Graphic design trends in 2022: the 90s are back in style!

Graphic trend 2022: the return of the 90s in design
2022 has been a year where branding and graphic design professionals have turned to the past for inspiration. In fact, a nostalgia for the 1990s is evident in every sector and industry, intended to make Generation X relive their childhood memories. The 1990s saw the rise of the internet and digital design programs. This enabled designers to try new concepts which in turn helped them offer new, quicker creative solutions. It was also a decade associated with visuals tied to pop, grunge, retrofuturism, etc. And that’s exactly what consumers are looking for after two long and monotonous years of pandemic. Colours, shapes, fonts, effects… Read on to explore which graphic trends inspired by the 1990s are back in full force three decades later!
  1. Pop inspiration from the 1990s
  2. Experimental, minimalist design
  3. Rave culture and retrofuturism

1. A very 2022 pop style inspired by the 1990s

The Memphis Style

The Memphis Style is a visually impactful trend launched by Italian creators, designers, and architects – collectively known as the Memphis Group – in the 1980s. Their main goal was to disrupt boring design codes. As a result, they designed 30 playful objects in a range of pop colours and modern shapes.
the memphis movement, a graphic trend in 2022
Source  : Wikipedia A few years later, the Memphis Style took the world by storm and rewrote design standards here and abroad. Myriad brands have recently embraced this trend to revamp and rejuvenate their communications.

Bright colours, varied styles

This style is mainly associated with flashy, fluorescent, and pop colours that can be used in endless ways. Explosive, bright hues allow designers to play with contrasts. Want to feature a gradient yellow and purple zebra pattern over a background of pink and blue polka dots? Go for it!
trend 2022 bright and varied colors
Source : Solocom

Geometric and organic shapes

With this graphic trend, the patterns are simple and minimalist. They’re inspired by nature, African motifs, everyday objects, or even simple doodles. They can be superimposed or interweaved.
Graphic trend 2022: the return of the 90s in design
Source : Anna Shalygina

Expressive fonts

It goes without saying that high-impact fonts are back with a vengeance in 2022. Keep an eye out and you’re sure to spot brands that use massive fonts that seem alive, in motion, or with a bubble effect! They vibrate with energy and a positive attitude.
Expressive typography as a 2022 graphic trend
Source : Herefor Studio

2. Experimental, maximalist design: making waves in 2022

David Carson, the father of grunge

American artist David Carson was the art director for alternative music magazine Ray Gun in 1992 and he used it to showcase a new maximalist, chaotic design aesthetic. Inspired by grunge music and urban culture, this new movement mirrored the rebel youth and anarchist mindset that was so prevalent in the 1990s. There are no two ways about it: it’s a style you either love or hate.
Cover of Ray Gun magazine by David Carson
Cover of a Ray Gun magazine by David Carson

A disruptive font

Typography is the basis of this graphic style. The copy stands out, even more so than the image, and the words sometimes overlap each other or are printed over visual elements. Sentences, even words, use different fonts and they can be crossed out, highlighted, or duplicated.
Une typographie disruptive
Source de l’image : Goopanic The copy can even seem to be handwritten to emulate graffiti or appear faded. In other words, this concept is all about bending and breaking the rules!
polices manuscrites, une tendance graphique en 2022
Source de l’image : Solocom

Collages

This style also plays around with the collage effect – images are cropped and superimposed to give a “homemade” feel quality to the visual. This fits in with the maximalism approach: there’s nothing subtle about it. It’s all about showing more and leaving no blank spaces.
nike just do it tendance 2022 graphique
Source : Alberto Velazco

3. Rave culture and retrofuturism as a graphic trend in 2022

The 1990s also saw the rise of electronic music and new technologies. The entertainment industry has once again adopted this graphic trend which can be found on concert, movie, and video game posters as well as fashion.

Neon colours

Neon colours are back! They’re now popping up in copy, logos, patterns, and image backgrounds. Using a neon colour with a dark background is a way to make an element stand out and is reminiscent of dance floors and arcades.
Neon colors, a graphic trend in 2022
Source : Solocom

Imaginary, virtual aesthetics

In an age where virtual reality has become increasingly popular, the retrofuturist trend has taken off. It’s a style inspired by the notion of dreams and imagination and features a lot of visual elements that whisk us away to other dimensions, such as space or a virtual environment. It’s all about distorting time and space.
Imaginary and virtual aesthetics
Source : Patreek Vatash

Technology

Some objects and technologies that are tied to the 1990s are now cropping back up in advertising materials. VHS tapes, CDs, floppy disks, Gameboys, Tamagotchi… these have all marked the beginning of the digital era. They’ve also been reappropriated by brands to create a sense of nostalgia for Generation X. It’s official, we’ve gone back to the future!
Technology as graphic inspiration in 2022
Source de l’image : Mohamed El Nagar

Graphic trends inspired by the 1990s: proceed with caution

These trends are a nod to the 1990s and have become all the rage in 2022. After all, nostalgia is an efficient way to get consumers attached to a brand. If you want to modernize or revamp your image, develop a specific product or campaign, you can definitely embrace these trends. But be careful: you shouldn’t copy them to the letter. If you do, they risk overpowering every aspect of the identity and image you want to convey. If you want to avoid making the wrong choice, get in touch with one of our branding and design specialists.

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