11 surprising graphic design trends for 2021

It's that time of year again. With the end of 2020 mercifully in sight, design forecasters have begun making their predictions for what the world of graphic design might look like in the year to come. And judging by the latest infographic, there could be some surprises in store for 2021.

Packed with ideas and inspiration for graphic designers, the infographic by design agency 99designs reveals 11 trends for 2021, along with a handy explanation of each. And the one thing that ties them all together is the theme of "putting people first". (Take a look at our best infographics for more inspiring examples). 

Graphic design trends

2021: the year of geese in suits (Image credit: 99designs)

According to 99designs, 2021 will be all about people and characters. From authentic representation, ensuring that stereotypes are ditched in favour of diversity, to irreverent characters such as "anthropomorphic sushi" (fair enough), apparently we can expect to see lots of personality in design next year.

A few older styles will also be making a reappearance, the company says. 'Symbol revival' will see modernised versions of classic icons from empowering Goddesses to stars and stoic lions make a comeback, while the fun world of pop art is set to be resurrected. Expect grainy colours and heavy inking aplenty (check out our art techniques guide if you're looking for tips).

In an accompanying blogpost, the company explains that "while past trends were driven by the promise of a new decade, borrowing from sci-fi and futuristic tech, 2021’s graphic design trends are putting people first." The company sampled opinions from its global community of graphic designers to create the list of 11 upcoming trends. 

This isn't the first graphic design forecast we've seen for 2021. Last month, Coastal Creative revealed 8 huge design trends for 2021. Check out all 11 of 99design's predictions in the full infographic below. 

(Image credit: 99designs)

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.