As we dive deeper into the 20s, the impact of the pandemic will continue to influence graphic design trends for years to come.

The past year’s events paved the way for psychedelic design reimagined, bold and experimental designs fueled by a clamor for change and intentional communication.

We also saw how social media presence is crucial for brand survival and how the desire for brands to be authentic is stronger than ever.

At the same time, there’s been a visible movement toward inclusivity. Brands are backing up their statements and messaging with facts and statistics. Graphic design has shifted its focus to being purposeful and intentional.

As we dive into four key themes that are helping illustrate this era in design, we’ll also share ideas and inspiration for applying these trends to your presentations, infographics and social media content to bring intentional design to the forefront.

Inclusive Design

INCLUSIVE DESIGN

With 7.753 billion people on this planet, your creative should aim to showcase as much diversity as possible in a product or experience. Inclusive design creates a positive user experience for all people.

“We know that images have a crucial role to play in how people—and children—view themselves and the world surrounding them,” said Dr. Rebecca Swift, Global Head of Creative Insight at Getty Images.

Inclusive design is a design method that strives to create products and experiences that consider all forms of human diversity. This usually involves considering many different identity-based factors that include:

  • Ethnicity
  • Ability
  • Language
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Culture

WAYS TO INCORPORATE

  • Embrace bigger typography. Larger typography makes content easier to read for everyone – particularly those of us who primarily consume content on our smartphones.
  • Present information in multiple ways. Closed captions on videos, transcripts for podcasts and visual representations of text content can make information more accessible to all.
  • Keep color in mind. Explore a few of our favorite tools below.

Data Visualization

DATA VISUALIZATION

As a data-driven agency, we know the value of strong data visualizations. Looking at a slew of numbers and stats can be difficult to digest. Displaying data in a logical, easy-to-understand way can help effectively apply your learnings.

Data visualization is about representing data in a visual context, such as a chart or a map, to help anyone viewing it better understand the significance of that data.

Explore: GOV | DNA

WAYS TO INCORPORATE

When determining how you’ll visualize your data, keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Choose the best visuals for your data and its purpose.
  • Ensure your data is easily understandable and viewable.
  • Offer necessary context for your audience in and around your visuals.
  • Keep your visuals as straightforward as possible.
  • Educate your audience with your visuals.

Nostalgia

NOSTALGIA

Over the past year or two, nostalgia has begun to creep into many facets of daily life – fashion and furniture, brand identities and even the music we stream.

During what has been the most uncertain and unsettling two years most of us have ever experienced, we’ve watched brands and designers seek out a sense of comfort by reinventing the familiar. Scientifically, it makes sense as psychologists have found that reminiscing can help people cope with crises.

Nostalgia is one of the most effective marketing techniques because simply put, our memories are unique and irreplaceable. Using nostalgia is the trigger that brings those memories and emotions back. Put on your rose-colored glasses as we long for the past in the designs around us.

WAYS TO INCORPORATE

Incorporate style techniques such as:

  • 8-bit illustration
  • Memphis design patterns
  • Groovial aesthetic
  • The right typeface can transport you to another decade – don’t forget this.

Metaverse

METAVERSE

It only makes sense to round out 2022 design trends with the Metaverse. Discussion of the Metaverse is everywhere in today’s technology landscape, from Nike purchasing a virtual shoe company to the transformation of Facebook.

Artificial intelligence is changing the game for marketing. It’s an idea that’s very new to most, but it is believed the Metaverse could transform the way we interact online, how brands communicate and how we experience major events. The web has become as much a part of real life as the physical world. And while we’ve made significant progress since the world began rapidly changing in early 2020, it’s unlikely that we will return to “normal” conditions of life – the hybrid environment is here to stay.

WAYS TO INCORPORATE

Ways to prep for the metaverse:

  • Voice search – this includes open-domain keyword query on any information on the Internet.
  • Interactive design – the architects of all digital experiences.
  • Invest in AR and VR.

With design playing such an influential role in everything we do as communicators, it’s crucial to stay connected to the trends impacting the world around us. Subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates on the latest industry trends, insights and applications.

Ashley DuPuy Mancuso is Associate Creative Director at Franco.