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11 Graphic Design Predictions for 2018

19 January 2018
Industry News

11 Graphic Design Predictions for 2018

In the world of design and art, fashions can come and go in an instant. New techniques are discovered and visionary designers can inspire creatives worldwide with a fresh idea. Nobody knows what the future holds for sure, but here are some design trends we think we’re going to see take the industry by storm in 2018.

Style Trends

The overall style for a design piece is dependent on a number of factors; the designer’s personal preference, the mood it needs to create, the brand guidelines etc… But there are a few overarching style trends that we are expecting to see a lot more of in the coming year.

Mixed Media Design


Mixed media is a term you’ll have heard of a lot when used in the context of textiles and fine art, but not so much with graphic design. When used here, it refers to the combination of two or more different style of graphic imagery. As you can see in the example from Brazilian graphic designer, Doug Alves, you can mix photography with hand drawn illustration to create a very imaginative and unique result.

Modern Retro


They say that vintage and retro fashions always find a way to become popular again. Now, we’re seeing the return of mid-century illustration as you can see in this Siren Festival poster. In fact, the style has had such a resurgence that you can even buy illustration kits to help you achieve the mid-century look!

Corruption and the Glitch-Effect


What was once seen as a reason to panic that your computer monitor is broken has now become an intentional design act as in this t-shirt design from Threadless. Terrence Morash, Creative Director of Shutterstock, speculates that the corrupted effect is appealing for its “futuristic yet dystopian look and feel”. In a world so dominated by technology, is this the modern equivalent of distressed paint and faded photographs?

Double Exposure


Despite its modern feel, this technique has actually been around since the 1860s. Originally, this technique involved exposing the camera film twice to take in two different images. These days, however, it can be easily recreated using modern software. This ethereal, mysterious looking style has grown increasingly popular, particularly as album cover artwork, and we expect to see it branch out into other sectors throughout 2018. You can learn how to create your own double exposure images using tutorials like the one this example came from.

Hand Drawn Elements


Our next trend stems from a general movement towards more personalised, bespoke service. Throughout life, we’re seeing people move away from the clean and technical in favour of something with more integrity. This logo created by professional artist, Sally Walsh, is completely unique and will have taken time to create. In 2018, we expect more brands to request hand drawn work to appeal to this overarching fashion.


Once your overall style is agreed, you need to find the perfect font to compliment it. Or maybe the typography of your design is going to be the main feature. Either way, here’s what we think 2018 has in store for typography…

Colour Fonts

colour fonts.png

Colour fonts, or OpenType-SVG fonts, are a revolution in typography that’s ready to in the big time in 2018! Tired of having to manually set colours and texture effects to add some personalisation to your fonts, or composing your words letter by letter? Colour fonts are the answer! With these, you can easily write long stretches of text in creative, easily editable fonts simply by typing. Find more amazing colour fonts like the one above from the world’s first colour font library at Creative Market.

Disjointed, Chaotic Typography


Following on from the glitch-effect style trend, there seems to be a tendency to spice up text by slicing at it and cutting it up. As in the poster above, it’s almost as if half the text has slipped. Obviously, you would never do this for large chunks of text as it makes for very hard reading. It does work well, however, when the text is the feature of your design.

Typography as Real-Life Elements


We’ve seen a couple of examples recently where text has been scaled up so that it can interact with other elements in the design. This Mall of the Emirates ad is a great example where the people in the image seem are intertwined with the letters. You could almost imagine that the photoshoot really did include those large letters as props.


Finally, we couldn’t talk about design trends without addressing colour which is so important for setting the tone of an image. Here’s where we think colour is headed in 2018…

Bold, Brave Colours


No one could possibly deny the move we’ve seen in advertising towards bright, vibrant colours. The combinations can, at times, be a little garish and clashy but take a look at these chocolate bar wrappers and you’ll see that it works brilliantly. These unexpected colour combinations could be a drastic response to the very clean, minimal style we’ve seen previously. What was once the hallmark of edgy, artistic businesses has now made it to the mainstream and everyone’s loving it.

Gradients (a.k.a. Colour Transitions)


Ever since Instagram rebranded themselves with that gradient filled logo in 2016, colour transitions have been infiltrating every aspect of design! This trio of ads work show how gradients can be used as a background colour however that’s not all colour transitions are used for these days. See the example below of the wolf created with gradients. There aren’t many lines to mark out each of the wolf’s features, just the start of a new colour transition!


Multi-Colour Lighting Channels


Finally, there are some really interesting techniques being used these days to inject colour into photography. One that we’re very keen on and hope to see more of is the use of multiple light channels of different colours. To create photos like the one above, the photographer must use three difference light sources, each with a different colour filter on; cyan, magenta, and yellow. The three colours work together to create a white light in most areas but, where the model blocks one of the colours, you get some great, colourful shadows.

So, there you have our 2018 predictions for the design industry! Let us know if you’re expecting any other trends this year that we’ve missed.


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