Top 5 Design Trends We’ll See in 2024

Top 5 Design Trends We’ll See in 2024

Mary Catalfamo and Erinn KovitchJan 11, 2024

Now that 2023 is behind us, it’s time to see what the past year in design and branding can tell us about the future.

One of 2023’s recurring themes was escapism. Especially in the midst of a rocky economy and the rise of AI, it makes sense that brands have leaned into styles that feel whimsical and natural.

We think that means something significant for upcoming 2024 branding trends. Keep reading to see which design trends we think are going to shape the new year. Maybe they’ll even provide a spark of inspiration.

1. Motion Graphics

2023 was the year graphic design got moving (literally). We saw more and more elements – from logos to watermarks and even billboards – coming to life through motion.

AI tools, like the Adobe Express AI integration, are likely to thank for this trend taking off in 2023. Agency and in-house graphic designers no longer need big budgets to add engaging motion to their designs. They don’t have to use traditional animation software to create quality work, either.

The results have been widespread and effective. You can find moving typography on websites, as well as custom gifs on social media and animated ads on buses, billboards, or anywhere with a digital display. In 2024, motion will continue to bring variety and dynamic storytelling to the digital landscape.

2. Sustainable & Natural

There’s no getting around it: being environmentally conscious is not getting any less anxiety inducing.

In 2023, we saw more brands respond to this growing anxiety with calming visuals that evoke nature through color, tone, texture, and material. Sustainable packaging is part of the overall trend, but it’s more about embracing a brand identity that’s innately connected to nature.

Airbnb’s 2023 TV spot advertising lakefront rentals is a great example; it’s sparse, authentic, and full of relaxing shots of nature. Keep a lookout in 2024 for ornate, serif fonts accompanied by organic textures or mixed media like the web design for the dog food brand Gather. The branding for the Norfolk Coast Protected Landscape is another beautiful example of sustainability-forward design.

This year, Idea Kraft also gave the agricultural incubator CADE Farms a refreshingly earthy, organic, and sustainable web design. Explore how we did it here.

3. Illustrations & Cartoons

The past year proved that consumers crave distinctly human styles more than ever. And no design trend shows that better than illustrated branding.

Graza olive oil is often used as a prime example of the resurgence – and for good reason. Graza was one of the first brands in recent years to show that cartoon styles don’t have to sacrifice sophistication for playfulness.

Strava, a popular fitness tracking app, switched to cartoon accomplishment badges in 2023. The new Critics At Large podcast from The New Yorker makes intellectual content approachable with cute illustrations of its hosts.

A sense of humor and artistic talent will be more important than ever this year. See how Idea Kraft developed adorable animations and motion graphics for Savvy Cat Club.

4. Nostalgia

We still love nostalgia, and it’s not hard to understand why. Especially when brands are harnessing it so creatively.

We’ve seen an uptick this past year in grainy, textured branding paired with statement fonts that harken back to past decades. Take this holiday campaign for the tile laying game Snakes of Wrath. They use iconic (some may lovingly say “cheesy”) 80s motifs with cheeky self-awareness.

It seems like we’re falling back in love with retro 70s and 80s graphic design. 2024 will bring even more examples of branding that bucks modern expectations and pulls from increasingly surprising sources of inspiration.

5. Vibrant Colors & Minimalism

2023 was another big year for minimalism, and there’s no reason to think the trend will slow down in 2024. But it might return with a colorful and highly impactful twist.

Some of the best and freshest minimalist designs from the past year had one thing in common: a bright, bold color palette. They lean into an overall trend of whimsy and playfulness, distinct from past iterations of minimalism that felt more intentionally serious and refined.

There’s good reason to think graphic designers in 2024 will draw inspiration from the work of brands like Colour Mill and campaigns like MLY&R London’s Ford Make It Visible.

Feeling some graphic design inspiration? Let’s make some magic.

Idea Kraft is here to empower brands to succeed through creativity, collaboration, strategic thinking, and decades of combined experience. Want to know how our branding services can give your organization an edge in 2024? Schedule a consultation online.

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