What do motion graphics, retro illustrations and AI-generated art have in common?

They’re all set to become some of 2023’s most popular graphic design trends. Fueled by a paradoxical mix of rapid change and nostalgia for simpler times, these trends have been gaining steam with big brands, like Google, Apple and HubSpot.

But these aren’t the only surprises 2023 has in store. Keep reading for a breakdown of the top eight graphic design trends to try in the new year with lots of examples to inspire you.

1. Motion Graphics

It’s no secret, TikTok is all the rage with more than just Gen Z. Marketers and brands have flocked to the platform, due to its popularity and potential for engagement. Suffice to say, this has led to the rapid rise of short-form video.

But it’s not just social media feeds that are saturated with this type of content. Many of the top tech companies have been applying the engagement-boosting effects of video to their UX designs — mostly, landing pages and product information pages.

With brands like Apple bringing webpages to life with motion graphics, it’s safe to say this trend is here to stay. So when planning your approach to design in 2023, try thinking beyond static visuals to dynamic, scroll-stopping effects.

Check out these Motion Graphics packs from the Design Cuts Marketplace.

2. Bold Abstract Shapes

Just like mom jeans and chokers, graphic design trends come and go in cycles. Point in case: back in 2021, geometric shapes were everywhere. Now, a couple years later, bold shapes are back — with a twist.

Instead of sharp edges and angles, brands are using more abstract shapes. Think soft corners and organic ovals. From Spotify Wrapped and Trello to Slack and HubSpot, this colorful trend can be found in everything from social media visuals to product pages.

Try it out to add subtle visual interest to your designs, without distracting from your key message.

Get inspired by these  Abstract Shapes sets and use them across your designs.

3. AI-Generated Art

With the public release of OpenAI’s DALL-E 2, AI-generated art made waves this past year. And this trend is all set to grow in 2023 with notable brands like Microsoft riding the wave and releasing their own design tools featuring AI integrations.

It’s worth noting, this rise in AI-generated art has gone hand in hand with growing concerns over copyright issues and the displacement of human-created artforms. Though this is still a gray area, there’s no doubt this trend will intensify with new advancements in AI, like with new advancements in AI, like GPT-4, slated to go live soon.

Our prediction? AI will never be able to replace human-created art entirely — but it will become a common device in a designer’s toolbox.

4. 3D Elements

When it comes to graphic design, 3D is the new 2D. Again, technological advancements have enabled this development. It’s easier than ever to produce high-quality 3D visuals, like these examples which you can see in the IBM What if Campaign

From typography to icons, brands like Adobe and Later, are showing off their 3D design chops in everything from social media graphics to web pages. Also spotted: 3D characters promoting Humi, Salesforce and Intel’s products.

So capitalize on this trend and add depth, shadows, movement and textures to your next design.

Give these 3D Elements packs a try and get inspired for your next designs.

5. Inclusive Visuals

Inclusivity is a key feature in future-thinking designs. By adopting inclusive design practices, brands can help their audience appreciate the content they create and see themselves reflected in a business’s products and mission.

During our research, we found three main areas where inclusive visuals are growing: gender diverse representation, indigenous representation and accessible design. Each of these areas are key for ensuring everyone — no matter of identity, ethnicity or disability — feels seen when it comes to your designs.

So whether you’re designing for a personal brand or a company, differentiate yourself by prioritizing inclusive visuals in 2023 and beyond.

6. Surrealist Maximalism

Realism and minimalism are on their way out! Or at least, they’re less prevalent in the wake of the “roaring chaos” of the post-pandemic world. With people pining for freedom and wonder, surrealism and maximalism have taken center stage.

Already, designers are creating psychedelic images that aren’t afraid to make a statement and take up space. We predict this trend will continue to grow in the new year. Visual storytelling will get more imaginative than ever. The perfect example? Adobe’s social feed, featuring some truly surreal, maximalist images.

The moral of the story: don’t be afraid to defy physics or break white space rules, as we move into a new, larger than life era where self-expression reigns supreme.

7. Colorful Retro Illustrations

We’ve mentioned this before: 90s nostalgia has made a retro comeback. Again, this trend feels like a reaction to pandemic fantasies of easier days. Perhaps our favorite example is the viral trend of sharing Little Miss ____ sketches on social, like this one from Hootsuite.

But there are plenty more examples of brands kicking it old-school. From Google to Later, social feeds are infused with colorful, nostalgic visuals. This trend has manifested itself in physical ways too, with retro visuals making an appearance in signage, packaging and more.

So go ahead, take a trip down memory lane and weave your favorite memories into your designs in the new year.

Add a vintage touch to your designs with these Retro Graphics set.

8. Virtual Reality

The metaverse (as dreamed up by Meta) may be on the fritz but virtual reality is here to stay. In fact, the virtual reality market has undergone staggering growth over the past few years, supercharged by the pandemic’s push towards digitization.

The development of this industry is reflected in futuristic designs: Blade Runner-style image renderings, neon palettes, liquid gradients and 3D components, to name a few. This landing page from Meta’s Connect Conference is a good example.

And hey, you don’t have to be a blockchain expert or cyborg seller to get in on this trend! Try incorporating some neon accents in your next design, for starters.

The future is now

These trends may be for 2023, but leading brands are using them right now to get ahead of the curve and you can too. We hope this article has inspired you to experiment with one, two or a few of these up and coming graphic design trends.

Be sure to let us know what your favorite trend is in the comments below!

We have created an infographic, which will be very easy to share with your team, on Social Media channels, and even with your clients when you covering the brief for a new design project. So make sure to save this and have it on hand when needed.

Designed with Venngage’s Infographic Maker

Shane Barker

About The Author

Jessie Strongitharm is a Content Marketer & Writer at Venngage. An award-winning wordsmith whose passions lie in strategic storytelling. Jessie’s background in new media communications, psychology and technovisual cultures informs her written contributions to the SaaS space.

More Related Articles

Inclusive Design: How to Incorporate It into Your Design Process in 2023

Trends You Didn’t See Coming: 90s Nostalgia Has Made a Retro Comeback

Best Abstract Shapes for 2023 Design Trends

Best Colorful Retro Designs for 2023

Best 3D Shapes for 2023 Design Trends