December 29, 2022

Top 10 Design Trends for 2023

Top 10 Design Trends for 2023

Top 10 Design Trends for 2023

Top 10 Design Trends for 2023

The general population will be happy to see the back of 2022, but graphic design trend predictions are pulling some of the big graphic design moments of the past year forward into 2023. Escapism is pulling on the levers for this coming year, and it looks like we’ll be seeing trends like throwback nostalgia and futuristic optimism powering 2023 alongside the increasing influence of cutting edge AI. Here’s our roundup of the trends to watch for 2023.

1. Motion UI

Thanks to the rise of Tik Tok and the resulting dwindling of the consumer’s attention span, motion design is set to dominate the user interface for 2023. Digital spaces are becoming more immersive in order to compel users to stick around. This can take the form of anything from subtle parallax scrolling on a website design, to a GIF or an animated icon on an app home screen, to a fully animated billboard campaign - all of it adding a touch of depth and realism to our digital experiences.

Motion UI - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
The Figma Homepage uses animated elements to guide the reader through

2. AI Generated Design

Much of the design community was abuzz last year with the possibilities of AI and its impact on design as we know it. The launch of OpenAI’s AI powered image generator, DALL-E 2, sent waves through social media and raised questions about the future of artists and designers. In one of the first instances of utilising AI in branding, American agency &Walsh used DALL-E 2 to create the brand imagery for Isodope, a nuclear energy advocate with a mainly Tik Tok demographic.

Ai Generated Design - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
Isodope Branding by &Walsh

For now, though, the immediate impact for businesses will centre on the advantages of a more streamlined workflow as design software becomes more intuitive, along with the ability to personalise the user experience. But keep watch for OpenAI’s next iteration, GPT-4, which no doubt will expand the possibilities of AI generated design even further.

3. Vaporwave

The rise of virtual reality has brought with it a resurgence of the vaporwave aesthetic - a surrealist blend of 1980s and 1990s glitches, pixelated graphics, bevels, vintage cartoons, and early electronics all combined with Greek and Roman busts, city skylines, isometric grids and geometric shapes. Now a genre in its own right, the distinctive vaporwave colour palette centres on bright eye-catching neons, bubblegum pastels, and iridescent holographic gradients. Harking back to the early internet, this surrealist moment is just getting started.

Vaporwave - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
Vaporwave Aesthetic

4. Dark Mode

Dark Mode came about in 2018/19 as a UI option on mobile devices and websites that offered some relief to screen-weary eyes, making content more consumable in low light. These days, dark mode as a style lends a moody, mysterious feel to both digital and print design, giving a brand or campaign a high-tech and luxurious air with light, white or neon typography against dark backgrounds. For 2023 expect to see this trend merge with the vaporwave aesthetic and gradient trend for a more cosmic vibe.

Dark Mode - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
Spotify Homepage

5. Gradients

Gradients have been around for a while now, but seem to be continuing as a steady presence in multiple aspects of graphic design - from app icons to backgrounds to typography. For 2023 we’re looking at more vivid tones, more liquifying, and seeing this graphic element incorporated into the Dark Mode, 3D and vaporwave styles.

Gradients - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
Apple iPhone Homepage

6. 3D Illustration and Typography

3D rendering software has come a long way in recent years, and we’re just beginning to see artists push the boundaries of what’s possible. Thanks again to the rise of VR and the push towards more immersive design, expect to see more brands utilising 3D illustration and typography in order to stay well ahead of the curve.

3D illustration and typography - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
3D Illustration by Leo Natsume for Google Partners project

7. The Unboxing Experience

It’s well known in marketing that customers trust other customers over the brands themselves, and as video trumps static imagery, it’s no wonder brands are embracing the unboxing video trend as a low cost marketing tool. More consideration is being given to the physical brand experience as part of the overall brand identity - from thoughtful, interactive packaging design through to earth conscious materials and plastic free alternatives.

The Unboxing experience - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
Sonos Move Packaging

8. Isometric & Retro Flat Illustration

A clever blend of flat and 3D illustration, this 70s retro style offers a less in-your-face aesthetic than the vaporwave genre, with its use of thin black outlines, blocky typography and less saturated colours. It’s a comforting and cool nod to retro gaming graphics that’s a perfect example of reimagining a classic style for modern times.

Isometric & Retro Flat illustrations - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
Ciety Homepage

9. Candy Pastels

Soft and soothing tones of baby blue, candyfloss pink and sherbert yellow make up the colour palette to watch for 2023. These colours lend themselves well to both calming, minimalist typographic designs and maximalist bursts of optimism. Together, they can form a playful system and provide endless thematic inspiration.

Candy Pastels - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
Byoma Skincare Packaging

10. Distorted Typography

Stretched, warped, liquified, pixelated - all kinds of type distortion are the order of the day as we hurtle into 2023. Although not a new idea, traditional serif fonts and modern sans serifs alike are appearing in increasing regularity with a melting, knotted or fractured twist; in keeping with the current reality-warping modes of design featured in this list.

Distorted  typography - Top 10 Design Trends for 2023 - Pithy Blog
By Steve Biggert and Duncan Elms via Behance

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it - after another turbulent year of global events, the top graphic design trends for 2023 seem to be casting our vision forward into the future, but through a playfully retro lens. Be ready to see more dynamic typography, gaming style graphics, early internet nostalgia and surrealism alongside the boundary-pushing impact of AI generated design, with the central theme being more immersive customer experiences.

 And if there’s anything you think we’ve missed, or you fancy a chat about what we could do for your business, we’d love to hear from you - just drop us a message using the form below.

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Royal Academy of Dance
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