Hand holding globeWhat a wild ride this year has been. The events of 2021 will influence graphic design trends for many years to come. As we head into 2022, and the world picks itself back up from the lingering pandemic, let’s take a look at the trends we’ll see for graphic designers, photographers, videographers, and more.

Graphic design influences nearly every industry. Music, literature, marketing, and more are all impacted by the styles that visual designers choose to put forward.

The Covid-19 pandemic shifted the way we expressed ourselves in 2021. Psychedelic designs became one of the biggest trends among freelance graphic designers and videographers, right alongside three-dimensional illustrations and maximalism. Will those design trends remain at the forefront in 2022, or will they be replaced by a more minimalist esthetic?

One way to tell what’s coming down the pipeline is by looking at the work being produced by top freelancers on Funnel’s design marketplace. Each day on Funnel, professional graphic designers, photographers, and videographers are hired to create designs and sell their services to those who need their expertise. Their creations are pushing the industry forward and setting the standard for the latest wave of design trends in 2022.

The Next Wave

What do we know about the biggest design trends of 2022? Based on the projects commissioned through Funnel’s freelance marketplace, it’s already clear that minimalism is on the rise. As the world picks up, and life gets back to its frenetic pace, designers are bringing a sense of calm and relaxation to the work they produce. Minimalist designs from the 1990s are getting a second life in 2022.

Photographers and videographers are getting in on the ‘90s nostalgia with their own expressive styles. Saturated colors are giving way to washed out designs. Black and white photography is poised to have a comeback in 2022, as more clients seek out freelance photographers and videographers with experience creating realistic portraits.

Inclusivity is another trend set to change the way graphic designers, photographers, and videographers work in 2022. Major brands are seeking out more inclusive designs for their advertising and marketing campaigns, with viral memes that appeal to people from all walks of life.

If there’s one thing we can say for sure, it’s that the design trends of 2022 are set to be unlike any other. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect.

Top Design Trends 2022

  • ‘90s Nostalgia
  • Experimental Lettering
  • Doodles
  • Grunge
  • Crypto-Art
  • Serif Fonts
  • Inclusivity
  • Maximalism
  • 3D Designs

Stereo record player‘90s Nostalgia

Shows like Stranger Things brought ‘80s nostalgia into the mainstream and created renewed demand for gothic serif fonts and neon colored logos last year. In 2022, the ‘90s are poised for a comeback.

Influence from the ‘90s can be seen in many of the graphic design, videography, and photography projects commissioned by clients on Funnel’s marketplace. Think primitive internet frames, simple emojis, and bright color blocks. Expect many of the advertisements you see in 2022 to elicit a sense of comfort through the strategic use of “old school” design elements.

Global Lettering

Travel is back, and after nearly two years of staying close to home, people around the world are eager to explore. Trends in consumer travel and movement are influencing graphic design, as well. We’re seeing more freelance graphic designers experimenting with global lettering and fonts that have a multicultural edge.

Experimental lettering that brings together various cultures and global styles could be a major trend in 2022. Not only do global fonts touch on the latest travel trends, but they also embrace inclusivity and personal expression in a way that audiences are craving.

Doodles

Are doodles the anti-design? Not quite. Graphic designers have found that what you draw as the mind wanders says a lot about what’s going on inside your head. Doodles are incredibly personal, and yet that personal element is exactly what we’re seeing as a major trend in 2022.

Photographers, videographers, and graphic designers are all being asked to add more of themselves to their work. Visual design has always been a personal medium, but today’s freelancers are finding new opportunities to inject themselves into their professional work with freeform drawing and doodling.

Man playing guitar - grungeGrunge

Grunge is angst. Grunge is messy. Grunge is gritty. These are all things we can relate to as 2021 comes to a close. If you’re looking at the next wave of design and video trends in 2022, pay close attention to the revival in the grunge aesthetic.

Photography, videography, and graphic design are all feeling the influence of grunge. What ‘zines were to 1990s grunge, edited TikTok videos are to grunge in 2022.

The physical presence of grunge today is most noticeable in photography and videography. It’s also easy to spot in graphic design, where designers use elements like scribbled handwriting fonts and torn pages to give off a grunge vibe.

Crypto-Art

Crypto-art has generated a lot of traction in 2021, and the attention doesn’t appear to be declining anytime soon. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digital files that are published onto a blockchain. NFTs provide proof of origin, which means only one person can own each file.

What do NFTs and crypto-art have to do with the latest graphic design and video trends?

Digital artwork has become one of the most popular types of NFTs to date. This is great news for freelance graphic designers, videographers, and photographers, who can now sell their artwork without worrying about their projects being replicated. The crypo-art space is projected to see massive growth in the next 12 months. With more buyers flooding the marketplace and more designers selling their creations as NFTs, the time for freelancers to get involved in the space is now.

Serif Fonts

This isn’t the first time you’ve heard about serif fonts on this list of 2022 trends. Serif fonts—a typeface that utilizes small lines or strokes attached to the end of larger strokes—are classic. They harken back to a simpler time, before the world was upended. Serif fonts have been making a comeback in graphic design. Serif fonts lend themselves well to projects that are meant to evoke a feeling of safety and familiarity — something we’re all looking for in 2022.

Inclusivity

What does inclusivity have to do with graphic design? A lot, actually. Marketing managers are increasingly seeking out inclusive designs featuring diverse ranges of people for their business collaterals. Freelance designers and photographers are finding creative new ways to weave inclusivity into forward-thinking designs. Rather than using white, able-bodied people as the default in graphics and logos, top freelancers are finding ways to represent marginalized groups in their projects.

Bald woman shoutingMaximalism

Not every one of these design trends or video trends makes sense. Even while freelance graphic designers and photographers are being asked to incorporate more homey, simple elements into their creations, we’re also seeing a trend toward maximalism on Funnel’s freelancer marketplace.

Maximalism overwhelms the senses with loud designs and bold colors. Those elements are layered over contrasting patterns and repeated motifs to create the kind of images and videos that can’t be ignored.

Maximalism is slated for a comeback in 2022, as designers dial up the fun and lean into the “more is more” approach.

3D Designs

3D isn’t new. However, with Facebook’s metaverse becoming a reality and virtual reality headsets selling like crazy, freelance designers have to start thinking about how their creations will translate in a 3D world.

Meta’s Oculus VR headset was one of the most popular technology gifts over the holidays, demonstrating a widespread appetite for virtual reality and an opening in the marketplace for graphic designers who can meet demand by developing realistic 3D models.

3D graphics took over mobile and desktop in 2021. That trend is still going strong, but it’s also evolving as graphic designers and photographers find creative new ways to combine the authenticity of two-dimensional illustrations within the context of three-dimensions.

It’s clear that 3D style will dominate the landscape in 2022, and beyond. We’re already seeing 3D work in all kinds of graphics and video formats. The question isn’t whether 3D design will be popular in 2022. The question is how far we’ll go with this trend and how designers will integrate 3D illustrations into VR, and the metaverse more broadly.

Where will 2022 take us? What design and video trends are you looking forward to using in the coming year?

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