Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels

2020 has been a memorable year, to say the least. And many of us are looking towards 2021 with  an understandable mixture of hope and trepidation.

In all aspects of life we’re wondering what might lie around the corner, not certain we have any real answers. But, at the very least, when it comes to design we can cast a piercing eye into the future and lay some slightly more confident claims.

So, just like we did at the end of last year, we’re going to walk you through 4 graphic design trends to watch out for in 2021. 

Realistic surrealism 

Watch this space for an explosion of unsettlingly convincing surrealist design in the new year. Further blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, we might expect to see designers treading strange ground and churning out impossible imagery to make their designs pop.

Championing uniqueness 

2021 will likely also see an increase in authentic and diverse representation. Moving far beyond stereotypes and generic inclusivity, we will hopefully see more and more designers opting to present genuine uniqueness, authenticity, and diversity in their work, celebrating people from every walk of life. 

Embracing nature and the environment 

The world is only getting greener. And as environmental issues become more prominent in the public consciousness, we’re seeing a reflection of this in how businesses operate on every level.

One noticeable change that has taken place over recent years is in the marketing and branding that many companies are putting out. Designs projecting environmental-consciousness and responsibility are becoming far more widespread, and should only continue to flourish as the world shifts to a more environmental-centred attitude. 


After 2020, we could all do with a little more optimism in our lives. And this fact will likely be reflected in the creative industries, especially marketing and design. 

This could be  to manifest in bright colours, vibrant visuals, and all-round playful aesthetic vibes. Many designers will likely want to brush off the weight and darkness of the previous year, and will probably do this by going big on positive designs. 

Look up for the new year

One thing that’s striking when researching upcoming design trends is the dominance of positivity and hopefulness. There seems to be an unrelenting effort to look on the bright side, highlighting all the best things our world has to offer. And this, perhaps, is one of the many wonders of design — the ability to make us forget about the bad things in life, and instead turn our eyes to the things that bring us inspiration, wonder, and hope.