BY Benjamin

December 14, 2020

The 55 KNOTS team have pulled together (our favourite) top six graphic design trends for 2021. Find out why they’re trendy and how to use them in your business.



1. Disharmonious Colour Combos

In 2021 sayings like blue and green should never be seen are taking a back seat with disharmonious colour combinations forging their way into creative in 2021. To utilise this trend, you’ll want to grab yourself a colour wheel and find colours that are 2-3 steps away from your bold colour of choice, to find a combination of absolute disharmony. 

Why it’s cool? It’s eye-catching, funky and puts a spin on traditional colour combinations.

Where to use it? Marketing materials, social media posts and ads, website graphics and even your company EDMs.


2. Nature-Inspired Design


In 2021 we’re getting back to nature with cool floral prints and leafy outlooks to showcase products in a back to the roots look. You’ll see a combination of organic materials, earthy colours, tones and gradients — alongside cool illustrative textures highlighting organic materials like wood, stone, and paper.

Why it’s cool? It gives a down-to-earth, relaxed and fresh look.

Where to use it? Packaging, social media, book covers, merchandise, and advertising.


3. Cartoon Illustration Design

Cartoon illustrations were a big trend in 2020, and they don’t look like they are going anywhere in 2021. You’ll see a more refined look to the illustrations, playing with more simple, flat and minimalistics designs.  

Why it’s cool? They provide your business with a unique sense of style; they’re custom-designed and are a unique look your competitors can’t copy.

Where to use it? Presentations, Website Graphics, Infographics, Social Media and Help desks.


4. Mono & Duotone Design

In 2021, mono & duo tone design is a favourite amongst creatives. What’s involved? Choosing one or two hues and repeating it with various shades, tone and tints—it results in a funky and often sleek design. 

Why it’s cool? It’s eye-catching, funky and puts a spin on your brand’s creative.

Where to use it? Marketing materials, social media posts and ads, website graphics and even your company EDMs.


5. Simple Geometric Designs

We’ve seen geometric designs come in and out over the years, but geometric designs are set to make a comeback in 2021. Geometric designs are the use of individual shapes to create interesting, unique images. Large blocks of solid shapes with intense colours are used to produce imaginative combinations.

Why it’s cool? It’s eye-catching, and a cool way to depict images interestingly.

Where to use it? Marketing materials, social media posts and ads, website graphics.

6. Colourless Design

Everything in our world is continually competing for our attention with bold colour and statements, 2021 is about the refinement and comfort of the colourless design. Think single colour websites, monochromatic images and single tone illustrations.

Why it’s cool? Colourless designs bring those nostalgic feelings of watching a black and white movie or picking up a newspaper.

Where to use it? Marketing materials, website social media posts and illustrations.

Keen to implement these graphic design trends into your creative? Try our 55 Knots Graphic Design Subscription.

— It’s like having a pro-designer on speed-dial, without the design agency price tag.


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Captain of ships and commander to a crew of designers. Benjamin Williams is a creative director with over 20 years of experience working with the world’s largest brands.