Ready for a bit of a change, designers? The 2018 graphic design trends are taking shape, and we’re starting to see what the year’s hottest trends will be. All around, there is a departure from the flat designs of years prior. We’re seeing a shift to include more depth, more energy, more color, and engaging motion elements. Take a look at these three graphic design trends, and we’ll be back with another installment soon.

1. Gorgeous Gradients
Call them “ombre” or “color transitions,” gradients are here to stay in 2018. So, what is a gradient you ask? Any time you see a shading of color, it can be considered a gradient. It could be a transition from one color to another, or it could include many colors. It might use solid colors as a background treatment, or it could be a transparent color shading on top of an image. Used heavily in the early days of graphic design and 3D animation, gradients are making a comeback as the flat design of the last few years continues to evolve. Designers use gradients to add depth and color to increase visual interest to their creations.

Spotlight Festival Identity by Manitou Design, Kristina Udovichenko, and Shamil Karim. Retrieved from Behance.net.

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2. Daring Duotones
A duotone is a two-color halftone created by superimposing one halftone on top of another usually in a contrasting color. The throwback look is one of the hottest 2018 design trends. The use of contrasting colors is one way to energize a design with a bold, bright look. Today’s software programs make it easier than ever to create different types of duotones using one, two, or three colors instead of the standard two colors. Similar to gradients, duotones are another way to add depth and energy to flat designs.

Just for fun! by Dan Auld. Retrieved from Behance.net.

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3. Graphic GIFs
One of this year’s trends in UX design involves micro interactions – small motion-based elements that provide feedback to users. A top 2018 design trend is the use of motion elements, most often GIFs or SVGs, to communicate and engage with users. Motion elements can be as simple as two-color GIFs or as complex and evocative as cinemagraphs. Designers can add these motion elements to email newsletters, social media, and any websites to increase engagement.

Cinemagraphs by Ashraful Arefin. Retrieved from Behance.net.

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