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Graphic Design Trends of 2021 Influenced by Covid-19

DOT Content Team
January 1, 2022
3 min read

A changing world calls for honest & cheerful graphic design trends this 2021.

To claim that 2020 was an unprecedented year can be more than an understatement. People and brands had to adapt themselves to the sea of challenges that the world witnessed during the course of the year. With the digital platforms scaling new heights in a post-pandemic world, graphic designers respond with more empathetic designs to counteract the isolation and anxiety imposed by COVID-19. 

Design trends often allow us the opportunity to reset and reflect as they usually mirror the experiences in the world around us. The pre-pandemic world saw the rise of sturdy & minimal sans-serif fonts and moody designs. But the trend came to a halt just like the rest of the world during the pandemic. Graphic Designers have adapted cheerful & nature-inspired designs to invoke a sense of calm amidst the chaos. 

Here are some trends that are dominating the graphic design space this 2021 & will likely stick around for a long time.  

Graphic Design Trends That Matter! 

Happy and Colorful 

graphic design trend

After a year of bad news, unrest & negative imagery, people crave designs that make them feel happy. To restore some of the harmony – vibrant, playful & colourful designs are relevant in recent days. There is a general desire to be uplifted, which is achieved through this clever & conscious design trend. 


With the newfound appreciation for nature & the great outdoors, designs that resonate with this sentiment are all the rage this season. Earthy & environment-conscious designs consisting of organic shapes & muted colors with hand-drawn illustrations catch the attention of the post-pandemic population who are in dire need of nature walks & bicycle rides.  

Nostalgic Retro

As a powerful method to connect with the audience and as a grounding technique, nostalgic retro designs are back in trend. The people reminisce about the “good ol’ times” as designers are experimenting with vintage typefaces that blend bold colours with happy memories. Nostalgic typography over photographs & illustrations is also making a come-back. Nazar Begen, who is the Head of Projects at Crello, quotes “Artistic typography, maxi typography split into multiple lines and semi-transparent fonts forming various shapes are all on the rise.” 

Three Dimensional Renders

Eccentric 3D designs which blur the line between reality & graphics have witnessed an increase in popularity. With designers using the technique of Layering to create depth, it has become easier to make 3D compositions that resonate with people. Ultra-realistic typography & elements make the audience want to reach out & touch. 

‘3D design is still in its experimental space’ says Willem Stapel, the Art Director & Ceo of Willem Stapel Creative Studios, a leading 3D rendering company based in Amsterdam. An example of experimental 3D rendering would be the works of Leo Natsume. As part of the Huawei showcase, he combined photographs with three-dimensional renders making her composition stand out. 


Symbolism has been revived in the (new)age of COVID 19 – See what we did there! The mystical & mythical charm which symbols possess seem to fascinate the current population. The reason for this might be, heavy symbolization could possibly be an escape from the mundane to create a sense of connectedness & oneness. Whatever the reason might be, symbolism, when sneaked into a design, is attune with the graphic design trends of 2021. 

Rebellious & Fluid 

The increase in experimental & bizarre designs which push the boundaries of graphic design makes us wonder if this is the outcome of the recent longing for freedom experienced all across the world. Creative visual tensions backed by asymmetric fluidity seem to grab attention. Bigger corporations & brands seem to endorse this trend of ‘breaking the rules’. Michal Sloboda, an experimental visual designer says, “What we were first taught not to do, we now do by intention”. And this is a good thing because it means people are embracing imperfection. 

Rooted in Authenticity 

Consumers are now prioritizing organic designs, which reflect honesty & authenticity. Designs that are relatable & care about the community seem to be the need of the hour. And brands have responded with eco-conscious, sustainable & minimal designs which invoke a sense of belonging. For example, lifestyle brand Uber is softening up their digital look by using simple and approachable typography with circular letterforms, lesser capitals and clean icons. 


From uber-minimalism to breaking all the rules, graphic design trends of 2021 seem to be on opposite sides of the spectrum. These exciting trends emerged as the outcome of similar extremities existing in the world today. The visual messages created by the designers mimic the cultural & social movements. As the world takes unpredictable twists and turns, it won’t be long before design follows. 

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