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5 Design Trends for 2023

Design trends are moving towards maximalism.

In 2022, we have seen trends lean into maximalism utilizing bold colors, contrasting patterns, fantastical feelings, and very little white space. After the stagnation and fear of the pandemic and the uncertainty of the world today, people are looking for avenues of vibrant self expression, individualism, nostalgia and exploration.

2023 will likely continue this journey into a maximalist era of design.

Blasts from the past

People take comfort in things that are familiar. Here are a few styles we may see in the upcoming year that draw influence from the past.

90’s Angst – Grunge

Grunge design is exactly that – grungy. This style, popular in the 90s, was tied to grunge fashion, alternative music, and against-the-grain, rule-breaking mentalities. 

Characteristics include:

  • Distressed textures
  • Torn paper
  • Collage like appearance
  • Mixtures of photo and drawn elements
  • Non-traditional use of type
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Ray Gun Magazine

Take a trip – Vaporwave

With Y2K fashion coming back, it was inevitable the resurgence would bleed into visual design. This style has an eclectic mix of influences such as classic anime (Sailor Moon), acid trips, Arizona Iced Tea, and surrealism.

Characteristics include:

  • Neon pastels
  • Glowy appearance
  • Tropical elements or city skylines
  • Glitch effects
  • Metallics
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By Dsorder

Turn of the 20th Century – Artistic Serifs

The popular artistic serifs we have seen more and more are deeply rooted in the Art Nouveau movement from the 1890s-1910s. This isn’t the first time this type style has come back around either, in the 1960s-1970s the hippie movement drew inspiration from the swirling, floral, nature inspired motifs and fonts from the art nouveau era. 

Characteristics include:

  • High contrast of line weight
  • Flowing lines
  • Organic shapes
  • Fine lines
  • Nature inspired decoration
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By Noah Holcomb

Moving Forward

While some trends may be rooted in nostalgia, others are looking forward. The increasingly digital nature and progression of technology have given designers the motive and tools to explore.

Futuristic/Metaverse

Lends itself well to the support of digital environments and VR. This style uses a combination of 3D modeled assets, photography, and futuristic type.

Characteristics include:

  • 3D Modeled elements and figures
  • Futuristic appearance
  • Sci-fi  feeling
  • Cyan/Magenta or RGB accent colors
  • Digital interface effects
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By Studio Angello Torres

Black out

The more time we spend on our devices the more we exhaust our eyes by staring at white screens. White backgrounds on apps, websites, and software have been the norm for years because it mimics the look of what it replaces, text on paper. It’s been found that dark backgrounds in the digital world, while giving the feeling of luxury and mystery, also are kinder on your eyes. We have already seen a movement towards dark backgrounds in apps and will be seeing more on websites and software.

Characteristics include:

  • Dark backgrounds
  • Light text and features
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