- Friday, November 24, 2017

10 Super Dope Graphic Design Trends for Artists

I read a lot of articles predicting what will trend in the next year, and a lot of it is the same we've been doing, like "2018 will have more cropped texts," as I look at ads in 1920's that have cropped text. Even to write this post, I mapped out 10 things, and examples date back to the early 2000's, and that's fine. So I'm going to tell you some ideas people think will trend, or have been trending, that might just inspire the next big thing from your brain.

2018 THEME:
Psychogasm Visuals

People want to disappear into another world, like obviously with VR Googles, Video Gaming, and Social Media becoming a normal reality for most people, it just makes sense they, we, want to ESCAPE REALITY, and in this shitty economy, I can't blame them, us.

10 Super Dope Graphic Design Trends for Artists ♥ Blogging As I Learn It | Graphic Design Techniques ♥ Design Inspiration ♥ Graphic Art Ideas

They want to be skull fucked with fantasy, optical illusions, depth, dimension and a little WTFness. Visuals one can jump into and explore will be the kind of images that stand out from the basic bitches of graphic design. People want to lose themselves into not only another world, but also another inner world, so aspirational appeal and graphics that induce a sense of role play will resonate.

Here are some of the expected trends from experts reworded into a paraphrase of 50 articles.

Optical Illusions

I don't mean the lines, shake your head, or stare at this thing for 30 seconds, or do you see a young woman or an old lady pictures. I mean MC Escher, Michael Parkes, Oleg Shupliak.

Some Optical Illusion Artists who are Famous Enough to be in a Round Up

This is art that takes reality and twists it, sometimes for metaphorical deep meaning, other times, just random abstracts. You can use any technique, medium... You may create a style of your own, but the thing is to shake up the laws of physics. Things like this paradoxical triangle...

But with way cooler special effects. 

3D, Depth, and MORE

It's hard to dive into a 2 dimensional drawing. You really want your visual to have depth, and extreme depth by playing with perspective, layering objects over each other, interweaving objects between each other, good shadows, etc. It seems like the trend is adding depth to existing photographs to hyperbolic levels.

For those who like to think about deep things that blows your mind, try to incorporate some concepts from fantasy math like 4 Dimensional Objects.


While video and gifs are always a huge trend, we are now bringing motion into pictures in more creative ways: Cinemagraphs. 

Sometimes, creating a sense of motion is just making the objects appear to flow in a stand still picture, but for the web, you want to add motions when you can, especially on websites. 

But I knew this was coming when Netflix decided to turn Netflix Original posters into a cinemagraph. It's where you have a photograph, but some aspect is in motion taking you down a surreal nostalgic path you can get lost in. 

I honestly think these would make the best social media ads. 

Cinemagraphs For Windows

Emotional Illustrations and Characters

People want to feel feelings when they look at things, and they like seeing things that feel their feelings. Positive feelings rank better than negative feelings according to studies, but the important thing is that your characters have feelings like emojis.

A cute smiling paperclip just isn't going to impress people anymore. Microsoft's paperclip should now have a wow face (for when you insert a picture), a sad face (like every time you hit undo), a celebration dance (for when you hit save), and an angry face (during spell check).

Using Photographs as a Fill for Shapes and Typography

You can also do this with any kind of illustration, pattern, or what not, but photos as a fill is a new thing of awesome. It's like your LETTERS can tell a story in WORDS and PICTURES underneath the words. Turn a boring silhouette into a poem, like a face is more than just a face, there's a forest underneath.

Bold Colors in Photography

People are totally digging bold colors now over pastels (maybe not so much on Pinterest), and in a way where it doesn't look like a toddler's toy. While you can always splash colors everywhere, one easy thing to do is to take your photos, use the channel mixer in Photoshop, and give them colors or gradients.

Another thing is to give shadows color, like create a shadow by copying the human's shape, and filling with an opaque shadow of pink. Double it up with a blue on the other side as if it had two light sources.


This is still kicking ass in graphic design. Minimalism I think won't end anytime soon because in this information age, people get bombarded easily with too much clutter. Like back in the day when life was all newspapers and rocking chairs, we could handle a busy ad with a lot of things to do because we were bored and needed something to do, like explore a bunch of information. But now a days, we have so much information flying at us from every angle, it's visually appealing to see that information in a very quick, easy, open space.

Metallic Chic

When I noticed all the notebooks at my Walmart and Chic Office supplies were all black and white stripes with gold text, I knew it was beginning. I was doing the watercolor thing, the zen doodle thing, and the floral thing ahead of the game except for the part where I follow through, and now they are switching it up. FOIL is the next thing. Fempreneurs and Coaches targeting women on Pinterest, you are leading the way here. I'm kind of glad because it really is pretty.

Bringing Typography to Life

I think the new thing with typography is to make your letters come alive, not with eyeballs and face expressions, but make them characters in your pictures whether they dance around the objects in a photograph or have a personality by cropping out pieces.

Bright Gradients

Another article said it after I was already thinking it, but Instagram's new logo is now a gradient. Facebook offers gradient backgrounds. It's a thing now. And because two major social media places are incorporating this kind of gradient into their stuff, that means it's a warm concept, one people are comfortable seeing and find inviting and trustworthy.

While so many different techniques are claiming a trending phase for graphic artists, it's important to also think about marketing and creating visuals that serve a purpose. I think the trend that we need to focus on is the psychogasm aspect. Help people escape the problem that your visuals are supposed to solve through your visual. Like if you are selling deodorant, humor is a way to approach helping people get passed the awkward feelings they have with armpits and smelling badly. Life coaches on organization will find that minimalism provides the aspirational visual aid to their product. A blog post about a political cause may find that their photograph of a protest will stand out so much more if they turned it black and white and added bold colors to key places.

Anyway, these are great concepts to think about trying out if you haven't already. Stay tuned for some techniques on creating depth and fantasy.

Happy Mind Fucking :)