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What Are The Graphic Design Trends That Shaped 2023?

Graphic design is an ever-evolving field where creativity meets technology to create innovative and visually compelling solutions. As we step into a new era of design, the integration of generative AI (GenAI) into graphic design platforms has emerged as a game-changer. I recently shared how Adobe Illustrator is integrating generative AI tools to accelerate the innovation process for creatives.

This introduction of AI is not just a trend but a seismic shift in how designers approach their craft. It unlocks a world of possibilities and pushes the boundaries of what graphic design can achieve. Let’s explore the exciting trends that 99designs has captured that have shaped the industry in 2023.

Here’s the list of graphic design trends that they’re spotlighting:

  1. Mysticism – In a design context, mysticism involves iconography related to astrology and divination. The trend relies heavily on popular symbolism, including zodiac signs, all-seeing eyes, lotus flowers, and sacred geometry. As in ages past, these symbols act as talismans, infusing the natural and celestial world with occult and deeper meanings.
  2. Risoprint reimaginedRisograph printing is being reimagined for digital, abstract graphics. Its grainy textures add depth and noise to minimalist shapes, creating surreal valleys of abstraction with a vintage flair.
  3. Punk revival – Punk is experiencing a revival of its mass appeal, driven by a renewed opposition to failing systems. Aesthetically, it’s characterized by DIY techniques, scribbled lettering, cutouts, mismatched fonts, and chaotic collages.
  4. Retro line art – Designers are turning to minimal line art to create humorous and fun illustrations, recreating the nostalgic memory of drawing with felt-tip markers. This retro style often pairs with bright colors and throwback bubble fonts.
  5. Airbrush surrealism – Surrealism is getting an unexpected pairing with 80s airbrush techniques, creating a gauzy, dreamlike effect that subdues the usual disorientation surrealism invokes.
  6. Folk botanical – Nature patterns are getting less refined with shaky doodles, rough textures, and incongruous coloring. This trend reinterprets familiar nature themes into unexpected, whimsical drawings, adding a lively and organic touch.
  7. 90s space psychedelia – This combination of retro techniques and futuristic themes features 90s retro patterns, cartoon styles, and colors reminiscent of the era while mixing in futuristic themes like androids and spaceships.
  8. Mixed dimension – Graphic designers are merging digital illustrations into real-life photography, creating vibrant and whimsical compositions that emphasize the contrast between disparate elements.
  9. Acid graphics – Acid graphics, sometimes called Y2K grunge, are characterized by grimy textures, chrome metallics, broken grids, and amorphous shapes, presenting a darker and moody side to graphic design.
  10. Experimental escapism – Escapism is getting experimental, with designers drawing inspiration from recent advances in technology, resulting in exploratory compositions that feel like windows into the digital psyche.
  11. Complex compositions – Complex compositions involve illustrations that contain multiple “scenes” rolled into one, creating engaging visuals that reinforce the idea that we live in a world of multiple stories happening all at once.
  12. Abstract gradients – Gradients in 2023 are expressed in abstract shapes and diffused in blurs, creating a feeling of weightlessness and tranquility.

These graphic design trends for 2023 are diverse and offer a range of creative opportunities for designers to convey different emotions and messages. Whether it’s the mystical serenity of mysticism or the moody aesthetics of acid graphics, designers have a wide palette to choose from to engage and captivate their audience.

graphic design trends
Source: 99designs

I utilized Bing’s Image Creator (GenAI powered by DALL-E) to create the tiled mozaic in the featured image above. My prompt was:

Create a square mozaic with tiles for mysticism, risoprint reimagined, punk revival, retro line art, airbrush surrealism, folk botanical, 90s space psychedelia, mixed dimension, acid graphics, experimental escapism, complex compositions, and abstract gradients. Put 2023 in the center in large numbers.

Douglas Karr

Douglas Karr is the founder of the Martech Zone and CEO of DK New Media. Douglas has helped dozens of successful MarTech startups, has assisted in the due diligence of over $5 bil in Martech acquisitions and investments, and continues to assist companies in implementing and automating their sales and marketing strategies. Douglas is an internationally recognized digital transformation and MarTech expert and speaker. Douglas is also a published author of a Dummie's guide and a business leadership book.

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