In 2018, trends like activism, augmented reality, and everything ultraviolet defined design. It was a great year, but we’re ready for what’s next.

As you embark on possibly your most creative year yet, embrace new ideas. Here are our top most impactful graphic design trends of 2019.

1. 3D design

After several years of designs being fabulously flat, there’s a new sheriff in town — 3D. Breathe life into your projects by embracing 3D design elements. For example, the almost-stick figure way of illustrating humans in flat design can take on 3D form and be featured both in graphics and as avatars or brand mascots.

Bringing your life to work in 3D allows you to recreate the world around you and to construct new environments and dimensions. Expect to see designers use 3D elements to enhance web pages and to create AR and VR experiences.


The 3D trend also will expand into the world of typography, as new three-dimensional typefaces pop off the page and catch the eye. Search Adobe Fonts to find a 3D option for your next project.


2. Minimal meets BOLD color

The mantra “less is more” has dominated design in recent years. Expect this trend to continue in 2019 as clean, uncluttered visuals become even more necessary for viewing content on smaller screens like smartphones and tablets.

But like last year, there will be a few new twists – projects that pop with color are far from over.


Designers will take advantage of 70’s inspired palettes with bright colors and gradients. These color combinations lend themselves well to smooth the duotones and fades.

You can experiment with color in Photoshop using tools like gradient fill for adding beautiful background depth and applying duotones effects to enhance images.


3. Realism + Flat design

Opposites do attract, and when they do, you open up a world with true dimension. The combination of flat and real-life objects will challenge the way we see design.

The chaotic mix of solids will take on a futuristic feel, as they often appear 3D. Flying and floating elements will add to this effect and the overall abstract aesthetic.


This look has made an early debut in fashion and editorial photography, which often combine digital 3D objects with traditional photo shoots. Expect to see this technique expand to mainstream advertising.


4. Eclectic

As pop culture pushes for authenticity and transparency, designers will have to get real, too. The resulting shift in illustration style celebrates the imperfections in art. We’ll see more projects that feature freestyle doodles, stains of color, unique brush strokes, and organic textures.

The eclectic shift will push designers away from rigid, grid-based layouts and toward a more asymmetrical approach. Doing so will create a feeling of raw, kinetic movement.

This change in style doesn’t mean you’re confined to producing projects on paper. Your unique hand-drawn designs can be taken into the digital world using products like Adobe Capture, or can be created completely digitally with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop Sketch. Try creating your own brushes from your designs or from the objects you see in the world around you.


This trend in alternative art will touch every area of graphic design. We’re already seeing it featured in packaging design, and the results are stunning.


5. Open compositions

Say goodbye to framed finishes and hello to free-flowing final products. Open compositions make people feel like they’re seeing one beautiful piece of a bigger picture. Elements fly on and off the page with ease, creating a glimpse of infinity.

The power of open composition is its ability to tap into the audience’s imagination and spark curiosity. It makes you wonder, “What else is there?” The concept aligns well with 3D trends, as designers use 3D objects to create the illusion of “more” outside the frame.


You’ll find the first hints of this trend in web design since it lends itself well to interactive digital experiences, but we predict it will expand to print projects, too.

Get this look using Photoshop with basic compositing techniques for stunning artboards.

Get design-ready for 2019

Whether you make your work more abstract or bring your designs to life with 3D, we can’t wait to see what you create this year and beyond.