumers, and the individualism of these illustrations will only continue to grow within the next year.


Mailchimp is an excellent example. Through its use of illustrative flat images, Mailchimp’s site provides a unique look to an email marketing platform.

8. Flat Design

Flat design provides a clean aesthetic to your brand and website. It gives the user a clear understanding of the product or service that you’re providing with easy-to-read lettering and graphics.

Instead of your message getting obfuscated in design-heavy elements, your message stands out in a way that’s clear. We expect that this trend will continue, much like the rise in minimalism.

Transition Your Brand To 2021

One of the most lessons to be learned as you move into the new year is that you provide an authentic look and feel to your brand. Utilize a muted or earth color scheme to your brand to further connect with your audience. Make sure that you’re not confusing your demographic either as they look at your logo design or visit your website.


As graphic and web designers, it’s important for us to stay on top of these trends, as well as provide proper guidance to any company that may be looking for help. Don’t get stuck in last year – work with our team of expert marketers at iSynergy and move towards next year in style.