Graphic Design

Graphic Design Trends For 2018

Are you looking to stay well informed on the latest graphic design trends? If so, you're in the right place.

(though if you're a tech company, things are slightly different, you should check out the latest design trends for the technology industry)

It's worth your while swotting up on this topic because according to Adobe, companies that prioritize design have outperformed the S&P Index by over 219 percent within the last ten years!

So, with that statistic in mind, we wanted to bring to you some of today's most popular graphic design styles.

Without further ado let's dive on into our top picks!


It comes as no surprise that UltraViolet is a trend to watch out for in 2018. The shade reflects the depth of space, as well as what lies beyond it.

If you want to communicate a little mystery and intrigue. Then your brand is screaming out for UltraViolet.

Any outer space motif invokes more profound emotions and inspires consumers to oppose the norm. So, you can expect graphic designers to continue this trend this year! Check out the artwork produced by Pantone for their Colour Of The Year.

Ultraviolet space effect colour
Pantone Colour of the year - Ultraviolet

Semi-Flat Graphic Design Trends

2018 is the year of extra depth.

Look out for long shadows- these are very in right now. They provide a subtle dimension to both images and icons.

This results in a softer look as opposed to the harsh effects of drop-shadow.

Semi flat design

Color Transitions

Throughout 2017, we saw the use of different colour gradients storm graphic design. You can be sure to see very similar trends this year.

However, colour transitions are now more likely to be used interchangeably to compliment flatter-style graphic design trends.

Expect this trend to appear in backgrounds and logos, sporting bright colours.

Umlauit IT Brochure cover
Gradient on inside of folder
Subtle colour transition for Cino Sinks

Double Exposure

Double exposure works together with duo-tone and monochrome.

This involves taking two images of different monochromatic colours and overlapping them. Usually, one (or in some cases both) of the images have low opacity to achieve a futuristic effect.

This technique works best with two entirely different images. However, designers can also use the same pictures and misalign them. Similar, to other graphic design trends, you'll see this style in bold duo-tones.

Double Exposure of Woman and Trees
Double Exposure of Man and Buildings

The Glitch/Destroyed Effect

The Glitch Effect is a rising trend in graphic design.

This is where designers deliberately corrupt an image on purpose. They manipulate the picture(s) to look as if an issue occurred while capturing the photo.

Similar to the Glitch Effect, the Destroyed Effect is a trend that ruins parts of the image. This style attempts to achieve a creative and modern look.

These designs were originally unwanted. However, they've rapidly become one of the most sought-after trends of 2018.


Cinemagraphs are a lot like GIFs, except some parts are still images while the other parts are videos on loop.

You've probably noticed these subtle animations flooding the internet, especially on Facebook!

Think of a silhouette of a couple holding hands looking out over the top of a hill. Now imagine the grass swaying back and forth. The couple and the hill are still, while the grass is moving.

This is an example of a cinemagraph, and you'll find more applications of this technique as the year goes on.

Coffee Cinemagraph

Responsive Logos

As in web design, the need to cater to all screen sizes -- widescreen desktops, small laptops, mobile devices -- is an ever increasing issue that graphic designers need to face, especially when designing a brand logo.

Responsive logos aren't merely a shrunken version of its original form. Rather, they should have different displays depending on the context. This is what makes them truly 'responsive.'

They may change shape, omit words, or delete illustrations. For example, a full logo could switch to a monogram or icon version

Prudentia Responsive Logo

Cropped Typography

The art of removing unneeded elements also applies to typography. Designers are now removing some parts of letters while keeping them recognizable.

This makes for a creative and modern look. It also keeps in line with minimalism, which is why it works best with other clean graphic design trends.

The possibilities here are endless. So expect to see this particular trend adapted to suit various styles

However, we predict that in 2018, typography will focus on big, bold style designs. We've seen designers opting for more artistic effects, coupled with extra-large font sizes. We also expect to see a rise in decorative and hand-made fonts!

Check out our smoke example and the logo from Hunter Design School below.

Smoke Cropped Typography
Hunter Design School Cropped Typography

80's and 90's-Inspired Graphic Design Trends

The striking colours and patterns we know and love from the 80's and 90's have circled back and landed in 2018. We're excited to announce that this will probably be one of the best graphic design trends of the year (in our humble opinion)!

Prepare for electric and pastel colours reminiscent of past decades - as well as geometric and abstract patterns.

We're confident this trend will dominate the graphic design world as the year progresses.

This style relies on the millennial nostalgia of the 80's and 90's; we're confident this trend will resonate with the masses and be the next big thing. Particularly, moody tones and colour schemes. This has already proven to work well, as demonstrated by how popular the release of Netflix's Stranger Things was.

When you combine the use of modern technology alongside a classic 80's font, you're onto a winner!


Photography has never gone out of style, and we won't see it going anywhere fast. Let's face it, photography is one of those graphic design trends that's here to stay- forever.

It's undoubtedly here to stay throughout 2018 because it's still in such high demand! Nothing quite captures the real word like a camera and talented photographer can.

Out of all the styles of photography, we predict that authentic and natural style compositions are what'll take the industry by storm this year.

We've already seen an increase in its usage. This isn't surprising when you consider that the sincerity of an unstaged photo often resonates with customers, consequentially making your brand more relatable. (As a side note, if building a reputable brand is what you're interested in - check this out!)

Everyone who's anyone has access to stock photography. Therefore, your photos need to look unstaged or have custom filters/image treatments.

On a slightly different note- what about combining both illustrations and photography? In short, yes. We think this will also be a massive hit this year.

Digital drawings sometimes even top real photos when it comes to aesthetics. Plus, this technique adds interest to an otherwise dull composition and gives it an "edgy" look.

Natural Photography In a Brochure
Photograph of a workman
Overlaid graphics on product photography

Isometric Design for Icons and Graphics

Although we still stand by our previous claim that flat design will remain a 'thing' for 2018, we've noticed some graphic designers starting to distance themselves from this trend.

This is especially true of web designers. Here we've seen professionals beginning to opt for isometric graphics (whether static or animated).

For those of you who don't know, isometric art is a graphic design style where you can project flat objects with layers on top of one another. This gives the impression of the design looking 3-D.

These kinds of shapes are a great way of adding dimension to a design without ramping up the load time.- Win-Win!

Isometric design

Color Fonts

Color fonts, AKA chromatic fonts, are all the rage.

These are just OpenType fonts with additional data attached to the Scalable Vector Graphics format. This allows the colour font files to store extra data, such as textures and gradients.

This style of font is criticised by some for being brash. Others have gone as far as to say this trend is tacky and in poor taste. However, love them or hate them, you have to admit that colour fonts bring a little fun back into graphic design.

With such mixed reviews, it's difficult to predict which way this trend will swing. However, it's certainly one to watch out for!

More and more colour fonts are becoming available, so we'll just have to see if designers take the bait!

Colour fonts animation


Last but not least we finish up by discussing vintage-style graphic design.

This was massively popular in 2017, and we can't see this trend dying out anytime soon. Whichever way you spin it, beautiful and intricately styled logos and illustrations are timeless.

If a brand's hoping to master the top-shelf look, then vintage is the way to go. It oozes distinction, sophistication, and communicates a quality that justifies the higher end price tag.

Obviously, this style doesn't suit every niche. However, if you're in the food or drink industry then you should definitely give this a try!

Historically, artisan and organic brands have had a lot of success with this kind of design!

Vintage poster design
Vintage poster design

Need Graphic Design Help?

Too many graphic design trends for you to handle? Don't hesitate to reach out and contact us for help! We'd be more than happy to steer you in the right direction.

Or, if you enjoyed this article we're confident you'd like the others posted on our blog.



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