Graphic Design Trends 2020: Breaking the Rules

Graphic Design Trends 2020: Breaking the Rules

Update Oct. 2023: Graphic Design Trends 2024 are officially out. Check them out.

Graphic design trends 2020 are here and about to steal your heart!

Year 2020 is less than three months away and everyone is already wondering what the world of graphic design will look like. Undoubtedly, graphic design has always been a field of deep admiration and huge inspiration to many and we all can’t wait to see what awaits. We’ve made a deep research to spot the rise in several particular trends which are expected to boom next year.

Top graphic design trends in 2020 are:

1. 3D depth and realism
2. Going monochrome
3. Shiny metals
4. Typography craze
5. Image and text masking
6. Line art
7. Collages of drawings and photos
8. Simplified illustrations
9. Isometric illustrations
10. Earthy colors: a sense of vintage
11. Patterns and textures
12. Geometric designs
13. Liquids

Check out our Graphic Design Trends 2020 Infographic


Graphic Design Trends 2024


1. 3D depth and realism

The 3D trend reached its peak in 2019 and it certainly won’t fade away so quickly. Thanks to the opportunities of modern technology and software capabilities, in 2020, we will keep seeing more awesome 3D graphic design compositions. Moreover, in order to be more creative, designers will often combine it with other realities, such as photos and 2-dimensional objects.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - 3D style and animation example 3View source

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - 3D style and animation example 6View source



2. Going monochrome

Lately, we’ve been seeing a tendency of graphic and web designers using a monochromatic color effect on pictures. Remember the duotone craze from graphic design trends 2017? It turns out, the trend has now evolved into an even more simplified version. A monochrome color filter is widely used on photos or partial elements in graphic composition. Have a look.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Monochrome colors example 1View source



3. Shiny metals

Using metallic materials in graphic design has established as ultra trendy for branding identity and product design. By rule, this trend requires a minimalist overall design, since the focus falls on the metallic effect itself. We’re noticing the designers mostly use gold – it conveys luxury, class, and good taste. But the metallic effect can also be achieved by using shiny surfaces over matte surfaces in any color.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Golden and Metal look example 3View source

To make the effect even more impressive, branding specialists combine this trend with relief engraving for brand identity physical materials such as business cards.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Golden and Metal look example 4View source



4. Typography craze

In order to create more innovative and modern compositions, designers are playing with typography big time. This trend is expected to flourish in 2020. Figuratively and literally!

Decorated with beautiful flowers, geometric shapes, and more creative elements, artistic typography is certainly the perfect solution to nail the attention. Combined with the maxi typography trend from graphic design trends 2019, artistic typography in 2020 will really stand out.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Typography - HostView source

Speaking of maxi typography, the trend has certainly proved as a stable one and we’ll keep seeing it. In fact, in 2020 maxi typography will be so maxi that designers will split the words into multiple lines.

When it comes to thickness, the rule is – the thicker, the better. Heavy fonts and lettering are already flooding the world of graphic design. We see them in logos, on posters, on web designs, and even on package design. Once again, the letters will be huge, and may even go beyond the composition’s edges.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Bold Fonts example 3View source

Another huge trend about typography for the upcoming year would be drawing shapes with it. What do we mean? Twirls, circles, or simply curves following the curves of other elements in the design. The shapes can be 2-dimensional and even 3-dimensional. A big hit is creating 3d objects with words such as cubes, stairs, and more.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Shapes from TextView source
Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Shapes from Text Example 2
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Semi-transparency in typography is also quite trendy. In 2020, we will be seeing it in different forms. Sections of words overlapping one another, “double typography” with the second copy being transparent, or simply semi-transparent typography over photos and other elements of the design composition.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Transparent Text Trend Example 1
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Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Transparent Text Trend Example 4
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Get inspired by some Creative Typography Design Ideas That Will Totally Amaze You.



5. Image and text masking

Image and text masking isn’t a new technique to the design world but it still looks quite modern in 2020. As it leaves a big portion of the image behind unrevealed, it helps achieve a mysterious and minimalist look. In 2020, designers will keep creating compositions with image and text masking, of course sticking to maxi typography for the latter in order to achieve the desired effect. Here are a few examples.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Image and Text Masking Trend Example 1View source

You may be interested to read this related article: Beautiful Minimalist Website Designs



6. Line art

The trend of outline typography and elements which have been quite mass during 2018 and 2019 is now evolving into fully illustrated and animated line art patterns and designs. In its essence, line art is a schematic, simplified illustration style. As such, it is great for conveying concepts and ideas. It looks clean, elegant, and unobtrusive. Line art is one of the preferred decoration styles in graphic design trends 2020.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Line Art ExampleView source



7. Collages of drawings and photos

We’ve been witnessing a quite interesting and creative trend in graphic design which reminds us of the drawings we used to make on our notebooks in school, i.e. doodling. Doodling has started as a fun trend in the world of illustration but quickly became such a hit that we see it on designs all over the web. Here you can get some Free Doodle Illustrations.

When used in graphic design, doodling helps to achieve a more informal, personalized, handcrafted, and overall fun feeling of the composition.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Doodling over photos trend example 1View source

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Doodling over photos trend example 2View source

Designers have been combining real-life photos with simple illustrations replacing parts of the photo or interacting with the photo. Similar to the doodling trend but with a quite bigger portion for the creativity part. The innovative trend is definitely one we will be seeing in 2020, as it predisposes for huge creativity and opportunities to create a unique piece.

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8. Simplified illustrations

Using illustrations in graphic design isn’t anything new. In fact, designers often incorporate illustrations to convey concepts and ideas and communicate messages better. When it comes to graphic design trends 2020, simple illustrations will be a top choice.

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The lack of detail allows designers to focus not on the art itself but the message it conveys. In 2020, illustrations in design will often look oversimplified, sketchy, and even… childish.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Simplified illustrations example 2View source


Similar: The Best Character Illustration Examples and Ideas [Mega Inspiration]

Character Illustration Examples and Ideas



9. Isometric illustrations

Isometric illustrations have been in the listing of trends for many years, and logically, they have gone through many transformations. Often used for infographic design, web design, and presentation design, they are a preferred style because of their capability to illustrate a 3-dimensional object on a 2-dimensional surface. You can also check out some Beautiful Isometric & 3D Illustration Templates For Your Designs

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Isometric Illustrations example 3View source

In 2020, motion is everything. Isometric graphic design evolves into a fully animated and super engaging visual solution. The translation of 3D objects over 2D surfaces lately has become more real than ever. We expect that isometric design will keep evolving to a point where it looks like an actual 3D which moves and plays with the audience.

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Check out some of The Best Isometric Illustrations.


10. Earthy colors: a sense of vintage

Everything new is a well forgotten old. However, it’s definitely hard to forget the amazing 50s and the following trend confirms this. The 50s are a huge source of inspiration for designers. By using earthy color nuances and hand-drawn ink illustrations, web and graphic designers are creating compositions that convey the home-feeling of 50s’ designs. You may also be interested to check out more examples of Retro Design in Modern Times.

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The vintage style is also used in brand identity and package design, typography and lettering. It seems that in 2020, we will be experiencing a blast from the past. Well, at least when it comes to graphic design.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - vintage and retro style example 6View source

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - vintage and retro style example 4View source



11. Patterns and textures

Patterns and textures were off the stage for quite a bit when flat design reigned the web. Now we see a rise in the use of patterns and texture but not necessarily used in the traditional way. Combining several patterns in one design or only sections of pattern covering the screen will be the norm in 2020. If you need some patterns for your designs, check out 150+ Free Pattern Designs: Seamless & Fully Editable.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Patterns and textures example 1View source

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Patterns and textures example 4View source

Love this trend? Check out these amazing examples of patterns in web design (+ free patterns available for download).



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12. Geometric designs

Everyone involved in graphic design and art will tell you – it all comes down to basic geometric shapes. And since many designers are aiming for simplicity in their design, using plain geometric shapes is still one of the leading trends in the field for 2020. Geometric designs may look simple but they actually require a lot of work in order to recreate a composition that carries the right meaning for people to grasp.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Geometric shapes example 1View source

Graphic Design Trends 2020 - Geometric shapes example 4View source



13. Liquids

As opposed to geometric shapes which have strictly fixed edges and curves, liquidy shapes suggest creativity, agility, and movement. Leaving out the edges helps achieve a smooth, soft look which many designers want to recreate. As such, they definitely make it into graphic design trends 2020, often combined with other effects, such as semi-transparency, bright colors and color gradients, animations, etc.

Graphic Design Trends 2020 Liquid trend example 1View source

Graphic Design Trends 2020 Liquid trend example 2View source

Graphic Design Trends 2020 Liquid trend example 4View source


graphic design trends 2020 infographicClick on the image to open the infographic


To conclude,

Graphic design trends in 2020 are super diverse and impressive! In 2020, we will see amazing design work with typography, mesmerizing color combinations, a blast from the past with retro-style designs, line art, doodling, and many more amazing trends. What are your personal predictions of graphic design trends 2020? We’d love to see what you think in the comments below.

Fond of graphic design? You may be interested to check out more articles on related topics:


Graphic Design Trends 2023

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Iveta Pavlova

Iveta is a passionate writer at GraphicMama who has been writing for the brand ever since the blog was launched. She keeps her focus on inspiring people and giving insight on topics like graphic design, illustrations, education, business, marketing, and more.

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