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Top Graphic Design software in 2020

Top Graphic Design software in 2020

Graphic designers everywhere will ask the  question:

What is the best graphic design software this year?

I have compiled the most complete graphic design software list in 2020 just for you. Below you will find the:

  • The best raster and vector graphics editors
  • Free online graphic design software and paid
  • Their top features
  • Pricing plans
  • PROs and CONs


Related articles:


Without further ado, here are the best graphic design tools in 2020:

1. Adobe Photoshop

Graphic Design

Platform: Desktop & iPad

Pricing Plan: starting at $20.99/mo


Adobe Photoshop is one of the most popular and used graphics editing software. It was developed and published by Adobe Incorporation. Its uses are not only limited to graphics editing alone, but digital art as a whole.


  • Very widely used. This means that there are a lot of learning resources. Best resources for learning Photoshop can be found at the Adobe Website, PSDDude Photoshop Tutorials and Tuts+.
  • It has probably the most advanced engine for photo editing. In recent years Adobe perfected its machine learning & AI assist (Adobe Sensei Engine) that can do automated photo editing (content aware fill, content aware scale, etc)
  • Batch processing with Photoshop actions
  • Supports masks, alpha compositing and several tools


  • Quite costly and you need a powerful computer.
  • Updates are mandatory which means that in theory you are not allowed to use versions older than the latest. This creates some nasty problems with incompatible features (eg. old actions might not work anymore)
  • Has limited and selected features for iPad users
  • Limited support for raster and vector images like SVG files.
  • Can be very intimidating for a beginner graphic designer

2. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)

GNU Image Manipulation Program

Platform: Desktop/Tablet

Pricing Plan: FREE


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a graphic designing and editing software used for image editing and retouching. It can also be used to perform specialized editing and digital art designs.


  • It’s free and easy enough to use
  • Opens almost all file formats
  • Wide range of tools and features
  • Easily expandable and supports command line batch mode


  • May not have all features and user tools user needs to complete a task
  • Interface is cluttered and almost jam packed
  • Difficult to work with text
  • Unstable and prone to crashing in some installations

3. Corel Draw

Corel Draw

Platform: Desktop/iPad

Pricing Plan: $198/yr


CorelDRAW is a vector graphics editor used to create logos, flexes, invitation cards and any kind of vector designing based on the lining. It has a wide range of existing images and logos that can be customized.


  • Very effective tool to design two dimensional images such as posters and logos
  • Allows user to create customized logos and posters
  • Allows users to import/export images
  • User friendly interface
  • Good for beginners and easy to use.


  • Has many features that might take a long time to learn.
  • Errors on drawings can be easily spotted, especially when images are enlarged
  • Performance issues and instability when working with large or complex documents
  • Lack of smart guides
  • Quite expensive

4. Xara Designer PRO X

Xara Designer PRO X

Platform: Desktop

Pricing Plan: $299/yr


Xara Designer PRO X or Xara for short is an advanced but easy to use graphic design tool available on Windows. It allows its users to create, edit, and design media such as web pages, photos, and other illustrations easily. It has tons of features that make it an amazing graphic design tool and it is available at affordable prices of about $299 per year.


  • Easy to use
  • Drag and drop features
  • Anti-aliasing features that speed up the editing process
  • Can zoom up to 25,000% and more
  • Capable of syncing files with Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Supports importing and exporting Adobe PSD files, including layer support, alpha channel, and 16-bit color and CMYK layer conversion
  • Array of tools for drawing, 3D extrude, text handling, blends, page layout, live effects, transparency and feathering, and shadows and contours


  • Only available for Windows
  • Its advanced features are sometimes hard to use
  • The masking feature is cumbersome and difficult to understand

5. MockoFun


Platform: Online

Pricing Plan: FREE (option for Premium User starting at $4.99/mo)


MockoFun is one of the coolest online graphic designing, photo editing and text editing tool. You can use it to get basic graphics editing done.


  • It’s FREE and easy to use
  • Can be used by both non-graphic designers and advanced designers
  • Advanced photo editor with stunning filters like: Oil Paint, Anaglyph, Kaleidoscope, Polar Coordinates, Dithering, etc.
  • Pre-made design templates editable online
  • Text editor offers typography features including 800 fonts, text styles and creative text lettering. Also includes a cool curved text tool
  • Access to over 250,000 stock images, vector shapes and illustrations
  • Access to overlays and special effects
  • Can be used successfully as an online logo maker too
  • Exports JPG, PNG with transparent background and print ready 300dpi PDF


  • No free-hand drawing yet
  • You can only save up to 10 designs in the free version

6. Procreate

What Graphic Design Software Should I Use In 2020

Platform: iPad

Pricing Plan: $9.99


Procreate is a raster editor software for graphic design and digital painting. It is designed for iPad users to explore their artistic possibilities. It comes with many classic and digital art tools


  • It gives the natural feel of physical drawing.
  • Supports import/export to Adobe Photoshop
  • Can be used by beginners and professionals alike.


  • It was designed specifically for iOS and iPad users
  • Has limited abilities and features, edit and render texts and vector graphics.

7. Canva

Graphic Design Software Should I Use In 2020

Platform: Online

Pricing Plan: FREE (option for Pro subscription from $9.99/mo – $30/mo)


Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users create images, fonts and illustrations tool. It is very popular graphic design tool that allows social media users to create posters, graphics and presentations.


  • Offers a wide range of easy-to-use designed templates
  • Allows for the import of customized photos and images
  • A huge library of templates and designs that can be used to make simple designs


  • Maximum functions are only available to Canva Pro users-subscribed users
  • Limited free icons, illustrations and graphic elements

8. PicMonkey

Pic Monkey

Platform: Online

Pricing Plan: $7.99/mo – $33.99/mo


PicMonkey is an online photo editing and graphic design service. It transcends the regular photo editing tool. It also comes with a wide selection of graphic elements such as: greeting cards, wedding invitation cards, announcements cards, business cards etc


  • Has an integrated cloud storage options where users can save pictures
  • Saved pictures are re-editable
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Easy clicks and instant navigation of tools to edit image


  • May be slow to load on browser
  • Only premium users have access to full package and full design templates

9. PixTeller

 Pix Teller ,Graphic Design

Platform: Online

Pricing Plan: $7/mo – $12/mo


Pixteller is particularly remarkable for its simplicity and easy navigation. Its Easy-to-Use Design & Animation tools can be used by anyone to create Images, GIFs & Videos for personal or business use, with no special know-how.


  • Great for personal or business use.
  • Can be used by everyone and anyone.
  • Doesn’t need special editing or digital skills to navigate
  • Can be used to create theme-based images


  • Only has limited features and tools.
  • Lacks in tutorials for how to use the tool
  • Doesn’t have to many pre-made templates

10. BeFunky

Be Funky

Platform: Mobile/Online

Pricing Plan: $4.99/mo — $6.99/mo


BeFunky is an excellent photo editing application with a wide range of picture editing tools. You can do a whole lot of activities like resizing, cropping and filtering options. With its 30+ tools, there’s a whole lot of effects you can bring to images.


  • Well-designed and functional interface
  • User friendly and easy to manipulate
  • Has an undo button to change a previous photo effect


  • It’s best for Android phones and users.
  • Plus account where users get to enjoy optimal use of the app isn’t free

11. Pixlr


Platform: Online

Pricing Plan: FREE (option for Advanced and PRO $3.99/mo — $14.99/mo)


Pixlr is a popular online photo editing application. It has an improved and advanced AI intelligence and Machine Learning used as a tool to enhance and improve photo outlook.


  • Easy to use and master for beginners.
  • Modern photo editing features and tools
  • Has different packages for beginners and pros.(Pixlr X and E respectively)
  • Availability of wide range of stickers, borders and other graphic elements just to perfect your photo editing.
  • AI powered tools for quick and professional editing


  • Is not compatible with all image and file formats
  • Limited features for text
  • There aren’t too many tutorials on how to use the tool

12. Photopea


Platform: Online

Pricing Plan: FREE (with Ads or Premium for $9/mo – $400/mo)


Photopea is an online multimedia software for editing files from native apps. It is used to edit images and add graphic effects to pictures.


  • No account required to use
  • Very good performance
  • Supports PNG, JPG, SVG, GIF and PDF export formats
  • Can read and save Photoshop PSD files, Photoshop brushes and Photoshop custom shapes
  • Edits photos easily on web browser
  • Great user support


  • Is a bit complicated to use (emulating Photoshop)
  • Lacks some of Photoshop’s features

13. Adobe Illustrator

 Adobe Illustrator

Platform: Desktop

Pricing Plan: $29.99/mo


Adobe Illustrator is unarguably the most popular vector graphics editor for creating print or web. So far, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator have been the standard for creating logos, artworks, fonts, graphics comics and concept arts.


  • Advanced and sophisticated graphics tool
  • Has a wide range of tools and features.
  • Creates both print and web graphics.
  • It’s the standard for all other vector graphics.


  • No canvas rotation feature (users have been asking it for a long time)
  • Complex. Not suitable for beginners
  • May take a long time to learn and master
  • Some performance issues on older computers
  • Default settings for some tools are a bit weird

14. Affinity


Platform: Desktop/iPad

Pricing Plan: $49.99(one-time payment)


Affinity is a graphics vector design software and shape drawing tool. It supports raster brushes and custom vector, dynamic symbols, stroke stabilization, text style management, and vector/pixel export options. It can be used to create graphics art and digital design.


  • Good alternative for Adobe Illustrator
  • Compatible with most graphics file formats
  • Can import data from files, especially Adobe Freehand (specifically versions 10 & MX)
  • Allows user to set up grid and isometric video game graphics.
  • Very intuitive and flexible gradient tools
  • Seamless in-application switching between vector and raster graphics editing (Affinity Designer)
  • Great tools for isometric design


  • Lacks image tracing
  • Doesn’t allow export of .AI files
  • Doesn’t provide tools for text warping
  • A bit of a complicated UI and sometimes it’s hard to find a certain tool
  • Has some minor performance issues on older computers
  • No support for RTL/BIDI languages
  • The brush engine isn’t as developed as with other tools

15. Inkscape


Platform: Desktop

Pricing Plan: FREE


Inkspace is one of the most popular Vector graphics editor. It can be used to design, create or edit vector graphics.


  • Supports multiple vector formats
  • Powerful tool to create two dimensional vector images logos, designs and other scalable vector graphics
  • Created shapes can be manipulated with transformations such as moving, rotating and scaling.


  • Beginners and non tech savvy folks might struggle maximize its features
  • Options and features are limited
  • No support for CMYK colors
  • Does not export to .AI

16. Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer

Platform: Desktop/Online

Pricing Plan: FREE (option to upgrade to PRO $49/yr)


A free vector design application that’s great for logo making, photo manipulation, illustrations and animations. You can use Gravit online with their cloud-based software — though some reviews claim that it runs a bit slower than the locally-installed version. The layout is sleek and fully customizable.


  • Cool and plenty of features and capabilities
  • Cloud storage is very useful
  • Can import most vector formats (including .AI)


  • Free version not nearly as effective as Pro
  • Performance problems with large images
  • Complex UI, not suitable for beginners
  • No grid snapping

17. Vectornator


Platform: iPhone/iPad/iOS

Pricing Plan: FREE


Vectornator is an vector graphics design software that can be used to design and almost everything. It’s flexible and intuitive.


  • Has an intuitive user interface
  • Has a wide variety of tools and features
  • Easy clicks to create amazing and creative layouts
  • Effective tool for producing vector drawings with a pen tool.


  • Specifically for iPhone, iPad and Mac users
  • May consume a lot of time, especially if you aren’t good at using the iPhone pen.

18. Vectr

What Graphic Design

Platform: Online

Pricing Plan: FREE


Vectr is free, intuitive, simple,yet powerful to perform vector graphics editing tool. It is used by bloggers, digital marketers and website designers.


  • Handy and easy for new users of vector
  • User friendly interface


  • Limited templates for users
  • It’s mostly best for simple tasks and small projects.

19. Tailor Brands

Tailor Brands

Platform: Online

Pricing Plan: $3.99 – $12.99


Tailor Brands is a graphic design tool for quickly generating a logo. They have a wizard like logo building process, a very good tool for those with little design experience.


  • Design logo
  • Quick Images
  • Lots of presets
  • Covers a range of tasks (e.g. socal media)
  • Relatively cheap
  • Great for those with little experience


  • Not the most advanced tool for logo design
  • There is no free trial
  • Limited customization options of the end result

In Conclusion

Doesn’t matter if you are into vector graphics, logo design, photo editing, marketing design, etc. I hope that you found this list useful. For sure I could not include ALL of them, but I did try to include the most important graphic design software and the most trending graphic design software in 2020.

If you are looking for a tool for your next graphic design project, now you know what your options are regarding graphic design software.


Originally posted by John Negoita

Featured Graphic Inspiration

A Dystopian World Illustrated with Bright Colors

A Dystopian World Illustrated with Bright Colors By Hayden Williams

Bright Colors By  Hayden WilliamBright Colors By  Hayden WilliamBright Colors By  Hayden WilliamBright Colors By  Hayden WilliamBright Colors By  Hayden WilliamBright Colors By  Hayden WilliamBright Colors By  Hayden WilliamBright Colors By  Hayden WilliamBright Colors By  Hayden William


In a very sunny and colorful universe, digital artist Hayden Williams portrays a world in which climate change has caused sea level rise.
Meticulously worked, each abandoned living space presents a dichotomy between fairyland and dystopia.
The artist wanted to show how the rise in sea level can affect our daily lives.
The project is called “World Underwater” and was inspired by one of his trips to Venice. He then imagined the rest of the world underwater.
These images are very qualitative and call to dream even when they illustrate an urgent situation.

Featured Graphic Inspiration

Soft and Satisfying Commercials By Serial Cut

Soft and Satisfying Commercials By Serial Cut

Soft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and SatisfyingSoft and Satisfying

Soft and Satisfying Commercials By Serial Cut

For ING Bank, the creative studio Serial Cut, established in Madrid, Spain, produced a series of twelve visuals mixing textures, sounds and soft colors. The campaign, titled “Satisfying Bank”, follow on from the success of so-called “oddly satisfying” or ASMR videos, which provide a pleasant and strange feeling just by watching them. The link with the bank?  As Serial Cut explains, each of these visuals are  supposed to represent the advantages and benefits of opening an account at the Dutch bank.

Featured Graphic Inspiration

Colorful 3D Modeling and Digital Creations

Colorful 3D Modeling and Digital Creations By Santi Zoraidez

Colorful 3D Modeling and Digital CreationsDigital Creations , 3DDigital Creations , 3DDigital Creations , 3DDigital Creations , 3DColorful 3D Modeling and Digital Creations

Santi Zoraidez, artistic director and designer from Argentina and mentioned earlier, performs 3D modeling and digital creations in bright colors and rounded curves. Previously based in Berlin, the artist has now returned to his native country to continue his work. His works, whose digital effects are incredible, have led him to work with big brands such as Apple, Nike or Ikea. Passionate about furniture, interior design, artistic installations, architecture and graphic design, he manages to create renderings with an inimitable style through which he can study concepts such as time, space and movement.

Featured Graphic Inspiration

All Around Neon

All Around Neon by Devansh Atray
All Around NeonAll Around NeonAll Around NeonAll Around NeonAll Around NeonAll Around NeonAll Around NeonAll Around NeonAll Around NeonAll Around Neon 

Devansh Atray is a 3D artist who comes from India. As he said, art wasn’t his thing from the very beginning, but he always admired neons, bright lights, film photography and all.

Devansh stumbled across Blender 3D by mistake ; he watched a bunch of tutorials and just randomly started creating stuffs.

« I dont have a particular source for inspiration. All I know is I love neons and bright lights ! » he tells us. « I try to represent an emotion through my artwork. But some of my creation are just really me messing around, like those neon tunnel ones, they doesn’t really hold a story behind them. They are just something that i love to present as neon installations. » he confides us.

Via Fubiz
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Famous Painting Disappearing

Famous PaintingFamous PaintingFamous PaintingFamous PaintingFamous PaintingFamous PaintingFamous PaintingFamous PaintingFamous Painting Disappearing by Alper Dostal

«Hot Art Exhibition» is a striking digital art series created by Vienna-based artist and multidisciplinary designer Alper Dostal. What would happen if there was no air conditioner in museums during a scorching summer? The result is impressive though quite disastrous if it was not just an experiment!
In this series, we discover among the most world-renowned paintings of Picasso, Van Gogh or Mondrian inevitably melted. An original project which awakens awareness about global warming and the need to protect our global cultural heritage. Follow the artist’s work on Instagram and his website.


Via Fubiz

Featured Graphic Inspiration

Joyful Typography Design by Alejandro López

Playful and vibrant, the work of Spanish 3D graphic designer Alejandro López Becerro mixes typography and eclectic palette of colours. It is under the pseudonym Muokkaa that the illustrator creates surprising digital works for renowned clients such as Billboard Magazine, Fortune Magazine, GoodType, Heineken or Refinery29.


Joyful Typography Design by Alejandro LópezJoyful Typography DesignJoyful Typography DesignJoyful Typography DesignJoyful Typography DesignJoyful Typography DesignJoyful Typography DesignJoyful Typography DesignJoyful Typography DesignJoyful Typography Design by Alejandro LópezJoyful Typography Design by Alejandro LópezJoyful Typography Design by Alejandro LópezJoyful Typography Design by Alejandro López

Design Inspiration Featured Graphic Inspiration

10 gorgeous graphic design trends for 2019

Whether you’re a designer or are working with one, you need to stay on top of the latest graphic design trends. No matter the medium, understanding how styles are changing and evolving keeps your work fresh and resonate with clients.

The overarching design trend for 2019? Just like in every other part of life, we seem to be in opposition with ourselves: this year is all about contradictions. Trends from conflicting eras and opposing ends of the visual spectrum are all vying for attention, while being equally embraced by designers looking for an edge.

10 graphic design trends that will be huge in 2019

1. 3D design and typography

Three dimensional works seems to be everywhere right now: entire compositions that have so much depth, you can’t help but reach out and touch them. 3D typography especially feels just about ready to pop. The best part about it is there’s no particular type that works best for this trend: bold, skinny, sans-serif, script, any font can be rendered in 3D.

Mulher 3D logo
A gorgeous example of 3D type brings whole new life to the floral trend. Via Diêgo Soou.
A creative and fun metallic poster

A creative and fun metallic poster. By Pinch Studio.

These complex designs by Khatt Phatt offer something new for your eye every time you examine them.

3D netbee logo
This composition shows how 3D design can enhance a logo design. Via Khatt Phatt.

Beyond typography, we’re seeing a lot of gorgeously rendered 3D compositions that give the impression of being still-lives from distant planets. Some designs, like Pinch Studio’s vibrant pop art or Issey Miyake’s marriage of textiles and food, merge these two trends into futuristic landscapes of color, type and form. Others, like the stunning papercut illustrations by Eiko Ojala, seem like they were created from elements directly from the natural world. In both directions, the effect is stunning—these compositions literally jump right off the page and make it impossible to look away.

Pop art design
A fantastic pop art composition. By Pinch Studio.
Wine textile texture

Incredibly rich textile textures. Via Isse Miyake.

Ice cream textile texture
Paper design of green woman

Papercut illustrations by Eiko Ojala manage to feel both futuristic and retro at the same time.

Colorful 3D city landscape

A fun, colorful 3D landscape by EFL.

2. Asymmetrical layouts

We’re starting to see the beginnings of a move away from the rigid grid-based designs that have been standard for the past few years. The dominance of Squarespace and Canva and other template-based design sites provided beginners with beautiful websites and graphic products, even if they had no idea what a grid was. Now designers are looking to create products that feel more bespoke and alive.

Enter asymmetrical designs.

Because these layouts break free from the rigid and predictable grid, they deliver more kinetic energy and movement. An asymmetrical layout, whether on a design composition, in an app or on a site, demands attention. The user feels an innate curiosity about where the information and graphics might go next, creating a feeling of wonder and interest as they scroll or peruse a design.

Deconstructed web design
A deconstructed and unconventional web design. Via Mila Jones Cann.
Furniture asymmetrical design

Another asymmetrical layout challenges notions of the way products should be displayed. Via Artem Oberland.

Remote working design

The boxes in this design don’t interact the way we expect in a standard grid. Via Jesse Showalter.

The wisdom of nature gallery display design
This design avoids the normal grid display for artwork. By AbdooElhamdaoui.

3. Art Deco

The “modern” design era gets its name from the artistic movement of modernism that began after World War I and continued for nearly a half-century. There are two major styles from this period that are currently experiencing a total renaissance: the highly ornamental and glamorous Art Deco designs of the 1920s and the streamlined organic forms of the Mid-Century Modern period of the 1950s and 60s.

Chalk it up to the nearing centennial of the roaring twenties, but Art Deco-inspired designs are set to blow up in 2019. We’re seeing the trend emerge particularly in logo work. Designers are embracing the complex line-work intense symmetry of the era’s best work, while combining it with sharp metallics that would make Jay Gatsby feel right at home. We’re noticing this influence in typography as well, as sans-serifs get narrower and leggier, like they were pulled from a classic A.M. Cassandre poster design. These designs feel opulent and luxurious—and starkly in contrast to the rustic, country-inspired work that has dominated for the past few years.

Minimal Lettermark logo and Line Graphic Illustration for Juicebox
A gorgeous and intricate metallic branding design. By Skilline.
Tulipan Husene logo

Another lovely metallic logo by Arthean.

Cannabis Regulatory Compliance logo

Logo by aarif ™

Peacock logo design

Logo design by flycr.

Insaaph logo

This modern lion logo evokes the glamour and pomp of the Art Deco period. By Arthean.

Collective Humanity package logo
Packaging design that uses fonts and motifs lifted directly from the Art Deco movement. By svart ink.

4. Modern Mid-Century Modern

After the Art Deco period—and in direct response to it—designers decided that function should dictate form, ditching the flashy designs and embracing stripped down and organic clean lines. While mid-century influence has been prominently visible in areas like interior design and fashion for the past few years, it’s been steadily growing in graphic work.

It’s especially prominent in the illustration styles that harken back to the iconic advertising illustrations of the post-War era. And like in that era, small companies and start-ups are recognizing the power of custom illustration work. We’re seeing a lot of brands launching with gorgeous websites, full of these mid-century influenced illustrations, often rendered in a clearly modern style but retaining dreamy vintage color palettes. In 2019 we expect to see these continue to dominate web and in print work as well.

Goodbye summer web slider
A very modern web slider, with a decidedly retro vibe. Via Paarth Desai.
Retro-futuristic boxing poster

Poster and ad design came to define Mid-Mod period. Via ANAMOLLY.

How attentive are you? illustration

This illustration style pulls heavily from the mid-century aesthetic and will be everywhere in the coming year. By Spoon Lancer.

Golden Rule - Old Fashioned Matchbooks

A matchbook design that draws on the classic “Atomic” styling popularized in the Cold War period. Via Nicola Broderick.

Solar Eliquids logo

Another Space Race inspired design. By Arthean.

Mid-Century modern graphic design logo
Patterns that evoke the masters Mid-Century modern graphic design. Via Andrew Littmann.

5. The continuing evolution of duotones and gradients

Gradients—“color transitions,” as they are now sometimes called—have been a well-recognized trend for the past few years. Recently they’ve definitely begun to creep back into logo design more heavily. Simple one-color logos aren’t enough; more and more are showing up with some kind of gradient. Some are the expected combinations (blue/purple, red/orange) but others use chunkier duotone fades.

There was much noise made in the past year or two about the “return of the duotone”. Now, often contributed entirely to Spotify and their iconic playlist covers, the two parallel trends have combined, making 2019 the year of the duotone gradient.

Immaculate Styles concert poster
Poster design via nevergohungry
vlogeasy logo

artsigma offers two nice gradient logos in the classic “blurple” duotone.

Buildify Systems logo
Printing Apparel Company website design

This shows how bright (but complimentary) gradients can be used throughout a web design. By mikebarnes.

Explore. Sonhe. Descubra. poster design

This gorgeous combination of bold gradients is the definition of on-trend. Via Bruno Pego.

6. But also a steady rise for warm and moody color palettes for photos

But of course for every action there is an equal reaction: the prevalence of saturated and bold duotones has led to a rise in moody, vintage tones. While a few years ago designers were told to shun muted colors to embrace the bold and neon—inspired by shows like Stranger Things—these colors feel more like the days when cameras and screens were not able to capture deeply saturated colors.

They feel like a direct throwback to the soft, low-fi photography of the seventies and even muted camcorder footage of the 1980s. Incorporating some amount of black into each color, these photos have a warm and wistful vibe that neon colors will never compete with.

Moody fashion shoot

More moody colors in fashion photography via Tiago Ferreira.

Fashion spread

A fashion spread that ditches the usual bold colors in favor of muted tones. Via lasho.

Woman eating at restaurant

Contemporary portraits that feel like they were lifted from a 1970s photo album. Via Fernando Machado.

Woman wearing denim jacket and sunglasses
Lil Yachty mixtape cover

Stunning collage-inspired book cover and mixtape cover by nevergohungry

You Don

by nevergohungry

7. Custom illustrations lighten up

After years of bold, thick lines in illustration, there’s been a recent rise in more delicate, elegant illustration. Heavily influenced by botanical and natural elements, this style is more feminine and appeals to a more innocent and childlike part of us all. We’re seeing it take a front seat particularly in packaging design, where intricate designs are rendered beautifully against a textured paper background. With addition of premium materials like foil and embossing, these designs strike a balance between maximalism and simplicity.

Sophisticated chocolate bar packaging
The packaging for these chocolate bars feels expensive and natural. By Mila Katagarova.
Natural Deodorant packaging

Lighter, more organic packaging design for a natural deodorant company. By Wooden Horse.

Sea Monster Software logo

A playful branding design by Gwydion”

Clinical looking illustration of Dandelion plant

A soft illustration inspired by old botanical drawings. By Yokaona.

The Seattle Baby Company logo

This adorable deer created for a baby accessory brand. By Mad Pepper.

8. Buxom serifs

While the illustrations are getting lighter, the fonts are beefing up—especially when it comes to serifs. While sans-serifs aren’t going anywhere—especially in digital—2019 will be the year of the serif. The past year has given us some gorgeous plump serifs that seem pulled from the days of cast-metal type. While sans-serifs and hand-drawn fonts will continue to be highly visible, this is the year where the range and diversity of serif fonts will explode.

Custom type is becoming more and more necessary for brands that really want to stand out and increasingly a signature serif type or logomark is what designers are turning to. Why? Because after years of dominance the clean sans serif is now seen as “soulless” and “characterless” and serifs are the horned-rimmed glasses of type–seen as quirky cute, smart, and bursting with personality.

Cabin Fever web design
A stunning and immersive serif font web design. Via Nathan Riley.
D. McQuillan Construction and Fine Homes logo

The beautiful and classic serif feels bespoke and hand-carved in this logo for a high-end construction company. By Dave Roach.

Lighter illustration and trendy serifs combine on this restaurant logo. Via tulimilka.

Minimalist/Scandinavian web design

A website template that evokes ultra-minimalist/Scandinavian design. By Alex Capellan.

Branding for a toast and juice bar

Branding for a toast and juice bar. Via Levi Lowell.

9. Open compositions

Remember that old adage about leaving something to the imagination? After years of boxes and frames encasing elements in a strict order, every single part visible and accounted for, designers are starting to embrace more open compositions. These are designs where you feel like you only see a part of the whole picture and there’s an entire world off the page.

These compositions embrace white space and eschew clear hierarchy. The elements in these compositions feel loosely tethered to each other, as if they could float away. Often open-styled, seemingly chaotic, broken and cut-up, these compositions take a very strong design hand since the placement of each element is anything but random.

text open composition website
This entire website is a menu, with not all the letterforms present on the screen at once. Via Lionel Durimel.
Rise up statue design

This design hits the mark for 2019 with duotones, gradients and an open composition style. Via Bruno Pego.

3D poster design

A bold and open design that makes you wonder if you’re holding it right side up. Via Vasjen Katro.

Pink Louis Vuitton design

Light, modern illustrations that feel like they are continuing off-screen. Via Lionel Durimel.

Ayodele modeling website

A open composition used for a modeling website. Via Kieran.

10. Isometric design

While open compositions leave some things out, isometric designs create whole universes in tiny little spaces. Isometric design sounds highly technical, but it’s simply a method of drawing a 3D object in two dimensions. The drawing is simple and clean, but has a depth that flat design can’t compete with. The arena where this trend is heating up the most is with icons. Isometric icons have a lot more tactility and warmth than flat design, drawing users in. Plus they are saved to a smaller file size than 3D, so you get all of the bang with none of the lag!

City illustration
An isometric illustration of a city. By LittleFox. web design

A very on-trend isometric mountain. By KisaDesign.

Savagely website design

A super fun isometric landing page. Via Ghani Pradita.

Isometric data design

This design shows data moving in a way that feels more vibrant and alive than flat design. Via Dmitrii Kharchenko.

Man sitting at desk with computer

Isometric design can be used for character creation, as well. By Daria V.

Are you ready for design in 2019?

We’re embarking on what is sure to be a deeply interesting year for graphic design. There’s a push and pull happening between the forward-looking, tech-conscious designers exploring in newer areas like 3D and AR, and the traditionalists still putting pen to paper each day. We also see this in the simultaneous embrace of vibrant duotones co-existing with toned down, vintage palettes. Same goes for whimsical illustration and mid-century functionality.

The best part? Exciting things happen when designers embrace conflict, allowing room for inspiration to strike from every direction at once. We celebrate and look forward to seeing what incredible work they create. Make 2019 the year you create your best work!

Originally Published:

Design Inspiration Featured Graphic Inspiration

10 Graphic Design Trends in 2019 – 3D edition

See the projects and creatives we think are going to set the trends for 2019 and inspire creatives in typography, advertising, illustration, photography, motion, and graphic design.