Art styles are often regarded as something personal and subjective. It tends to vary from person to person. But there are certain timeless styles and design (illustrations) trends that one cannot overlook or disregard. But all of these classic styles started out as mere fads, which inspired enough artists to carve a niche in the industry.
Hence, as an illustrator and as a designer, it is pertinent to understand current trends and styles, which pave the way for future art styles. Here is a comprehensive list of trends to look out for in 2021.
Outlines are one of the most critical factors of an illustration. In their varying colours, thickness and texture, lines can create a world of difference to the artwork, each bearing a unique style and offering an exciting new dimension to the art piece. Outlines are also the most susceptible to change. Each season brings a new trend to outline an artwork. And for the most part of 2020, thin outlines were in fashion. This trend is expected to continue this year as it gained momentum only in the second half of 2020.
02 A whole New Dimension – 3D
Illustrations by Amritpal Singh
Three-dimensional pieces, or 3D artworks, are expected to grow considerably this year. This might come as no surprise to many as the dominance of 3D in design space is evident in recent years. Though three dimensional, the composition for these illustrations is expected to remain minimal, drawing inspiration from their two-dimensional counterpart. Colours for these 3D illustrations may range from strong, vibrant shades to soft pastels, depending on the context of the artwork.
03 Enchanting Nostalgia
Charming composition with simple outlines and shapes with few necessary details seems to be the way forward. Inspired by the classic style of cartoons from the 1970s and ’80s, this style can invoke a strong sense of nostalgia if only one can remember days of the past.
04 Abstract all the way
Illustration by Saurabh Chandekar
Illustration by Anand Radhakrishnan
Mesmerizing shape and vibrant colours are expected to reign this year through a quirky yet clever style. Catering to a niche audience, these illustrations can seem to be nothing more than a thoughtless scribble at first glance, when in fact, they are cleverly composed, well thought out pieces. The Colour palette is often heavily saturated, with varying shades of neon undertone, with colour schemes belonging to clash, split complementary, double split complementary, tetrad and triadic.
05 Illustrations in Motion
Static illustration may not always solve our requirements, and here is where strategically composed illustration presented via video comes into play. This trend has been sturdily gaining popularity throughout 2020 and is expected to grow further in 2021.
06 Feel Indianness
Illustration by Ishan Trivedi
Illustration by Lovely Kukreja
India has always been a land of culture and arts. And our artists, illustrators, and animators are once again claiming the global spotlight in the art industry. Works of illustrators such as Ishan Trivedi, Satish Gangaiah, Lovely Kukreja are taking the world by storm. Artworks based on Indian mythology recounting the stories of ‘Puranas and ‘Itihasa ’ are some of the most popular themes online. Apart from this, illustrations are also used to ignite social revolution by narrating the issues faced by the Indian public and raising awareness for societal wrongs.