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2023 Graphic Design Trends

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In today’s fast-paced and visually-driven world, graphic design is crucial in capturing attention, conveying messages, and creating memorable experiences. As technology advances and consumer preferences evolve, keeping up with the latest design trends becomes vital for designers and businesses.

Design trends are always changing to match the evolving cultural, technological, and aesthetic background. A style that is deemed popular one year might lose relevance as fresh concepts emerge. Keeping track of these trends enables designers to remain up-to-date and produce designs that truly connect with their intended viewers.

Graphic design in 2023 will have several trends that mix nostalgia, technology, and modern aesthetics. These trends will include revived past design styles and new innovative techniques to guide the visual direction for the year.

  • 1990s Aesthetic
  • Aesthetic 8-bit Pixel art and computer games influenced art
  • Y2K Aesthetic
  • 1970s
  • Neon

By embracing these trends, designers can create visually striking and impactful designs that capture the essence of the times while meeting the needs and desires of their audience. Let’s delve deeper into each trend and explore the possibilities they offer in the realm of graphic design.

1990s Aesthetic

Image by Freepik

The 1990s aesthetic has experienced a popular revival, drawing inspiration from that era’s distinctive design styles and elements. While the early ’90s showcased echoes of the ’80s, such as New Wave and Memphis-style patterns, bright neon colors, and geometric shapes, the latter part of the decade truly defined the 1990s aesthetic.

Key elements and styles that characterized the 1990s aesthetic include:

Minimalism: In the latter years of the decade, minimalism emerged as a global movement influenced by leaders in the fashion industry, particularly Calvin Klein. Clean lines, neutral color palettes, and an emphasis on elegance became prevalent in designs of the late ’90s. This minimalistic trend extended beyond fashion and permeated various design fields, including interior design, products, branding, and graphic design. Monochromatic designs and black-and-white photography became dominant, setting high standards for contemporary brand design. Minimalism remains a resilient design style that originated in the 1990s.

Image by Freepik

Music-Influenced Design: The 1990s was a decade strongly influenced by music, with genres like rock, indie, British pop, grunge, and electronic rave music dominating the scene. The designs and styles of the “coolest” bands and musicians of the time reflected a carefree and rebellious attitude. The music industry brought forth design styles that ranged from neon and psychedelic smileys associated with club culture to the carefree grunge mood and fun-loving style of Britpop. This polarization in design styles influenced by music contributed to the diversity of the 1990s aesthetic.

Typography: If there is one singular design trend for which the 1990s is remembered, it would be typography. With the availability of vector software and the proliferation of designs on the internet, numerous examples of typography from this era serve as sources of inspiration. Iconic logos such as Clueless, Jurassic Park, Friends, and Rugrats are prime examples of how typography played a considerable role in shaping the design trends of the ’90s.


8-bit Pixel Art and Computer Games Influenced Art

Image by Freepik

The retro-inspired 8-bit pixel art trend has gained significant popularity recently and is expected to continue its influence in graphic design in 2023. This trend harkens back to the early days of computer and video gaming, characterized by low-resolution graphics created with limited color palettes. 8-bit pixel art brings a nostalgic charm and a sense of simplicity to contemporary designs, capturing the essence of retro gaming aesthetics.

Computer games-influenced art can be effectively incorporated into graphic design, allowing designers to tap into the nostalgic appeal of gaming culture. Here are some ways in which computer games influenced art can be utilized:

Pixel Art Illustrations: Pixel art illustrations involve creating images with individual pixels representing characters, objects, or scenes. This art form allows designers to embrace the limitations of early gaming graphics and evoke a sense of nostalgia. Designers can create visually appealing and recognizable pixel art characters or scenes by using blocky, pixelated forms and limited color palettes.

Retro Typography: Emulating the typography used in computer games from the past can add an authentic retro gaming touch to designs. Fonts inspired by the pixelated text found in old game interfaces or arcade machines can be used to create headlines, logos, or other typographic elements that evoke a sense of nostalgia and gaming culture.

Game-Inspired UI/UX Design: User interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design elements can draw inspiration from the layouts, graphics, and interactions in classic computer games. Using retro-inspired interfaces, icons, and interactive elements can create a playful and immersive user experience, particularly in gaming-related applications or websites.

Gamification Elements: Gamification, the integration of game-like elements into non-gaming contexts, can be incorporated into graphic design to enhance user engagement and interactivity. Elements such as badges, progress bars, or achievements can add a playful and rewarding aspect to digital platforms or marketing materials.


Y2K Aesthetic

Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

The Y2K aesthetic emerged from 1994 to 2005, characterized by significant technological advancements and the rise of social media as one of the biggest trends. This era marked a transition into the new millennium, fueling excitement and anticipation for the future. Directors, musicians, and designers of the time embraced a futuristic attitude, incorporating it into their artworks and designs.

The Y2K aesthetic represents a particular time period and is characterized by certain features and elements. One crucial aspect is the use of blubby and cyber-inspired typography that conveys a digital futurism vibe. Additionally, designers often integrate hints of three-dimensionality by adding shadows and embossing effects to increase visual impact.

In the Y2K era, people preferred colors like bubblegum pink, icy blue, white, and black. The objective was to evoke feelings of excitement, nostalgia, and progress. By experimenting with various combinations of these colors, one can produce striking contrasts similar to those popularized during the Y2K era.

Image by Freepik

It’s important to note that while the Y2K aesthetic presents exciting design possibilities, it’s advisable to approach it cautiously. Trends come and go, and what is popular today may fall out of favor tomorrow. Therefore, it’s recommended to experiment with Y2K aesthetics as part of your design strategy, but consider incorporating it as a complementary element rather than making it the core visual theme. You can leverage the trend’s nostalgia and futuristic charm while maintaining design flexibility and adaptability.

1970s Aesthetic

Image by Freepik

The 70s is reborn in modern graphic design, and the characteristic elements of that era again inspire people. Modern design is trying to give the art movements of that time a new life, rediscovering them in 2023 but keeping the spirit of the 70s.

Key characteristics of the 1970s aesthetic include:

Clashing Colors: The 1970s embraced the trend of color clashing, particularly incorporating reds, browns, oranges, and greens. These colors were often seen in paisleys, mandalas, and other patterns of simple shapes found in posters, wallpapers, carpets, and other design elements. Combining these bold and earthy hues added visual interest and a sense of retro charm to ’70s designs.

Floral Patterns: The 1970s were known for their abundance of floral patterns, originating from the “flower child” trend that emerged during the Summer of Love in 1967. These patterns encompassed a variety of motifs, including paisley patterns, mandalas, and general floral designs. Today, these patterns are considered not just “hippie” but also “hip,” they continue to add a touch of nostalgia and vibrancy to contemporary designs.

Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

Persona-Driven Graphics: A significant characteristic of the 1970s aesthetic was the prevalence of persona or character-driven graphics. Whether it was a famous rock album cover or an advertisement for a popular brand like Coca-Cola, the designs of the ’70s frequently featured the integration of real-life photography with colorful shapes, prints, and typography. Collage-style compositions and persona-driven graphics created dynamic and visually captivating visuals. The graphic design works of influential figures like The Ramones and Generation X exemplified this style, showcasing a blend of collage techniques and vibrant persona-driven elements.

Other themes associated with the 1970s aesthetic include hippies, flower children, psychedelic “wavy” shapes, and disco scenes. These elements evoke the free-spirited nature, peace, love, and rock ‘n roll vibes that defined the Woodstock era.



Image by pikisuperstar on Freepik

Graphic designers are using neon designs more often nowadays, and they are expected to become even more popular by 2023. These designs use bright colors and lights to create eye-catching images that evoke feelings of energy, modernity, and nostalgia, which captivate viewers.

Using neon colors and lighting effects can make designs more visually appealing for graphic designers. Dynamic and energetic color schemes can be created by incorporating bright hues such as electric blue, vibrant pink, vivid green, and fiery orange.

Light effects. You can add dynamics and futurism to the design thanks to neon effects. Neon lighting is very good at focusing on key elements. Highlighting contours creates a sense of depth, and glowing shapes give movement to the design. These effects can be obtained using gradients, layer styles and blending modes.

Neon retro: The 80s and 90s were full of neon on street signs, movies, and music videos. Therefore, neon elements are often used in retro design. Neon outlines of geometric shapes, pixel art and massive fonts are always a good combination.

Neon branding: Neon lighting can enhance brand identity and awareness. As we said earlier, neon elements can draw attention to the desired object while also creating a sense of dynamism, so adding neon to logos, fonts, and promotional materials can help a brand stand out in a crowded market.



We’ve looked at some of the hottest design trends we recommend embracing in 2023. All these trends are connected by the fact that the stylistic basis originates from the past decades, the 2000s, 70s and 90s. And this means that it is possible to bring notes of nostalgia into the working routine of designers and rethink the past from the point of view of modern approaches to design, which could be a good source of inspiration.

 While it is important to stay updated with trends, it is equally important for designers to experiment and innovate. Trends serve as sources of inspiration, but true creativity lies in pushing boundaries and exploring new possibilities. Designers should be bold and think outside the box, blend different styles, or create unique interpretations of these trends. By experimenting and taking risks, designers can create fresh, innovative designs that stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression. It could be easier to stay on track with practice and real-life cases. To always develop your skill, you need to scan job vacancies for full-time studios or freelance gigs. To save time, searching better to look for a job as a designer and illustrator on big job boards.

In the dynamic world of graphic design, embracing trends, staying informed, and fostering creativity are essential ingredients for success. By incorporating these discussed trends and infusing them with their unique perspectives, designers can create visually captivating and impactful designs that define the graphic design landscape 2023 and beyond.

writer of design blog featuring art made by procreate pixel brush, affinity designer textures and illustrator brushes

Serhii Stepanysko

Serhii Stepanysko. Editor and Head of Content at Jooble Advice Center. Having a Master’s degree in Media Linguistics, he is now responsible for setting up and maintaining a comprehensive process for writing, editing, as well as SEO optimization and analysis for all of Jooble blog posts. Serhii has extensive experience in content creation and editorial team management, cooperating closely with competent writers in certain fields and editors to ensure all the articles’ high utility and relevance. His team strives to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in job search strategies and approaches. As for hobbies, Serhii Stepanysko is a well-known stand-up comedian in Ukraine.

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