Every year, some design trends fade away while others burst onto the scene. This will be as true as ever in 2018, when visual contrast dominates the digital landscape and designers seek clarity and distinction, both subtle and bold.

What are the top graphic design trends of 2018?

  • Intersecting Elements
  • Duotone & Double Exposure
  • Retro-modern illustrations
  • Creative Background Patterns
  • Bright Gradients
  • Thoughtful Animations
  • Isometric Design
  • Split Page Design
  • Responsive Logos (see our responsive logo guide & logo design trends)
  • Gradients
  • Extra Depth (with semi-flat design)
  • Dazzling duotones
  • 80s & 90s color paletes & patterns
  • Animated Logos
  • Cinemagraphs & GIFs
  • Bold typography & more serifs
  • Custom graphics & illustration
  • Authentic photography
  • Detailed vintage

Read on for a more detailed description of 2018’s design trends forecast.

2018 Graphic Design Trends Infographic

2018 Design Trends

A huge thank you to Coastal Creative for the above design trends infographic.

Intersecting Elements

Categorize this under a version of bold typography, we’ve seen a huge upswing in typography that intersects with shapes and graphics. It’s a strong visual that plays with perspective and shows confidence.

Duotone & Double Exposure

The duotone look has been a recent favorite across many design mediums, but it reached mass exposure via Spotify and their playlist images. Since duotone has risen to prominence, we’ve been seeing further iterations that layer the effect with double exposure. We expect to be seeing a lot more of this trend in 2018.

Retro-modern illustrations

Can something be both retro and modern? Yes, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing with this trend that combines the sleek lines of modern vectors with throw-back color palettes. Modern illustrations with retro-respect: the best of both worlds.

Creative Background Patterns

Like wallpaper going in and out of fashion in home design, we’re seeing a resurgence of patterned backgrounds. Think of it like the grown-up version of the tiled backgrounds you may have used to trick out your very first online profile. These are often whimsical icons or custom illustrations that take the design to a personal level.

Bright Gradients

Bright Gradients

This may have been continuing for a little while, but we’re seeing this trend diversifying and holding strong since it made a strong comeback in 2017. Designers are having fun experimenting with gradient innovations using bright colors and a variety of textures.

Thoughtful Animations

Online animations have come a long way since banner ads circa 1999 that aggressively flashed “Click Me!”. These are thoughtful movements built with intention, created to delight and signal interaction. We’re big fans and hope they won’t become overdone.

Isometric Design

Perhaps as a reaction to flat design taking over the design world in past years, isometric design is making a strong comeback. Isometric projection is a method for visually representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions.

Split Page Design

As an evolution of the now-stale hero image concept, split design juxtaposes contrasting elements for a striking effect that shows multiplicity. We embrace this fresh change for its great design and usefulness.

The below trends were outlined in 99Design’s inspirational 2018 graphic design trends post.

Responsive Logos

See here for a detailed guide to responsive logos.

Responsive Logo Trend


Gradient Trend

By Anton Avilov

Bright Gradients

by Yueyuan design.


80s & 90s color pallets & patterns

80s 90s Trend

80s Website


By Daria Kwon.

Movement: animations, GIFs, cinemagraphs


By Kit8.

Cinemagraph Trend


Dazzling duotones

Duotones Trend

By Spotify.


Extra Depth (with semi-flat design)

Subtle Depth

UI Depth


Bold typography & more serifs

Bold Type

By Nuture Digital.

Bold Type

By Vasjen Katro.


Custom graphics & illustration

Custom Illustration

By Willie H

Game of Thrones Illustration

By Alexandr Alexandrov


Authentic photography

Original Photography Trend

YOKO by Tom Arends for Bert

Authentic Photography

By Yeti.


Detailed Modern Vintage

Detailed Vintage

By DekoRatio and Szani Mészáros.

Beer Vintage

By Oscar Bastidas

Do you have any further graphic design trends to add?

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