Design Trends for 2023
by Darlene Veenhuizen
Why do design trends matter? They are basically a commentary on the pulse of what’s happening in the creative industry and pop culture. They occur in everything, from product design to book covers, and some cross over into fashion. A lot of parallel things are happening this year in both graphic design and fashion trends, so take note!
To stay relevant, brands should adopt at least some of the trends that are happening, however, stay true to your brand values, mission, and visual identity. There may be subtle ways, or a specific campaign, that you can use one or a few trends at the same time in an effective way.
Some of these trends have even been spotted right here in Bend, OR!
Let’s take a look at them:
#1. Modern Grunge
Hello 90’s. You are not just here for my jeans, you are here for my packaging, web and print design. Modern grunge is all about texture, deconstruction and use of neutrals and color together. Some are calling it Grunge 2.0 – it’s going to feature a feeling of punk, underground and subversive. A little touch of cool and handmade in your garage, with a photoshop finish.
Art by Nicky Laatz
#2. Warm Breezes
I don’t know quite what to call this one, other than a feeling of being inspired by warmer climates. A tropical air? It’s a combination of sunny colors, expressive type, and referencing the desert, the beach, or exotic destinations (Turkey, Morocco). You might be tempted to book a trip for spring break after viewing these examples:
Desert Rose in Bend
#3. Modern nostalgia
This one is anything inspired by the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. We tend to cycle through decades in the design world, and right now it’s a lot of 70s and 90s. Like I said before, this nostalgia is taking over the closet as well as the art boards of designers. It’s all about taking design elements from the “back then” and combining them with colors and tech from now to make something new.
Reminiscent of the 70’s – but also an example of Expressive Type (#6) from ZZ Design:
#4. Candy-colored palettes
There are tons of brands going all out with color right now, it’s fun and funky and full of personality. This trend is not just any bold colors, it’s more in the range of color that looks good enough to eat. Here’s some examples below:
Let’s not forget the Pantone Color of the Year! Super bright VIVA MAGENTA fits right in over here.
#5. Gradients of many colors
And while we’re on the topic of color, the gradients are baaaack. In a big way. Except this time they are taking multiple colors and doing gradients with them in ways that you might not expect at first. Here’s some examples of how gradients are being used:
Here’s another one from Rowdy Mermaid:
Another beverage, Kin Euphorics:
#6. Expressive Type
Expressive type is probably the most fun for me, and it can deliver a big punch of visual personality in your brand. Just a note that if legibility and accessability are of high importance, use this trend with caution.
Art by Sydney Janda
Is your type also taking part in another one of these trends already listed? Is it grunge, bright, retro, minimal or colorful? What are you hoping to convey when you use a certain font or even commission a hand drawn font? As you see these examples things about what thougths/feelings/images come to mind with just the style of the type.
Before you even read the words, type is already speaking to you.
#7. Minimal “non-branding” and very simple layouts
The next couple trends are a counter voice to the bright colors and expressive typography. This is the trend of “non-branding” where the packaging and layouts get super minimal and have a lot of white (empty) space.
Minimalist branding is also a fresh look at marketing by saying “This is us. Take it or leave it.” It can be tongue in cheek, sophisticated, sleek, and modern all rolled into one. Many people are drawn to this for the honesty of it. No frills, just facts and a few touches here and there of brand elements (if that).
Example from BP&O
#8. AI Design
I’m going to deep dive into AI and Design in a later blog, where I will post an article and interview with Heather Crank, of Crahmanti. But for now, let’s just say that using AI to generate design is going to be a big trend, and will probably not be going anywhere anytime soon. Designers seem to be the ones gatekeeping the generation of images for now, but anyone can play around with AI design. Consider the ways you post a reel or a story and pop a new background onto a green screen with your phone. This is basically using AI in design. Canva’s remove background tool, or photoshops stamp or content aware fill tools are all examples of AI in design. Again, more on this later, but just know that you’ve been using AI in design for a long time, and now it’s aiming to step it up, so designers need to do the same. AI is here to stay, and it’s going to revolutionize the design process.
Trends being used in other areas of design:
Are you interested in how a design trend can be used or incorporated into your existing brand?
Reach out to DASH Content Co to chat through our brand refresh process.
DASH Content Co.
Marketing, Strategy, Design, UGC and Content
115 NW Oregon Ave, #7, Bend OR 97703
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