In today’s episode, learn the top design trends of 2021 that will take your brand to the next level and have all eyes on you. The guesswork and confusion? Poof! Gone. After combing through all of the 2021 design trend predictions and recommendations, this list will cut through the noise and make sure you know what is really impactful for your brand this year. So sit back and listen in. Maybe you’ll even find the permission you need to stop looking like everyone else in your industry. Plus, you’re not going to want to miss the bonus colour trends of the year.
New here? Catch up on everything you missed in Season 1 and 2!
Christine is the founder of CL Designs and the host of Brand Party Podcast. Christine has traded in climbing the corporate ladder for climbing mountains around the world. She helps social impact businesses and nonprofits create cohesive branding, web design, and social content creation to increase your impact and sales. Saying no to dull and clunky visuals and yes to consistency, creativity and efficiency forms the core of her approach.
What to Listen For
What’s THE most important design trend in 2021? Find out how Just Creative recommends implementing this one. (1:01)
Knock Knock! Were you awake in 2020? You’ll need to stand up and use your voice for this design trend. (1:58)
Embrace your imperfect perfection (finally!) This one is a distinct look and might not be the perfect match for every brand. (2:37)
Ready to stand out? Be bold with this design trend that includes liberated, saturated colours that won’t have you mistaken for anybody else. (3:00)
Bright or Calming? Breaking down the colour trends for 2021. (4:11)
🎧 Thanks for listening!
About this show: As featured in Top 10 New & Noteworthy Canada & Top 10 Art & Design Canada, Brand Party Podcast will energize you to invest in your brand in new ways. Join me for tips, insights, and actions you can take to make your brand a priority in your business. My guests and I deliver honest, to-the-point advice you can implement RIGHT AWAY!
Partial transcription provided from the episode. Note: Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. It is posted as an aid to understanding the episode for those who may be hard of hearing or those looking for additional resources. Here's your 5 Minute Monday on your top 7 design trends of 2021 that will have you standing out! Minimalism It’s the most cited trend for this year! People are exhausted and need the visual white space to breathe.
Just Creative suggests to use clean lines and blank space with flat icons and illustrations paired with simple and clean fonts. Dark mode The Drum & Just Creative expect that “dark mode” will be used in more applications in 2021. Web Flow believes it’s the perfect dark backdrop to make design elements pop from the screen. 99 Designs says that the world is noisy and let’s be honest: Zoom fatigues is real Apple says that “Dark mode makes it easier to stay focused on your work” while Microsoft says it can help “reduce eye strain and improve battery life” while Google says it “improves visibility for users with low vision and those who are sensitive to bright light.”
Designs for a cause Taking a stance on important issues! Be a part of creating change in this world. The Creative Director (Tristana Le Breton)of 99 Designs says there will be more designs and imagery that depict a movement, or social and environmental issues to rally around issues & connecting with their users on a deeper level.” This means stock images and brand photography that actually reflect real, diverse images. Plus digital spaces on the rise with awareness to social causes and an increase in resources and access to more people. Hand drawn/intentionally rough elements The Drum and Wix have stated that there’s a trend for hand-drawn imagery and illustrations. 99 Designs anticipates that more designers and illustrators are making work that’s “rough on purpose” that’s alluding to visual authenticity. It’s intentionally imperfect that conveys a distinct look but is not meant for every brand. Simple geometric + overlapping shapes Wix explains it as “bringing classic symbols back to life.” You can convey this through monograms and abbreviations, or even this stained glass type look for logo designs. It’s powered in simplicity with these geometric shapes with a twist and is typically paired with liberated, saturated colours. You can layer to create a sense of depth and overlap elements. Cartoon/portraiture Make that human emotional connection with the brand. You can create that authentic, recognizable face to the business and help to reflect the diversity in media.
Use simple, flat illustrations typically with detailed techniques and unique traits to showcase your personality in this fun style. Infographics especially: flat icons & illustrations Over the past year, 3D illustrations were increasingly popular when it’s coming back to basics this year in 2021 with simple and flat. Data visualization is a great way to incorporate this trend into your visual marketing in an appealing way. Plus a bonus, here are the colour trends of the year: Pantone claims that the colours for 2021 are illuminating yellow & ultimate grey to convey the message of strength & hopefulness that is both enduring and up-lifting. It’s interesting because Just Creative suggests subdued colours which are often paired with black and white, adapting to the overwhelming landscape of neons that is “natural, safe, and soothing” after the chaos that has been 2020. You can try out an analogous colour palette where 3 colours are right next to each other on colour heel to create harmony instead of high contrast. Whereas 99 Designs states that expressionist colours are in for 2021 with “meaningful & intense” colours. Test out unconventional, non-naturalistic colour schemes with plenty of variation and intensity! 99 Designs loves 3D colours like the use of gaussian blur and gradients that are saturated.
I get it. It’s tempting to follow along and look like everyone else in your industry.
Sure you want to stay up to date and current but give yourself permission that you do not need to look like that pastel pink girl boss to be a boss. The average social scroller has less than 7 seconds to make that first impression. Make it count. That decision will be the split difference between you just getting by each month to surpassing those stretch goals you dream for your business.
Remember that these are trends. Understand them to break them. Trends will come and go. Staying true to you, your brand, and your values is always in.