8 essential trends in 2022

Specializing in social media management, Brand New Day Agency publishes a comprehensive guide to graphic design and content trends. The goal: to give keys to digital professionals to identify trends that allow them to differentiate themselves.

Indeed, the agency points out that the average attention span of a user on social networks is 8 seconds. This is why trends in graphic design and digital content are a significant asset in brand communication.

4 graphic trends to follow in 2022

In the field of graphic design, Brand New Agency explains that trends are born in response to reality and with the imagination that this reality can be better. They are affected by the changes in our way of living and thinking, following a global pandemic with multiple consequences. “In addition, with the emergence of new technologies, internet users are now aware of everything that is happening in the world. Social media tends to portray the worst as negativity is what drives clicks. Our brain is also programmed to hold on to the negative., the agency says. In response to these problems, 4 graphic trends emerge.

1. Deconstruction

This trend is inspired by anti-design, which wants to go against convention. It is exemplified in particular by the Grunge Revival which dates back to the late 1990s. It is characterized by grainy textures and collages of magazine pages. This design comes across hastily and is made up of analogous elements. The Grunge Revival arises in response to the reorganization of the digital age.

Grunge Revival design is especially hot in 2022. © Brand New Day Agency

As for fonts, this trend is illustrated by experimental and unstructured letters.

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Examples of experimental lettering. © Brand New Day Agency

2. Nostalgia

While the Netflix series, “Stranger Things,” reintroduced the 80s aesthetic, the 90s and 2000s are no slouch. Indeed, in 2022, the trend is to mix and reinterpret these three influences.

This trend is illustrated by 3 movements:

  • 90’s nostalgia: this design is characterized by the use of neon effect, chewing gum colors and a glitter look. He mainly uses gothic-inspired fonts.
  • Y2K: this move revives the optimism of the 2000s. The Y2K design emphasizes digital. It is exemplified by the use of pastel colors and a 3D aesthetic. It also inherits a Japanese influence.
  • Frasurbane: this term combines the name of the American sitcom of the 90s
    Frasier and the word urban. If this style is inspired by the 90s, it is more sophisticated. It recalls the idealized suburbs of sitcoms and reveals a more mature aesthetic.
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The 90s aesthetic is all the rage in 2022. © Brand New Day Agency

3. Escape

As the norm is increasingly remote or even hybrid work, the line between professional and personal life has become increasingly blurred. Therefore, avoidance and lightness are at the heart of users’ concerns.

This trend includes 4 moves:

  • Daydream Doodles: aesthetics border on digital and handmade. He is mainly influenced by the free drawing.
  • Complicated Maximalism: it is a design that inhabits the entire space and that relies on many details so that it is possible to notice new elements every time you look at it.
  • Extreme Bubble Design: this move revolves around fonts shaped like bubbles or balloons that have been inflated and ready to burst. The letters are brightly colored to reflect a certain optimism.
  • Escape: what emerges is a whimsical universe made up of mysterious colors and intriguing images. These are usually illustrations that can be inspired by folklore.
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The escapism is rather translated by illustrations with a lot of detail. © Brand New Day Agency

4. Digitalism:

This trend turns the user interface into a graphical element in its own right. Be it retro or futuristic, UI digitalism can be combined with other trends. In particular, he uses Parametric patterns, a design that shows geometric patterns and gives an impression of movement. This trend is also illustrated by the use of images linked to the metaverse, 3D avatars or virtual influencers that abound on social networks.

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Parametric patterns are illustrated by moving patterns. © Brand New Day Agency

4 trends to follow to create content in 2022

For Brand New Day Agency it makes no sense in communication to work on the graphic aspect without focusing on quality content. The agency thus delivers 4 key trends that make it possible to create impactful content in line with user expectations.

1. Humorous and absurd

As the agency points out, humor is not a trend: “Different types of humor will appeal to different audiences. We will talk about humor through the absurd that is increasingly appreciated by the youngest, especially on platforms like TikTok.† For example, the use of the absurd is inspired by Dadaism, which after the First World War showed an art that liberated itself from all codes and structures. This often resulted in the staging of an everyday object in a strange or useless situation.

Likewise, Gen Z faces uncertain times, with their own traumas and drastic changes that in many ways may reflect what the Dada generation may have gone through. These fears translate into absurd jokes that sometimes require in-depth knowledge of the web to be appreciated.

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The humor used by Generation Z youth is based on extensive web references. © Brand New Day Agency

2. Authenticity

Users are increasingly suspicious of brands, tired of a clean and often unreal aesthetic in advertising. Today internet users are looking for authenticity.

According to the guide this means:

  • User Generated Content (UGC): content generated by users, especially customers, is becoming more effective and promotes authenticity.
  • Work In Progress (WIP) or behind the scenes: this type of format is highly valued and makes a product or brand more human, making it more accessible. It is also widely used on TikTok to, for example, show behind the scenes of filming.
  • Influencers: Instagram’s 2022 Trend Report found that Generation Z values ​​influencers’ voices far above those of celebrities. Influencers are generally considered “one of us” by consumers. They are genuine because they have built their popularity through their audience. Thus, their opinion weighs as much as a friend’s recommendation in the eyes of Internet users.

3. Satisfaction and well-being

“The sense of satisfaction isn’t exactly a trend. However, it is easy to let satisfying things become trends”, says Brand New Day Agency. To create satisfaction, it is possible to bet on videos that show smooth transitions or it can use visual ASMR, such as soap-cutting videos, very popular on YouTube or TikTok.

The emergence of holistic wellness or home learning such as cooking, mixology or lithotherapy are also trends worthy of attention.

4. Niche Trends

Following trends is not necessarily the most suitable solution for a brand and it is better to find your own niche. And sometimes these slots get popular. This is the case with Vaporwave, a 2010 artistic movement that inspired the Y2K movement.

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Examples of niche trends. © Brand New Day Agency

Some niche trends may have a small user base that eventually reaches a larger audience. According to Instagram’s 2022 Trend Report, 50% of Gen Zers were tempted to try bolder fashion moves like Goblincore and Dark Academia.

Mistakes you shouldn’t make

To guide digital professionals in their way of communicating, Brand New Agency also identifies mistakes to avoid when using graphic design trends. Among these missteps are:

  • Use legacy effects, such as drop shadows,
  • Misusing different fonts that make reading difficult,
  • Betting on inappropriate kerning that would make a sentence almost unreadable,
  • Use photos from image banks or flat vectors, this would make your publications or your communication less authentic,
  • Show poor color choices, such as poorly executed gradients,
  • Create a lack of white space (putting too much on an image exhausts the viewer),
  • Design without thinking about smartphones, the most used medium for consuming content.

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