Top Graphic Design Trends 2018: The Ultimate Guide

In the era of digital art, graphic design trends can evaporate as quickly as they emerged. What has been modern for the past few years may look entirely outdated in 2018. While some trends have stood the test of time, others have vanished in the blink of an eye only to make room for new modern looks. So, if you are looking for an antonym of boring, this would be – graphic design trends 2018.

Latest Graphic Crazes

This is the year of crazy designs, experiments and wild imagination. While you may find some of these a huge surprise, you might have seen others coming. So, let’s not waste a minute more. Time to reveal which trends in graphic design will be absolute hits in 2018.

The “Glitch” Effect

The corrupted image, i.e. the glitch effect, has been one of the most popular trends in the digital world lately. Apparently, what was once annoying for the spectator has now been turned into a truly wanted effect.

Obviously, horror movie fans have been familiar with this one for ages. Year 2018 is the year when corrupted images take over graphic design world, as well.


The “Ruined” Effect

As far as we can tell, contemporary graphic designers have been obsessed with the “art of destroying”. Everything that includes splashing, scratching, ripping off, breaking or any other form of ruining the aesthetics of a composition is considered modern in 2018.


“Color Channels” Effects

Playing with color channels has been widely popular among designers. The technique allows designers to create great illusional effects. A holograph, a hallucination, a distorted reality… all of these are highly influential on the viewer which makes “Color channels” one of the top graphic design trends 2018.


Holography is falling behind…

The holographic design trend, which has been a huge hit for several years, is now falling behind in comparison with the other futuristic trends.

While it’s still glamorous and mesmerizing, we’ll see less of holographic designs in 2018.


The year of Double.

We can say with confidence that 2018 will be the year of “double”.

Double Exposure

Double exposure has been a thing for several years now. Despite the fact that some designers have put this technique aside for a while, we definitely see a rise of double exposure designs which amaze the viewer. Here are a few stunning examples:


Double Exposure Duotone

“I’m seeing double” will be no longer a post-liqueur effect. This trend is a hybrid from Double Exposure and Duotone, plus using color channels. In short, double exposure duotone is achieved by doubling the image or using two different overlapping images in monochrome colors. This way, designers achieve an “ahead-of-its-time” effect.

double color exposure


Double Light

An another major “double” among graphic design trends 2018 is the double color light. This effect transforms simple compositions into new edgy, modern looking ones. Double light is an effect that can be achieved with two actual sources of light, or color channel splitting. Here are a few trending examples.


Wave Classic Duotone Goodbye…

Duotone translated into Double exposure duotone will be a major trend next year. However, we’ll be seeing less of traditional duotone besides being one of the hottest trends for the past year.

Duotone will somehow be left in the shadow of Double exposure duotone. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Design is evolving, after all.



Typography still rules!

Creative typography

Creative typography is among the leaders for graphic design trends 2018. Actually, this trend has been taking the leading places for several years and it’s not going down any time soon.

When it comes to this technique, imagination is your strongest asset. Creative typography can be combined with other techniques or used solely in the design. It impresses in both cases. Check out these eye-pleasing examples.


Cropped Typography

Cropped typography was a hot trend for 2017 and is still hot for 2018. The art of erasing parts of the letters while still keeping their readability requires a lot of creativity and professionalism. The effect is 100% worth the effort.


Chaotic Typography

Chaos was declared one of the top trends for 2017. It seems that for graphic design trends 2018 it will translate into a chaotic typography. In other words, say “No” to aligning and “Yes” to the unconventional order of letters and words.


Typography as Real Life Elements

A modern graphic design trend is typography tightly interacting with other elements of the composition. The achieved effect is: letters turned into real-life objects. Check out these awesome examples.


Negative space. A positive trend.

Negative Space Designs

We named negative space a positive trend not because negative and positive attract each other in physics, but because in graphic aesthetics negative space techniques evoke quite positive emotions.

In its nature negative space is an “empty” space in the design which forms a certain distinctive shape. The technique is one of the most popular ones lately and it still holds the leading positions.


Negative Space Typography

Ahh… typography. Obviously, the modern trend is a mixture of Negative space and Typography. What is quite popular about it, is that elements from the back come to the front through the wording. This is another form of interaction between typography and composition elements.


Bright colors are all in.

Colorful 3D Substance

Bright colors plus a 3D composition is an absolute winning combo for 2018. With so many graphic design trends fighting for the leading positions in 2018, bright colors are certainly on the top of the charts. And how can they not be when all the client wants is: “Make it pop!”

Yes. Bright colors can certainly make a design pop. In our opinion this is one of the strongest graphic design trends 2018. We also bet it will be among graphic design trends 2019. Check out a few expiring examples.


One Color 3D Design

Lately, we’ve been seeing more and more product presentations using the same background color as the product presented. The product “pops” thanks to the volume created by the 3D techniques. It actually looks quite eye-pleasing.


Metallic Elements

As an addition to bright colors, metallic elements enter the world of graphic design to create the “Wow” effect. Often combined with other hot trends such as 3D compositions and creative typography, this trend brings the effect of a real-life composition.


Color Transitions / Gradients

When Instagram changed its logo back in 2016 into a colorful gradient, nobody thought this trend was going to become so huge. It was just the beginning of its rise. Despite the fact that web wasn’t sure about this design technique (everyone was crazy about flat and material back then), here we are, seeing more and more of these colorful gradients.


Solid Color Flat and Material are out of the spotlight…

Both these trends reigned the digital world for a long time but now they are past their peak. However, we will keep seeing both these trends in web and app designs which bet on functionality and unobtrusive interface for better user experience.




Artistic Illustrations

Hand-Drawn Illustrations

Custom hand-drawn illustrations are always on the wave of popularity. Every design is a piece of art created with a lot of talent and imagination. This is why illustrations can never go out of style.

When it comes to graphic design, illustrations always bring a special unique vibe to the piece. In 2018 illustrations are presented in combination with other graphic design trends such as negative space, 3d structures, the “double” trend and more.


Illustrations Over Photos

An interesting trend for 2018 is combining photos with digital drawing. This technique boosts the effect of the photo and brings the composition a new edgy look. For the brands which find plain photos way too boring, this is the right trend!


Papercut Illustrations

One of the latest graphic design trends 2018 are papercut illustrations. Inspired by actual paper cutting art, this trend is quickly gaining speed. Papercut illustrations recreate compositions made of different layers of paper which means depth and specific textures are must-have elements.


If we have to describe graphic design trends 2018 in three words, these would be – anything but boring. The year of digital graphic craziness brings mesmerizing, engaging, out-of-this world designs that we can only admire. Feel free to share your own digital art creations according to the latest trends, as well as your thoughts in the Comments below.

pantone color of the year 2018

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  • onyx welborne

    Thank you.. this was very well written and excellent examples of the trends provided. 🙂

    • We are glad! Such comments keeps us inspired and motivated to create more 🙂

  • Stas Brovin

    Thank you, very detailed and interesting article!

  • destrecht

    Constantly changing. One of my biggest aha moments when a went back to school was seeing that stuff I did a few years earlier was considered passe. Took me down a notch, but ultimately made me a better designer. (Although I still see some that make me feel like an amateur sometimes)

    • Hey, you know what? Our secret is curiosity, constantly growing, changing and learning! And part of being a good designer is not being happy with finished work : O ) Happy designing!

  • ambergold

    So modern and stylish. Everything is so detailed and now I’m thinking not only about picture on the wall but about photo window treatments. I mean printed photo on blind umh like this maybe : Trendy or not really? I think it would be an unique decorating idea.

    • We like it! Don’t forget to share the results if you decide to try it! We are curious! Cheers!

  • Sofía Muñoz
    This page posted the same info and images in Spanish, take a look at it, because they didn’t put any credit about you page.

    It is a really good summary! I really Like it

    • Bilyana

      Thank you for reaching out, Sofia.
      That’s unfortunate 🙂
      Although, we can’t force them to give credit to our work 🙂

    • Hey, thanks for reaching out! Unfortunate, but we can’t force them to give us a credit, so we will just enjoy the content 🙂 Cheers!

  • Mile Kitić

    Are you for real? A catalogue of old trends. There are examples that date back to 2008!

    • That’s what research showed 🙂 Maybe “the new is the old – well forgotten”? Cheers!

      • Whosville

        New is the old ‘forgotten!’ Sounds right to me anyway. Some of these style go back before desktop publishing even existed. A new spin on something classic is usually the highest achievement a designer, or collective ‘trends’ can achieve.

        But it is nice when to see styles and approaches broken down, analyzed, and categorized in a concise way.

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    • Bilyana

      Tak! 🙂

  • I’m doing my annual reading of all the trends and yours is the first that does seem consistent with what I’m seeing out there! Great job!

  • Pixel8 Web Solutions

    I enjoyed the feature very much. Can’t wait to share it with the rest of my team at Thanks for putting this up!

  • Cody

    This is a REALLY good list. I had no idea about the illustrations over photos – I love it. Your chaotic design section reminds me of Brutalism. Here’s a video i made on brutalism recently if that interests you at all.

    Happy New Year

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