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Step into the time capsule as we revisit the design trends that shaped the creative industry of 2023. From nostalgic comebacks to innovative breakthroughs, 2023 was a wild ride sizzling with creativity, bringing a burst of vibrant colours, playful patterns, and bold experimentation.

Bold abstract shapes 

Bold abstract shapes have made a comeback after making the rounds a few years ago. However, this time more abstract and rounded shapes are popular rather than sharp angles and stiff edges. From Spotify Wrapped to Slack, every big brand is using these shapes to add an additional layer of visual interest without distracting from the graphics’ main focus.

Retro cartoon stickers

Retro cartoon stickers continued to trend in 2023 presenting an even greater diversity of styles, shapes, and colours. Physical stickers have been popular for decades, allowing you to personalise your clothes and belongings to distinguish you from the crowd at a low cost. You can use digital stickers for a similar purpose to add a splash of fun and personality to infographics, social media posts, and more.

70s-inspired design

Vibrant, retro, flat style design inspired by the 70s has made a comeback since becoming popularised by the design programme, Figma. Despite its simplicity, the 70s retro design style looks aesthetically pleasing and effortlessly catches the eye. Thin black outlining and borders are also very popular with this trend along with thick, rounded typefaces and heavy shadows that emphasise areas to create a three-dimensional effect.

Natural design

2023 saw designers incorporating more natural elements, textures, and earthy colour palettes into their work as they become more conscious of the environment. This trend draws inspiration from the sturdiness of rocks, the flow of the ocean, and the vibrancy of fresh fruit. The last few years of being stuck indoors have also inspired this natural design movement, bringing us closer to nature even when sitting at a desk inside an office.


The risograph printing technique, which was developed in Japan in the 80s, has made a comeback but this time it’s converted into the digital design world. This unique look of grainy textures, vibrant hues, and unintentional double exposure adds character to designs and gives a vintage vibe. It also has a very organic and handcrafted feel due to the nature of the printing process, even in digital designs it gives the impression of a handmade piece.

Gothic typography

As summer shifts into autumn, gothic type styles gain popularity for their fitting atmosphere, and captivating visual style. Its intricate and calligraphic style provides many advantages for designers such as distinctive versatility, hierarchy, and contrast. Enhancing readability, this style suits titles, headlines, and key text, elevating design aesthetics to the max.


The airbrush surrealism aesthetic has resurfaced and is proving to be very popular amongst designers this year. This technique was very trendy back in the ’70s and ’80s and it was notable for being used in ads, album art, and general sci-fi related art. The effect involves adding retro filters to unusual and surreal-looking imagery to make designs look blurry and soft. These designs often use supersaturated colours, floating objects, and wavy shapes.


Punk, born from the rebellious spirit of the 1920s Dada movement, has made a big comeback in design this year. The style is mainly fuelled by dissatisfaction of the broken systems however the growing income inequality and the recent passing of the queen has added more fuel to the fire. The punk style is all about the handmade aesthetic with its scribbles, rips, wild fonts, and crazy collages, ditching a clean flair for a messy, honest vibe that people connect with.

VHS-inspired retro

The VHS retro design trend draws inspiration from the visual characteristics of VHS tapes and the aesthetics of the 1980s and 1990s. It often features intentional imperfections like VHS glitches, pixelation, neon hues and monitor scanlines to evoke nostalgia. This design style also incorporates retro typography, references to 80s and 90s pop culture, and a blend of vintage and futuristic elements.

Predictions for 2024

As we move into 2024, the world of graphic design will evolve even further. 2024 promises a year full of metallic typography, neon and energetic colour palettes, and hand-drawn, whimsical illustrations that add a touch of human personality to brands. Nostalgic elements will continue to flow through and impact design trends, along with the rise of animated typography. Bring on the new year!