Graphic Design: Trends That Will Still Be Relevant in 2019

The year 2018 has been full of surprises, both the good and bad, in the field of entertainment, technology, and most especially politics.

For our sanity and peace of mind, we must focus on the good. In terms of digital art, we’ve seen the edgiest, most breathtaking and trendy designs ever made. It is nice to look back at how rapidly the digital art industry has grown and it’s exciting to look forward to what’s coming in the next few years.

Since 2019 is right around the corner, we feel it is nothing but fitting to take a step back and look at some of the biggest trends in graphic design this year. Without further ado, here they are.

Graphic Design Trends 2019

1. Gradients

This pretty much the most common design as seen on many digital works nowadays. Gradients, also called color transitions, are usually found in every website button, page header, backgrounds or any PowerPoint presentation. This has been used frequently in the past and is now making a comeback. This also referred to as a digital flat design enhancement known as “flat 2.0” or “semi-flat design”. Gradient has been widely used by popular applications such as Instagram and Stripe in the form user-interface, branding, backgrounds, illustrations and overlays.

2. Animation

Comes in the form of a GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) or SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), animations are now widely used by big companies such Uber as a vital tool of branding. It belongs to the micro-interactions family which makes use of tiny animations used to connect with users and helps them complete tasks. These animations as tools are used for communicating ideas, concepts, and processes while making content more engaging for the target audience. These GIFs have grown rapidly with the help of pop culture and has evolved in ads, newsletters, icons, and even logos. It is easy to see why because they are witty, crafty and extremely interesting.

3. Vivid and Bright Colors

As you noticed recently in designs by Apple and Spotify, digital art has reached a whole new level of being colorful. Shades of electric yellows, upbeat corals and bright blues are replacing the reserved colors of the past. This is what vivid and bright colors are all about. They are used to attract the attention of the users and to exude an intense feeling or emotion to make people remember them more. This is a proof that in the year 2018, minimalist colors have been kicked out the door. More and more graphic designers prefer vivid colors to fight for more attention by taking bigger design risks.

4. Bold Typography

This year, it was all about big, bold fonts across digital designs and posters. This new artistic design aims to make it easy to read the text on social media feeds and on mobile devices. Plus, it projects strength, innovation, and individuality. An example of a commonly used font for this design type is the Helvetica-inspired sans serifs and its other extra-bold family members. You probably have seen this on various digital spaces, both print and on screen. It has been used by popular brands such as Polaroid Originals, Adidas, Nike, and Samsung.

5. Futuristic References

Futuristic references have also been rampant this year. Designs with ultraviolet, space-like and galaxy effects are popular among graphic designers. Since Pantone named Violet as the color of the year for 2018, purple effects are in for galaxy-themed designs. Violet just doesn’t just refer to stars and planets, but also more profound emotions such as our sense of discovery and voyage. Space-related aesthetic makes a big and lasting impact on graphic, interior, and fashion design industries to be specific. This also means that more and more brands are taking the risk to be more adventurous with branding. Making use of futuristic patterns, textures, and colors will definitely exude that emotion.

6. Gallant Duotones

There is no debating the fact that duotones are so aesthetically pleasing. Duotones are created through a halftone printing process wherein one halftone is printed on top of another of a contrasting color, resulting in a two-toned image. Nowadays, through the help of imaging software, creating duotones has become so much simpler and easier. This includes creating like monotones, tritones, and quadtones as well. Spotify is famous for using duotone design across their application and other promotional channels. With the daring colors used in duotones, they are considered as one of the hottest graphic design trends this year.

7. Retro-inspired Patterns and Designs

With hit TV shows like Stranger Things and Riverdale, it is easy to conclude that the 80s and 90’s aesthetics are making a much-needed comeback. From pastels to electric hues, the retro-inspired patterns, designs and color schemes are very much in again. These are incorporated with abstract and geometric patterns so there will still be a futuristic and modernized hint to it. Designs like this give off a visual excitement and a dash of nostalgia. Bliss Thai, a beauty therapy brand in Australia, is popular for this design.

8. Authentic Photography

Last but definitely not the least, demand for real-life photography has grown this year. In designs with authentic photography, what you is pretty much what you get. Images that look and feel real. Even if you are working with custom photos or selecting stock, make use of images that convey emotion, contain action and communicate stories. It is very inspiring to see natural compositions and unfiltered photography to take the limelight once again. Fortunately, there are a lot of talented photographers out there sharing their work in numerous websites royalty-free.

How to Improve as a Graphic Designer

Being a graphic designer is no easy task. Balancing what you want and what the client requires you to do is easier said than done. Moreover, as a professional, there is always room for improvement for the betterment of your skills and career. Thus, here are some tips to help you improve.

Collect What You Like

If you see something that inspires you, keep it. By that, we mean take a photo, write down a description or save record it. May it be a brochure, pamphlets, posters, photos, graffiti and many more- these can be a source of inspiration later on. Also, they can serve as an insight for all the other designs that you are working on. Do not take these for granted because you might not see their importance right now but you will in the long run. The more you collect, the more you will notice the little similarities and differences in the designs you see.

Read, Read, Read

We cannot stress this enough but it is very important that you read, read and read some more! The internet is full of infinite resources and reading materials that you can check out every day. It helps to read different blogs and write-ups of other graphic designers and creators. This way, you can get an inside of the hows and whys of their designs. Treat this an escape and get lost in the words of other artists. For sure, you will find your confidence and creativity boosted.

Join Creative Communities

As a creative, it helps to mingle with people who have the same interests as you. Primarily, research about design communities and creative groups that you can join. There are a lot of them online and you can also find them by asking around. Through this, you can make friends and widen your connections in the creative world. Not only that, but you can also get a constructive critique from someone who really knows what they are talking about. Just remember that whatever they say is for your own good and the improvement of your masterpiece.

Take a Step Back

Some people do not like to take a step back and look at their past artworks. Some designers cringe at the sight of what they used to do in the past. However, it is nothing but beneficial for your personal growth to carefully evaluate what you did wrong in the past. Plus, you can check in what specific areas you have improved through the years. Moreover, you can even copy your old works. You can tweak them, of course, and make them a better fit for your current designs.

Travel As Much As You Can

You know that feeling when you are in a completely different country? Everything is new and everything is a perfect source of inspiration. All of us has definitely experienced this. After a much-needed vacation, you return back to your work with excitement and a boost of energy. During this time, you have regained your energy and you are ready to go back to work again. Thus, it is safe to say that when you are able to discover a whole new culture, it opens your mind and boosts your creativity. Every now and then, it helps to take a break and go on a trip.


As mentioned before, when you encounter something that inspires you, take a remembrance. With this one, if an idea hits you, take your sketchbook out and draw it. It is very important for a graphic designer to keep a sketchbook nearby at all times. Naturally, ideas do not come at an expected time so you must be prepared when they do come. Keeping track of your ideas is so much better than leaving them for later. You might think that you will just always remember it no matter what but there is an even bigger chance that you won’t. Better safe than sorry.

Pursue Other Endeavors

To help keep your creative juices flowing, you need not be boxed in just one area of creative activities. It helps to pursue other endeavors to keep your mind alert an inspired. Most successful designers from around the world would agree that creativity comes fairly naturally. You can take simple activities to harness creativity such as literature, photography, writing, music and so much more. Find the one thing that you have wanted to do for a really long time and give it a try! You will be surprised by how much it will affect your creative process.

Be Organized

Some people find it hard to focus when their environment is too messy. So this next tip sounds overly simply: be organized. From your workspace to your tasks, keeping things organized will give you peace of mind and you will feel relaxed. An organized desk before you start working will help you do your job smoothly and efficiently. You will more time to think about the task at hand than to think about the clutter. Safe to say, being organized goes a long way.

Challenge Yourself

Last but most definitely not least, open yourself to new goals and challenges. As a creative, positive mind-setting is very important. Start by taking on more complicated projects or setting bigger goals for your career. If you do not usually set design goals for yourself then you might want to start doing it now. We know for a fact that you have performance appraisals and goal setting in your work but you also have to apply that personally.

Goals should be something achievable but challenging. Set deadlines for these goals and even a reward for yourself when the goal is met. This is a good way to challenge and at the same time reward yourself when something good happens. Give yourself a pat on the back from time to time. You are your own biggest fan.

Final Thoughts

These are just 8 of the most well-loved graphic design trends that we’ve seen dominate the digital community this year. It is great to see that more and more brands are taking a chance on the road less traveled when it comes to graphic design. We cannot wait to see what 2019 has in store for all of us. But please do remember that at the end of the day, we still have to give importance to what a specific brand stands for and focus our attention on their advocacy and message.

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