Mira Malhotra
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“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” The world has been going through interesting changes, and in the design world, these events have changed the way art is used to communicate. Mira Malhotra, a graphic designer and artist shares design innovations we will see dominate the landscape in 2022.

Graphic design is a fast-moving discipline, with trends changing massively over the past few years. The pandemic brought a shift in how we perceive art, design and media and with the Internet of Things (IoT) gaining prevalence, the design world is going to see a lot of changes in the coming years. This has led an increasing number of designers and agencies to be more experimental and approach design in new and unique ways. 2022 design trends promise to be nothing short of unpredictable. This year—like an echo of the end of the pandemic — the graphic design trends represent a fresh new start.


Here’s a quick rundown of the emerging trends in graphic design around the world.

1. Emergence of 3D Elements

Graphic design is moving towards the use of 3D elements in the design. The past year saw the surge of NFTs further bringing 3D artwork into focus. NFTs will further see branching out to create mini narratives out of them. Animated 3D elements are being used in advertising and promotional content to catch the fleeting attention of consumers.

2. Ubiquitousness of Animation

Social media has gone through massive shifts with the emergence of reels. TikTok, its alternatives and even Instagram has brought to the forefront reels and short videos. A lot of creators and artists who have established their identities through Instagram will embrace the algorithm and focus more on motion content. In graphic design, reels come in the form of animated content. Adobe After Effects is the sought-after software all designers are learning while Adobe CC has also introduced some new 3D programs that are simpler to learn for beginners.

3. Augmented Reality

2022 is the year we will see a lot more AR (Augmented Reality). Virtual Reality is a lot more taxing to create and we are still further away from trickling it into mainstream design. The centre of much of technology’s attention currently is Mobile AR. Many users already own an AR capable smartphone and we are going to see how people are creating designs and illustrations to fit into the spaces they already inhabit, except through screens.

4. Pop Colours in the RGB Colour Palette

Illustrations and graphics are seeing the use of really bright and pop colours that can only be made in the RGB gamut. A trend that has been around for a while and gained an even stronger foothold due to the pandemic and the subsequent emphasis on experiencing art through screens. RGB is so commonplace that print files are practically non-existent. Applications like Procreate and Fresco have made it much more difficult to make print files but at the same time made it that much easier to paint in vivid colours which one can only get on a screen.

5. Social Media Content for LinkedIn, Instagram

With the Instagram algorithm constantly changing and less focused on still images, graphic designers are also looking at its alternatives. However, Instagram reels have also led to designers making more BTS videos and showcasing their process behind designs. LinkedIn has also emerged as a platform for designers to showcase their talents using short videos or external links and amalgamate their art with the corporate world.

6. Plan Downtime

Plan for the downtime and try to save up at least 3-6 months of your basic living expenses. When you start out keep your overheads low, embrace the frugality till you know you have saved up enough to not panic if the work dries up for a while.

Creative Gaga - Issue 54


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Words are compelling tools. They can create worlds of wonder and have the ability to destroy a million lives, all in a blink of an eye. When presented correctly, the power of words is enhanced multifold. Typography hence plays a vital role in setting the right tone and convey our message effectively.

Prudently chosen typography coupled with carefully composed graphics can effectively put our content across. Now, let’s look at some of the newest Graphic Design and Typography trends for 2021.

01 Big and Bold


Graphic Design and Typography Trends of 2021

Murder Ballads by Nick Cave & the BadbSeeds by Shiva Nellaperumal


Graphic Design and Typography Trends of 2021

Branding for Berlin & Beyond Film Festival by Neha Hattangdi


Big and bold is the go-to style in typography due to its obviously eye-catching design, which can effectively convey the intended message. Regardless, this style cannot go unmentioned due to its high usage. Other designs may come and go, but big and bold will always remain on-trend.

02 Comes in all Shapes and Sizes



Poster Collection for Retro Brands by Xavier Esclusa Trias


Graphic Design and Typography Trends of 2021

Kariiou Branding Project by Toormix Design Agency


Shapes are a vital part of the design. They are more than just visual garnish; they hold meaning and special importance, contributing to the written text in a small yet significant way. Geometric shapes are currently reigning in the Graphic Design industry, and they will continue to do so throughout the year. They are not the newest trend, per se; nevertheless, hold significant influence over art and design.

03 All about Lines

Illustration by Parvati Pillai

Nordic Rebels by Parvati Pillai


Graphic Design and Typography Trends of 2021

Graphic Design and Typography Trends of 2021

Character Design and Illustrations by Shaivalini Kumar


Outlines are an essential aspect of any art. It is also one of the most frequently changing trend. The quality and thickness of the line can change the outlook of any piece. Therefore, it is pertinent to mention that this year is all about thin lines. Artworks and design pieces with a thin outline are all the rage this year.

Creative Gaga - Issue 54


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As the world shifted rapidly online during the pandemic, packaging design took on a whole new layer of significance as it became one of the only physical touchpoints between many brands and their customers.

While e-commerce creates a raft of opportunities, you lose the experience of walking through a store. As a result, designers and business owners around the world have upped the ante when it comes to delivering a high-quality and immersive brand experience right to consumers’ front doors.

As 2020 draws to a close, creators in the 99designs community have mapped out their predictions for a few of the new packaging design trends that will shape 2021:

01 Packaging dressed in fine art

This trend has been gaining momentum among high-end products, but designers predict that it will filter into the mainstream in 2021. Drawing inspiration from paintings and textures inspired by brushstrokes, the goal here is to blur the line between packaging design and fine art to create something truly beautiful and unique.

Packaging Trends 2021
Design by LucaToni
Packaging Trends 2021
Design by Ostecx Creative via Behance
Design by _Ossobuko_

02 Hyper-simplistic geometry

Designers expect to see a lot of packaging that makes use of extremely simplistic, bold geometric concepts in 2021. With neat lines, sharp edges and angles, and expressive use of colour, this trend hints at the product inside, but in an abstract manner that makes a lasting – and intriguing – impression.

Design by exsenz
Packaging Trends 2021
Design by Senchy
Design by monostudio

03 Technical and anatomical ink drawings

While minimalism has reigned supreme in packaging for many years, prepare to see many more designs that look and feel as if they’ve been sketched and hand-drawn for scientific publications in 2021. Alongside bold geometry and tactile textures, designers predict that packaging that looks like it’s been pulled right out of an anatomical or botanical textbook will become increasingly popular.

Design by Emir Alcic
Design by Footstep
Packaging Trends 2021
Design by G@rry

04 Organically shaped colour blocking

What separates 2021 from previous colour blocking trends are the textures, the natural colour combinations, and their variance in shape and weight. There are no clean lines or grids here – instead, expect uneven layers, dappled collages, and a sense of realness that feels truly organic.

Packaging Trends 2021
Design by monostudio
Design by Eva Hilla
Design by Jelena M.

05 Irreverent and fun characters

Storytelling is a key part of any brand, and in 2021, designers and businesses will extend storytelling through to their packaging design. Using characters that move far beyond mascots, these friendly faces bring brands’ stories to life by treating labels, cans and boxes like a graphic novel that draws you in and demands attention.

Packaging Trends 2021
Design by drawziart
Design by monkey-mother
Packaging Trends 2021
Design by St. Pelmeni
Packaging Trends 2021
Design by Wintrygrey

06 Solid all-over colours

Right alongside bold packaging that reads like a comic book, brands will also present products in solid colours. Even though this trend works within a limited palette and pared-down aesthetic, the effect is truly striking, and in 2021 many packaging designers will let the colour do all the talking.

Packaging Trends 2021
Design by yand.
Packaging Trends 2021
Design by Archangelo
Packaging Trends 2021
Packaging design via Feel

Whether through fine art infusions or modern colour washes and organic blocks, these are just a few of the ways brands are looking to meet consumers where they are in 2021 by creating new and more immersive brand experiences through packaging design.

Creative Gaga - Issue 54


A few of 2018’s still making it big and some new additions to the list, the trending trends of 2019 predicted by designers from different fields are put together here just for you.

It is said that change is the only constant and with each passing year graphic design trends prove this right. Be it packaging and illustrating for products or a promotional campaign for a brand, the design trends influencing each field have become a must-know today.


Will the previous years’ trends will be an influence on the upcoming years’ trends or will the two be complete opposites?

To get an answer, we have creatives from different sectors of the design industry enlightening us about the graphic design trends of 2018 and putting forth their predictions for 2019’s trends.


Anthony Lopez
Award-winning designer, Anthony Lopez is the founder of Lopez Design.

Mira Malhotra

Mira Malhotra
A graphic designer, visual artist and the founder of Studio Kohl.

Design Stack
A Branding & Design firm that builds, strengthens and nurtures brands.

Sonia Tiwari
Pursuing a PhD in Learning Design and Technology from Penn State University.

Aaron Pinto
Commonly known as Kidsquidy, is not only a graphic designer and illustrator but also the drummer for two Mumbai based metal bands, Providence and Gutslit.


A digital experience studio that provides from animated explainer videos, branding, documentaries and corporate video production to UI/UX design.


Anix has twelve years of experience in the world of graphics. He has worked with brands in India and abroad. He is creative director at Adaar.

To get a fair idea about what design will look like in the 19th year of the 21st century, read through!


2018 Highlights

Brands are switching over to the social and digital media by cutting through the traditional medium of print to be used as their promotional and communication strategies.

According to Inderpreet Singh Seehra from Design Stack, 2018 saw simplification, strong colours and symbols that stood out in digital mediums as the key features for major branding projects. The brand identity of SBI (a complete case study here) created by them is an example.


The use of gradients, motion design and experimental typefaces was a ubiquity of 2018. The Identity for Fakultet for kunst, musikkog design, UiB, by Uniform, as a dynamic brand in motion; and Baboon by Sagmeister and Walsh, for its approach to colour and its humour logotypes showed the brands walking towards a more dynamic approach to differentiate themselves from the competition, says Mira Malhotra, the founder of Studio Kohl.

Brand Identity for Baboon

Not all changes are on the positive side. She has brought forth a noticeable change in the fashion industry to go for lifeless, characterless logotypes in the name of minimalism. Burberry was probably the most disappointing of them all.

This was a gist of 2018. It’s now time to leave the past behind and peep into the future and see what is going to be trending this year.

1. Ownership to Users and Personalisation

According to Anthony Lopez, branding systems are becoming very fluid and are designed to go beyond the logo. Branding has to be ambidextrous and the identity has to be able to adapt itself in multiple ways for different situations.

An example of the Partners’ Forum 2018, which was held in New Delhi. The identity takes on varied forms, manifesting in appropriate ways across collaterals. Further, we take the branding forward through products that reflect the identity, making it memorable for the future. The mission of the Forum stays with its participants, for a long time after.


(The 3D Pipli logo animation was created by Studio Eeksaurus who collaborated with Lopez Design, celebrating the message of the Partners’ Forum.)

Talking of personalisation, brands will be seen as containers – people can put in what they want to express themselves through the brand. Eventually, the brand starts to become an extension of an individual.

Also, Anthony mentions that putting design in the hands of the customer and encouraging them to take ownership has led to people creating their own graphics besides photographs. For example, on Instagram, the user can add many icons and can also have a poll. Others provide stickers with a product to place it on anything the user wishes to put on.


Design Stack highlights that people always relate to design or products that invoke positive feelings in them. For instance, a fortune cookie or a name on the bottle of coke is quite relatable to a consumer. Customising the logo with the name may or may not trend in 2019, but customising the logo with quotes, jokes, city names or graphic elements that people can relate to will continue to be used for a long time by designers.

2. Less is More

The ‘less is more’ ideology has always been the underlying principle of design and will continue to play a vital role in the future too, says Design Stack. For an increased response on social networks and effective and aesthetical communication, brands will make use of simpler forms, clean shapes, bold colours, motion graphics and videos.

Not wanting to add unnecessary frills and fancies in a logotype has been an upward trend since Turner and Duckworth’s famous stripping down of the Coca Cola brand, says Mira Malhotra. Following the trend of less is more, there’s a chance one can go too far, cut out all frills and have a logo in a banal, forgettable neutral typeface, resulting in a sameness across brands and their identities.


But she’s also of the opinion that the trend of less is more can also work wonders for a brand’s visual identity differentiating it from the rest, if worked on smartly! Animated logotypes will be a resort for many.

According to Anthony Lopez, graphics is only one component of branding. The brands of the future need to be flexible across all aspects, influencing a user’s experience by drawing their attention to the brand’s character, behaviour, a tone of voice, influencers, associations and endorsements. Graphics, in such cases, is the mechanics used with adherence to the framework of the brand guidelines. When all this is done with precision, the concept of conveying ‘more with less’ becomes a possibility.


Motion graphics including multi-dimensional graphics will definitely become a lot more common in the future.

3. Typeface Experimenting – going back to the roots

Anthony Lopez voices the fact that a large part of branding is about strategy and delivery of content through various means, and typefaces are just one part of this contributing to the visual medium. For multi-device existence the typeface design will include the factor of scale-ability and the flexibility of the digital medium, in particular, will allow for easy and varied versions of the designed font including features like effects to type, highlighting, shading, colour options and animation.

According to Mira Malhotra, going beyond designing the logo for the brand and experimenting with typefaces to grant a uniqueness to the brand will be new in. With Google fonts and so many free quality typefaces infiltrating the mainstream, (when free, it becomes mainstream easily) people, especially clients will have a better taste in typefaces, hopefully implementing daring decisions by clients in terms of typefaces.

Design Stack points out that 2019 will be the year where the designers will want to strike a balance between the old and the new, recalling the importance of the roots and fusing them in with the trending styles. For this, the Indian type foundries are creating contemporary regional scripts which will play a big role in the coming age of Indian design. Versatile fonts that work well on both digital and traditional media will be sort after.

Bombay Brasserie - The Indian Culinary Expert

4. Sophistication and Boldness

Design Stack predicts brands experimenting with logos and colour schemes. A bold yet sophisticated palette is what is intended as the yielded result.


Mira Malhotra also foresees boldness in the upcoming year. Whether its bright colours, pastel neutrals, or just black and white, anything that stands out bold will make it to the brand collaterals across various mediums.

Anthony Lopez sees 2019 as a year of logos becoming more and more fluid, vibrant and versatile. Brands may launch sub-brands, but the prime brand logo is what will go across the face of the brand. Logos inherently need to be simple for high recall. However, within the face of the logo, more permutations and combinations will be observed. This allows the brand to cater to varying clientele and different platforms.


Highlights of 2018

Anix, the creative director of Adaar mentions that 2018 was a phenomenal year for animation and motion graphics witnessing trends like seamless transitions, liquid motion, digital-surrealism, isometric design, a combination of 2D and 3D, big, bold typography complicated visual effects, 3D pastels and photorealistic rendering to name a few.


2018 saw a refreshing visual representation of strong female leads with powerful accessories and expertise in a specialisation (vs the stereotypical princess/Damsel in distress) like Mrs Incredible from Incredibles, Mai from Next Gen, She-Ra from Netflix’s reboot of the popular 80s cartoon, and Shank from Wreck-it Ralph 2, says Sonia Tiwari.

Mrs. Incredible from Incredibles
Mai from Next Gen
Shank from Wreck-it Ralph 2

Sonia also observed interactive animations, in general, becoming subtle in action, pastel colour blocked and with cleaner backgrounds, a trend that originated from the iconic game Monument Valley 1 in 2014 and Monument Valley 2 in 2017. She cites INTURN’s webpage as an example to follow.


WowMakers describe 2018 as a year of rapidness. Videos had fast cuts and rapid edits, bright pop colours, neon moods and colour gradients. Vertical viewing and videos for the same rose in prominence as mobile platforms recorded the most screen time. An ‘In Your Face’ attitude permeated all forms of visual media far beyond animation and motion graphics, reeling the viewer in.

In an attempt to engage the viewers, the visual representation followed the ‘Bigger is Better’ or the ‘Go Big or Go Home’ philosophy. The text was bigger and bolder than ever, constantly changing and creating new text out of the shells of the old. 2018 saw the ‘Glitch effect’ gaining popularity. ‘Morphing’ that has been around for a while also topped the charts last year, creating magical illusions through seamless transitions.


Anix explains that with media, connectivity and its scope of influence, availability and reachability, motion graphics is taking over the prevalence of still graphics. From commercials to product shots, marketing campaigns, sale presentations and game design, animated and motion graphics endow an astonishing display and communicate the product’s prowess in a way that would be impossible to communicate otherwise.

Let’s take a look at what 2019 has in store:

1. Animating the Education

According to Sonia Tiwari, simple, iconic, vector-based motion graphics will overpower contemporary educational content, because of the large amount of content to be covered through the browser and mobile platforms that require optimised performance, seamless integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS) and keeping up with the refined design sensibilities of young millennials. A few good examples of this visual style and animation are Kurzgesat in a Nutshell series and Lumosity.


2. Purpose Over Design

For Sonia Tiwari, the UX is like our brain or heart, built on the logic and feelings, and the UI is the face or skin, the outer layer that connects the user to the inner workings of a product. This distinction is important to understand that the trendy-animation and visual design must not be shallow or cosmetic, but really try to serve a purpose.

For example, a medical application that can use interactive animation to locate/define a problem through an interface – sounds useful. But interactive animations over a wireless setup app with buttons that liquid morph into new shapes sounds pointless.


WowMakers say that the shift from UI to UX is evident, and it is now time to cater to modern users with short attention spans and being bang on-point. ‘We don’t create a product and wait for customers to come. We create a product based on the customer’s wants and needs.’ Because not incorporating the market demand will result in a loss of clients.

For example, vertical videos have been the rage of late, and true to that, there has been an increase in requests for vertical videos or adaptable videos that could work well in both horizontal and vertical dimensions. Animation and motion graphics will have to adapt to multiple platforms without losing its core message.

3. VR & AR Carving Their Way

According to the team at WowMakers, animation and motion graphics in a VR and AR setting opens up a host of different possibilities and increases the scope for imaginative ideas that could work wonders on immersive platforms.

Courtesy: Atlassian

As per Anix, the creative director of Adaar, the rise of Virtual Reality from being a gaming-focused ambitious fantasy in 2012 into an actual medium utilised by multi-national corporations and organisations around the world is in itself is a great example. Alternatively seen, purpose over design is now trending everywhere!

He also mentions that micro-interactions are subtle animations that enrich user experience and allow the user to engage with an interface in a single moment. Micro-interactions are possibly one of the biggest UX trends to date and are growing enormously. They are a focus point for the digi-sectors to up their game.

4. Fiction v/s Realism?

Fiction and Realism will both have their place in animated media, says Sonia Tiwari. The director’s vision, needs of the brand, likes of the audience, budget and timelines etc. will be the deciding factors for one of the two to surface at the top.

She has observed that the educational children’s media has had a very long history of fictional characters/plots to keep the narrative or moral of the story more relevant than realistic details of the characters like race, ethnicity, culture, religion etc. From Sesame Street to Curious George, fictional characters in children’s educational media are a “forever trend”.


While representing real issues like child labour, poverty and family health, she brings to notice that animated media uses some element of realism to keep the message focused or help establish a clear correlation with the narrative and content.

An example is Eeksaurus studio’s recent PSA for WHO that features Pipli art style human characters, which hits right in the middle of fiction and realistic spectrum, presenting real issues/human characters in a fantastical way.

The WowMakers’ team believes that with technology growing by leaps and bounds, magical realism can represent how technology interacts and changes human lives. At the same time, realism can be used to show the human face of technology.

5. Kinetic Typography

2019 will be a year enthralling the audience in a sober manner. WowMakers voice that the kinetics of type will be put in use, similar much to the process of animating characters or an object, like stretching, distorting, jumbling, twisting or making it disappear. Seamless transitions, much in fashion, will ensure a smooth video without jumpy transitions and cuts that can disorient the viewer.



With characters and entire backgrounds rendered by just a few lines and shapes, according to Aaron Pinto, Minimalism was one of the main themes for illustration in 2018. Also, the 90’s made a huge resurgence with retro, cyberpunk, glitch and neon colours being some of the mainstays of this style.


The forecasted illustration styles surfacing 2019 will be following:

1. Raw and Unprocessed

These days the work shared online is very processed and digital, says Aaron Pinto. They are basically collages that are composited aesthetically for Instagram. But 2019 will see less processed and more organic designs being back in fashion. Hand-drawings and rough sketches are expected to take centre stage.


2. God is in the Details

With a quantitative increase in the making of superhero movies and the release of a number of series, there has been a steady demand of comic book type illustrations. Also, detailed black and white inked illustrations are making a comeback. 2019 might just see it peak.


3. Being the Attention-seeker

We live in a day and age, where there is an overload of content that is being consumed at an unprecedented pace.


To stand out from the crowd, a good visual is a great way of engaging or gaining the interest of the consumer while scrolling through the vast barrage of content being thrown at them. And more often than not a great illustration will do that job better than a photograph or even typography.

4. Complications Subjected to Simplifications

With monotones and monochromatic themes having showcased their presence in 2018, 2019 is sure to be a witness to these themes surfing the waves of illustration styles.


Aaron Pinto has mentioned that a lot of illustrators are trying to bring simplicity in their colour schemes as opposed to their normal saturated style.

Fluid shapes are catching on slowly. Geometric patterns and halftones seem like a good bet as well.


Also, simple seems to be a growing trend in general. So why not in illustrations!


Hope this article helped you to know and grab those key factors of graphic design that will be trending in 2019 to differentiate you from the rest.

Creative Gaga - Issue 54