Graphic Design Trends for 2018

Keeping up with graphic design trends is crucial to remain relevant and, most importantly, seen in our fast-paced, digital world. In order to stand out, designers are siding with big, bold, something that makes the audience look twice, while trying to keep the message clear for the audience. Here’s a small sampling of what you can expect bursting from your screen in 2018.


Adding effects to photography and design will continue to trend into 2018. Manipulating images to look corrupted, ruined or aesthetically compromised will be a popular trend in design. One of the most prominent among graphic designers is the “Glitch” Effect, or manipulating images to look as if they’re being displayed on a broken analog television.

Glitch Effect

Contemporary graphic designers have tended toward the “Ruined” Effect, which includes scratching, ripping up, splashing or breaking the original aesthetic of a design or photograph.

Ruined Effect

Playing with color channels will gain in popularity, a technique which allows for an illusion of delusion and sense of distorted reality to an image. Double exposure duotones will trend, which is achieved by doubling an image or using two different overlapping images in monochrome colors.

Double Exposure Duotone


Rolling over from 2017, cropped typography remains strong in 2018. Cropped typography is the art of erasing part of a letter. It takes a lot of creativity to keep the readability of the font after erasing parts of it, but the effect is worth the effort if done correctly.

Cropped Typography

Chaos is king in 2018. The unconventional ordering of letters and words, or chaotic typography, will continue its reign in the font realm. Disregard your old habits of aligning your text right, left or center. Think of the letters as dice in your hand – give them a good shake and let them roll as they will on the page.

Chaotic Typography

Big, bold and anything serif is the name of the typography game in 2018. Gone are the days of sleek, slim and minimal. The design world is ready to get right up in your face. Use a big font size for emphasis, especially on a headline.

The Slab Serif

Negative Space

Negative space techniques in graphic design pack quite a punch. Negative space is the space around and between the subject of an image. In design, this element of “empty” space forms a distinct shape, so that both subject of an image and blank space around the image form a shape.

Negative Space



With so many screens overflowing with content vying for our attention, it’s tough to get your business’s message across to your customers. That’s why loud, interesting colors are making a comeback. Using bold pops of color can set your messaging apart from the competition. Expect to see more metallic elements, bright color transitions and gradients and the resurgence of ‘80s and ‘90s era color palettes and patterns.

Metallic Element

Gradient Transition

80's Throw Back Inspiration

Illustrations & Animation

Hand-drawn illustrations never go out of style, but we see a resurgence of them in 2018. Anything hand-drawn adds an element of authenticity to any design. Look for hand-drawn illustrations in tandem with negative space, 3D structures, double exposure and photography.

Hand-Drawn Illustration

Hand-Drawn Double Exposure

Hand-Drawn Illustration Over Photography

Animation, Cinemagraphs, GIFs

Video is crucial to any marketing plan. The rise and popularity of the GIF (graphics interchange format) has changed the way we interact on social media. Audiences are no longer satiated with pretty pictures. They need animation and video to keep their attention. To keep your audience engaged in 2018, incorporate animation, cinemagraphs and GIFs into you digital marketing and social media plans.


If these predicted graphic design trends stay true, we can expect to be captivated by lively and exciting design. There’s a balance of subtly and bold expression coming in 2018: Bright colors and negative space, still images with one moving part, the nostalgia of hand-drawn illustrations and ‘80s colors and patterns. How will you incorporate these design trends into your marketing or branding? Which of these design trends align with your brand aesthetic? Share your trend ideas below.

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