The String Figures Creative Blog

The String Figures Creative Blog

10 Design Trends For 2021

This year may not have gone the way people wanted, but it had a lot of influence on designs. For that reason, the designs that we've been seeing may very well make their way into 2021.

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10 Design Trends For 2021

This year may not have gone the way people wanted, but it had a lot of influence on designs. For that reason, the designs that we've been seeing may very well make their way into 2021.

Knowing incoming design trends are important to stay on top and making sure that you’re keeping your audience engaged. Designers worldwide are trying to keep their followers reeled in by knowing the 10 design trends for 2021.

2020 so far, has been a strange year for everyone, especially for the online community. Lockdowns and quarantining have definitely caused people to think outside of the box. This year may not have gone the way people wanted, but it had a lot of influence on designs. For that reason, the designs that we’ve been seeing may very well make their way into 2021.

Check out what the 10 design trends for 2021 will look like.

1. 3D Design

Example by digital artist Yugal Odhrani (@yugxl, website)

Throughout 2020, 3D design has been making a large appearance on social media. Designers are starting to create 3D designs that very life-like, hyper-real, and at times futuristic. People are finding creative ways to combine photos or flat illustrations with 3D designs.

2. Fine Art Infusion

There used to be a distinction between fine art and design.
2020 has proven that the fine line between the two has been blurred, and we’re seeing incredible results. The use of acrylic paints or watercolors gives off the feeling of “classy” or “tasteful.”

This design trend can be seen on various consumer items like wine bottles, beer, and iPhone cases.

3. Organic Look

Design by Lena Petrova

In 2020, the organic look was widely used across various designs such as product, interior, or even graphic.

The organic design uses neutral colors that represent an environment’s natural color palette. These neutral colors can be soft browns, beige and white, faded pinks, blues, and greens. The design style can be used alone or paired with brighter colors to make them pop. Organic style can also feel rustic by adding weathered and texturized effects.

4. Typographic Chaos

A-Trak In The Loop by DIA Studio

Typographic chaos may very well be seeing its way into 2021.

Typographic chaos showcases the importance of experimentation and going beyond typographic systems. The design style finds ways to push the limits of communication and how viewers perceive and react to the subject at hand. Typographic Chaos is a design style that manipulates text as a typographic image to convey an idea through poster design.

In short, this design has the ability to promote creativity and visual communication.

5. Monochrome & Duotone

Design by Athabaski

Monochrome and duotone have seen a lot in 2020 and will definitely see more in 2021. These two color styles incorporate a simple palette and can make a simple design powerful and impactful.

We’ve seen companies like Spotify use duotone in a variety of their promotions, especially their Year in Review feature.

6. Nostalgia

It’s important to realize that we see nostalgia listed on the top 10 design trends for 2021.

Nostalgia design focuses on taking items we already know and love and using the nostalgia of the old to sell the novelty of the new. Nostalgia is a strong psychological tool that gives our lives a sense of meaning and intent. It evokes that warm feeling that brings pleasure and comfort, overall found to be the design equivalent of comfort food.

To continue, many graphic designers have been reviving traditional and nostalgic design trends. Grainy colors and heavy lines of contemporary pop art and retro comics, as well as the classic psychedelic aesthetic of the 1960s, have made a comeback. We have seen the bold colors and free-form typography of the 70s style designs. Many others are bringing back the neon and cyberpunk look that characterized the 80s.

7. Animated Typography

Animation has been an ongoing trend in design for years, and animated typography isn’t anything new.

Designers are finding innovative ways to create kinetic typography animations. Animated typography is being mixed with the typographical chaos style, and it’s aesthetically pleasing. You can see these types of animation in various promotional videos.

More examples of this design can be seen here.

8. Elements of Nature

2020 may have a lot of influence on this design trend. People around the world have been locked inside their home for most of the year. With that in mind, social gatherings have dwindled and have forced many to find new inspirations.

For this reason, more designers are incorporating the look of nature within their work.

9. Bold Typefaces

Design by Supremat (Instagram)

With this in mind, bold typefaces have been making some big appearances in 2020. We find that this trend gives text personality and more of an impact on designs.

Moreover, designers are exhausted looking at light typefaces over the last few years. While light typefaces can be stylish in various aspects, they don’t have that communicative punch. As a result, bold typefaces are becoming an ongoing trend.

10. Diversity and Representation

Design by Becca Saini

Finally, there has been a big focus and response to social movements throughout 2020. These social movements include Black Lives Matter, mental health awareness, feminism, body positivity, LGBTQIA+, and more.

With these social movements, designers are starting to make an effort to include a diverse range of people and issues in their work.

Representing a certain social movement or simply speaking up for a greater cause has an influence today. We can see diversity and representation playing a pivotal role in designs in 2021.


In conclusion, we felt like these trends were may have a significant influence on 2021. While these design trends may be big in 2021, we definitely see bigger trends on the way.

You can see how some design trends influenced branding work here. What do you think the 2021 design trend will look like?

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