Graphic Design Trends to Set Your Company Apart in 2024

Graphic Design Trends to Set Your Company Apart in 2024

We see new trends emerging in the design industry each year and old ones fading; 2024 is no exception. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently at the center of a transformative shift, altering both our methods of creation and visual styles.

3D hyper-surrealism, heat mapping, and nature-inspired prints are some trends changing the graphic design landscape in 2024. Whether you’re a seasoned graphic designer or a newbie, it’s an exciting time to be a part of this scene.

This blog post encapsulates the various design elements shaping how we communicate, inspire, and engage today and how you can make them work for your business branding.

But before we jump to that, let’s get the basics out of the way and understand what graphic design means and why it is essential to study its trends.

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

What is Graphic Design?

The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA®) defines graphic design as the ‘art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content.’

The content per se can be as simple as a business logo (like Nike’s Swoosh checkmark) or as complex as page layouts on a website.

Almost everyone today practices some form of graphic design—whether creating a presentation for work or adding text to social media graphics to enhance or convey a message.

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

Trends come and go. So why is it essential to keep tabs on them? That’s because following and understanding trends signals to your audience that you’re attuned to their tastes and preferences.

More importantly, graphic design trends inspire you to think outside the box, including experimenting with new techniques and merging old styles with new ones.

This helps you enhance your brand perception and be more relevant and in touch with your customer base. Keeping up with current graphic design trends helps you maintain a competitive edge in your industry.

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

Here are the top 10 trends pushing the boundaries of creativity and transformation in graphic design this year.

1. Future fusion

Reminiscent of the cyberpunk aesthetic, future fusion balances futuristic, cutting-edge graphic designs with a relatable feel. The color palette stays rooted in blues, blacks, and deep browns, punctuated with neon purples, pinks, and cyans.

From mascots and logos to advertising materials—you can apply future fusion in many ways to infuse vitality into your brand.

The highlight of this graphic design trend is its ability to bring together diverse interactive elements to create something new and forward-looking, as seen in the album cover below:

The artwork uses fluid instead of geometric shapes and a mix of cool tones with a contrasting holographic figure in the center. It suggests a digital or technological influence, a hallmark of future fusion design.

2. 3D hyper-surrealism

This graphic design trend emphasizes realistic yet surreal imagery, often created using 3D modeling and rendering techniques.

It incorporates abstract and organic shapes, vibrant colors, quirky characters, and experimental fonts to create images that look straight out of films like Dune or Blade Runner.

Reddit’s 2024 rebrand embodies this trend with its 3D mascot and logo symbol.

Reddit's 3D logo
via Reddit

3D hyper-surrealism is particularly useful when graphic designers want to convey multiple facets of a message simultaneously, allowing for broad audience engagement.

It establishes a sense of otherworldliness or ‘weirdness’ that you might’ve noticed in some of the latest fashion trends and campaigns.

Check out illustrator Nico Ito’s surreal illustrations for the Gucci Bamboo 1947 handbag. Her artwork is a lively collage of fantasy and reality, blending a photo-realistic luxury handbag with an otherworldly backdrop—perfectly encapsulating the essence of 3D hyper-surrealism.

Given how AI design tools like AutoDraw and have helped designers push visual experimentation boundaries, 3D hyper-surrealism is a trend that will continue to increase in popularity.

3. Heat mapping

Heat mapping uses color gradients to represent data density or intensity visually. It is used in User Experience (UX) design, web design, and information graphics to highlight areas of interest or activity in data-rich environments.

But now, it has slowly found use beyond the conventional data visualization roots. Today, designers create engaging visuals that mimic the dynamic range of heat intensity and deliver a message subtly using color gradients and textures.

For instance, in a promotional poster, you could highlight areas expected to draw more attention or action with warm colors like reds and oranges. In contrast, less critical areas are depicted in cooler colors like blues and greens.

Heat mapping helps direct the audience’s attention to focal areas of the design without clear-cut visual cues.

4. Inclusive visuals and accessible color combinations

Although diversity and representation should be an industry standard, not a choice, it’s making a breakthrough in 2024.

Inclusive graphic design involves creating visual content that is accessible and usable by everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Inclusive design ensures that everyone can interact with the content meaningfully, including those with visual, auditory, cognitive, and motor impairments. It also celebrates a broader spectrum of races, genders, ethnicities, and body types.

A classic example is Google’s emoji library, which now comprises a range of skin tones, hairstyles, and gender expressions.

Additionally, designers prioritize accessibility by adopting palettes that meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). This makes the designs readily visible to those with color blindness.

But the accessibility trend doesn’t end with desktop screens. It also offers light and dark modes and different zoom levels for mobile screens. This ensures information remains legible across user preferences and diverse platforms.

Last year, Airbnb’s “Live There” campaign used high contrast between foreground and background elements, making the content readable for visually impaired people.

The inclination towards inclusivity and accessibility recognizes the power of design to build empathy, understanding, and a sense of belonging on a global scale.

5. Nature-inspired aesthetics

With people paying more attention to environmental issues and causes than ever,  appreciation for natural patterns and textures is rising. But it’s no longer enough for brands to add or integrate the color green into designs to show that a business is “going green.”

Nature-inspired aesthetics have taken center stage, with images of flowers and plants, blue skies, wood textures, watercolors, and animal patterns like zebra prints coming into vogue in a charming graphic design trend.

Packaging, for instance, is moving towards cleaner, earthy designs that emphasize eco-conscious color palettes and recycled materials.

Yves Rocher’s “Botanical Beauty” campaign perfectly highlights nature-inspired motifs in a serene and botanical design. Since the brand uses natural ingredients in its beauty products, it launched packaging boxes featuring watercolor plant illustrations. 

Of course, this is one of the graphic design trends you cannot apply to every niche. However, packaging design in sectors like food and beverage, cosmetics, and medicine can certainly leverage nature’s power and beauty.

6. Mixed media collage aesthetics

This artistic approach blends shapes, images, bright colors, and textures to create stimulating compositions. Collages, for example, allow for spontaneous and unpredictable creations that can resonate deeply with the audience.

We see artists blending cultural influences to create vibrant, cross-cultural references with stunning visuals that evoke nostalgia within their digital collages while others craft surreal landscapes with psychedelic elements.

Whether a digital mosaic or a handcrafted cut-and-paste artwork, mixed media arranged into a collage layout brings a distinct and appealing aesthetic to the forefront of graphic design trends.

7. Retro-futurism

In graphic design, retro has always been trendy. In recent years, we’ve seen a growing movement towards vintage aesthetics and retro-futurist touches referencing the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

This graphic design trend revives the charm of textured finishes, vibrant colors, and classic typography with fonts like Lobster, Metropolis, and Pacifico.

Businesses are tapping into the potential of this trend in innovative ways to captivate audiences, differentiate their brand, and tell a compelling story.

This includes adverts that feature classic cars flying in a futuristic cityscape or models wearing vintage clothing in a space exploration context, blending nostalgia with futurism for a powerful visual impact.

Retro-futurism breaks through generational gaps and uniquely communicates complexity, simplicity, innovation, and tradition.

8. Retro pixels

Remember the computer graphics of Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and Atari 2600? Fused with 8-bit pixel-style elements, earlier games like Super Mario and Pac-Man were constant favorites of everyone in the 80s and 90s. The pixelated visual style has made a comeback.

Now, designers use advanced game design software to combine blocky visuals, limited color palettes, and distinctive grid-based designs to evoke nostalgia and simplicity.

However, only some businesses can implement this design trend successfully. But a few popular brands are banking on the ‘retro’ look and feel.

Lacoste, for instance, gave their trademark crocodile logo a pixelated makeover in collaboration with Minecraft, creating a collection of clothing and accessories inspired by the game’s aesthetics.

On the other hand, Minecraft introduced special in-game items like Lacoste-branded outfits and a specially designed map called “Croco Island” in its virtual games.

The example demonstrates how retro pixels upgraded the creative essence of both brands and created immersive experiences that bridged the gap between the real and digital.

9. Experimental typography

This graphic design trend embraces the imaginative use of layouts, typefaces, and letterforms and creates some cool experimental fonts. 

Unlike traditional typography, which primarily focuses on consistency and readability, particularly in print and digital media, experimental typography prioritizes treating letters and words as art forms in their own right.

The image below is a prime example of how we perceive and interact with letters and text.

The Sculpted Alphabet
via The Designest

The sculpture of the letter ‘Y’ reimagines a typographic character as a three-dimensional object. It combines abstract shapes with other materials (the eggshells) and substances (the turquoise liquid).

It seamlessly blends industrial elements in a playful approach to CGI, encouraging the audience to consider the letter in a new light beyond its place in the alphabet or a font set.

Undoubtedly, experimental typography adds a unique touch to graphic design that’s as thought-provoking as it’s visually arresting.

10. Anti-design

‘Anti-design’ is the last thing you’d expect to see in a graphic design trends list. But for many designers, it’s the go-to aesthetic of choice.

Anti-design is a modern approach that seeks to expand what design can be. It’s characterized by its embrace of chaotic layouts, clashing colors, and unconventional and often jarring typography.

Anti-design challenges the audience’s expectations and instigates a more emotional or contemplative reaction by offering an alternative to accepted design standards. It often draws inspiration from avant-garde art movements, such as Dadaism or Brutalism.

While only sometimes practical for every application, anti-design has found a foothold in artistic, cultural, and specific commercial contexts where making a bold statement or challenging norms is the goal.

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

The biggest graphic design trends often evolve in tandem with technology. In graphic design, technology influences both the design process and final designs. So, which technologies have the potential to upgrade visual communication and design in 2024? Let’s find out.

1. Generative AI

Imagine using a tool that understands your design intent, suggests color palettes based on your target audience, and whips up mood boards inspired by your selected references. That’s precisely what generative AI does.

It leverages algorithms and machine learning (ML) models to generate images, patterns, layouts, and design elements. Moreover, it can automate image resizing, background removal, and color correction, freeing design teams to focus on other tasks, such as strategy building.

AI art generators, such as DALL-E, Midjourney, and Jasper Art, have astonished professional designers with their ability to render text into realistic images.

They streamline workflows and offer inspiration. And yes, contrary to popular belief, AI isn’t here to steal jobs but to be a designer’s ultimate assistant.

2. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

Although AR and VR technologies have been around for a few years, they’re being touted as the next big thing in graphic design, and for good reason. Creative directors use AR to create unique, interactive advertising campaigns that boost audience engagement and are a visual feast.

For example, billboards or posters can trigger immersive brand experiences directly from a user’s mobile device, such as virtual try-ons or interactive games. AR can overlay digital information onto physical spaces, helping visualize architectural or interior design projects.

The IKEA Place app, for example, lets users place 3D models of IKEA products into their environment with the help of their smartphone cameras.

IKEA Place App
via IKEA

On the other hand, VR enables designers to create fully immersive environments for games, virtual events, or simulations. This includes everything from realistic architectural walkthroughs to fantastical landscapes for entertainment.

VR offers new opportunities in UX design, requiring designers to consider spatial navigation, 3D interaction, and multisensory experiences in their creations.

3. 3D design and printing

Collectively known as additive manufacturing, 3D design, and printing involve creating three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file.

The process begins with 3D design, where designers use specialized software to model objects in three dimensions. This digital model serves as a blueprint for the 3D printer.

The printing process includes layering materials such as plastic, metal, or resin where needed based on the digital design to construct the 3D object.

3D design and printing reduce waste and enable more complex and custom shapes that might not be feasible with other manufacturing techniques.

In recent years, this trend has expanded to new sectors such as biomedicine, where it’s used for designing and printing custom prosthetics and tissue engineering, as well as in construction, where it’s used for prototyping and manufacturing building components.

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

How to Manage Your Graphic Design Team

We hope that these graphic design trends will help your design team find new inspiration for their creative work. 

However, merely drawing inspiration isn’t nearly enough. From brainstorming innovative ideas and interpreting design briefs to crafting unique designs that resonate with your target audience, your design team undertakes many responsibilities.

You need the right tools and strategies to improve designer productivity and meet team goals. Here’s how to do it.

1. Establish clear design guidelines and objectives

Organize all the elements of your brand identity in one place with the ClickUp Brand Guidelines Template

Clearly defined brand guidelines and a distinct visual identity help keep all your design projects in tune with your brand aesthetic. 

These guidelines should encompass your brand’s color schemes, fonts, typography, and overall ‘look’ to help your design team understand the vision and objectives you’re trying to achieve.

For example, a comprehensive style guide for a new branding project would detail the color palette, font choices, logo usage, and imagery styles.

This could be a reference point for all related design work, ensuring consistency across different design elements and platforms.

Use the ClickUp Brand Guidelines Template to make this process quick and fuss-free.

Design Brief Whiteboard Template is used in conducting the initial briefing for a design. Easily fill out and share details about the design project such as client requests, objectives, and more

Use the ClickUp Design Brief Whiteboard Template to list client requests, goals, target market, brand highlights, and references in one place.

To keep your brand’s updated style guide accessible to the whole team, save it in a collaborative workspace with ClickUp Docs.

2. Encourage regular brainstorming sessions

In any creative field, it’s vital to have the freedom to study trends, bounce off ideas with peers, and come up with innovative solutions to business needs.

To spark the creativity of your design team, consider scheduling a weekly ‘Creative Hour,’ where they can present a design concept, discuss new web design tools, or an inspiring portfolio that they find interesting.

ClickUp Whiteboards are extremely useful in collaborating in real time. Brainstorm, add notes and images, and bring your best ideas together on a creative canvas. You can add context to your work by linking to tasks, files, ClickUp Docs, and more to get things rolling.

Put all your ideas in one place and work on them with your team using ClickUp Whiteboards

An atmosphere that encourages the generation of diverse design ideas enhances team bonding and facilitates collaboration.

Use graphic design templates to nudge your team in the right creative direction.

3. Implement efficient project management techniques

When managing design projects, regardless of their size, a robust system of processes can guide your team from ideation to execution and ensure that no detail is overlooked.

Efficient design teams use design collaboration software to track deadlines, define responsibilities, and ensure smooth project progression.

ClickUp 3.0 Image Proofing and Annotation Bundle with File Upload
Share documents with team members in the task and collect feedback on design assets without ever leaving ClickUp

ClickUp Design Project Management Software provides a centralized platform for collecting and organizing design requests and priorities, giving and receiving design feedback, and streamlining your design workflows. It also gives managers a comprehensive view of timelines and team assignments.

Get an overview of everyone’s availability, see what each individual is working on, and set individual and team-level priorities in your design team. 

This, combined with time tracking, sprint reporting, and workload views, empowers you to execute any design project efficiently and makes approvals and feedback a breeze.

4. Provide continuous learning and development opportunities

Graphic design is a constantly evolving field. Encourage your team to stay updated about the latest design trends and software by providing access to online courses, workshops, and webinars and encourage them to take up design certifications.

You could offer a learning and development budget for team members to enroll in online courses from platforms like Udemy or Skillshare and motivate senior graphic designers to attend leadership seminars. Alternatively, arrange a quarterly workshop where an external expert teaches the team new design techniques or software, such as design thinking tools.

ClickUp’s Design Portfolio Template makes it easier than ever to create a professional portfolio that stands out from the crowd.

Additionally, encourage your designers to showcase their upskilling and achievements through updated portfolios. The ClickUp Design Portfolio Template is perfect for this. It helps designers arrange their projects in a visually appealing way.

5. Establish regular feedback and review sessions

ClickUp’s Design Review Template is designed to help teams streamline their review processes

Schedule bi-weekly one-on-one and team review sessions to provide feedback on ongoing projects. This two-way communication process allows team members to express their thoughts and concerns, helps maintain work quality, and promptly addresses bottlenecks.

ClickUp’s Design Review Template can help do this efficiently. It helps keep all stakeholders on the same page regarding design decisions and provides teams with a consistent process for evaluating and approving designs.

Alongside, have monthly one-on-one meetings where you discuss individual progress, career goals, and any personal assistance they might need.

Summarize this article with AI ClickUp Brain not only saves you precious time by instantly summarizing articles, it also leverages AI to connect your tasks, docs, people, and more, streamlining your workflow like never before.
ClickUp Brain
Avatar of person using AI Summarize this article for me please

Graphic Designers, Ready to Captivate in 2024?

This is indeed an exciting year for design as the focus moves to originality and brand individuality.

Designers and brands are ready to engage and communicate innovatively with audiences.

Emerging technologies like AI and AR/VR will continue to do their bit in accelerating design innovation and complex visual communication. 

Plan, execute, and achieve your design goals as efficiently as possible with the latest design tools and techniques. 

Sign up for ClickUp for free and make every design project a success!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The top graphic design trends in 2024 include future fusion, 3D hyper-surrealism, heat mapping, inclusivity and accessibility, nature-inspired aesthetics, mixed media collage aesthetics, retro-futurism, retro pixels, experimental typography, and anti-design.

In 2024, graphic design and designers are moving away from rigid geometric shapes and embracing more fluid and abstract forms. Curves and organic shapes are replacing straight lines. There’s also an inclination towards earthy vector imagery and inflatable 3D that mimics the look of inflated objects with soft, puffy surfaces, a nod to tech-centric design trends.

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

Sign up for FREE and start using ClickUp in seconds!
Please enter valid email address