The 10 Most Inspiring Graphic Design Trends for 2023
The 2023 graphic design trends set to make a stir in the year ahead include flared fonts, the metaverse and photographic branding. A generally futuristic mood sets the tone for 2023, with dark mode websites, liquid gradients and sci-fi logos tapping into the forward-thinking theme.
As we move further away from the pandemic, designers are seeking to look ahead with innovative approaches to branding, print and digital design. The graphic design trends for 2023 are set to showcase creativity at its most unbridled in years, with a distinctly digital and futurist feel to logos, apps and brand identities. Font trends in 2023 will also play a starring role as the keystone to brand identities, with distorted type and condensed fonts bringing unique personality to projects.
Read on to discover the biggest graphic design trends, cutting-edge brand trends and inspiring typography trends for 2023 as well as trending graphic design styles to use in your projects.
The 10 Biggest Graphic Design Trends and Branding Trends of 2023
To compile our annual 2023 graphic design trends report we analyse search data from across the web, look at the latest agency projects and hotly anticipated rebrands of the months ahead. We also research larger cultural and social trends that may influence graphic design trends and font design trends in 2023.
The 10 most inspiring graphic design trends and branding trends in 2023 include:
- Minimal Vintage
- Photographic Branding
- The Return of the Sans Serif
- Rich Jewel Colours
- Distorted Type
- Liquid Gradients
- Flared Fonts
- Sci-Fi Logos
- Condensed Typography
Scroll down to discover more about each 2023 graphic design trend and what’s trending in type, with analysis of trending graphic design styles and techniques for graphic designers, brand directors, creative agencies, photographers and illustrators.
Trend 1: Minimal Vintage
In line with a general move towards minimalist styling in print design, the minimal vintage graphic design trend makes a subtle nod to the vintage design styles of the 20th century.
The key approach with this trend is that designs shouldn’t look immediately retro or vintage in style; rather a quietly chosen colour palette or type style can reference a particular decade. We love the blink-and-you’d-miss-it wartime aesthetic of the KEW 3101 Coffee packaging, see below, and the clever nod to 1970s journalism with CNET’s rebrand, undertaken with contextual care by design studio Collins and the resulting website being a blend of vintage-influenced illustration and contemporary sleekness, with the flagship headline set in press-friendly red and suitably nostalgic Sentinel typeface.
Trend 2: Photographic Branding
Illustration has enjoyed a huge resurgence in recent years, but in the branding sector it faces stiff competition from photography, which will be used to give brand identities an immersive and human quality in 2023. A case in point is PayPal’s choice to refresh their branding with a ‘people first’ photo-centric set of campaign imagery devised by New York-based studio Gretel. In 2023 branding trends will steer towards photography as a more tangible and immediate medium than illustration, and one that translates seamlessly to motion video for ad campaigns and social media.
It’s not all gloom for illustration however, with more brands expected to blend illustrations and 3D graphics into photographic settings, creating a surreal or playful result. Think of IKEA’s longstanding ‘The Wonderful Everyday’ campaign (masterminded by Mother London), and take this kooky, human-centric approach into static ads or video socials.
Trend 3: The Return of the Sans Serif
After years of serif dominance the tide is beginning to turn back towards trusty sans serif typefaces, beloved by graphic designers, minimalists and accessibility-conscious web designers. Serif logos are beginning to reach saturation point, which is why designers are starting to find freshness in geometric sans or grotesque Swiss-style typefaces (or indeed, a more evolved version of the serif, see Flared Fonts, below).
Sans serifs not only curate a clean, minimalist style for branding, packaging and other print designs, but they also improve legibility and accessibility on apps and websites. As more brands tune into the need for digital output to be fully accessible, we can expect sans serifs to take on a more dominant role online. Look to classic sans serif fonts in the Swiss school tradition such as Neue Haas Grotesk and Univers, or take a quirkier sans for a spin such as Ginto or Everett.
Trend 4: Rich Jewel Colours
We’re starting to move away from both the brash neons of the late 2010s and the putty colors of the early 2020s, and enter a much more interesting and chic era for colour in graphic design. This 2023 graphic design trend encourages designers to explore the paintbox with more creativity and openness. While neons served an attention-grabbing purpose on early apps and neutrals provided a calming palette in the wake of the pandemic, the new rich jewel colours of 2023 are infinitely more elegant, tonal and sensual.
Inspired by 1930s palettes, rich crimson, burnt orange, forest green or powdery lavender allow colour to do the talking for advertising, websites and packaging. These are colours you want to envelop yourself in, with a cosseting and indulgent quality that makes them the perfect match for high-end branding or luxury packaging design.
Trend 5: Distorted Type
Stretched letters and knotted typography contribute to one of 2023’s quirkiest font trends, with traditional font styles given a literal twist with ligatures that knot, melt or fade into oblivion. This 2023 graphic design trend prompts viewers to take a second look, and taps into the Metaverse trend, giving your designs a fractured reality.
There is a growing range of existing distorted fonts available for ready-made twisted type, such as Cobya, or experiment with distorting conventional fonts by stretching letterforms or melting sentences into disappearing opacities.
Trend 6: Liquid Gradients
Molten and languid, liquid gradients are the latest way to give a spin on the long-running gradient colour trend. Whether glossy and oily or given an artsy edge with painterly texture, liquid gradients feel more liberated than their perfectly blended predecessors, and translate seamlessly from static to animated. These artful colour effects give instant interest to packaging and backgrounds, or why not lend logos and websites a sci-fi spin by dipping typography into a liquid gradient effect?
Trend 7: Flared Fonts
With serif saturation reaching breaking point across the branding board, designers will be on the hunt for typefaces that have a point of difference. Flared serifs are the next evolutionary step from serifs, merging the cleanliness of sans serifs with the quirky character of serif styles. A kicked out ligature gives shape and character to logo designs and headlines for packaging, websites or magazines.
Flared serifs are great for fostering a friendly and optimistic typographic mood, making them a great fit for family branding or children’s products while retaining polish. A case in point—Border recently replaced their traditional serif typography with a chunky flared serif, making for a joyful and pulled-together identity for the biscuit brand.
Trend 8: Metaverse
With leading tech companies backing the metaverse to be the next incarnation of the internet, it would seem we are not far away from being able to interact with others in this VR-generated online universe. In 2023, the metaverse buzz is only set to continue, and with NFTs, VR games and even AI fashion models filtering into the popular cultural psyche, graphic design is likely to take cues from this futuristic cultural trend.
In terms of graphic design trends in 2023, a creative interpretation of the metaverse will be conjured up with futuristic styling, including sci-fi typography, 3D avatar illustrations and Matrix-style black and neon colour palettes. Give photography a glitch-style effect to mimic an eerie deep fake mood or use dark mode designs for print and websites to make them feel more virtually immersive.
Trend 9: Sci-Fi Logos
As more brands look towards a post-pandemic future marked by climate change and ever-evolving technology, it’s no surprise that we’re going to see brand identities with a distinctly futuristic flavour emerging in 2023. For businesses there’s certainly an advantage in embracing a futuristic approach to branding. With consumers now actively seeking out sustainable, all-electric or tech-innovative products, brands that appear to be lightyears ahead of competitors will have a strong foothold in the eco- and tech-conscious markets of the near future.
Car brand Škoda’s recent rebrand is a case in point for futuristic design. As the business moves towards pushing all-electric vehicles, the sci-fi logo created in-house communicates the brand’s digital future, and pulls it into line with the identities of other tech-centric car brands such as Tesla.
Trend 10: Condensed Typography
Commanding, bold and impactful, condensed typography has always been a secret weapon for designers looking to attract attention even when space is limited. In 2023, in line with the move towards metaverse and futuristic styling, we’ll see condensed fonts and compact typography take center-stage on editorial designs and ads.
Condensed typefaces can have a slightly aggressive, in-your-face tone, so temper the drama with simple neutral colour schemes or go full science-fiction with black and neon.
The Most Inspiring Graphic Design Trends for 2023
Trends are not simply passing fads—these 2023 graphic design trends and font trends set the benchmark for designers to produce creative work that feels fresh, relevant and cutting-edge.
With futuristic design trends likely to make a sci-fi statement in 2023, alongside colourful liquid gradients and immersive brand photography, there’s plenty to get excited about in the year ahead.
On the hunt for more design inspiration?
Discover more inspirational graphic design trends, font edits and endless creative inspiration on our Inspiration page.