Back to Basics: Organic Graphic Design Trends

Ready to get back to basics? The Natural world is your oyster! Here are some of the top organic design trends and how to integrate them into your designs...

Organic Trends
Portrait for Kelsie RimmerBy Kelsie Rimmer  |  Updated June 14, 2022

What Is Organic Design?

Nature has been a source of inspiration for designers and artists for centuries. Deeply rooted in our strong connection with the world around us, the organic design trend is all about using natural, tactile elements to evoke the feeling, sight, and sound of being immersed in nature.

More recently, organic design has been influenced by sustainability and environmentalism, and organic textures, shapes and colors have become widely used across various segments of design. While frequently seen in product design, interior design, and industrial design, references inspired by mother nature lend themselves perfectly to the world of graphic design.

From botanical illustrations to eco branding and sustainable web design, organic design is incredibly versatile and can be integrated into almost any medium, style or technique.

Top Organic Design Trends

Ready to get back to basics? Let’s break down some of the most popular organic design trends and learn how to incorporate them into your work.

01. Neutral Colors

Replicating our environment’s natural palette, neutral colors are one of the easiest and most effective ways to evoke an organic, natural feel in your designs. In addition to the soft browns, beiges, whites, and greys that come to mind when you think ‘neutral’, faded pinks, blues, and greens can also be great additions to your neutral palette. When paired with brighter colors, neutral colors can also help make bolder hues appear more vibrant.

Neutral colors have become particularly popular for use in branding design, such as social media templates, website templates, and stationery. If you’re looking for some neutral color designs, check out this Instagram template inspired by the Autumn or this minimalist brand brochure.

02. Organic Shapes

A fundamental element of graphic design, shape helps us to express the form and nature of any object we’re reproducing. Precise geometric lines illustrate objects that are man-made and technological, whereas curvy, imperfect linework can represent more natural and organic forms.

Increasingly we’ve seen designers integrating organic shapes, objects, and lines into their designs, which can be contrasted with sharp geometric shapes, bright colors, and futuristic textures for a modern, dynamic feel.

Organic shapes can be a super effective addition to illustrations, fonts, logos, and product packaging. To integrate more organic shapes into your designs, check out these Artisan Abstract shapes by august10 or these Hand Drawn Vector Illustrations by helga_helga.

03. Botanical Design

In contrast to styles that simply draw inspiration from nature or incorporate organic themes, botanical design is usually a direct representation of flora in its natural form. Drawn in a realistic and organic style, botanical design often features a combination of bold yet muted colors, fine lines, neutral backgrounds, and natural shapes and motifs.

Reminiscent of the still-life style that emerged in the 1600s, botanical design is now frequently used in posters, branding, and illustrations, and is perfect for evoking an organic, nostalgic mood. To delve into botanical design, check out this Vintage Botanical Ink Set and Retro Botanical Set by kaleriia

04. Natural Textures

As one of the more tactile elements of organic design, natural textures are a great way to give your designs a natural, handmade feel. Paper, twine, and wood-based patterns along with botanical prints and textures are some of the most commonly used natural materials that can be incredibly effective for adding a more tactile element to your work.

The collage trend is a great example of how designers can contrast natural textures with digital elements to create modern designs with a hand-crafted charm. To include natural textures in your work, check out this Myaltha Lookbook by dirtylinestudio or these Organic Patterns by Youandigraphics. Or download some high-resolution dirt textures.

05. Back to Basics

Speaking of hand-crafted, as organic design continues to grow in popularity, we’re seeing more artists and designers dabbling in arts and crafts to inspire their digital creations. The rise of digital illustration, digital watercolor, and other artistic styles has led to a big increase in hand drawn and handmade designs. Despite, or maybe because of, an increasing reliance on technology, designers are seeking ways to go back to basics.

“Whenever I want to get back to basics, I like taking my creativity offline and making things or doing craft with my kids,” says influencer and designer Sophie Vine. “Before studying teaching, my degree was in graphic design and we were always encouraged to get back to basics if we got stuck creatively. I find sewing the most relaxing, but getting messy and making things out of cardboard, paint and glue is so beneficial. It makes great content, and feeds my soul.”

Apart from allowing designers to experiment with new materials, mediums, and textures, arts and crafts are proven to relieve stress, spark imagination, and boost creativity. So if you’re low on inspiration, consider taking your creativity offline and getting a bit crafty.

Adapting this tactile style digitally, many arts and crafts effects can be recreated with Photoshop Actions and Brushes, which can work particularly well for invitations, stationery, mockups, and logo design. To get a bit crafty with your projects, try out this watercolor photoshop action by Eugene-design or these Abstract smears photoshop brushes by jenteva.

If you’re keen to get back to basics, head over to the the Elements Blog for more content on watercolor trends, illustrator interviews, and how to draw tutorials over on Envato Tuts+. Or, for more organic items, check out our Earth Tones Collection below!

Check out our earth tones collection on Envato Elements

Love the artwork in this article? So do we! The feature image was created by our Design team using items from august 10 on Envato Elements.

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