What Are the Most Popular Options for Graphic Design Nerds in 2018?

Graphic design is a topic that is often a lot more complicated than it sounds. However, in recent years it has been receiving the attention to detail that it deserves.

This is, in large part, because even small businesses and young entrepreneurs are dependent on having unique websites and promos to get their ideas off the ground. Thus, due to this increased need for graphic design, more people are learning the ins and outs of graphic design to keep up with their business’ needs – without just relying on the basics.

However, this increase in the number of professional and advanced graphic designers has made innovation a constant facet of the industry. If you want your content to stand out to everyone else, it’s important to keep up with these trends.

Some of these graphic design trends are new. Some, on the other hand, are trends that you might recognize from years ago just revamped with a new twist. In this article, we will look at the graphic design trends that everyone can use – from a small paper writing service, family owned businesses to large corporations.

“Glitch” Effect

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

One effect that is making itself known is photos with a “glitched” effect. As the name suggests, this effect looks like something went wrong in the process of taking or editing the photo but it is, in fact, intentional. The main facet of this design is the corrupted look of the end result.

This trend isn’t new but it is seeing a lot more use than it once did. Not too long ago, you would find this design style almost exclusively on sci-fi and horror films. Movies such as Ghost in the Shell leaned heavily on this design.

Using Iconification

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

A very modern technique, in general, is minimalism. This when something is stripped of any superfluous features and taken down to a level that accentuates its main components. Oftentimes, this technique can be seen in modern architecture and home design.

In graphic design, this idea can be used in a technique called iconification. The idea behind it is essentially the same – take the image you want to use in your design and strip it down its bare minimum.

For example, instead of detailed portrait image, you would use simple lines to create the basic sense of a face. This technique takes its name from the fact that you are taking detailed pictures and turning them into simple icons.


Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

Much like the “glitch” effect, deconstructivism is used to create a disjointed, almost jarring look to a piece. This technique actually takes its name and ideas from a Russian art movement that took place in the last century.

In this type of design, images take on an almost collage-influenced visual. This means that images and text are broken up and rearranged within the design. Many times, this design stands out because it pairs its drastic elements with a dramatic color pairing. Usually, a black-and-white photo paired with brightly colored counterparts.

Using Colour

In addition to general effects, many graphic designers have started to use certain coloring techniques to add flair to their designs. Some of these techniques include colour channels and double lighting.

Double Lighting

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

Double lighting is exactly what it sounds like – you use two sources of lighting to create a dynamic look in your pictures. Many times, you will see this effect used on portraits, lighting the subject’s face in one colour on one side and a complementary colour on the other side.

Systematic Colour

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

One of the most simple design trends with colour is the use of systematic colour. With this technique, you are making your designs as concise as possible by using a like colour palette across a series of designs – you are creating a color system.

This technique usually isn’t used with the creation of a singular piece such as a flier or poster. Instead, it is used when a designer wants to tie together multiple pieces. For example, you might see this technique in a multi-page report or across several pages on a website to clearly link all the content together.

Colour Channels

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

Slightly different from double lighting is colour channels. While double lighting changes the lighting that is reflecting on the subject of an image, colour channels, however, use layers of color. These can be layers of different color of the same image – much like when you watch a 3D movie without glasses – or they can be layered pictures in different colors. For example, shows like Saturday Night Live often use this effect in their promos by showing actors in a few different positions, each pose in a different space and color in the design.

This design technique is often used to give a surreal effect to the images it is used on such as an optical illusion or holographic quality.

Text In Graphic Design

While certain photo effects are strong features of current graphic design, you can also do a lot with text. After all, if you have a carefully designed background, your design will still look rather amateur if you simply pair it with standard black text like you are typing a document.

Text as design can include a few different techniques. This can include using different fonts and styles as well as integrating images with text. Below, there are some of the most popular text design options in graphic design.

Disjointed Text

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

A technique that is used on its own as well as with the aforementioned “glitch” effect is disjointed text. Disjointed text – also known as chaotic text – creates an interesting visual effect because it deviates from the standard right-to-left read that English uses. Instead, it chooses a leans toward a more abstract look of the letters being spread out.

Using disjointed text is a little open-ended because there isn’t a single way to format it. Some designers choose to keep the text generally in the same right-to-left format with simple spacing or position it vertically. Other designers go for an even more unique ideas by drastically spacing or rearranging their letters.

The biggest thing to consider with this technique is that you still want those viewing it to understand the message you are trying to convey. If you jumble the letters too much, those who see your design might not be able to decipher the message.

Sliced Text

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

Sliced text is one of those trends that’s been around for a while. In its most basic form, the text in question has a line through it, slightly shifting the text on either side of the line so it doesn’t match up exactly.

Another version of this technique is to slice the text with a photograph or animation. These slices are usually wider than simple slices. This is because the animation or photograph is located within the slice. Sometimes, text is even sliced with other text.

This technique is sometimes referred to as cropped text.

Using Transparency

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

An effective technique at your disposal is the use of transparency in an image. However, why should you use such a basic skill in graphic design? Well, for the most part, as a component to more effective and advanced techniques.

Very rarely will you find a use for making a photo more transparent and then doing nothing to it. More often than not, you will be using transparency to change an image on a larger scale.

In the techniques discussed thus far, you would use transparency to layer colour channels, for instance. In addition, you can use transparency to add a dramatic and modern effect to black and white photos. At the most basic level, you can add a transparent color filter over the photo. A more popular technique, though, is to use these transparent color filters and cut them into geometric shapes, placing them over only part of a black and white photo for a new and exciting theme.

Effective Ways of Photo Masking

Graphic Design Nerd's Options in 2018

Photo masking is a crucial technique for many of these designs. Deconstructivism even some instances of iconification, for example, wouldn’t be possible if you didn’t know how to clip and mask parts of an image. So, what are the most effective ways of photo masking?

Of course the most basic techniques are important to remember here. Clipping portions of an image, for instance, isn’t to be forgotten in lieu of more complex techniques.

One thing that you will want to keep in mind when photo masking is to work on a duplicate layer of the image. This way, if it is needed, you have an untouched copy of the original section of the image you are working with. If it isn’t needed, this original layer can easily be hidden.

In Photoshop, you should also make sure you use the tool that is most effective for what you are doing. For example, the lasso or Magic Wand are good tools for sections that are easily isolated but might be harder in other instances. If you have a jagged skyline, for example, you might want to skip these tools and use Color Range instead.

You should also remember to keep in mind the effects you need to use to make the displaced image look natural. Of course, if you want an obviously layered image – such as with deconstructivism – you won’t need to worry about this but if you want the displaced image to fit seamlessly then you will want to try to blend the edges. The feather tool in Photoshop is the best choice for this.


Just like any other aspect of the design industry, there are certain techniques and styles that are particularly en vogue. Some of these innovations are just that – brand new innovations that are breaking into the scene. Many of these trends, though, borrow from or expand upon trends that have been around for years. For example, certain trends that utilize bright colors or geometric shapes harken back to the graphic design used in the 1990s.

These trends can be used for a couple different purposes. Namely, you can use them to make your designs stand out when someone sees them online or in the form of a flier. On the other hand, though, you can use them to tie a series together. As mentioned earlier, similar designs can also be used to tie together a report or the many pages of a website.

At the end of the day, graphic design is a realm of creativity. As such, the point of these techniques isn’t to dictate how you create or what you create. Instead, these popular options are here to influence the designs you make and help you stay on trend.

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  1. Nice blog! It was a informative blog.

  2. A new dimension that can be applied to design attractive advertising content/images. I am sure this will be part of my company methods.

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