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As we lift our hands to bid goodbye to 2020, we can’t help but feel a little relieved. After what has been a rollercoaster of a year, we seem to be finding our way towards some stability again. The digital sector is booming and looks set to do the same again next year. So let’s look at what we think could be the biggest graphic design trends in 2021.

As a graphic design agency, we have had, what can only be described as a turbulent year. With the lack of security for most, the design sector has thrived. New businesses have come to centre stage and each of them wants to stand out more than the last. So having thrown around a few ideas between our design team, here are our thoughts for 2021.

Summer loving… ☀️

Whilst trying to avoid a Grease related pun, we do miss getting a bit, Sandy. If there’s one thing we’ve all realised after having no more than a fleeting summer, been and done in a warm breath, we miss those hotter months. That desire will fuel more than a recovery in the travel sector once ‘normality’ returns, we’re sure they will also fuel the graphic design sector more than you would expect!

So what can you expect? Well, we would suggest getting ready for acid trip colourways flooding across the marketing world. With neon colours and bold hypnotic fonts being the desired aesthetic. Think festivals abroad, dancing in Ibiza as the sun sets, think summer loving and think happiness. This year will be bold, daring and innovative, so get thinking now on how you could get ahead!

Make it last – Sustainability 🌱

In the past year, how many more times have you wandered around the local park or woodland? How many times more was that number than the previous year? Loads we bet! Because as we all became trapped indoors, more and more of us used that glimmering hope labelled ‘daily exercise’ to see our local area in a totally different light. 2020 was the year of looking up at the trees and down into the streams below, and what all those walks have managed to do is build a sense of responsibility.

In 2021 these feelings will undoubtedly overflow into the world of graphic design. With positive packaging being one of the buzz design remits for the past couple of years we would expect more of the same. Whether it’s packaging that’s decomposable or packaging made from recycled materials. Thinking sustainable is key, and once again, being innovative and thought-provoking is how to stand out from the crowd.

The period of reconnecting with nature will be a standout factor in graphic design. Whether it’s through the emergence of more brands championing their social responsibility, or natural colourways like pastels and neutrals. Prepare for new products and businesses using natural imagery too, and why not, nature is the everyday aesthetic after all.

Remember the good times – Nostalgia 💭

The last one isn’t really a shock, as every few years, we see a full-blown nostalgia revival. 2021 will be powered by the desire of the human heart, trust us, this one is going to be big. As we have had to dwell on the past year, what we want most is to relive the happiness of years gone by. Nothing evokes the emotion of past happiness like a piece of nostalgic design.

It’s been comforting, to see our social feed in the last month or so become more filled with brilliant pieces of retro graphic work. From ’80s style fonts to stripped-back colour palettes. We’ve seen Apple introduce the colourless icon sets as well as the retro-theme set and if there’s one thing we’ve learnt by now, it’s if it’s good enough for Apple, sooner or later it will be good enough for everyone else.

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So, sitting here, looking forward to all that is to come in 2021, we would say that the graphic design sector is one that is quietly optimistic. We want to use all the experiences of 2020 to benefit our work in the coming year and honestly, we think it will. There’s a new life in the sector, one which is hungry for more and the graphic juices are flowing. One thing is for sure that in 2021 we want to build our relationships across the board. Whether that is through meeting new clients or speaking to the ones we already have on a more frequent basis. 2020 has highlighted that above all else we need to truly focus on our relations, as a business and as humans.

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