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8 Design Trends For 2021 All Students Should Know

Design is a constantly evolving industry that lives off creativity. The trends that appear represent the social and cultural tendencies and expectations. Whether it is interior design, digital art, or UI/UX – some trends will be ubiquitous in all of these spheres.

In 2021, a lot of them are focusing on personalized experience, sustainable approach, and more artistic freedom. The same way EssayHelp always puts a client and their requirements in the center of their work, designers also focus more on customizable interfaces or interiors.

If you are interested in what will remain trendy and what are the new ideas to come, here is a list of the most prominent trends for 2021.

web designer Minimalism

This is not a new trend, as it has been around for a couple of years. But it is still highly relevant in all types of design. In digital art, there is a shift to abstract minimalism, with exaggerated proportions and specific geometric shapes. There is also little to no shading and gradients in this artistic style as well as bright contrasting colors.

There are several reasons why minimalism is going strong. First of all, it makes UI/UX more effective and productive. It eliminates all the unnecessary elements and helps to highlight only important features. Secondly, in art, it helps to find a new meaning of expression while being very clear with the message.

Pastel Colors

On the contrary to abstract minimalism, many creators choose pastel colors. They always look fresh, calming, and extremely welcoming. They highlight the new desire to incorporate more optimistic visuals. Pastels are predominant in clothing, interior design, footwear, website development, etc. It is an easy way to make almost anything look stylish and aesthetically soft.

Retro Vibe and Retrofuturism

Another thing that is very popular now is nostalgia. You can see that in the 80s aesthetic revival in TV shows like Stranger Things or American Horror Story. The same trend is apparent in the clothing and apparel industry. No surprise, it is relevant for digital visuals as well.

On the one hand, it helps people to think about previous times that seemed much easier. On the other hand, it is to interpret and understand the past in a new way.

Retrofuturism is a related trend that combines nostalgia and some positivity about the future. Yes, we still do not have flying cars, but some modern technologies are astonishing.

gameboy color Focus on Icons

It is quite notable that Apple has updated all their icons last year. This redesign signifies a new approach to this graphic element. They are now a fundamental part of UI/UX. For several years, minimalism was predominant in this field. But now we can see a movement in the opposite direction, with a bit of shading, gradients, and more complex visuals.

3D Illustrations

3D technology becomes more and more advanced and it is safe to say that it will be even more popular this year. Many websites and platforms already choose 3D illustrations and models instead of pictures. They create more in-depth space and allow creating something unique. We can expect heavily-stylized characters or brand mascots with very realistic motions. The 3D animation is going to be about round, soft lines and tactile aesthetics.


Many brands give preference to sustainable packaging, design, and means of production. It becomes a part of brand values and identity that customers gladly share. As the environmental issues are still very urgent, this trend will remain relevant. It is all about connecting with nature, reducing harm, and being a conscious consumer.

In interior design, it will manifest in incorporating natural materials, like wood and fabrics. In retail, it will be used in packaging and manufacturing.

Authentic Representation

This movement is a direct response to the state of society. Many brands and individuals will choose authentic representation and diversity. After all, visuals are incredibly impactful and creators and designers need to acknowledge that. There will be more diversity in illustrations, stock images, advertising, etc. It is a positive change as more diverse representation is also beneficial for brands that want to attract a new audience to their products or services.


This is yet another essential part of design now. Starting from social media icons, like Instagram and up to platforms, websites, and product packaging – gradients are everywhere. They tend to be complex in terms of the number of colors used. It is not just two or three of them, but up to 10. They also often use non-contrasting colors, which makes them softer in appearance. And they also are used in other designs, like clothing or home textiles.

In Summary

These are the trends that will be relevant for 2021. Overall, there is a shift to positive visuals, incorporation of pastels, gradients, and attention to detail. One of the main themes will be retro vibe and revival of specific past elements and shapes. Art leans more to abstract minimalism and finds new shapes, proportions, and color combinations. It is safe to say that visuals will gain even more importance in all spheres, from websites to interior designs.