2019 Graphic Design Trends

02.01.2019 Articles
By Melissa Burke, Director of Marketing

When you think of a retail services provider, you probably don’t conjure up images of dapper creative types lying around Mad Men style on post-modern furniture, drinking a G+T in the middle of the afternoon thinking up their clients next creative campaign.  

While we are not your typical advertising agency, here at BDSmktg we do pride ourselves on being creative. Whether that means coming up with your next product launch kit for retail, or designing a pretty awesome Christmas card, we house a talented graphic design team who thrives on uber creative projects.  

Each new year our design team rounds up the graphic design trends they are seeing and we take them into consideration for our visual direction, partly ensuring we are staying ahead of the curve, and partly to educate the rest of our Marketing team. It can also be a very self-validating task. 😊 

If you don’t live and breathe the design world, you may not realize that design trends tend to last more than a year. Unlike fashion trends, where a new style and color pallete is launched each season, graphic design trends may shift a little from one year to the next, say from colored icons to line icons. 

For 2019, the major graphic design trends we are calling are: 

1. Gradients.

Gradients are not new to the scene, however they are continuing in popularity. We have been using gradients for several years here at BDS. What started as subtle grey gradients has evolved into bold layers of bright colorful gradients. Even photography is utilizing colorful translucent layers over a gorgeous image to add a layer of depth, with colored filters popping up on social media tools. Brighter colors such as pinks and purple gradients coming on to the market are reminding some of us 80s children of the Lisa Frank dayswhich has also made a comeback as seen here and here.

2. Breaking the Grid.

Broken grid layouts or asymmetrical layouts will also continue in popularity, especially in web design. This trend is probably popular in web design because it is useful in responsive layouts translating the design between desktop, tablets and mobile devices.  

3. Combining Texture with Flat Vector Art.

This trend will continue as texture adds interest to flat vector art. It adds depth to the images and can create a vintage feel and bring organic textures to life such as paper, sand, and stone.


4. Isometric Illustrations. 

Isometric illustrations will continue in popularity. Isometric, meaning “having equal dimensions”, are technical illustrations that lack accurate perspective. This method is helpful for representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions. However, it ignores vanishing points. They are perfect for city scenes, buildings, and other complex diagrams where a lot of detail is desired that can’t be shown with flat art. This trend is popular among the tech industry, which makes perfect sense because Behance states that this design trends was “formerly mainly used in technical and engineering drawings before it had been discovered by designers.” It is also a perfect design style for showcasing products in use-case scenarios.


5. Memphis Design.

Have you noticed the 80s making a comeback in design? Yep, so have we. These 80s style graphic elements have a name, it’s called “Memphis” design. As Just Creative aptly put it, “The Memphis design trend is a rebellion against strict grids, ‘good taste’, and meticulously arranged elements, often using patterns reminiscent of the 80s, Art Deco, Pop Art and 1950’s Kitsch.” It’s not our favorite design trend, so you might not see BDS putting this one into practice anytime soon.

Examples shown from Dribbble.com

6. Retro Inspired Art Deco. 

The Art Deco movement started back in the 1920s. We saw it make a comeback with the remake of The Great Gatsby in 2013 when even Tiffany’s created a line of Gatsby inspired jewelry. Iconic buildings feature the Art Deco movement such as the Wiltern in LA and the Avalon Theatre on Catalina Island. The Art Deco style continues to live on in graphic design as well.


7. Modern Collage.

The “Modern” or “Eclectic” collage combines a variety of mediums to create a montage piece. While the collage is not a new concept, it has evolved more recently in graphic design with experimentation that may include a various fonts, photographs, drawings and illustrations. A throw back to older times when collages were only able to be made by hand with photographs, art and typesetting, today’s designer can manipulate a collage digitally. This design trend is also helpful for when a designer wants to depict a scene that doesn’t exist. They can create that scene by combining several disparate elements together using collage.


What design trends are you most excited to incorporate this year?

By Melissa Burke, Director of Marketing │ 

*Unless noted, all graphic design examples have been designed by BDSmktg for previous projects