Our top 5 Design Trends for 2021

We saw many trends in 2020, some for the better and some we would rather forget. With 2021 beginning we thought we’d share with you some trends we’ve spotted, took note of and can’t wait to put into action.

Muted/Organic Colour Palettes & Shapes

The use of muted colour palettes and organic shapes within design has been an emerging trend that we’ve been excited to see. This trend ties heavily with other minimalistic styles but incorporates a more welcoming, softer setting than what we are used to seeing. It is no surprise that people are taking inspiration from nature now more than ever.

Considering current travel restrictions, our own natural inclination towards the outdoors as well as the fact that Millenials and Gen Z, the most environmentally-conscious generations, are becoming most active in the workforce, it is no surprise that we are seeing these characteristics migrate from our real lives into our digital lives.

Serif Fonts

Serif fonts have been around since the 15th century and are known for their decorative stubs on typographic characters. Many Designers have conflicting opinions on this typeface but one thing that is universally agreed upon is that it’s timeless. It’s re-emergence every few years is expected yet never ceases to amaze us. The Serif font family has found itself among some of the world’s most iconic brands, Rolex, Vogue and Tiffany & Co. to name a few and this affiliation alone has caused the font to be perceived as a premium, high-end brand in itself.

The font is synonymous with tradition, trustworthiness and elegance but was put aside for more “modern” typefaces by brands such as Yahoo and Google when they rebranded to a sans serif font. It’s nice to see Serif typefaces re-emerge in popularity especially during a time when distrust and hostility are felt towards their industry.

When we see people using serif fonts lately it is often paired with the muted colour palettes and organic shapes mentioned above. This contrast of a classic style typeface with organic shapes and colours is securing the fonts place in today’s design world while giving your brand a reputation only time could afford.

Gold

The use of gold in design is nothing new. Coming from a print design background, I often used gold foil as an accent to elevate a brochure or menu design. With that said, I enjoy watching the use of gold emerge in a digital context as it adds a multidimensional aspect to any design. Gold in design is synonymous with luxury and wealth and when coupled with a minimalist style can add an interesting and unique element to any design.

On the opposite spectrum of this trend, we are seeing objects and products being completely submerged in gold. Having products dripping in gold is a great way to experiment with design and really adds a dynamic element which has been lacking in more recent minimal designs, not to mention that it is a completely unexpected trend and would definitely catch the consumers attention. We are uncertain on how long this trend will go on for but we recommend jumping on the bandwagon and experimenting in all its glory while reigniting this exciting aspect of design.

Geometric Designs

Geometric designs are a staple design style that has been around for years, however due to its surge in popularity it’s hard to deny that it is becoming one of the design trends in 2021. Geometric shapes are found everywhere in life, from nature to man made creations and they can range from incredibly simple to intricate patterns.

The possibilities are endless with what you can create, which is why it has become so popular. You can have multiple designs using geometric style, but due to intricacy, colour, white space and the shapes used, each design can be vastly different and evoke a different tone of voice.

Emoji Design

Emoji design is definitely the most fun design trend of 2021 on this list. Who knew that when Shigetaka Kurita, a Japanese interface designer, created the first emoji in 1999 they’d become as popular as they are today. Emojis are now everyday pictograms that we mostly see on social media platforms as well as messaging applications. Emojis allow us to communicate more effectively especially when we don’t speak the same language, which is quite common seeing as social media has made interacting with people from around the world much easier.

These modern-day symbols and icons create connections to people of all languages and cultures which is what makes them so powerful. Designers have been using emojis to express personality and feelings in a lighthearted way while also encouraging the desire to interact and respond with a piece of design. The use of Emojis in design is a great addition to this list for its variety and it’s incredible ability to connect emotions to digital design.

How much will design trends influence your design decisions this year?

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