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COLOR TRENDS THAT WILL DOMINATE 2021

This is an article “Color Trends That Will Dominate 2021” by Marc Primo Warren


No thanks to COVID-19, the world of graphic design wasn’t able to breakthrough much this year as big-name brands didn’t take as many risks as they have done in the past. Some companies shifted their advertising budgets to other expenses such as health & safety, security, and logistics, among others, and quite understandably so. But does that mean we should brace ourselves for a storm of great and innovative color designs in 2021 when, hopefully, a vaccine is in to put the pandemic out?



Most brands would likely prefer muted color palettes, the easy-on-the-eyes serif family of fonts, and simple graphics to convey their marketing messages in 2021. That’s because people are more attuned to calming and positive visuals these days and find great relief in them considering all the craziness that 2020 has brought. From the looks of things, bold and more aggressive colors will take a step back in 2021 or perhaps extend until much later.


To give you a better idea, here are a few color design trends that are slowly gaining ground for 2021.


Muted colors


Less vivid colors that tend to relay a sense of cleanliness and safety are definitely in. Aside from giving out those positive vibes, they also connote nostalgia with their low saturation and organic feel. As examples, look over a few health and wellness websites—a niche that prevalently use muted color palettes for their marketing and ‘call to action’ designs.


Simple graphics


Overloading your data presentations with unnecessary colors and visuals is a no-no for 2021. Data in itself is complex enough and people would want to see simple visualizations that any layman would immediately understand. For example, simple pie charts with full opacity colors or highlighted percentages in muted hues can get a lot of attention and are easier to absorb mentally.


By 2021, more data presentations will proliferate on social media and the workplace which makes choosing the right color palette for designs very important. Try mixing contrasting bright colors against dark and bold backgrounds, then complement your designs with common visuals such as thought bubbles, minimal animated illustrations, or flat related icons to drive your messages across better.


Geometric shapes


More and more graphic designers have been experimenting with abstract shapes since last year and there are no signs that the trend will go away by 2021. Geometric shapes with soft pastel tones and serene color hues go well with muted color backgrounds plus the hard-edges of the shapes create more appealing visuals to your design.


Warm and bright


Earth colors like the Australian paint company Dulux’s Color of the Year ‘Brave Ground’ offer a calming and more natural feel to your designs to suggest warmth and growth. And those are quite perfect for these difficult times. Come next year when the pandemic is hopefully gone and people have nurtured a feeling that they are starting over, mixing in bright colors like yellow, orange, or green add to your design’s positive tones.


What you’ll get from combining a mix of warm and serene colors with bright color pops are more calming visual designs that provide the perfect bed for your classic serif font copies.



Summing it all up, choosing more positive color palettes that don't express aggression or chaos are what will become more appealing to most people by next year. They are simple and easy to integrate along with other design elements for your marketing materials. Add in a little positive messaging and the perfect artwork or photo to instantly make your brand more appealing then enjoy your higher chances for market recall.



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