Top Retro Graphic Design Trends

Top Retro Graphic Design Trends

The wonderful thing about graphic design trends is that each year brings a chance for a fresh start. And, in light of 2020’s difficult form, the design trends of 2021 may provide the most welcome breath of fresh air yet.

While previous trends were motivated by the promise of a new decade and drew inspiration from sci-fi and futuristic technology, the graphic design trends of 2021 prioritise humans. We gathered comments from our worldwide community of graphic designers, and their predictions—which range from traditional symbols to natural materials to analogue painting—indicate contemporary trends.
Graphic design is all about elevating the mundane. You can learn graphic design online with Blue Sky Graphics. Let us examine how the designers of 2021 are affecting the decade’s direction.

Psychedelic abstraction

Psychedelia originated in 1960s music and art scenes. It is linked with hallucinogens and artistic exploration against the backdrop of societal upheaval: in short, the mind’s opening. In comparison to them, it appears to match the times: the wild images of encouraging psychedelic freedom, the impression that designers are no longer constrained by traditional restrictions.

Retro Graphic Design Trends
Retro Graphic Design Trends

While twisted forms and muddled images may be the objective, symmetry may lend stability to even the most complex of these compositions. It is as though this new psychedelia indicates that even in the most absurd situations, there are ways to remain grounded.

Rebirth of a symbol

The smallest details matter in design. A country may be united by coloured bars on a waving flag, yet a form as basic as a red octagon can save lives at a busy junction.

Historically, these types of symbols have been concerned with universality. Whether warnings are sent, or a cause is identified through common iconography, the strength of classic symbols resides in their capacity to transcend language. Designers will use this strength to create aspirational emblems of perseverance, development, and empowerment.

They accomplish this by infusing recognised symbols of authority, like goddesses, the stars, and austere lions, with creativity. Designers are designing the talismans we will need to stave against sorrow in the next year using traditional symbols.

Retro Futurism

Retrofuturism, the science fiction fantasies of a bygone period, is alluring because of the spectacular ways in which the past got it wrong. By now, flying vehicles, ray weapons, and robot servants were expected. Rather than that, we have Roombas.

However, retro futurism as a visual style has endured over the years due to its daring imagination and unexpectedly cheerful outlook—at least more so than our contemporary doomsday projections in shows. Retro futurists believed in human development to the point that they felt that even frightening green Martians in flying saucers would be no match for human inventiveness.

Unbroken surrealism

Surrealism is one of those aesthetic concepts that people frequently connect with the incomprehensible—imagery that is deliberately absurd. However, what people frequently overlook is that it incorporates the word realism.’ The real and the surreal are inextricably linked, and no year exemplifies this more than 2020 when pandemics of terrible fiction became our way of life.

Surrealist collages, in which pictures that are normal on their own become odd when merged, are graphic artists’ way of conveying this uneasiness. From the neck down, an apple-headed guy can be very plain, while a backyard swimming pool can contain an entire mountain range.

Due to the illusion’s continuous nature, it is impossible to distinguish one picture from another. The result is a casual attitude toward the unusual, an acceptance of improbable pairings as a whole. As a high concept, we anticipate seeing this trend more commonly on image-driven media such as posters, record art, and book covers.

Characters that are irreverent

A well-designed object may convey a narrative. A well-designed tale leaves an indelible impression. Many graphic designers are eschewing abstract graphics in favour of wacky characters in 2021. And the more character these characters possess, the more unforgettable they become.

At the core of this movement is concept illustration, which provides not just character postures but also individuality through a hand-drawn technique. This explains why these techniques span from intricate cross-hatching to the simpler forms, lines, and colours of contemporary cartoons. The notions themselves—suit-clad animals and anthropomorphic sushi—predict the long-awaited return of comedy and strangeness in the months ahead.

Pop art and comics

As with an arch enemy, historical design trends never completely disappear. And this year, graphic designers are reviving old comics’ gritty hues, thick inking, and action lines. Due to the poor printing technology of the time period, comic books frequently employed halftones, or simplified dot shading, to depict colour. Through grainy texture and depth, this method may reintroduce current minimalist ideas such as flat design. Similarly, web designers may use slanted panels and skewed forms to add drama and movement to their websites.

Infusion of fine art

Although there has always been a distinction between fine art and design, 2021 is less concerned with established boundaries. As a result, we anticipate that painterly methods such as acrylic brushstrokes and abstract expressionism will find their way into global shelves and screens.

Painting imparts surface variety and dimension to patterns, making them appear tactile. As a result, this movement complements physical items. Particularly, because fine art is linked with culture and class, it is advantageous for items that aim to portray an air of old-world refinement, such as wine labels and cosmetic packaging.

Nature’s elements

There is no escaping the fact that many individuals spent most of this year locked up inside. That is especially true for designers whose work-from-home freelancing lifestyle has become to resemble solitary confinement. It is therefore unsurprising that the outside world will find its way into 2021’s graphic designs.

Whether in the shape of leafy patterns, earth-tone colour palettes, or images of beautiful views, graphic design is becoming more eco-friendly. The most exciting aspect of this trend is that it is expanding beyond ecologically conscious products. Nature imagery has the effect of imparting tranquilly, regeneration, and growth—all of which we will be expecting with bated breath in 2022.