The year is coming to its end at a rocketing speed, and it’s time for us to take a look back, remember, and analyze what has already been done. Perfect time for our traditional reviews of what’s been popular in design. This year we are broadening the scope and add one more design trend review for Blog readers, devoted to graphics and illustrations. Traditionally, packed with tons of design examples by studio designers. Welcome to check!
One of the trends in graphic design that really evolved this year is line art. Based on the popularity of clean and sophisticated outline graphics and typography, it moved to the next level, presented with more and more line illustrations and artworks integrated into branding, web design and printed stuff.
As for digital illustration, the year 2019 let the trend of broken proportions get even more solid positions. It started getting established last year, yet this year it achieved the amazing diversity of styles, plots, exaggerations or unifications, and visual metaphors. Such an approach is definitely effective in setting visual originality, wished so much by brands. Still, to be done harmonically and beautifully, it requires real artistic talent from the illustrator: to break the rules, you need to know them perfectly!
This year brought lots of graphic design examples and digital artworks based on dynamic compositions. Perhaps, the fact-pace modern world dictates that trend: we see more and more characters and graphic elements moving, running, flying, swimming, cycling, doing anything except standing still.
3D Art and Animation
The trend of graphics in volume seems to reach more and more popularity this year, covering multiple design tasks and goals. No wonder: 3D art gives depth and realism where it’s needed, allows designers to step beyond the limits of two dimensions, and sets solid connections to the objects of the physical world.
Gradients are still in fashion, especially when it comes to digital art. Thoughtfully touched gradients allow adding atmospheric depth to the image and create the original attractive style.
Visual Noise Effect
Visual noise seems to be one of the most popular visual effects in illustration this year. It instantly makes the digital artworks cozier and adds natural vibes to digital art.
This year digital art appears to step much closer to high arts than ever before. One of the ways to do it has been integrating the elements of surrealism into illustrations and branding. It definitely gives the outcome that is quite specific and out-of-the-box, so both artists and brands should be ready for all kinds of feedback. The comments and emotions on it can be either positive or super negative, yet there’s one thing for sure: nobody will stay indifferent. Isn’t that what people and brands strive to get?
Another popular way of adding classical art to graphic design is the primitivism direction. Yes, those illustrations that are referred to as “my kid can paint better”. Anyway, the ones that do understand that particular art direction, make fun and enjoy the best sides of primitivism integrated into digital art.
Flat Lay Art
Although we can hear that flat lay has lost its positions in photography, graphic design and digital illustration seem to not care about that. It may be inspired by the best food-photographers that still make special art of flat lay evolution, elaborate and high-quality pictures of workspaces, and many other factors. Anyway, due to a variety of tools, brushes, and textures, flat lay has got a new breath in illustrators’ artworks this year.
Nothing seems to be more harmonic and clear to the human eye than geometric shapes and patterns. This year, geometry continued establishing itself as an integral part of digital art and branding. Creative combinations and lovely patterns based on it are also very effective in creating emotional background and mood, considering the psychology of shapes.
One of the most debatable and popular themes of recent years is living with respect to nature and love for our planet. Sure, design, and arts responded to it diversely. As a result, we observe the growing popularity of nature motifs and themes in identity design, artistic elements added to user interfaces for web and mobile, illustrations, and animation.
Playing Off Negative Space
Negative space has always had great artistic potential, but it’s not the skill that’s easy to tame. This year it got trendy in both logo design and illustration, making identity and visuals artistic, unique, and eye-catching.
Limited Color Palette
As well as in user interface design, the domain of graphics made a step to creative experiments within limits and restrictions. Color as the most expressive and emotional factor of graphic design, for sure, took the top position in the rating of limits. So, more and more graphic designers and illustrators choose to provide their designs within a very limited color choice or even monochromatic palette.
Expressionist Shadows and Contrasts
Another popular trend in the digital illustration is visual expressionism achieved with high color contrast and exaggerated shadows. The artworks of this kind are always catchy and atmospheric. Perhaps, that’s the reason why such an approach is especially broadly presented in illustrations featuring landscapes, architecture, and interiors.
Recently presented Procreate functionality for animation may amplify the presence of one more popular trend: animating some details of static illustration instead of making everything move. Animating only some details, designers draw viewers’ attention to the specific elements or zones, let us concentrate on something significant, make illustrations more playful and lovely.
Glitches are still in fashion this year, so they are quite often presented in typography animation to catch even more attention to the most important detail or message.
Logo and Identity Motion
Motion applied to brand elements has been growing its presence for this year. Animated logos and identity details make the brand UI-friendly, add more interactivity, and allow designers to add more emotion to the brand image.
No doubt, it was the year of creative fun, sophistication, and diversity. Let’s open the new one hoping it will be even brighter, smarter, and obviously beautiful in the spheres of graphic design and digital art.