Graphic Design Trends 2023: From Anti-Branding to Vivid Minimalism

Ready to delve into the future of design? From anti-branding to vivid minimalism, here are the top graphic design trends for 2023. 

Graphic Design Trends 2023: From Anti-Branding to Vivid Minimalism
Portrait for Kelsie RimmerBy Kelsie Rimmer  |  Updated August 17, 2023

Graphic design shapes the visual world around us, impacting everything from fashion and interior design to social media and marketing. However, design trends, styles, and techniques constantly change as the graphic design industry evolves. So, with the new year almost upon us, which graphic design trends will dominate design in 2023? 

As we settle into a post-pandemic world, designers are looking to the future with optimism and taking a more innovative approach to digital design. We predict 2023 graphic design trends will showcase creativity, futurism, and fearlessness. There will be an increased focus on simplistic, stripped-back design, highlighting humanism, authenticity, and personality. 

Ready to delve into the future of design? From anti-branding to vivid minimalism, here are the top graphic design trends for 2023. 

1. Anti-Branding 

While ‘anti-branding’ may sound counterintuitive, many brands embrace this trend to demonstrate authenticity and relatability. Minimal, aspirational, and future-focused anti-branding is closely related to the “new eco” trend expected to dominate branding in 2023

The anti-branding trend often features monochromatic packaging, barely-there branding, and minimalist messaging; it’s a stripped-back that comprises everything from neutral embossed logos to handwriting and imprecise typography. Designers employ anti-branding to give designs a human expression.

“I’ve seen more and more brands deciding to base their identities on simple design and handwritten, imprecise typography,” says Ruby Rimmer, founder of The Brand Kit. “In some cases, brands are forgoing any recognizable branding at all! This ‘anti-branding’ trend suggests a straightforward, unpretentious company whose products are crafted by human hands and motivated by genuine passion.” 

While incredibly simple, this design style can make a significant impact. In the case of brand identities such as BARISTA and KMR DAMEYL, the plain black text and clean white background instantly communicate the information consumers need – without any distracting design flourishes.

Apply the anti-branding aesthetic to your designs with these simplistic cosmetic mock-ups from Envato Elements. 

2. Creative Typography

Words Matter by Andreea Robescu

While tech giants like Google and Spotify and fashion houses such as Burberry and YSL have simplified their logos with san serif fonts in recent years, brand designers and digital artists have simultaneously been experimenting with typography. 

“If you’re bored of Helvetica, there’s no need to worry,” says Janine, professional graphic designer and creator of Janine Designs Daily. “Experimental typography is all about pushing the boundaries of traditional typography and exploring new ways to create text-based designs. As technology rapidly evolves, graphic designers will use increasingly experimental techniques to create unique and eye-catching designs that stand out from the crowd. Experimental typography is worth exploring if you’re looking for something new and exciting to try in your graphic design work.” 

Words Matter by Andreea Robescu

Take these eye-popping prints by Barcelona-based designer Andreea Robescu for example. From her appropriately named collection ‘Words Matter,’ every phrase within Andreea’s work is saturated with color and creates an eye-catching silhouette.

“This year, I’ve noticed typography paired with grungey illustrations, collage, and textures,” says Ruby. “This fresh approach allows designers to add a distinctive, edgy flair without overpowering the visual experience.” 

To get creative with typography, try this collage-inspired typeface, Retroma Vibes. This font comprises newspaper-style clippings and old-school typewriter text to create a chaotic effect. Switch between upper and lower case, and sans serif and condensed serif, for a mix-and-match look that’s instantly memorable. To learn more about what’s trending in typography, check out these top font trends

3. Y2K Evolution

Trailblazer magazine - Y2K Design

The noughties continue to impact the latest design trends, and many graphic designers, artists, and illustrators are taking the Y2K Aesthetic to the next level. As a result, micro trends – like grunge, pastel and bubblegum colors, cyber-inspired imagery, 3D shapes, and metallic textures – are popping up everywhere. 

“As early 2000s fashion trends are coming back, so are Y2K design trends. I think Y2K will only continue to evolve in 2023, including more grungey elements, bright colors, grid backgrounds, icy-blue hues, and three-dimensional shapes,” says Ruby.

Trailblazer Zine – an independent print magazine – takes a trip down memory lane in its Y2K-inspired issue. The design features a collage of teen movie heroines, handwritten lists, and a kaleidoscope of turn-of-the-century tech – from Discmans to dazzling diamante-studded phones. 

Trailblazer magazine - Y2K Design

Pinterest even recently launched Shuffles – an app centered around cut-out digital collages – proving that nostalgia is still right at home in today’s futuristic, fast-paced world.

“Nostalgia design helps brands stand out among the more futuristic, high-tech brands continuously emerging,” says Janine. “This graphic design style is perfect for brands that want to communicate a modern sensibility without losing sight of their history.

In an increasingly busy and chaotic world, nostalgia provides a much-needed breath of fresh air. It is also highly versatile, working well across various digital and print mediums. This graphic design trend is unlikely to go out of style soon.”

If you’ve got the millennium bug, check out this Sweet Y2K Instagram Set to bring a noughties-era sassiness to your social media feed. 

4. Radiant Gradients 

Gradients are versatile, visually pleasing, and an easy, effective way to add color and texture to any design. While they’ve been popular for some time, designers have been increasing the heat with more experimental executions. 

“Gradients have come a long way in terms of what’s possible,” says Sean Feehan, Envato UX Designer. “This has led to exciting exploration and developments with irregular and multicolor blends among the creative community.” 

This experimentation has resulted in some super quirky and irregular blends, like this brochure for London’s ANTI FASHION WEEK, which features a dark pink, spray paint-style splodge. 

Multicolor blends are also having a moment, as seen in these sunrise-meets-sunset shades from Maison Gersaint. Throwing uniformity out the window, they appear to start in one corner and slowly spread. 

If you want to blend the gradient trend into your professional and personal work, these 30 Instagram templates are a great place to start. The templates make it super easy to combine shades, overlay shapes, and add modern fonts to make a statement. 

5. Vivid Minimalism 

While vivid minimalism was particularly popular in product packaging throughout 2022, the trend is now finding its way into other areas of design. The vivid minimalism trend pairs simple design elements with bright, bold colors, balancing restraint and playfulness. 

“Vivid minimalism brings a playful energy to a project without compromising on clean design,” explains Envato Senior Designer Keiron Lewis. “This trend juxtaposes minimalist with maximalist, allowing designs to retain sophistication while having a unique point of difference.” 

These hot pink and mustard yellow business cards from Surgente Estudio and Cul-de-sac Creative perfectly exemplify this trend, making a statement while retaining a sense of sophistication. The balance of ‘low-key’ and ‘loud-and-proud’ makes the designs simultaneously chic and eye-catching. 

Alternatively, this bright-blue line drawing on a white background from PLOUF is a simple sketch that oozes vibrant energy through the clever use of color.  Inject vibrancy and sophistication into your designs with this minimalist business card template.

6. AI Design

Artificial intelligence tools have made their way into many industries over the last decade, from healthcare to entertainment to those recently launching ai-backed design firms, and they’ve also begun to impact the design world. Text-to-image AI generators can now produce head-turning images and artworks using algorithms and data sets. And, in doing so, they’re speeding up workflows and opening up endless opportunities. 

Many design agencies have started using AI-powered platforms to generate brand work and marketing campaigns. So how can you use this cutting-edge technology to fuel your creativity? Enter a prompt into an AI tool – like  DALL-E, Midjourney, or Stable Diffusion – and see what it creates. A few keywords can produce an image you can download, share, or manipulate further. While results vary dramatically, it’s fascinating to see what AI can do. 

Some have raised fears about the software replacing the skills of real-life designers. However, in the right hands, AI could evolve in a way that helps the design community rather than hurts it.

“The explosion of AI in design is equal parts incredible and terrifying,” says Scott Wrightson, Art Director at Smack Bang. “We’re already seeing huge agencies like &Walsh playing with the DALL-E 2 platform to generate beautiful AI visuals for brand work, while Heinz used the same software for their recent ‘AI Ketchup’ campaign. There are, however, red flags – the latest being the decision to lift a ban on editing real faces, paving the way for hugely problematic content. 

Overall, we’ll see a rapid evolution of AI imagery in 2023. Brands will try to shoehorn AI into campaigns and projects because it’s the shiny new toy, so prepare to see plenty of rubbish on your screens! But, the best creative minds will mold AI and harness it to produce work we’ve never seen before, and that’s a pretty exciting prospect.”

7. “New Freedom”

The pandemic came with a whole host of rules and restrictions. But, as we return to normality, designers are experimenting with our collective sense of new-found freedom. This “new freedom” has resulted in positive artworks, bright, optimistic color palettes, and broadened design horizons.

“Designers are finding a new positive outlook post-pandemic which is showing in their work,” says Keiron. “Think optimistic color palettes, experimental type, photography treatments influenced by travel, creative progression, and individuality.” 

Bringing a ray of warmth to the breakfast table, this abstract artwork from Spanish design studio Requena combines primary colors and organic shapes to deliver some seriously sunny teas. In contrast, Pink Pony Creative has used mood-boosting pinks, purples, and oranges in this branding for The Good Company, mixing in tropical imagery reminiscent of happy holidays and carefree days. 

Explore vacation vibes with this travel-inspired graphic template from Envato Elements, or make a fun first impression with this colorful business card.

8. Candy Pastels

While vibrant colors are getting a lot of votes this year, the undying popularity of pastels proves that soft and soothing tones will always have their place. The perfect antidote to the garishness of bright and bold color, these sweet, cooling shades add an aesthetic appeal to any design project – from packaging and branding to marketing and graphic design.

“Soft, soothing, and playful, candy pastels are the perfect mood boosters,” Keiron says. “As digital displays improve and the richness of color increases, these calming tones are being utilized more across social media assets and web design. They’re the perfect antithesis to the bright and bold colors also trending.” 

 Microsoft Fluent AI

Skincare brand BYOMA combines baby blue, bubblegum pink, and sunshine yellow to bring a playful feel to their product packaging. In contrast, Microsoft Fluent AI cleverly combines pearlescent pastels, swirling muted tones, and tactile textures. 

Give your socials a glow-up with the candy pastels featured in these Instagram feed templates. Easy to customize, these templates pair gradient, pastel backgrounds and twinkling starbursts for a magical result. 

9. Foundational Diversity 

Diversity isn’t a trend – it’s a practice and commitment. However, the “foundational diversity” trend is all about brands making diversity a core value, and employing diverse practices across everything they do – including their branding and design.

As more brands and graphic designers actively seek to embrace diversity and inclusivity, we’re looking forward to seeing more designs showcasing diversity front and center – and not just in the short term. 

For example, the Swedish ready-to-wear brand Djerf Avenue frequently features people with disabilities and members of the BAME community in its illustrated mood boards and lookbooks – also pledging never to retouch images of its models. Then there’s Upwork’s “UpWeGo” campaign, which aims to connect and celebrate all shapes, sizes, and colors. 

“While highlighting diversity in real-life images and videos is not a new trend, it’s unfortunately been less common in graphics,” says Ruby. “In 2023, brands will begin to use illustrations, icons, and animation that are far more inclusive than in previous years, particularly brands that want to maintain a socially conscious image.” 

Make art for everybody with this Body Diversity Illustration Set or these beautiful illustrations of pregnant mothers. All are fully editable vector files that allow you to change size and color in a few clicks. 

That does it for the graphic design trends we’re predicting in 2023! For more visual trends, explore the latest and greatest branding trends to watch.

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