4 edgy design schemes that will reign supreme in 2020

If your branding’s gone stale, consider incorporating motion graphics, immersive 3D images or ‘cyberpunk’ elements into your strategy.

2020 branding trends

’Tis the season for branding forecasts, predictions and planning.

As marketing decision-makers look ahead to 2020, it’s crucial to determine which typefaces, hues, shapes, textures and styles are on the rise—and which fads are fading fast.

Here are four strong design trends will dominate logos, websites, packaging and more in 2020:

Cyberpunk 

Futuristic design elements are all the rage.

2020 will specifically see designers embrace a futuristic “cyberpunk” style, defined largely by bright, luminous color schemes and oversaturated hues not typically seen in nature.

Neon blues, hot pinks and vivid magentas create an otherworldly, surreal visual landscape reminiscent of the sci-fi genre. Take the new packaging for Nitro Tea, for example:

Mayhem hair products feature a cyberpunk vibe as well.

Street art style 

Incorporating ’70s punk scene imagery, hues from the neon-blasted ’80s and touches of ’90s grunge, 2020 will see a wave of retro-inspired graffiti and street art-influenced design.

This edgy trend tracks with changes in today’s designer population. As design education and training has become increasingly accessible via online channels such as YouTube, it makes sense that younger designers—many of whom are self-taught—would champion the DIY aesthetic of street art.

This business card designed by Mark Unger is a great example of this style.

Bevels and chisels

By creating 3D forms out of hard lines, the “bevels and chisels” trend strikes a balance between skeuomorphism (objects that mimic their real-world counterparts) and flat design (using simple, two-dimensional elements and bright colors).

These designs subtly mimic real-life objects (such as raised buttons, engraved coins or beveled stone), but they’re constructed out of flat colors. The result is a flat image that looks real enough to touch. For example, check out this Twin Cities Bike Polo club logo created by Studio Day Job:

3D stone-cutting techniques are particularly helpful in designs for digital use, such as app icons and buttons. They create a tactile experience for users and mitigate the flatness that dominates the visual aesthetic of screens.

Motion graphics

Movement will shape branding design in 2020, but in increasingly sophisticated ways.

Found in everything from logos to explanatory motion graphics, animation is a powerful way to bring a brand to life. This year, expect to see simple motion graphics evolving into continuous animation sequences that heighten immersion, such as this live BMX freestyle data visualization from designer Clever Franke.

These are just a few of the emerging design trends that will reign in 2020, but one thing’s clear: Next year will see disparate visual elements combined in unusual ways.

A version of this article first ran on MediaPost.

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