December 11, 2021

12 Graphic Design and Illustration Trends to Get You Inspired in 2022

Graphic Design and Illustration Trends

Seeking inspiration for a new design for your brand? Dig into the 12 of the hottest graphic design and illustration trends in 2022.

And just like that, 2021 is over and the world is about to turn another leaf for the next chapter. With this year’s end in sight, we're rolling out these graphic design and illustration trends for 2022. That means you can keep up to date and adapt some of these styles for your brand.

Why is graphic design and illustration important?

Graphic design and illustrations play a huge role in the success of any business. They don't just make a brand appealing. They also create a unique identity that their customers can relate to. Well-designed branding materials helps audiences to grasp a brand’s goals and vision. In turn, all this helps a brand to reach its full potential. That means increased engagements and more conversions.

With that in mind, 2022 is a great year to put a visual marketing strategy in place. This will help you reap the benefits of great graphic design and illustrations!

What can we expect in 2022?

Year on year, designers look for the newest trends that will inform part of their design process. What doesn’t change is what graphic design aims to do. That is to make something plain look distinct and mesmerizing at the same time. Designers are predicting that 2022's trends will reflect the current scenes in society. Another prediction is that designs will aim to be more engaging and entertaining.

Seeking inspiration for a new design for your brand? Dig into the 12 of the hottest graphic design and illustration trends in 2022.

1. Colorful Minimalism

Classic minimalism saw common color combinations that lacked brightness and colors. More recently, creators have combined more colorful palettes with that traditional minimal style. This concept has become an advantage, because it opens up more creative opportunities.

graphics design trends
Image Source: Drawkit.com

Aside from colors, the use of simple shapes will also be preferred, continuing the trend from 2021. Marketers find the simplicity more effective at conveying messages. This might be because there aren't too many elements involved. Simple lines and patterns go well with muted colors to give a design some life without overdoing it.

2. Psychedelic Abstract

The hippie days are back with the abstract psychedelia technique. This art form is highly recognized for its complex abstractions and  colors. The wild imagery nods to creativity that we can associate with psychedelic drug use at the time.

graphics design trends
Image Source: Scott Balmer
graphic design examples
Image Source: Grace Potter

At face value, psychedelic designs are twisted forms and distorted images. Adding intricate, symmetrical elements gives the design some order. Somehow, this creates a different meaning. We see modern psychedelic design leaning more towards hope and order than before.

3. Inclusive Visuals

2022 sees a continued call for inclusivity in design. Examining social prejudices has been inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. Showing the diversity of human life makes for a more representative marketing strategy. Inclusive visuals do tend to be more impactful in brand representation. Inclusive visuals have become more common as they appeal to any audience.

graphic design examples
Image Source: Chiara Morra
graphic design examples
Image Source: Oleh Harlamov
illustration trends
Image Source: Oban Jones

We can be inclusive by using diverse visuals across our branding. They can be icons and illustrations that display more races, genders, body types, and more. The benefits are wide reaching - you can reach a varied audience. You can also encourage and attract a diverse workforce.

illustration trends
Image Source: MUTI

illustration trends
Image Source: Erikas - Misgendered & Marginalized

4. Data Visualization

There was a need to visualize complex data during the pandemic. It paved the way for data visualizations to be more widespread. This trend went beyond the healthcare industry and into marketing. Marketers began to create simple, fun data visuals to communicate with customers.

illustration trends
Image Source: James Round

graphics design trends
Image Source: Divya N

In an era of misinformation, consumers expect brands to be more accountable. This is where showing verifiable data helps. Colorful and engaging charts and graphs are all over Twitter. Creative data visualizations are also big on LinkedIn Marketing. Companies like Hubspot create delightful data visualizations for their Instagram feeds. When done well, content with lots of data can be fun and doesn't have to be boring.

5. Classic Serif Fonts

The classical Serif fonts are both nostalgic and elegant. They sometimes look more dated than other trends in this list. However, they've made a successful comeback this year. Serif fonts will still be very visible in the 2022's marketing. You can put this down to how they appeal to their audience. Their traditional feel instills a sense of security and comfort. They have a calming effect that users need in light of the current chaos caused by the pandemic.

graphic design 2022
Image Source: Dribbble

Your brand can foster a sense of security by using Serif fonts. One thing that you must check is being consistent with your Serif fonts. You have to embrace the use of Serif fonts fully and make it a part of your marketing strategy. As with other fonts, you'll be wanting to use them everywhere to be coherent. This means, website, social media and any other visuals.

6. Branded Memes

We can link branded memes loosely to the gloom we've all faced through the pandemic. With memes, marketers can shift the types of visuals to create a tone that the audience needs.

graphic design 2022

Animator Jasmine Valickis' "work from home" outfit resonated with those in quarantine. Jazmine Valickis/Twitter

Using memes for marketing is widely accepted now because of its general lightness. The trend nowadays focuses on entertaining the audience. Brands can help the audience escape reality for a while through funny memes. Injecting humor in your branding is great - it creates a positive impression that lasts.

7. Retro Styling

Retro style is very aesthetic and is predicted to go mainstream by 2022. Many designers would agree that Facebook and Instagram have played their part here. The two social media giants introduced more retro filters recently. They're perfect for an audience who are longing for an idealized past. Vintage color palettes and simple figures are now also widely in use for web projects.

graphic design 2022
Image Source: Daniela Efe

8. Muted and Nature-inspired Colors

Infusing a bit of black, white, or other colors to a bright color can mute or silence a bright hue. Color can often bring loud, confused signals. Instead, muted and nature-inspired colors bring a sense of nostalgia, comfort, and security. Take LinkedIn as an example. The company adapted subdued hues and it made their design elements look real and comfy.

graphic design 2022
Image Source: Solohub Anna

graphic design 2022
Image Source: Taylor Nappi

Muted colors will also be big in 2022 because of health and well-being. This has become a bigger consideration for many since the pandemic. Subdued colors look more organic and natural, and are synonymous with health. Aside from your content, you can use these colors for your packaging to make it look eco-friendly.

9. Interactive Design

Making designs interactive across user interfaces and graphics is gaining popularity. This is because consumers are on the lookout for new and better customer experiences. An interactive design delivers a sense of tactility, making it look and feel real.

 

graphic design 2022

Again, it is all about entertaining the audience. Of course, nothing can be more engaging than an improved brand experience.

‍10. 3D Incorporation

Going 3D isn't a new thing in the design industry but it is more recent in marketing. Using 3D design in marketing is a huge breakthrough which should grow more in 2022. It usually involves combining flat images with 3D patterns. The result is an aesthetically pleasing picture that would fascinate the audience.

graphic design 2022
Image Source: Mykyta

3D designs produce hyper-real, life-like images. It screams innovation and gives marketers a real opportunity to amaze their audience.

11. Social Slide Decks

Slide decks created specifically for social media pages will be big next year. They're great on all platforms, but are mostly used on Instagram and LinkedIn. They're extremely effective, too. In fact, they can bring up to 20x more impressions compared with a flat graphic. This is because the information is still engaging, but digestible with each slide. The great thing about slide decks is that you can combine both photos and videos. This helps to make the content more engaging.

graphic design 2022
Image Source

You can use slide decks to summarize content or repurpose your blog posts. It can also be used to promote new products and services. You can then add the features directly within in the slides.

‍12. Optimistic and Fun

graphic design 2022
Image Source: Ghulam Rasool  

Good advertising is always about using emotions in a positive light. The pandemic's end is still unclear. So, an upbeat campaign is bound to increase engagement.

At this time, many of us will welcome optimistic visuals after a trying period. You can use bright patterns, happy colors, and even adorable emojis in your visual content. Customizable graphics are even better, because you can adjust them for the best look and feel.

How to keep up with graphic design and illustration trends in 2022?

The graphic design trends of 2022 focus more on putting people first. Graphic design has always been about making a brand look distinctive. These trends can all help to do that in their own unique ways. The world is going through a shifting social and political landscape. These trends are one way to put your best foot forward as a brand.

To achieve this, you'll want to study your audience carefully. This will allow you to better understand their needs. As a result, you will have at least a clearer picture of how to meet these needs. Be sure to consider trends that reflect their interests and expectations.

To stay relevant, you also need to be adaptable. You shouldn't master a single style and hope your audience wont' get bored. Keep looking for opportunities to expand both your knowledge and skills. This will mean you've always got something new to offer. It will also mean you're more adaptable to newer trends.

We hope this insight into 2022's design trends will help you with your brand strategy!