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2020 Graphic Design trends

by Ben Harbinson
on 15 Jan, 2020 3 min read

It’s 2020 and a new era of design is upon us.

Although we are only a few weeks into the new decade, we have already seen a number of impactful trends burst onto the graphic design scene.

Here’s our round-up of the top 2020 graphic design trends to inspire your creative process this year.


Classic Blue

The Pantone Colour Institute named ‘universal favourite’ hue Classic Blue colour of the year for 2020.

Pantone claimed that the colour was chosen for the new decade to act as “a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence and connection in a time that requires trust and faith”.

While the shade has been met with equal praise and critique, we expect to see it feature prominently in design projects this year.

Pantone colour breakdown for Classic Blue; featuring classic blue sneakers, a water bottle, dice, a belt etc(Pantone Classic Blue Colour Spread)


Retro Revolution

What was old is now new. With popular vintage-inspired TV shows such as Stranger Things and Riverdale capturing the zeitgeist, there has been a resurfacing of retro design which will certainly continue into 2020.

Pulling from a range of decades as inspiration, we are seeing the return of art deco styles from the 1920’s, the muted earthy colours of the 1960s, the bright fluros and neons of the 1980s and a range of references from the early-tech 1990s.

Nike Jordans zero.3 campaign - 90's inspired

(’90s inspired Nike Jordan Zero.3 campaign)

Spotify wrapped 2019 neon design
(’80s inspired Spotify Wrapped 2019)

Art-deco cocktail book illustrations

(Custom art-deco inspired cocktail cards created by Thirst Creative)


Gold Foils

Thanks to advancements in print production metallics have fast become a popular inclusion in contemporary branding applications. This year we are seeing a trend towards a classic gold foil finish.

Typically metallics are paired with a minimalist design to allow the foil to stand out – however in 2020 we are starting to see more designers branch out using the technique to explore more experimental patterns and designs.

Complete skin business cards featuring gold foil logo

(Complete Skin Specialists logo by Thirst Creative)

Koko Black chocolate packaging featuring thick gold geometric patterns

(Koko Black rebranded packaging)

GIF of rotating Blanc Naturals serum packaging - featuring a floral pattern accented with gold foil

(Blanc Naturals serum packaging)


Creative Type

Typography has become an increasingly more popular focus of design throughout the last few years. Designers are now flexing their full creative capacity with type; evolving and building on previous trends such as ‘maxi typography’ into new and wonderful creations that we are sure to see prominently in the new decade.

Summer font(Samsonite ‘Born to go’ rebrand campaign)

Bold type features(Example of varying typography styles)

Canva 2020 typography(Canva 2020 trends type)

Samsonite - Born to go campaign
(Samsonite ‘Born to go’ rebrand campaign)


Custom Illustration

Custom illustrations are becoming a powerful brand-identification technique for businesses including digital powerhouses Mailchimp and Slack.

Custom illustrations provide endless possibilities for brand awareness; adding a personal touch to marketing material and allowing brand recognition to extend beyond a simple brand mark or name.

The tailor-made illustration trend is also allowing inclusivity to be celebrated and explored more, with businesses ensuring that their imagery reflects a true cross-section of society.

Various WIRE 2019 annual report pages stacked next to one another, featuring custom illustrations, infographics and colour palette(Custom WIRE illustration style created by Thirst Creative)

Mail Chimp custom illustration style gif(MailChimp custom illustration style)

Slack custom illustration style (Slack custom illustration style)


That’s it for our 2020 graphic design trends wrap-up. Have a favourite? Head to our social media to let us know.

Want to keep your design style on-trend? Contact our team at Thirst Creative today for help in implementing your design strategy and vision. Our team of talented and creative designers can shed some light on what your brand is missing and will show you the power of impactful, design-led branding.

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