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Design Trends 2020
29 January 2020

Design Trends 2020

The rapid development of technology greatly expands the range of our capabilities. The greater the potential, respectively, the higher the requests. It is in this way that modern trends are formed. One of the criteria for product quality is its relevance. Therefore, a clear understanding of the prospects and trends in the design world will be a characteristic indicator of professionalism.

Motion Design & Animation

What the motion design is?

A few years ago it was a simple logo animation or animated graphics on a website. But modern design does not fit into such a narrow designation. In 2020, we are faced with animation in all forms of design, from interaction buttons to logos and user interfaces. Due to the huge amount of information, reading time is getting less, therefore, text content is no longer as functional as before. At the same time, competently and stylishly implemented motion design can purposefully and clearly convey the necessary message to your audience.

Trends 2020

1. UI/UX
2. Illustrations
3. Motion design
4. Graphic Design
5. Technology-based trends
6. Packing
7. Typography
8. Trending tools

1. UI/UX

1.1 Dark Mode (Android Q and iOS 13)

The most noticeable trend in 2020 is the dark mode in applications and operating systems. Android was the first to introduce two types of dark modes: Force Dark Mode and System Dark Mode. Then Microsoft introduced its dark mode for the mail application. In parallel, Google released its own dark version mode for Gmail on Android 10. And after it, Instagram made a dark version for the iOS based application. This design has found its connoisseurs, so many more applications and services will present a dark version.

Dark Mode

1.2 Bright colors

Vibrant colors have been a major trend for the past two years and continue to dominate in 2020. Deep and saturated, bright and even extremely bright colors. Their use is relevant both as primary and secondary shades.

1.3 Illustrations in the UI

This trend also passes to us from past years. Its undeniable advantage is that, thanks to a visual demonstration, the user better perceives the idea of ​​the product. In addition, this is a great way to add originality to the concept and make it memorable.

Illustrations in the UI


1.4 Storytelling

Outlining a holistic story in UX design plays a key role. In this way you can help the user and make interaction with the site more intuitive and simple. A well-thought-out story will make the product understandable and interesting to the user. The basis of the story is a certain character, for whom it is important to create a personality, story and conflict, the solution of which in the end is your product. Storytelling is used both in the UI and in the UX, but has significant differences in implementation.

1.5 Animated Graphics and Micro Interactions

As mentioned earlier, animated graphics are a trend and are actively used in user interface design. Using animation improves your illustration and makes it easier to understand and remember the ideas of your product.

At the same time, micro-interactions were first used in 2018, but the relevance of the technology grew only by 2020. This tool is extremely important in user interface design. Micro-interactions direct the user to understanding how the system works and how to optimize the user experience.

In 2020, any user interface without the use of micro-interactions will look too simple.

1.6 Video in the user interface

In modern design it is very important how quickly the user perceives information. That is why video content has a huge advantage. Of course, you can use animation, but the presence of high-quality video is mandatory for any website or application.

1.7 Functionality

One of the main elements of user interface design is functionality. Many believe that functionality cannot be combined with design, but thanks to modern technology, we can create a truly useful and attractive product. In this combination, design provides attention of users to the site or application, and functionality improves perception. As a result, the user can easily and quickly find the necessary information.



1.8 Attention to detail

The design as a whole, and especially the user interface, is built on the details. Buttons, download icons, navigation elements allow you to make your design unique and holistic. But the details that are worth paying attention to change over time. So, next year we will see significantly fewer buttons, as well as simplified navigation. For example, the main Android navigation element, the Back button, has officially disappeared from Android 10.

1.9 Horizontal menu

Another tool will be used by designers in 2020 to make the interface unique – the horizontal menu of the website, which is usually used in desktop versions. In addition to originality, the horizontal interface is also functional, since it takes up much less space.

1.10 Gradients

For several years in a row, we use a gradient in design, and this trend continues to be relevant in 2020. Fresh shades of colors are ideal for a good gradient. You can use them to design buttons, icons, and even in a print shop.



1.11 Color inversion

More and more sites impressing users with the ability to switch between the color modes of the interface. Usually a contrast, lighter or darker shade is used for inversion. The technique always looks very impressive and concise at the same time.

2 Illustrations

2.1 Character Design

Character design requires the creation of a certain personality that will correspond to the entire concept of the product. The individuality of such a character should be clearly depicted in his appearance. A great example of character design is the virtual assistants you meet in applications or on sites.

2.2 Textures

Textures in combination with illustrations are able to create unique compositions. To add textures, you can use Internet stocks with a huge variety of grainy patterns, brush strokes, and more. You can also create textures yourself.

2.3 Plain Flat Illustrations

Recently, flat illustrations have been very popular. In 2020, they are still in trend, but with only one change - a thin stroke line has appeared. In most cases, these are subtle black strokes, but in some cases they use a dark contrasting shade.

2.4 Isometry

Another example where the trend has taken hold in design for more than one year. Isometric illustrations appeared in the user interface during a period of increased interest in cryptocurrencies. Active development during 2019 allowed isometrics to occupy many other areas of business.


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2.5 3D

With the advent of more effective programs and tools, 3D rendering has changed significantly. The surge in popularity of 3D illustrations is explained by the fact that, unlike 2D, they can be used to create more realistic images.

2.6 Ultra-bright colors

Modern illustrations are filled with various combinations of rich colors. With the help of bold and flashy colors, you can create a memorable atmosphere, focus on the characters, tell a story and emphasize the image of the product.


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3. Animated graphics

3.1 3D video

The 2020 motion design is impossible to imagine without 3D graphics. The main advantage of this tool is that only your imagination can be a limitation. Various areas of application prove the versatility of 3D graphics - advertising campaigns, films, games and much more.

3.2 Video + Animated Illustrations (Mixed Content)

The effectiveness of the stylish combination of video, animated illustrations and photographs is much higher than the result of each tool separately. With the help of 2D or 3D illustrations, you can create recognizable videos of various levels of complexity. From a few moving elements, to real 3D characters and even completely unrealistic visual effects.

3.3 2D Animation - Explanatory Videos

Vector 2D animation is a good tool for creating stories and characters. Also, 2D video would be an ideal choice if you need an explanatory presentation for a company or product. In a world that doesn’t always have time to read, explanatory videos are a must for any website.

2D Animation - Explanatory Videos

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3.4 Animated Logos

In addition to other animations in 2020, you can increase your competitiveness by integrating animations into logo designs. Thanks to the animation, the logo will become more visible and attractive.

3.5 Hybrid Animation - 2D and 3D Integration

The combination of 2D and 3D using certain programs is not a new trend, but it is still no less relevant.

Hybrid Animation - 2D and 3D Integration Hybrid Animation - 2D and 3D Integration

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4. Graphic Design

4.1 3D in graphic design

The main niche in this design industry is occupied by 2D, but with the help of 3D elements you can place additional accents in the whole composition and make it more interesting and unique. 3D rendering can be used in the form of illustrations, animations or various fonts.

4.2 Bicolor

The same case when less is better than more. This trend involves the creation of saturated elements in combination with a contrasting or less bright shade. In addition to the stylistic advantages, this form of design also allows you to make printing cheaper, because the cost of printing directly depends on the number of colors used.


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4.3 Optical perception of art

The direction of op art is known for its abstract and often black and white works. The main feature of such images is the impression of movement of the composition as a whole or of selected elements. In addition, you can observe not only a simple movement, but also the effect of vibration, flashing or deformation.

Thanks to the features of optical perception, you can create movement on a printed sheet. Make the product unique and attractive to the viewer.

Optical perception of art Optical perception of art

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4.4 Graphic design illustrations

Illustrations are very popular and effective for a long time, so there is no need to prove their advantages. Just remember that 2D illustrations will remain your favorite design tool even in 2020.

Graphic design illustrations

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4.5 Animated Posters

Animation has become an integral part of various areas of modern design. And even such a direction as digital posters began to actively use both 2D and 3D animation to achieve incredible results.

Animated Posters

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4.6 Retrowave

The retro trend, or as it is also called - synthwave, which appeared in the 80s of the last century, returned with renewed vigor when well-known film companies began to produce films and series in the style of the cult decade. The most famous and vivid representative of this movement is the series Stranger Things.


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4.7 Swiss Design, Dada, Bauhaus

One of the most influential graphic design movements of the 20th century is still an inexhaustible source of inspiration for many designers. The styles of this direction are so brilliant that regardless of time, they always remain relevant. The distinguishing features are typography, sans-serif fonts, pure geometric shapes, simple lines and color schemes.

Swiss Design, Dada, Bauhaus

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4.8 Wide continuous color space

Volumetric and continuous color spaces will become an incredibly popular trend next year. In combination with bright typography, you can apply them in graphic design, product design, as well as in the user interface.

4.9 Ultra-minimalism

This design direction is characterized by the use of only the most necessary elements, limited by a color palette and laconic forms to express memorable individuality. Such asceticism allows you to leave only the essential components. To create such a design, you should use as much white / negative space as possible, a simple color scheme and just a few basic geometric shapes.


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5. Technological trends

Continuous improvement and the emergence of new technologies affects all spheres of human life. New technologies require designers to develop innovative features that will become the trends of 2020. Virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and much more.

5.1 Mobile Augmented Reality Applications

Technology giants Apple and Google have unveiled their AR, ARKit, and ARCore development platforms. The following scenario is easy to predict - the whole world will focus on augmented reality technology.

To create an intuitive application, there are several AR interaction options.

The first involves locking the application on the screen of your phone. While, the other is based on the principle of correlation of the AR user interface with the user's environment. But the most popular is interaction, when the user interface is associated with an object and is launched when a certain element is scanned. Thus, you combine digital animation with a special “marker."

Mobile Augmented Reality Applications

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5.2 AI, ML, chatbots and virtual assistants

Chatbot is the name of software designed to maintain a conversation and simulate a person using text or voice guidance. However, they are still not perfect enough to pass the Turing test successfully.

In fact, due to the lack of experience with AI, people still perceive this technology with caution. Therefore, modern designers face a difficult task. They need to make the communication process simple and gain the trust of the user.

The main tool for improving chat bots is the design and creation of communication scenarios. For example, you can find effective chatbots of famous brands - Spotify, Starbucks, MasterCard, Sephora, Lyft, Pizza Hut.

chatbots and virtual assistants

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5.3 VR

The advent of virtual reality technologies has provoked an incredible explosion of activity among companies developing computer games. However, the endless prospect of the widespread use of VR technology and the rapid development of all technological industries contributes to the popularization of virtual reality in education, healthcare, tourism, real estate or architecture.


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5.4 Voice User Interface (VUI)

Thanks to the voice user interface, you can interact with the computer with just your conversational speech. The voice command device (VCD) is controlled using the voice user interface.

This year, 40% of people who have access to the Internet used a voice assistant at least once a month, which is 10% more than last year.

6. Product Design

6.1 Patterns in packaging

The global market is oversaturated with a wide variety of packaging design options. That is why, creating something new is becoming much more difficult. For inspiration and the search for new ideas, designers decided to turn to patterns. Now it’s important to use geometric, floral and monotypic patterns.

Patterns in packaging

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6.2 Illustrations in packaging

Packaging illustration has always been a powerful tool in design. With the help of illustrations, you can effectively convey the idea of ​​a product to the target audience. Thanks to this format, it is easier for a person to perceive the story that underlies the brand concept.

Illustrations in packaging

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6.3 Free space

This trend highlights functionality without compromising typography. Like many years in a row, minimalism is now considered the main principle in design.

Free space

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6.4 Monochrome and bicolor

To some, the use of just one or two tones in the product palette may seem like a severe restriction, but on the other hand, it is precisely this selectivity that helps create a strong visual identity. Using only two or even one color, you can maintain a sense of minimalism and get an elegant and recognizable product.


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6.5 Bright colors

Vivid colors and gradients are still an extremely relevant trend that will continue in 2020. Using these colors, you can create a very stylish and modern design.

Bright colors

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6.6 Attention to detail

Inspired by modernist art, designers have created a trend that involves the detailed study of small elements. Professionals choose the design in this style, because it gives the product authenticity and classic, but at the same time modern luxury.

Attention to detail

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6.7 Storytelling in packaging

In 2020, the main task of many brands will be updating and rethinking packaging design. The main task of storytelling now is to interpret and clearly explain the essence of the product, by creating visual and narrative identification for packaging.

Storytelling in packaging

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7. Typography

7.1 Bold typography

Catchy typography opens up new possibilities in design and can completely replace the image as the main element. The trend has been seen in both web design and graphic design.

Bold typography

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7.2 Lowercase letters

Increasingly, we are seeing the use of lowercase letters in application design. Their advantages are easy readability, minimalist and modern design. We continue to monitor this trend in 2020.

Lowercase letters

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7.3 Custom Fonts

The trend towards creating personalized fonts is rapidly gaining momentum in the world of poster and logo design. Of course, in most cases, the creation of a unique font can be afforded by large brands, due to the high cost of the process. But even small changes in the design of the font creates the desired effect.

Custom Fonts

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7.4 Kinetic printing

Another example of the use of animation in design. Kinetic printing does not require animation of high complexity, just a simple movement and offset of the font on the screen. Even such a minor interaction ensures that your product is remembered.

Kinetic printing

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7.5 Pile of Fonts

Pile of text is an excellent tool to attract the attention of the viewer to important information. This trend is relevant for web design, application design and graphic design.

Pile of Fonts

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8. Trending tools

Useful software in 2020

8.1 Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a suite of diverse applications for creating different types of content on mobile devices and online with the ability to synchronize. It includes three separate design applications: Spark Page, Spark Post and Spark Video.

These applications allow users to create visual content that can be used for business, education and marketing on social networks. When using three applications, you have the ability to upload pictures or search for them in the application gallery.

8.2 Procreate

Procreate is a raster graphics editor for digital painting developed and published by Savage Interactive for iOS. The application is suitable for both professionals and beginners. The interface is equipped with more than 130 realistic brushes, several blending modes, masks, 4K video export, auto-save and, of course, digital art tools. However, the application has limited capabilities for editing and rendering text and vector graphics.

8.3 Adobe XD

Adobe XD is a vector tool for creating user interfaces for web and mobile applications, developed and published by Adobe Inc. Compatible with macOS and Windows. Also, there are versions for iOS and Android that allow you to preview the results of work. XD supports the construction of websites and simple interactive click-through prototypes.

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