2020 Graphic Design Trends: Futuristically Nostalgic Era

2020 Graphic Design Trends: Futuristically Nostalgic Era

We’re down to the first half of the year and 2019’s graphic design trends did not fail us: anti-stereotypical and sustainable creative disruption, progressive rejection towards anything monotonous colours, considering minimalism and functionalism as the main aspect of every design and branding, and industrialising the symbiotic relationship of design and technology.

There are two reasons why graphic design thrives: it influences and creates a global impact. As these trends continue hitting the creative waves, what’s in store for us? The team at Grafik Design Agency has compiled a comprehensive guide on a 2020 graphic design trends prediction and divided it into three segments: Design Aesthetics, Colour + Font, and Design + Technology.

Read further to get ahead of the future creative game.

Design Aesthetics

Sustainability-Driven Design

Due to drastic environmental changes resulting in negative global impact, the majority of brands and businesses such as Puma and Toms are taking measures to create a sustainable line of products, packaging, and incorporating it into their branding campaigns. Design and branding agencies are also taking a huge sustainability leap.

Whether you’re downsizing your waste through upcycling different materials when producing branding collaterals or using space on print efficiently to minimise ink production, it’s going to be a win-win situation for your innovativeness and your ability to contribute something to the environment.

Minimal, Geometric Design

From Cubism’s controversial origins pioneered by Cezanne, Picasso, and Braque to the world-renowned abstract movement pioneered by Piet Mondrian known as Bauhaus — the world of design now thanks them for it.

Most of the graphics we are witnessing today transpired from minimal and geometric design inspirations and will most likely be flourishing in the coming years. Minimalism offers the pure beauty of simplicity, function, and creative freedom while geometric design adds depth and uniqueness to the overall look and feel of the design.


Retro-futurism depicts a view of the future through the eyes of the past by recreating it into a modern, science-fiction look — a cool trend that will still be dominating the design industry in 2020.

Using retro-futurism at this time has helped create entirely new genres and creates a sense of nostalgic thrill yet a glimpse of what can transpire in the future — a different kind of visual aesthetic that modern generations such as the Millennials and Gen Z are digging for.

3D Illustration + Motion Graphics

3D illustration exercises the creative freedom to create various textures and shapes while giving a more futuristic and fun vibe which resonates with the ideal visual-driven content that people usually interact with. We’ll definitely be seeing more of anything 3D over the next decade because 3D isn’t only leading in graphic design and motion graphics but also on print.

More major brands are also 3D printing which is becoming a part of their manufacturing process. This means that the design industry will become an extremely competitive landscape in terms of 3D design for the coming years.

Free Compositions

2019 is the moment when designers have finally thought outside of the “box”. Free compositions give a sense of creative freedom that one’s eyes can perceive the visual as a whole — no segmentation of text and visuals. The overall design may look tethered and loosely joint together but a visible sense of hierarchy and element of white space conquers this anything but random design trend.

Colour + Fonts

Colour Gradients

A couple of years ago, colour gradients were nowhere to be found — either online or print. But thanks to the resurgence of 80’s and 90’s-inspired design aesthetics, they became a sought-after design trend.

Digital marketing utilised gradients as part of their visual strategy because the colours create a smooth transition and laid-back ambience which tends to capture attention and deliver the message faster to their audience. Colour gradients are also used by many apps including Instagram (who pioneered the trend) and Asana.

You’ll definitely expect more from the colour gradients this 2020 as most global brands and companies start looking to join the ombre wagon.

2020 Color Trends: Celebrating the Future and Sustainability

According to Dezeen, trends forecasting service WGSN announced that “Neo mint” will be the colour of 2020 which aligns with the futuristic development and sustainability. This colour forecast was thoroughly conducted by their group of researchers by processing data based on retail analytics, social media marketing as well as major influencers sporting the latest trends with consideration to the current global climate and political situation.

Buxom and customised typefaces

Thick sans serif will need to take a break for a couple of years as it has lost its magic touch in the eyes of the creative industry, but don’t fret because buxom and customised typefaces are the newest “it” type adored both by brands and creatives thanks to their sense of distinctiveness and personality.

Design + Technology

Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

If you’re familiar with sci-fi films like Tron, Ready Player One and Blade Runner 2049, the global game phenomenon Pokemon GO!, famous animes like Sword Art Online and Overlord — then you’ll know what kind of future we’re looking forward to here.

2020 is predicted to be the virtual golden age, with the progressive flourishing of virtual reality in the design landscape. Virtual reality is basically immersing ones’ self in a digitally-created environment and is considered the doorway to design’s next industrial revolution.

Today, graphic design isn’t just about creating a tingle on a particular human sense. Design in today’s world must be able to immerse in by a user, it must be able to create a seamless, almost real-life experience. This is what brands and companies are currently developing. Virtual reality will be constantly changing the way design functions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Design Automation

One of the biggest conversations that are sparking fast in the design industry: will artificial intelligence replace designers in the future? We think not, although it possibly can. AI sets a different level of standard in terms of creativity that matches and may even surpass the human mind.

One good example is Adobe’s recently added software to the Creative Cloud, Adobe Sensei. Adobe Sensei brings artificial intelligence and machine learning to newer experiences. Whether it’s simplifying tasks, predictive analytics, or minimise the time spent on creative content creation and editing — it’s the perfect tool for enterprises. Imagine, one software that can do the job that’s usually delegated to different people in a typical modern workplace. That’s how big AI’s impact on the industry can be.