Article: Invigorating 2021 Design Trends to Embrace

Invigorating 2021 Design Trends to Embrace

As we gear up to enter 2021, you might be thinking about what improvements can be made to your brand. An inspirational place to start looking is design trends. Whether you’re seeking a total refresh or slight modifications, we have rounded up five trends to recognize for next year. Before you start to think, “does it really matter?” Yes, it does! Design is more than just a visual dictator of your brand’s story, but is also shaped by how we consume information - especially with the continuous innovation and improvement of technology.


It is not too surprising that typography is the first trend on our list. With technology constantly improving, along with how we use it, it shouldn’t be a shock that typography is ever-changing too. You might have already noticed that brands are starting to make use of thicker, bolder typefaces. This trend will not be going away in 2021 and it is simply due to the fact that our screen sizes are getting smaller. Yes, most of us are probably sitting in front of our work desktop right now. However, I’m willing to bet that your most used device is a smartphone followed by a tablet. By using a thicker typeface on smaller devices, we are easing the readers’ eye strain while helping them digest content faster.

With that being said, a thicker typeface can create great hierarchy when presenting information. If you have an important strong headline, your typeface should reflect that. This leads us into the second half of this trend: thinking outside of traditional. For big headlines, try exploring typefaces that are decorative and creative instead of a plain serif or sans serif. Decorated with illustrations, geometric shapes, and more creative elements, artistic typography is certainly the perfect solution to grab a viewer’s attention.


Illustrations are another trend that we have been watching evolve. This upcoming year we can expect to see more simple geometric and line drawings in design pieces. Line drawings are a schematic, simplified illustration style. As such, line drawings are great for conveying concepts and ideas. They look clean, elegant, and unobtrusive. Even though line drawings can stand alone, many designers are now opting to incorporate them into their photography. This style is a great way to take a simple photo, such as a plain product shot, and give it a little more character or feeling. Overall, it helps to achieve a more informal, personalized, handcrafted, and fun feeling to the composition.


In the past few years we have seen the appreciation for clean, minimalistic design. However, this next new trend opposes the former minimalist movement. Combining several patterns in one design or having sections of pattern covering the screen will be the norm in 2021. Mixing patterns goes along with the theme of bold and attention grabbing, creating visual interest. This doesn’t have to be over the top and overwhelming, but does go against the idea of plain white space. For our brand personally, we love to pair the texture and color of rough ocean waves with the bold and simple sans serif font of our brand. In web, it is a great way to break off the sterile white (or other normal color blocks) of your website. A section of white with a lot of text divided by a pattern or close up texture can provide an interesting eye rest for the user. I believe this trend goes back to designers not wanting to be tied so strictly to everything digital, but instead reflects the liveliness inspired by the world we live in. Think about textures we find in the real world and those times when we used to clip, collage, and scrapbook.


A design element we are going to be seeing more of is monochrome and duotone. For those of you not familiar with the terms, monochrome simply means an image is composed of one color. Duotone is a halftone reproduction of an image using the superimposition of one contrasting color halftone over another color halftone. This is most often used to bring out middle tones and highlights of an image.

This trend is great for brands that have different imagery and need a solution for creating harmony. This is a brighter and more modern solution when compared to the classic black and white photo. Monochrome and duotone can create visual interest, speak more to the brand, and help tie imagery to the overall look and feel.


Designers have been taking inspiration from past design trends and reimagining them in a more modern way - from color, to illustrations, fonts, and everything else in between. This trend is a popular one among brands for a few reasons. It can evoke feelings of nostalgia, show hand craftiness, and in the case of a young brand, for example, communicate the perception that it has long been established in the marketplace. When consumers are familiar with a product and fondly look back on their relationship with it, we can capitalize on that relationship with a vintage design. Modern Retro design can put viewers into a state of mind where they’re walking through their favorite parts of the past, creating a positive association between your product and the consumer.

Just like everything else, design will always keep evolving. Trends come and go so it is important to make design decisions that you feel are right for YOUR brand. So what are your thoughts about these 2021 design trends? Are there any you are looking to embrace?