7 design trends we’ll be loving this year

Design should always be a major consideration when creating content for your brand.

With a year like 2020 under our belts, we think brands will be steering towards clean design and functionality rather than in-your-face marketing or shock value. 

Check out some of the design trends we think will dominate 2021.

Muted Colour

It seems that the past few years have been all about bold, bright and neon. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good burst of colour but the spotlight will be steering towards a more muted palette for 2021.

The Pantone Colour for next year has also been revealed as ‘Classic Blue’ which we love. A lot of us have had a rare chance to reconnect with home life this year so we feel that palettes that inspire a sense of comfort and warmth will be what takes the lead.


There’s no denying it – minimalism is here to stay, and with good reason! It’s clean, functional and stylish. Momentum for this design trend hasn’t slowed simply because it works. It’s become completely normalised and celebrated in all areas of design – not just graphic design and marketing. If ever in doubt, add some white space.

Muted colour and minimal spreads are an on-vogue trend

Flat icons and illustrations

Stock imagery will always be a useful tool in graphic design but reliance on it is lessening when it comes to branding and content creation. At the same time, the popularity of icons and illustrations is growing immensely. Be warned though, with so many free icon and illustration assets available online, standing out from the crowd can be difficult. 


We live in a digital world! Using kinetic typography and animations is a super effective method of engaging an audience on your feed. Keeping the gaze of your consumer has never been harder now that there is so much stimulating and well curated content vying for their attention. 

Animation is an effective way to stand out, and to convey your information in a memorable way. Since viewers retain 95% of information learned through video compared to only 10% when read via written text, we can see why it’s become a popular design trend and will remain so in 2021.

People based content

Storytelling has always been an integral part of design and we can’t help but find ourselves drawn to the content that resonates with us or evokes those feelings of connection – especially after a year like this one. 

People love the narrative, and to see the integration of a brand’s origins within its style and content is a creative way to tell that story. We know that brand’s who can effectively resonate with their customers tend to be the ones who get the sale, and it’s because the more people can see themselves reflected within a brand, the more inclined they are to purchase. 


Now more than ever, sustainability is weaving its way into the practice and process of all industries, and design is no exception. Ethically sourced materials, recyclability and the minimisation of waste are not new concepts, however it’s becoming increasingly important to consumers. In fact, this is why we see brands aligning themselves in a greener, more mindful fashion. 2020 has been an eye-opening year for environmental issues, and we think more than ever brands will want to be on the right side of change.

So when you start thinking about your design strategy for 2021, it’s worth keeping these trends in mind. They could mean the difference between a brilliant branding campaign or a lacklustre impact amongst your potential customers. Of course, it’s worth remembering that there are very few hard-and-fast rules when it comes to graphic design so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!

AUTHOR: Amy Flanagan

Share this Post