Graphic design trends: What to look for in 2017


2016 may be remembered as the year the 80s and 90s returned, as we saw a slight design shift from clean, minimal fonts toward ones that made bold statements. Trend predictions figured the year would bring a more “punk” design style, though it may not have fully delivered on that front.

As we look ahead to 2017, it seems that graphic design will see a mix of new trends and a further continuation of old ones. It is important to note that trends don’t often simply fade in and out with the calendar year. Rather, they come and go, first introduced and rising to popularity slowly, changing form over time and shifting to adapt to new styles, before eventually fizzling out altogether. That being said, following design trends from year to year is a great way to keep your brand up to date.

Here are our predictions for what you’ll see by way of graphic design trends in 2017.

1. Modern Retro Style

An echo of the 80s and 90s inspired fonts from 2016, this next year will see a continued typography trend of modern retro style. This style is defined as modern flare added to retro typefaces, often stirring up nostalgia in older audiences and provides them with a better emotional connection to the product being advertised by the design. This type of design often features fun, playful design with bold typefaces and geometric shapes.

2. Shades of Green

Pantone’s color pick for the year is Greenery, a springy yellow-green shade which the company describes as “life affirming” and “symbolic of new beginnings.” As Pantone’s colors often reflect trends in the worlds of art, entertainment and design, it’s correct to assume we’ll be seeing a lot of this shade in 2017. Specifically in design, Greenery and similar shades of green will be used to communicate a sense of freshness and renewal, whether used simply as the font color or prominent shade in the overall design. Green will especially be used in 2017 packaging design and as an eye-catching statement in advertising.

3. Illustrated Images

Hand drawn images used in design are coming back into style this year. These give designer’s work a soft, nostalgic feel. Illustrations remind viewers of the human aspect of any design, often creating a bridge of understanding from concepts and topics that tend to be difficult to understand. While “indie” brands began using hand drawn images in 2016, this year will bring the trend into mainstream design work.

4. Minimalism

The clean lines, neutral tones and simple fonts of minimalism that we’ve seen in many aspects of fashion and design trends in recent years seem to be here to stay for graphic design in 2017. Minimalism itself is inspired by design trends in the early part of the 20th century and ties in well to mid-century modern style as well. This year, minimalism will prevail in the form of generous white space and further reduced focal points in design, despite the use of bolder typefaces that echo of the modern retro style trend.

At Imagine! Express, we pride ourselves on keeping a close eye on all the latest design industry trends and news. Catch up with us by reading our blog or get in touch for help with any print marketing plans in the new year.

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