7 Social Media Graphic Design Trends to Build Your Brand in 2022

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Welcome to 2022, to the video-first social media landscape. This year, brands are stepping away from prim minimalism and bravely embracing eccentric and eclectic graphics. With the need to grab fleeting attention, graphic designs will be more neon and nostalgic than ever before.

Competition for digital presence is fierce, but there’s always room for a brand with well-thought-out visuals. Here are 7 styles that will be popular in 2022—scroll-stopping social media design trends that you can use to stand out, plus corresponding design templates that you can customize for your brand.

Styles that Will Soar

Trendy Zine

Trendy zine takes “editorial” to a whole new level. These designs use experimental frames, dreamy gradients, and flashy layouts. You’ll see a lot of wild shapes, neon-pastel colors, and playful fonts that pay homage to zine culture.

This is not your average magazine-inspired social media graphics; it’s much more youthful and irreverent. The designs pack a punch, and they’re the perfect style for brands that cater to the Gen Z market. They make for out-of-the-box infographics or social media ads.

Here’s a jazzy template to start your trendy zine social media posts. Feel free to add stars, scrolls, warped text, and layer upon layer of photo effects.

UI Digitalism

UI digitalism creates art out of digital interfaces. This graphic design trend is inspired by UI elements, like text messages, search bars, and social media posts. It adopts the aesthetic of cyberspace: flat shapes, clean lines, and neutral colors (with a splash of neon here and there). It also adopts UI typography, which is dominated by simple sans serif, monospaced, and modern serif fonts.

UI digitalism spans the breadth of the digital landscape, so any business or content creator can use it for their brand. As far as social media trends go, UI digitalism is fool-proof, no matter what your target audience is. Try creating your own using these templates.

Retro

The retro style is an ode to the vibrant imagery of the 60s and 70s. It’s quirky, playful, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Retro color palettes mix bright neons and pastels together to create warm, sensational graphics. The shapes are fun, and the fonts are far from formal. Each image has lots of elements, but each one is arranged so as to maintain visual balance.

This design trend is perfect if you want to arrest a user’s eyes. Have a big announcement? An exciting promo? A highly anticipated reveal? Retro graphics will give you a quick win.

Try your hand at it! Use these templates to create retro-inspired social media content.

90s and Y2K Nostalgia

Tugging at the heartstrings of Millennial and Gen Z social media users is the 90s and Y2K nostalgia style. These graphics use familiar cues from the past decades to evoke nuanced nostalgia. Lots of sparkles, bedazzled borders, bubblegum colors, and butterfly accents. Everything’s bright, energetic, and glossy. Your font styles are eccentric, and you don’t skimp on embellishments.

90s and Y2K nostalgia is a ticket to the hearts of your younger followers. Follow this style if you want to join the trendy circles of social media or if you want to project a youthful, carefree brand identity.

Create your own 90s moment starting with these free templates. And remember, for this social trend, more is more.

Stickerbomb

Hot on the heels of the 90s and Y2K aesthetic is the stickerbomb style. As its name suggests, it bombards the senses with whimsical, brightly colored shapes. No monochromatic palettes here: stickerbombs thrive with loud hues, usually contrasted with black or white. The graphic designs are grounded by thick, sans serif fonts.

Stickerbombs work wonders when catching a user’s attention. Thanks to an explosion of shapes and colors, they’re really hard to miss. That’s why they will be a favorite among businesses and content creators who want to stand out in a sea of muted designs.

Give it a try—customize these social media design templates and add stickers that define your brand.

Refined Scrapbook

The refined scrapbook style celebrates everything that’s made with love. The graphics themselves look like they’re handmade and use scrapbooking elements, such as pressed flowers, paper cutouts, washi tape, and photos with Polaroid frames. To complete the wistful look, muted neutrals and blush pastels are used, along with a mix of vintage and handwritten fonts.

Refined scrapbook works beautifully for handcrafted items, homemade goods, small-scale shops, and cottage industries. If you want a soft and romantic visual identity for your social networks, then this is the design trend for you.

Create your own scrapbook-style post using this template. Add as many daisies as you please.

Trendy Gradient

The trendy gradient is for brands that like to keep it simple. These graphics soothe the eyes with their soft gradients that often form abstract shapes. Thin, geometric shapes dominate the design, and the fonts are elegant and modern. Nothing crazy. If the gradients have bold and bright colors, they’re always tempered by their pastel counterparts.

Gradients started gaining traction as a logo design trend in 2021, and they have crossed over to social media platforms. After all, these designs do a great job of balancing trendy and minimalism. While the pendulum of social media trends swings toward maximalism in 2022, trendy gradients reinvent minimalism for the new breed of social media users. Try these design templates for your brand.

Formats to Focus on

Now that you know the favorite designs for social media posts in 2022, the next step is to find out how you should use these designs.

It’s not enough to have stunning visuals, after all. A business owner or content creator must use the formats that bring in the most customers. So this year, focus your social media strategy on these five key content formats.

1. TikTok Videos

If there’s one place you have to be in 2022, it’s TikTok. Thanks to its addictive stream of video content, the platform is poised to exceed 1.5B users this year. Canva has seen TikTok evolve from a dance app to the all-around app of the moment. If you’re not on TikTok, now is a great time to set up an account.

Don’t worry, you’ll have as much fun creating videos as your users are watching them.

Once you’re on TikTok, join niche communities that revolve around your brand. Selling second-hand books? There’s #BookTok (37B views and counting). Running an ice cream shop? There’s #ScoopTok (it’s more popular than you think). TikTok is home to countless comedians, lifestyle influencers, travel bloggers, fashion entrepreneurs. Join the digital spaces for #homedecor, #fortnite, #parenting, #asmr, and #recipes.

Name it, TikTok has it. In fact, subcultures are one of the most important TikTok trends of 2022. And this social media platform churns out more trends than its competitors combined.

If you’re worried that you have zero video editing skills, we got your back. Canva’s video editor makes TikTok editing a breeze.

Kick off your account with an enticing teaser. Join the Trendy Zine movement on social media by customizing this TikTok template. Add neon bubbles, odd frames, and glitzy stars.

Here are a few tips to create the best TikTok videos:

  • Use the right hashtags. You want your videos to show up on the feed of your target audience.
  • Keep it short and snappy. Attention spans get shorter by the year.
  • Make it look professional. TikTok’s a hodgepodge of video content. Set your brand apart with identifiable visuals and original clips.

2. Instagram Shopping

TikTok is the place to be, so should we leave Instagram behind? No. In fact, brands need to double down on their Instagram efforts. Two words: Instagram Shopping.

Statistics from the 2022 Instagram Trend Report reveal that a lot of young users want to shop directly on the app. In sum, it’s not enough to create beautiful Instagram content; they must be shoppable, too.

So in 2022, social media trends dictate that we shouldn’t just aim for likes and comments. We aim for purchases! How do you achieve this? Use the Canva photo editor to create shop-worthy product photo layouts. Tag your products, and you’re good to go.

And when you showcase your product in Reels, make sure that your audience has a way to shop them. Start with this Instagram template, and shower it with stickers for an electrifying look.

3. Live Streaming

We know what you’re thinking—isn’t live streaming for gamers? Not in 2022. Your brand can join the fun and use live videos to:

  • Launch new products (social commerce)
  • Live stream company events
  • Invite brand ambassadors for Q&As and demos

The sky’s the limit when it comes to video streaming, really. A few years ago, live streams were almost exclusive to esports. Then they became a social media trend in 2021 and never left the radar since. Now, influencers, content creators, and small businesses use real-time video to keep people excited about their brands. It’s even predicted that live shopping will be one of the biggest livestream trends of 2022. Social trends demand the here and now.

But it’s not enough to just live stream. You have to build the hype with awesome visuals, too.

Keep viewers tuned in with a nice Twitch screen. If you want to follow the 90s or Y2K aesthetic, add a generous heap of chrome accents, cotton candy glitters, or classic emoticons.

4. User-Generated Content

Trends come and go, but social proof never goes out of style. In fact, user-generated content (UGC) will hold more power over customers in 2022. This year, the reviews, product photos, and videos that your buyers generate will be a solid part of your marketing arsenal.

Another perk: UGC eases some of the load off your shoulders. As a small business owner or content creator, it’s difficult to keep churning out content. UGC is your best friend.

But don’t just repost your buyers’ content and call it a day! Grab any of our social media templates to spruce up your UGCs. Starting with this review template, for example, build a design reminiscent of your old scrapbooks. Place images of foliage, ripped pieces of paper, or vintage stamps.

5. WIPs and Process-Centric Content

Your followers are now equally fascinated with the process as they are with results. Of all social media trends, WIPs are the only ones designed to show a satisfying progression from blank canvas to final product. Your audience will love watching the process of styling your clothes, painting a canvas, making a candle, mixing slime, decorating toploaders, and more.

Tutorial videos, for example, are a goldmine, with #tutorial racking up about 200B TikTok views. If you’re selling personalized products, join #custom videos alongside artsy shops painting sneakers, drawing on tumblers, and creating personalized resins. ASMR process videos are also a hit on YouTube.

Give WIPs a try using this UI Digitalism-slash-Trendy Gradient layout. This Instagram template combines two social media design trends in one.

We can’t wait to see your brilliant designs and the rich engagement they will bring. Cheers to a fun, neon, and nostalgic 2022 for you and your brand!

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