Illustration of a woman in the dark with a torch shining a light on the  numbers 2021 - illustration by Sharon Armstrong Creative
I think we can all agree that we’re glad to see the back of last year and although 2021 hasn’t had a great start to it so far, one thing which I am excited about is all of the design trends the new year will bring. Here’s my round up of the trends I’m most looking forward to seeing.
Retro Vibe 
I’ve always been a big fan of everything vintage and retro, the 1950’s is my favourite era style wise. So I was very excited to hear that a big trend for 2021 is nostalgia with retro inspired colour palettes and fonts becoming popular. 
This trend has already been evident with Burger Kings recent major rebrand. Their custom colour palette and retro style typeface totally reminds me of 1970’s poster design. The bold flat block colours in the logo and illustrations are used in a way that gives the design so much personality. I can’t wait to see more evidence of this trend emerging as we get further into the year. 

Authentic Representation 
The issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement have highlighted the importance of ditching stereotypes in favour of diversity and authenticity for designers. I’m looking forward to seeing the design world push this even further in 2021 by using their work to celebrate people of all cultures, skin tones and ages. 

Elements of Nature 
This past year has made me appreciate the world around me more than ever. The calming effect of being in a forest looking up at the trees, planting flowers in my garden to attract insects and birds with my daughter, are the things that have kept me sane. It's predicted that in response to us all having to stay at home for so long, nature inspired design is going to be a big trend for 2021. Designers will bring nature into our homes and everyday lives with leafy patterns, earthy colour palettes and illustrations of natural scenes. It will be very interesting to see how this trend grows. (Sorry I couldn’t help myself!) 

Flat Illustration 
During 2020 Flat illustration has been gaining popularity with lots of brands like Headspace, Mailchimp and Asana using this style in their social media graphics and website design. This is my favourite style of illustration to work on so it’s great news to hear that this trend is predicted to continue into 2021 and gain further popularity. I’m looking forward to see where designers and illustrators will go next with this. 

The positive impact less car journeys and air travel had on the environment was something good to come out of us all having to stay home in 2020. This has spurred on the trend of sustainability which has been growing for sometime and is set to increase in the coming year. I hope to see lots of companies making some much needed changes, coming up with innovative ideas to reduce packaging and going for greener alternatives. 

I’m looking forward to seeing all of these trends come to life in the coming months, especially the ones which will make a positive impact to the environment and peoples lives. Here's to a better 2021!

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