10 Amazing Graphic Design Styles [+ 2021 Trends]

Sumedha Gurav

Explaining difficult concepts through simple words.
November 13, 2020

In 2021, create amazing designs! Here are 10 stunning graphic design trends to watch out for. Share this blog with your teams and brainstorm ideas to create impactful graphic designs.

Your product packaging or labeling design does more than making a great first impression. It informs customers, establishes a brand's personality, and fulfills varied business goals. 
Therefore, to achieve the final design that works for everyone, teams should align their thinking and understanding of all aspects.

Before choosing a graphic design style, answer these 3 questions 

1. What is the product?

Understand the core product and categorize it into food, beverage, cosmetics, and others. If possible, add sub-categories as well. E.g, for food, sub-categories will include snacks, ready-to-eat, frozen, and condiments.  

2. Who is your audience?

Determine the demographics such as age, location, gender, and psychographic information on their interests, spending habits, and values. 

3. What are the technical aspects? 

Talk to the brand team, creative team, and the printer to understand production requirements including, material, color schemes, printing guidelines, and restrictions.

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Once you’ve answered these questions with as many details as possible, it will act as a guiding force to choose the right graphic design style for your product. 

While these design styles can stand on their own, we recommend combining them to achieve unique graphics. 

10 Graphic Design Styles That'll Never Go Out of Style

#1. Flat Designs 

Flat design style is currently the leader of the pack. Sometimes, it's considered as a sub-category of minimalistic design style. Flat graphics involve the use of minimal colors and eye-catching visuals.

Brands and designers tend to lean towards flat graphics because they are versatile, emotive, and recognizable.   

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Graphic Design Trend

After a year of uncertainties, 2021 will be all about increasing brand recall with customers. Before you follow this design trend, remember that using this style has certain drawbacks. With more and more brands choosing this design style, you might get lost in the crowd. 
Take a look at your brand colors to create illustrations that are aesthetically-pleasing and resonate with your brand personality. You can also use these illustrations for social media posts to improve brand recall.     

#2. Abstract

10 graphic design trends - abstract designs

Abstract graphic design style employs free-form shapes, texture elements, and colors across the palette. 

The visual language depicts a simplified representation of real-life imagery or shapes. E.g, in the above collage, the product packaging of Pari Satiss features a bold pattern to emphasize plant-like shapes. The dot and drop element in the logo represents oil and floral waters, which are part of the product ingredients.     

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Graphic Design Trend

Abstract combined with geometric and minimalist design style is seeing a resurgence. As abstract design style depends on individual interpretation, brands can use organic, free-form elements that either represent a message or to support other design elements.   

#3. Typographic 

10 graphic design trends - typographic designs

As the name states, this graphic design style utilizes modified fonts. Engaging packaging copy can establish brand personality, attract attention, and relate to a customer. 

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Graphic Design Trend

Typographic style is an emerging graphic design trend. In 2021, it’s time to communicate with your customers more than usual. The graphic design style allows the product to be visually-appealing and adds to the unboxing and/or user experience. 

#4. Quirky and fun

10 graphic design trends - quirky and fun designs


Design styles that are informal and humorous, lending a fun and whimsical quality to products. 

Think kid-friendly products like the unique Kinder-Joy packaging, cereal boxes with cartoon characters/mascots, or McDonald’s franchise-based Happy Meals box. Fun packaging also appeals to adults as it entertains and offers visually appealing graphics.           

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Design Style Trend

In 2021, this graphic design trend will continue to increase in product packaging. Combined with flat, 3D, and typographic styles, they can have mass appeal. It also helps products stand out on retail and e-shelves. When executed properly, it can make the product range go viral.

#5. Photorealism

10 graphic design trends - photorealism designs

Photorealism is a form of graphic design style where the illustration closely resembles an original image.

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Graphic Design Trend

Given recent circumstances, customers are purchasing everything from electronics to fresh produce from e-commerce platforms.    

Therefore, in 2021, think about showing photorealistic graphics of actual products (consumer goods) or the elements (e.g, ingredients for food and beverages) on the packaging artwork to give customers a glimpse of what they will be getting.   

#6. 3D

10 graphic design trends - 3D designs

The exact opposite of flat designs, 3D graphic style is characterized by the illusion that resembles a real-life object.  

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Graphic Design Trend

Rolling out a limited edition of a new product line? 3D graphic design style offers a differentiating attribute to the packaging and acts as a collectible for interested customers.    

#7. Organic and natural

10 graphic design trends - organic and natural designs

Organic and natural design style employs shapes, colors, and textures inspired by nature.  

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Design Style Trend

In 2021, customer’s will continue opting for healthier habits over harsher products. Lean towards nature-inspired design styles to visually translate your brand’s core identity.  

#8. Geometric

10 graphic design trends - geometric designs

This design style involves eye-catching and creative patterns inspired by geometric shapes. Shapes including triangles, circles, squares can stand as symbols or form aesthetically attractive graphics.      

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Graphic Design Trend

In recent years, geometric shapes have become popular design styles. With a mix of geometric and abstract styles, designers and brands can think differently. 

#9. Minimalist

10 graphic design trends - minimalistic designs


Minimalist design style needs no introduction. The more simple the design, the more impactful.

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Graphic Design Trend

If you think the minimalistic design trend gets too much attention, then we understand your hesitation. However, you can opt for a graphic design that stays true to your brand and doesn’t seem like you are following just another trend. E.g, the iconic Golden Arches of McDonalds on their takeaway bags.   

#10. Vintage/Retro

10 graphic design trends - vintage/retro designs


Old is gold, and that’s the whole point of the vintage or retro (short for "retrospective") design style. The glamour of old-world (in this case, 19th-century styles) is not just in movies, it’s now on packaging graphics too.  

Characteristics

Combines well with

Industries or Products

2021 Graphic Design Trend

2021 will be about moving ahead to new designs while keeping in touch with our roots and the past. Vintage-inspired graphic elements will evoke nostalgia and create special memories in a customer’s mind.    

Ready to choose your graphic design styles?

With global market changes this year, 2021 might be the year to jump back on the wagon. Brands will be looking to reach out and make meaningful connections. Customers will be looking for products that suit their new routines and lifestyles.     

Graphic design styles evolve and morph with changes in preferences, markets, and industries. However, in 2021, one prevailing thought is that graphic design trends will go in a more human direction.  

So share this guide with your teams and brainstorm ideas to create dynamic designs. 

Get started! 

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