Top graphic design trends for 2018


Graphic design connects art and technology in a single creative process. Like any other area of design, it focuses on cutting-edge technology and materials, fashion trends, and technical advancements. Designs are always in line with their time. No matter how advanced the technology is, it is just tools in designer’s hands. Mastering some particular technology is not a guarantee of a successful work, since the activity of a graphic designer is based on imaginative, artistic thinking, and also knowledge of all new trends in design.

This article will help to understand the trends of graphic design in 2018.

  • 3D effects

The number of design projects using 3D technologies is constantly increasing. It can be assumed that in 2018 3D effects will become even more popular. Especially it concerns cooperation with brands, as well as logos and product placement.

  • Vivid colors and gradients

Bright colors can definitely make the design flashy, but, nevertheless, this is very popular in 2018 among other graphic designs.

A gradient is the use of two or more shades to paint the element when the saturation of the color gradually decreases. Choose a bright color to highlight details, dark – if you want to emphasize the shape, or pale – to reduce its visual size. Prefer colors that are close to the shade, they will have the less noticeable transition in the gradient, unlike colors that are contrasting or too similar. Too-contrast colors dampen the brightness of each other.

The example of the gradient’s successful usage is a logo of Instagram. Gradients of the new generation will be created with the effect of a two-tone image (Duotone).

  • Chaotic joining (combination of various forms, materials in non-traditional mixes)
  • Flexible 3D

In 2016 and 2017, the 3D design took a huge step forward. In the future, the line between reality and fantasy becomes even more blurred and less visible. It can be assumed that in 2018 the number of organic forms and movements used in the design will increase: 3D works and animations will become even more attractive. For example, designers will start using liquid forms and movements that we have long known from real life.

  • Animated retro illustrations

Modern illustrations, decorated in retro style, will be a real hit in 2018. Moreover, the number of well-designed animations will increase (for example, adding depth or subtle movements to flat images). The purpose of such animations is to make the story fascinating.


  • Predictive fonts

Eccentric fonts, made for order, became a hit, especially among designers. The variety of these fonts can wide from broken to pieces, distorted or broken structure to interactive, that respond to the mouse cursor.

  • Pictures drawn by the hand

The illustrations made by hand are always popular. The design needs to contain some skills, creativity, and imagination. That is why the hand-made pictures will always be in demand. In 2018, such illustrations are combined with other trends, such as 3d effects, negative space, and much more. You can always look for the pictures on different websites such as “Creative market” in order to choose the suitable works of graphic designers from all over the world.

In our opinion, digital art perfectly combines with the art of manual work. Designers deliberately strive to make digital images look like handmade objects. So the images become tactile and unusual.

  • Storytelling

Sometimes the story told in the picture can characterize the product better than its description. Do not forget that a cool illustration is more interesting than just a collection of facts and figures.

  • Custom graphics and illustrations

Custom graphics are becoming more popular every day. Unusual buttons, hand-drawn design elements, hand-written fonts are capable of giving the site its originality and its peculiarity, allowing it to be “live” and entertaining for users. Of course, custom graphics are appropriate only in the case when such an unconventional approach does not violate the specifics of the project.

  • Depth in flat design

The effect giving depth to the flat design is achieved with the help of realistic shadows. Thanks to them there is created the impression of three-dimensional space. The effect can be enhanced by dividing objects into separate layers and if the sharpness and blurring of one object affect the sharpness and blur of the other. The depth combines the shadows and perspective to give the digital components a sense of heights and a hierarchy that resembles the physical environment.

  • Crossing Styles

The key features of the graphic design of 2018 are creativeness and uniqueness. One option is to cross and merge different graphic styles. Bright colors, gradient, sketch with illustrations drawn by hand and simple photos. Combine different effects and create your own style!

Contrast combination of colors

  • Contrast combination of colors

Contrast improves the readability of data. Do not be afraid to combine very contrasting things in the interfaces. This is the only way to distinguish the main thing, removing the emphasis from the secondary.

  • Luxury nature

Sometimes it is not easy to come up with a pattern and it seems that everything has already been invented. But there are new opportunities in aerial photography and macro photography that uncover unknown patterns, shapes, colors, and so on. The possibilities are limitless, especially in combination with additional graphic effects.

According to the thoughts of many people, in order to create a brilliant graphic design, it’s enough to have the skills to draw an image better than the average artist. However, in practice everything proves to be more complicated and graphic design is not just a result of the designer’s artistic talent. The main controlling factor inherent in graphic design lies in the ability to put forward and implement an interesting and serious idea. Even the most bizarre and extraordinary product ever invented by mankind must have a good idea of correct graphic design, and be popular at a certain time for its implementation.

Among the tendencies repeating from year to year, there are really interesting and innovative things that appear thanks to the development of technologies and human capabilities.

If you want to follow the trends of graphic design in 2018, it is enough to use unusual techniques, bright colors, and new technologies. The year of digital graphic madness will bring fascinating, attractive designs beyond the bounds of this world.

Author’s bio

Mariia Hepalova is a content writer on She has written for various online publications and blogs. With an equal passion for both design and marketing, she strives to produce content that is informative yet easy to understand.