You’ve been cooped up for a while now.

4 min readMar 4, 2021

And, aside from your actual windows, your screens have been your window to the world.

One of the effects of this is what’s known in psychology as desensitization: designs that used to grab our attention a year ago are no longer quite doing the trick.

We’ve seen it all (well.. a lot), so they don’t jump out at us like they used to.

Enter 2021’s design trends.

Some of them use vivid colours and patterns to grab our attention, while others aim to soothe our visual sense with a naturalistic feel.

Here they are:

1. Custom, abstract, surreal illustrations

They use all kinds of shapes, colours and combinations thereof to draw our attention.

Busy for some, enticing to others — sure to make an impression in any case.


2. Outsized, rule-breaking typography

We’re used to the typography we’re exposed to following certain rules.

Well, now you can expect the unexpected as designers duke it out any which way to grab your attention.

By: Viktor Kovalenko
By: Danielo Silveira

3. Geometric shapes, structures and patterns

Similar to the previous two inasmuch as it allows for some intense designs that are sure to jump out.

In this case we may see designers opting for duotone or monochrome colour palettes to differentiate themselves from the uber-colourful crowd.

Or not, as in this case.

By: Maria Zaitseva
By: Jean-Michel Verbeeck

4. Socially conscious design

Social justice–broadly understood–is a hot-button topic in many countries.

Addressing issues from ecology to discrimination, this work will aim to resonate with its audience and spur them to continue the fight, whatever that may be.

By: wiwincahayani
By: Letters Pray

5. Custom 3D elements, animations, digital miniatures

With processors getting ever-faster (Moore’s law, anyone?) and modelling software becoming easier to use and cheaper–lowering the barrier of entry considerably–designers are churning out increasingly detailed, vivid 3D elements, animations and miniatures.

All to grab and hold the attention of our digitally-hyperstimulated brains.

By: Leo Natsume

6. Natural shapes, textures; virtual vacation

This could be considered a reactionary movement.

Moving away from the crazy colours, mad designs, and decadent 3D detail seen above, this trend aims to take you on a mini-vacation to a sense of nature-inspired serenity through your screen.

We could all use a vacation in nature. Where’s your closest forest or park?

By: Archangelo

7. Emoji, comics, pop art

This trends combines loud, colourful designs with the trend towards 3D models, giving us a myriad emoji.

By: Mego Studio
By: GraphicMama

Have we missed any trends you love?

Drop us a comment below!

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By Nick Lucek




Enabling forward thinkers to turn great ideas into greater results through technology & creativity.