Ah, 2020. We can’t believe it’s drawing to a close.
2020 has been an unpredictable, exciting, and constructive year, with lots of memories safely made and honors achieved despite pandemic effects. We’ve adapted, we’ve worked hard, and we’ve employed more creativity than ever before. And so has everyone else.
We’ve been watching for emerging creative trends throughout the increased digital interaction of 2020, and now—as the new year approaches—we want to make our predictions for the state of graphic design in 2021.
First, a primer. Graphic design, described simply, is the art of combining words and pictures in ads, magazines, websites, and more. If you’ve ever been impressed by the aesthetics of a billboard, website, or company logo, you’ve been touched by the artistry of a graphic designer. It’s the perfect medium for a website refresh or integrated marketing campaign.
Motion graphics takes the concepts of graphic design into the realm of video. Motion designers (sometimes called “animators” interchangeably) adhere to graphic design rules and techniques—and they still use words and images to convey meaning—but their creations move. Distinct from full animation, which usually involves characters and more involved textured environments, motion graphics can stand alone or augment existing live action video footage.
Top 6 trends to watch
And now, the list. Below are the graphic design and motion design trends we think you’ll see a lot of in 2021!
1. Geometric simplicity
Sometimes, simple is best. Recently, we’ve seen some outstanding examples of basic shapes used to great effect in graphic design on websites, ads, and more. We’re especially enthralled with the eye-catching shapes in the city of Oslo, Norway’s new identity, designed by Norway-based agency Creuna.
2. Medley of techniques
Sometimes, one motion graphics technique just isn’t enough. We love the variety in Golden Wolf’s quick spot for Subway—it incorporates more motion graphics effects than we can count, including a ripped paper effect, vintage film framing, and some great 3D work. As long as it includes seamless transitions between each technique to keep viewers on their toes, we think plenty of motion graphics projects will be reaching for multiple looks like this in the coming year.
3. Thicker type and bolder letters
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what happens when you create an enticing picture from a word? We’ve noticed some beautiful graphic design works that take type and work wonders with it, using width and color choices to make the type a singular focal point. A stunning example is this eye-catching advertisement for a production of Cabaret the musical, designed by Anthony Wood.
4. Self-drawing lines
An animated drawing effect is a quick way to make icons, shapes, and other motion graphics that much more enticing for viewers—as seen everywhere in this Jive brand video. It’s a style that we’ve seen more of recently with thicker, more clearly-defined lines and icons, and it’s one we think we’ll see lots of in the future…whether for marketing video, PR, human resources, or training.
5. Adding another dimension
Graphic design is breaking out of 2D design more and more, with many brands requesting 3D worlds and characters in both static and animated ads. A great example is grocery chain Kroger’s fresh cast of 3D characters—and we think even more graphic designers will follow in these footsteps as we head towards the new year.
6. Civic and social activism
Towards the end of a tumultuous year for the whole world, we’re glad to see lots of graphic designers stepping up to encourage others to take action. Great design can be a powerful motivator and a force for good, as we saw in this billboard design from Reddit encouraging people to vote.
Looking towards the new year
And that’s a wrap on our top 6 design trends to watch for in 2021. Remember: taking note of design trends can offer your brand a savvy boost in these trying economic times. As our graphic design team lead, Jessie Kotis, says, “Incorporating a design trend doesn't have to be an earthshaking change to your brand. Consider places where your brand is engaging more directly with the public, like in your social media; it’s usually here where your brand can get a little funky and playful.”
“Incorporating a design trend doesn't have to be an earthshaking change to your brand. Consider places where your brand is engaging more directly with the public, like in your social media; it’s usually here where your brand can get a little funky and playful.”
- Jessie Kotis, Graphic Design Team Lead
We’re excited to see if these trends emerge in content of our own, as well—our graphic designers and motion graphics designers can’t wait to create some fresh projects in the new year! If you’d like to take advantage of our design capabilities, don’t hesitate to reach out by calling 404.873.6283 or by filling out our contact form.
Only 11 days until the new year, so from all designers, producers, directors, and creatives at DVI: have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!