With less than a month left to go until New Year, we were just thinking, isn't it about time we started to see people's predictions for the design trends of 2023? Well sure enough, the trends prediction season has begun.
So will 2023 design trends be the same as 2022... and 2021? Or is anyone identifying completely new trends on horizon? One of the first off the block is Envato, which has produced a handy video proposing nine trends it thinks are going to rock the design world over the next 12 months (if you need to upgrade you're working setup to be able to employ any of these in your own work, make sure you see our pick of the best graphic design software).
The creative assets marketplace Envato has published its rundown of design trends for 2023. There are a few familiar faces on the list – surely creative typography has been on trend for ever. I have the feeling that we've been talking about candy pastels and vibrant minimalism for some time too. But there are some newcomers in there too. The explosion of AI design in the last few months is surely set to continue, but what's 'new freedom'?
The nine 2023 design trends proposed are anti-branding, creative typography, Y2K evolution (makes sense, we pointed to 90s nostalgia as a big design trend for 2022), radiant gradients, vivid minimalism, AI design, 'new freedom', candy pastels and 'foundational diversity'.
Of course, design trends last more than a year and they evolve and coexist, so it's not surprising that we see certain trends crop up year after year. Gradients and minimalism have been big for what seems like for ever now, but the suggestion here is that in 2023 we'll be seeing more vibrant (and radiant) takes on these resources, with colours that are bolder, brighter or shinier). The candy pastel trend can easily coexist with these.
Anti-branding is also something we've seen a lot of in the past year or so, but it's probably true to say that we can expect to see more still in the next twelve months particularly among young companies seeking to show authenticity and eco-credentials through stripped back barely-there branding – Envato says to look out for neutral embossed logos, handwriting and imprecise typography.
As for AI, text-to-image generators feel little bit like a new toy at the moment (see how to use DALL-E 2). We have seen the tech used in some clever campaigns by Heinz and to raise awareness of environmental issues. Envato reckons it will become more commonplace in 2023, probably with some fairly bad results in some cases, but it may be that AI generators their place in designer
And what's' "new freedom" all about then? Well, Envato reckons that post-pandemic, designers are experimenting with our collective sense of new-found freedom, resulting in "positive artworks" with, bright, optimistic color palettes and expressions of individuality.
Finally, by “foundational diversity”, the idea is the incorporation of diversity a central value present in everything from mood boards to execution as standard, not as the norm rather than as a specific gesture. Envator highlights the example of the Swedish ready-to-wear brand Djerf Avenue's regular inclusion of people with disabilities and members of the BAME community in its lookbooks (as well as its promise not to retouch images of its models.
Time will tell whether these trends turn out to define design in 2023. Things can change fast. After all, the use of AI generators exploded this year, and that wasn't something that many people predicted in their 2022 design trends. For more inspiration, beyond passing trends (or the perfect Christmas present for a designer), see our pick of the best graphic design books).