5 popular graphic design trends in 2016

Print signage is primarily about mass communicating a message to your audience. The first, vital rule of signage is to create a design that will instantly grab your audiences’ attention while still portraying your message. Graphic designers are often faced with having to keep up with the latest graphic trends and finding innovative designs that will make your brand stand out and depict your message at the same time.

Now design trends don’t just fall out of the sky or wake up to them one day and they’re the new wave. Most of the time they’ve have been around for a few years but have just not taken off to be the popular trends they are at that given time. They are often influenced by culture, the media, the past and present, technology, fashion; wherever creatives can draw any source of inspiration, the list is really endless.

Whilst following these trends isn’t obligatory, it’s still good to be aware of what is happening in the industry. Here are some of our 5 favourite trends that peaked in 2016:

1. Minimalistic:


The Museum of Modern art (MoMA), hosted an exhibition of “sound” titled Soundings: a Contemporary Score. This exhibition was more about sounds and music that people could go in and listen to, but the minimalistic wall designs is the epitome of minimalism. The mixture of the bold orange and cool grey tones adds a slight thrill to the modest design

2. Negative Space:


Negative and/or white space is an essential part of any good design. Negative space can be a clever way to add deeper or double meaning to your designs or it can simply help give your compositions a more minimal look. This design for a restaurant called The Swan & Mallard, the designer has creatively fit a swan, a duck and an ampersand into one logo by using positive and negative spaces.

3. Modern Retro:


When it comes to retro, a modern twist from the earlier traditional vintage styles – which originate from the early 1900s to the 1960s – to a more recent stylistic influence form the later decades in the 90s. Remember those early PC and game graphics, space themes and pixel art? They’re back with a vengeance, making nerd the new cool. The technology theme on this t-shirt designed by Ralph Cifra gives a nostalgic feel for the 90s, making it a perfect example of the modern retro theme.

4. Bright, Bold Colours:


The recent trends in colour selections included cool pastel tones but the bright colours trend is actively making a comeback. Bold and bright designs are the perfect way to make your designs pop but this poster designed by a Paris based studio called In the Pool has the right mix of brightness and boldness that makes the poster visually appealing and still grabs your attention.

5. Dramatic Typography:


Gone are the days when typography was only for reading. Now it’s used to make a statement. Dramatic typography can be used to create drama through size but also through texture, colour and arrangement. This poster designed by Julie Joanny features a freeform arrangement of some of the letters plus textures and linear elements to enhance the type.


As we have already mentioned, the popularity of graphic design trends fluctuates as time goes by. Capitalising on these popularities at the right time is sure to set your artworks apart from the rest; it’s all about timing.



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