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Illustration Trends - read the full article about brand design trends, Brand Design and from Envato on Qualified.One
Hey there! Jen McKinnon here and it’s time for another trend roundup from Envato. Today we’re taking a look at Illustration trends and a link to the featured items can be found in the description below. This video is brought to you by Envato Elements, a subscription-based library full of all the digital creative assets you need to get your creative projects done.
From brushes for Procreate, Photoshop, Illustrator and Sketch to textures, patterns and fonts, everything you need to streamline the creation of your next masterpiece is at your fingertips.
Check the link in the description for a special offer from the Envato Elements team to get you started. Let’s get into it! Geometric shapes are anything but square when they’re given an abstract twist. This illustration trend presents graphic designers and artists with a really eye-catching opportunity to experiment with different shapes, colours, patterns and textures. Just take a look at these bold banners by online education platform, SuperHi. Set against a graph paper-style background, shapes filled with chessboard squares, diagonal stripes and crosshatching are layered upon each other to create a 3D feel.
Abstract wavy lines wind their way between the squares, rectangles and circles, bringing a dynamic quality to the design.
When it comes to introducing this illustration trend into your next creative project, keep things minimalistic by selecting a simple color palette and just a few shapes or go all out with a maximalist composition that’s filled with clashing elements.
Like this vibrant geometric design that’s bursting with visual interest – from the repeated heart shape and mix of smooth and sharp corners to an all-seeing eye motif that stares out from the middle of this brilliant background design. Introducing symmetrical geometry into an abstract illustration is all about creating a sense of balance – remember you want the viewer to feel engaged, not overwhelmed.
To learn more, we feature both Abstract and Geometric design styles in our 2020 Illustration Trends video that we’ve linked below. Whether you want to recreate real life or conjure up a land of make believe, this illustration trend adds a ‘reach out and touch it’ quality to website designs, digital interfaces and everything in between. Combining 3D with the Geo Abstract trend we looked at previously, Jeremiah Shaw’s visual data renderings bring information to life.
From pie charts and bar graphs to detailed infographics, the clever use of colour, shadow and light gives the viewers the impression that they’ve walked straight into the illustration. Meanwhile, Mexico-based designer Vago injects a cartoon-style sense of fun into his 3D illustrations through bright pops of color and cute characters that wouldn’t look out of place in the latest Pixar animation.
Place people front and centre in your work with these 3D male and female figures available on Envato Elements.
Portrayed in a variety of positions and poses, the characters clearly communicate a range of activities – from shopping to skateboarding and catching up on emails.
Simply select your person and change the background to suit your project. When it comes to making sure everyone’s included in the 3D illustration trend, check out our conversation with 3D artist and Envato Elements Author Amrit Pal Singh for his thoughts on achieving diversity and representation in design.
You can find a link to the blog post in the description below. Flat design, monochrome and a minimal palette – they’re all elements that feed into our next trend, minimalism.
Continuing to keep projects and artworks clean and uncluttered, minimalism is all about stripping back superfluous detail. As a result, we’re seeing illustrators reduce the number of colors they work with and rely on simple, 2D drawings to make their mark.
To achieve the ‘less is more’ aesthetic, Australian illustrator Nadia Gianinotti smooths over facial features to create super-simple but highly effective portraits.
Past projects include visualizing a graduation ceremony that was cancelled due to covid and adding her own signature style to her professional logo.
Nadia shows her social media followers how she starts with a photograph before deciding which parts of a person’s expression to include and which parts she allows to simply fade away. With a minimal color palette DimoGraphic’s flat illustration of a delivery driver en route to a drop-off uses shades of purple, lilac and grey, with just a splash of orange to unite the scooter and on-screen elements of the illustration.
Similarly, this depiction of Chicago’s skyline focuses on a single color in different shades.
And yet every structure stands out, thanks to the combined use of shadow and strikingly simple yet effective geometric shapes.
It’s a great example of how monochrome can be used to really make a statement.
Embrace a move towards monochrome yourself with our guide to designing with a monochromatic color palette, which we’ve linked below, then learn more about making heads turn with the use of minimalism in our Presentation Design Trends round-up.
As video becomes an online content expectation, animated illustrations continue to develop in popularity.
So much so, that it’s become a design trend loved by brands, marketers and all kinds of creatives for instantly grabbing attention and introducing a sense of momentum to a piece.
Adding a surreal twist to everyday objects, Mike Voropaev’s animations might just last a few seconds but in that short amount of time they manage to be absolutely mesmerising.
From office stationary with fangs to a cereal bowl filled with life rings and a climber scaling a cheese grater, these bizarre clips keep things simple with a block color background that allows the action to take centre stage.
Another approach to simple animation is the work Jonas Mosesson has done for Airbnb to showcase dining options in destinations around the world.
Animated icons, moving logos and simple line drawings repeat the same small movements on a continuous loop, engaging the audience while keeping the viewing experience clear and concise.
From scrolling for inspiration to filling a virtual basket and receiving a parcel, these stylish animated illustrations revolve around the online shopping experience.
Customise the colors to suit your design and choose from 40 different elements within this easy-to-use illustration template pack.
It’s clear that this Envato Author, IconsX, has also tapped into another trend on our list – Odd Bodies - but more on this inclusive approach to human anatomy later on.
For more moving parts, check out our Video Trends piece, which is packed with inspiration for adding animation, personalization and interactive elements to your next video project. Incorporating hand-drawn elements into graphic design is a surefire way to add your own personal style, and our next trend – line art – is a breakout trend that feeds directory into this approach. Like these flowing illustrations for Spanish telecommunications brand, Guuk. Combining line art with animation to produce shape-shifting scenes that are in constant motion, viewers watch as a tree-studded landscape transforms into social interactions and sporting activities using a single black line and a few green accents.
Just as Guuk’s illustrations appear as if drawn by an invisible hand, this Envato Artist achieves a similar sense of just-sketched momentum with these Picasso-style line art faces.
Featuring abstract but instantly recognisable face shapes and seamless patterns, they are perfect for adding a sense of modern, sophisticated style to branding projects, social media profiles, posters or decorative wall art. We explore the versatile appeal of line art further in the Illustration segment of our Graphic Design Trends video. There you’ll also find more on flat design, hand-drawn typography and raw sketches, which have the ability to instantly add a human feel to your work. Our next trend offers another way to add some analogue inspiration to your graphic designs.
Crafty illustration is all about bringing brushstrokes, ripped paper edges and woodblock prints – in fact, any real-world artistic texture – into the digital realm.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of inspiration out there. Just take a look at Jessica Benhar’s illustrations of mythical creatures. While she uses a printmaking technique called linocut to create strange beasts and fantastical beings, this ink-on-paper effect could also be replicated in graphic design with textured brushes or add-ons.
Just like this Photoshop action from Envato Artist Eugene-design, which allows users to add swirls, swipes and splashes of paint to their pictures, giving each illustration the unmistakable impression of being composed on canvas.
It couldn’t be easier to add this crafty twist to an existing image.
Just upload your file and use the brush tool to come up with something worthy of hanging on an art gallery wall. More crafty illustration inspiration can be found in these collages by Adrian & Gidi that are made up of textured and painted paper cut outs in earthy, organic tones.
While Gregory Euclide’s mixed media scenes feature ripped edges, fountain pen detail and dreamy watercolor washes to create a series of evocative landscapes.
To help you embrace this illustration trend, we’ve put together a curated collection called Crafty Collage that’s packed with linocut brushes, letterpress alphabets and foil textures to enable you to achieve a range of eye-catching effects in your own creations. You can also learn more about achieving a scrapbook look-and-feel with our Graphic Design Trends video, which features a section dedicated to crafting collages. This next trend celebrates the body positivity movement, which advocates the acceptance of all bodies regardless of physical ability, size, gender or race, while at the same time relying on non-standard proportions to create a cast of characters that could only exist in illustrated form. Take for example Danny Suario’s non-realistic cartoon style in which arms, legs, hands and feet are greatly exaggerated.
From hammering a nail into a wall to tying a pair of shoelaces, every posture and pose is taken to the extreme thanks to these larger-than-life depictions. Meanwhile, Envato Artist sukmaraga has used bright shapes as the jumping off point for illustrations of people.
. From a line-drawn doodle of someone sunbathing in the park to a polka-dot dance party, the quirky characters jump from the page thanks to the addition of just a few details.
Especially in these portraits, where sketched expressions instantly transform a set of red and yellow splodges into an ensemble of faces. Finally, intricate lettering helps artists and designers communicate a whole range of messages, even when using the most simple of typefaces.
Like this flower-filled greeting by Maggie Enterrios, which gives the word ‘hello’ a tropical and exotic aura, while the black-and-white palette adds serious sophistication.
And just check out the detailed ampersand that’s bursting with blooms, butterflies and even a hummingbird.
The character’s silhouette is still clearly visible, and yet she’s managed to pack in so much clever detail.
You can be sure every letter and number will stand out with our Intricate Lettering Collection, which features a selection of some of our favourite typography and text treatments and templates to create your own designs.
Share what you want to say in style and gather ideas and inspiration for your intricate lettering project with our Typography Trends video that features compelling examples of a range of fonts, from retro and handwritten to experimental. That does it for the Illustration trends you’ll be seeing this year. If this video was helpful, don’t forget to like it below so we know to keep producing more content like this. And subscribe to the Envato YouTube channel to stay up to date with our latest content! Have your say and tell us what trends you’d like us to profile next in the comments below and hit the Envato blog for more trends and tips.
That’s all for now but if you’re keen to stick around, click the thumbnail at the top right of your screen for more trends, or hit the one at the bottom right of your screen to watch the next Envato video, selected just for you. See you next time.
Envato: Illustration Trends - Brand Design