5 design trends you will see in 2020

The 5 design trends you will see in 2020

The face of design is always changing.

What looks cutting-edge and on-trend one day could look dated and out-of-touch the next. So, as a designer, if you want your designs to feel timely and relevant, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the design world—and, in particular, the most up-to-date design trends.

But what exactly are those design trends going to be in 2020? We asked two design experts—Rani Sweis, Creative Director at AtticSalt and Geoff Donegan, Creative Director and Partner at Tank Design—for their insights on the trends that are poised to sweep the design world in the upcoming year. Let’s take a deep dive into those trends (and, more importantly, how you can incorporate them into your 2020 designs):

Trend #1: Unique branding

The 5 design trends you will see in 2020_Unique Branding

Image via Graphis

Brands know that they need a logo in order to differentiate their brand—and, for a long time, the logo was the focus. But while logos will (of course) continue to be a key design asset in the upcoming year, expect 2020 to see brands thinking beyond the logo and building a broader, more comprehensive brand identity.

“We’re finally entering an era where people are starting to understand that a brand is so much more than its logo,” says Rani Sweis, Creative Director at AtticSalt. “In a digitally driven world where brands interact with consumers on a variety of touch points, designers are realizing the importance of a cohesive and impactful brand identity system that speaks volumes about their brand in any context.”

How to embrace this trend in 2020

If you want to focus on your brand identity in 2020, think about how all of your design assets come together to build a cohesive brand—and whether they are in need of a refresh.

Got a generic business card? Think about designing something more on-brand to really make an impression on your clients. Did you use a template to build your website and feel like the results are a bit cookie-cutter?

Consider hiring a designer to come up with something that’s more in line with your brand. Developing a new product? Focus on your packaging and design something that’s going to jump off the shelves.

Your brand identity is made up of a variety of design assets:

  • Your logo
  • Your business card
  • Your website
  • Your social media presence

And if you want to embrace this trend, all of them need to feel unique, well-designed, and on-brand in 2020.

Your business card is a crucial part of your brand identity. Design a business card that reflects who you are as a brand with one of Canva’s business card templates, like the Watermelon Fashion Business Card or the Red Photo Cake Business Card.

Trend #2: Custom typography

The 5 design trends you will see in 2020_Custom Typography

Image via DigitalArts

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or what industry you’re in—chances are, your market is saturated with competition

And with so many competitors out there, it’s never been more important to break through the clutter and grab your audience’s attention.

That’s why, in 2020, expect relying on common fonts to take a backseat to a more custom approach to typography.

“Font licensing can be messy and expensive, especially for big global brands,” says Geoff Donegan, Creative Director and Partner at Tank Design. “More will invest in custom typefaces; it can really help them stand out and potentially save money at the same time.”

How to embrace this trend in 2020

Creating a custom font for your brand can be a great way to differentiate yourself and stand out in 2020.

But before you start designing (or hire a designer), you need to put some serious thought into what kind of font you’re going to design, and what that font will communicate about your brand.

For example, if you’re a financial consulting firm and want to convey a sense of trustworthiness to your clients? You might want to go with a serif font, which people tend to see as more traditional and reliable. Or, on the flip side, let’s say you’re launching a cutting-edge technology company. In that case, you’d probably want to go with a sans serif font, which people view as more modern and sleek.

Designing custom typography is great—but before you start designing, just make sure you know what the typography is going to say about you and your brand.

Custom typography is set to be a big trend in 2020. But if it’s not in your budget, don’t worry—you can still get a unique look with your typography. Get started with one of Canva’s templates (many of which feature unique and out-of-the-box font styles!) like the Party Flyer or the Green Pencil Art Talent Show Flyer.

Trend #3: Thinking outside of the design box

The 5 design trends you will see in 2020_Thinking outside of the design box

Photo by Diana Parkhouse on Unsplash

In recent years, many brands and designs have been following the trend of “playing it safe”—which has led to a more formulaic approach to design that hasn’t exactly made for interesting or unique designs.

“Experiences have become homogenous—everyone’s copying each other, and it’s leading to bland, unbranded digital experiences,” says Donegan.

But 2020 should see more brands and designers flexing their creative muscles, thinking outside of the design box, and creating designs that feel special, on-brand, and truly one-of-a-kind.

“Recent trends have inundated the design community with a rather formulaic approach to design, and designers are beginning to push back. Even the most buttoned up of corporations are loosening their collars a bit, opening up to a bit of playfulness and personality in a plight to explore the unexpected,” says Sweis.

“Companies like Dropbox, Welly, Uber, and many others are diving into use of color, animation, and abstractions to bring their brands to life.”

How to embrace this trend in 2020

If there’s one 2020 design trend that offers unlimited possibilities, it’s this one. This trend offers you the opportunity to get creative—so take advantage of it!

Have you been thinking of incorporating more animations into your designs (like your logo or social graphics)? Go for it! Been itching to try a new design style? Try it out and see how it goes! Have you had a design idea bouncing around in your head that’s felt too risky or “out there?” Well, let that idea go—and move full steam ahead.

2020 is a year to experiment, try new things, and be creative—and that means thinking outside of the design box. So have fun with it!

Thinking outside of the design box is a great way to stand out and grab people’s attention. And a great place to start? Your logo. Get started with one of Canva’s logo templates, like the Yellow and Purple Gift and Souvenir Shop Logo or the Cream with Cassette Tape Music Logo.

Trend #4: Bold, contrasting colors

The 5 design trends you will see in 2020_Bold, contrasting colors

Image via eyemax

While great designs often boast a neutral color palette, in 2020 we can expect the color trends to lean more towards the bright and bold.

“Where the minimalism of the past couple of years has led many to opt for a relatively monochromatic color palette, designers are starting to inject more personality back into their work, often through [the] use of color and gradients,”

“The days of black Helvetica on a white background are fading, [with] many designers opting for a more playful approach.” says Sweis.

How to embrace this trend in 2020

If you’ve wanted to experiment with bright, bold, vibrant colors, now is the time to do it. But if the thought of going all bold with your color palette feels like a lot of color all at once, that’s ok! You can still embrace this trend by using more vibrant hues as accent colors.

For example, if your brand color palette is mostly neutrals, try adding in a bright pop of yellow, green, or pink to liven it up. If you’re designing a monochrome image for social media, add some vibrancy with one boldly colored element. Take small steps towards adding more bold colors into your design—and by the end of this year, you’ll be rocking this trend like a pro.

Social media is a great place to experiment with bright, bold colors. Bring the color to your social feed with one of Canva’s social graphics templates, like the Pink and Yellow Neon Brush Strokes Cricket Game Schedule Instagram Post or the Pink Orange Geometric Quote Beauty Hair Instagram Post.

Trend #5 Injecting more art into design

The 5 design trends you will see in 2020_Injecting more art into design

Design by 99designs designer CBT

Graphic design is an art form. But it’s certainly not the only art form.

Iin 2020, expect to see other art forms (like illustration and animation) make their way into the world of graphic design.

“In an effort to stray away from the sterility of flat, cut-and-dry design rules, we’re seeing designers start to bridge the gap between art and design,” says Sweis. “With a growing prominence of projects proving that you don’t have to choose between computer-generated graphics with hand drawn illustration, we’re seeing designers merge the functionality and problem solving of design with the personality and expression of art.”

How to embrace this trend in 2020

If you or your designs have an artistic talent that you typically don’t incorporate into your graphic design projects (like hand-drawn illustrations or watercolor painting), look for ways to integrate both to create fresh, on-trend designs. Redesigning your logo? Illustrate your mascot instead of using computer graphics. Launching a new product? Try incorporating more artistic, hand-drawn elements on your packaging. Designing new quote images for your social feeds? Try creating a watercolor background to lend it a more artistic flair. In 2020, the more artistic, the better!

Not an artist? Not a problem! You can still inject more art into your designs—all you need is the right template. Get started with one of Canva’s illustration-inspired templates, like the Starry Night Baby Shower Thank You Card or the Pink Cake Birthday Card.

Embrace 2020’s biggest design trends

2020 is poised to be a great year for design. And now that you have your finger on the pulse for what’s happening in the design space, all that’s left to do? Embrace these trends in the upcoming year—and take your designs to the next level in the process.


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