2018 Graphic Design Trends You Need to Know

2018 graphic design print design trends color fonts texture maximalism

2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for graphic and print design.

Read on to discover the top five graphic design trends which will be making an impact in 2018, from color fonts to maximalism, and everything in-between!


1. Color Fonts


If you need to know about only one graphic design trend for 2018, Color fonts is it.

Color fonts, also known as chromatic fonts, are OpenType fonts with additional data attached in SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format. This means that color font files store extra data, such as textures, gradients, and colors.

In line with the trend for all things maximalist (see below), color fonts are over-the-top and bordering on bad taste. Above all, they’re meant to be bringing the fun back into design, which makes them a welcome departure from the rigours of minimalism.

As time goes by, more color fonts are becoming available on the market—you can find an ever-growing list on Adobe’s dedicated Typekit site for color fonts.2018 graphic design print design trends color fonts

Bungee, a signage-inspired color font by David Jonathan Ross


2. Animated Typography


In digital design, we’re also going to see the color font trend go one step further with animated versions of color fonts. These will bring an extra dimension of interactivity and fun to branding, social media content and apps in 2018.

Multicolore, a new typeface by Ivan Filipov and Vaidas Chmieliauskas, is available in both static and animated versions, catering to this new taste for lively typography.2018 graphic design print design trends color font multicolore 2018 graphic design print design trends color font multicolore


3. Texture in Print Design


The design industry’s focus on digital design has shifted attention unfairly away from print design in recent years. Not ones to be discouraged, print designers have been quietly and skillfully carving out a niche for print design, which makes it just as relevant in an online-obsessed world.

There’s something about printed materials which web design can’t rival—it’s the physicality and tactility of print that makes it an indispensable marketing tool for brands.

In 2018 designers will play up this difference, and be more experimental with textures in their printwork. Recycled and bespoke papers, embossing, foiling, quilting and high-gloss finishes bring an extra element of textural surprise to otherwise pared-back designs.

These stationery designs for interiors business Maldini Studios by Jens Nilsson is a perfect example of this luxe trend. The focus is on emphasising the beauty of natural texture and imperfections in the paper stock, making these into business cards you can’t help but want to pick up and stroke.2018 graphic design print design trends texture maldini studio stationery business cards2018 graphic design print design trends texture maldini studio stationery business cardsThe resurgence of fabric-bound books will also continue this year, with more cover designers opting for linen and wool textures in their designs, adding to the tactility and treasurability of beautiful books. 2018 graphic design print design trends texture maldini studio stationery business cards book covers fabric books


4. Maximalism and Eccentricity


There’s a sea change in graphic design at the moment. Tastefully minimal design suddenly seems a little, well, boring.

The worlds of fashion and interiors have already taken note of the new taste for maximalism, where Gucci, in particular, has experienced a complete rejuvenation by wholeheartedly embracing extravagant color, eccentricity and ‘ugly’ design.

In graphic design too, the mood for 2018 is maximalist, with designers starting to be more creative with color, embellishment and detail. Take your cues from folk design, retro styling and Wes Anderson movies to channel the trend in your own designs.

These UN ‘Peace Stamp’ prints by packaging design studio Stranger & Stranger showcase the heavy detailing, rainbow color palette and diverse cultural references that will define the maximalist trend in 2018.2018 graphic design print design trends maximalism maximalist UN peace stamps 2018 graphic design print design trends maximalism maximalist UN peace stamps


5. Line Art Branding and Packaging


Line art is the successor of flat design, and the style was popular across icon and app design last year. In 2018, we’ll see the line art trend move into branding and packaging design.

It’s a subtle style that instantly makes labels and boxes look cutting-edge, and it really sings when set in metallic foil against a backdrop of pastel colors. If you’re not completely on board with the maximalist trend (see above) this is a great halfway house. You can bring in lots of detail, and still keep the design looking simple and pared-back.

Team your line art illustrations with vintage-inspired typography to strike the perfect balance.2018 graphic design print design trends line art packaging chocolate anna

Anna Austriaczka chocolate packaging by Valeria Shaposhnikoff2018 graphic design print design trends line art packaging perfume

De 36 frågorna packaging by Martin Ohlsson2018 graphic design print design trends line art packaging pasta sauces stefano

Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione pasta sauce packaging by Agency lg2


Looking for more graphic design inspiration? Delve into these examples of the botanical print design trend, or take a look at our selection of fantastic stationery design inspiration.