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Breaking Down Our Favorite Design Trends of 2022

color theory is one of the top graphic design trends for 2022

2022 has been officially set in motion for some time now, and with Spring entirely upon us, we wanted to look at what is currently blooming in the digital design world. Design trends are ever-changing, but staying up to date with what is new and upcoming can help your brand stand out, foster inclusivity, further connection to your target audience, and bring additional growth and value to your company. So let’s dive into some of our favorite design trends of this year so far!

Graphic Design Trends for 2022

Trend #1: Color Theory 

Color theory is an essential part of design work and building brands. The way we interpret colors can even be evaluated on a psychological level. Our brains connect certain colors with different emotions and feelings, so choosing the best colors for a logo or visual identity can be crucial. The history and science behind interpreting colors can go very deep and varies from color to color. For example, the color Green, which is a personal favorite here at Online Optimism, has strong cultural associations and correlations with nature, the natural world and is a versatile color as far as its use goes.

Some color authorities and color forecasters predict a Color of The Year to initiate the psychology and emotion of color into future design strategies. This year’s color is very Peri (Pantone 17-3938), representing personal inventiveness, curiosity, and creativity, which can be expressed through digital design. See where you see the periwinkle tone implemented throughout this year.

Pantone’s Color of the Year 2022: Very Peri

Trend #2: Multisensory Design

Multisensory design is just the way it sounds, using multiple or more than one of your senses to experience design. Expanding the way design exists beyond the realm of just one sense (visual) can be a creative reimagining of what we know as “digital design.” Alongside being seen, design can also be heard, touched, tasted, and smelled.

  • Touchable-Type
  • 3D Printing
  • Textured Print
  • Physical installations of Design Work
  • Food Art

If not used literally, considering multi-sensory questions like “what would my brand taste or smell like?” are ways to promote deeper ideation. In addition, incorporating other senses into design work can be an exciting way to push a design practice, brand, or project even further.

Trend #3: Inclusive Design

Inclusive design is less of a trend and more of a positive change we are seeing in digital design. More and more marginalized groups are represented in visuals and vectors of companies and brands. By designing solutions that accommodate the experiences, abilities, and viewpoints of others, design can continue to be a tool that continues to push people to be open-minded, embrace growth and broaden the horizons to what is possible. A fantastic showcasing of inclusive design was Snapchat, which recently integrated a new user experience feature on their mobile application that allows users to actively learn American Sign Language by spelling out their name and learning different sets of vocabulary words. 

Trend #4: 3D Design

Example of 3D Graphic

3D Design is another notable design trend of 2022. Being able to design assets in a three-dimensional space is slowly becoming more accessible to designers to experiment with. Adobe Illustrator rolled out some new 3D effect tools that allow designers to protrude and add three-dimensional perspectives to their otherwise 2D graphics. Our own office here at Online Optimism has slowly made its way into the metaverse, a quickly growing industry. The New Orleans office space was translated into a 3D metaverse space using Meta’s Horizon Worlds, allowing virtually anyone to visit and interact with the space. 

Trend #5: Nostalgic Design

The 90s are back! Work that connects with past visual periods has made a resurgence in the design world. A collection of bright neon colors, connections to our favorite cartoons and tv shows, and Gothic Serif fonts from the 90s are being used again to evoke emotions of nostalgia and longing for the past. Utilizing a nostalgic design or a retro vibe can bring a familiar feel to your brand’s visual language!

Expand Your Brand

Now you’re equipped with the knowledge of what is trending in the design industry in 2022. If you’re interested in learning more about our design capabilities or would like to expand your brand and reach with Online Optimism, reach out to us today!

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