The world of graphic design might be the only field that changes faster the world of advertising.

No doubt you’re reflecting on 2018’s successes and failures as you look ahead to 2019’s budgets and goals. That’s a good thing. But you can’t just ride 2018’s coattails if you’re going to thrive in 2019. Not with how quickly the marketing and design landscapes change.

These are our favorite graphics design trends we’re looking forward to in 2019:

1. Art Deco

This post-WWI style arose about 100 ago, so it’s due for a comeback in a big way. Design, like so many other things, is cyclical. This Great Gatsby-esque design style with its complex line work and sans-serif fonts is a perfect contrast to the flat, minimalist design that has been popular for the last five years. (CUA Bob retirement invite)

2. Midcentury

This design trend is already popular with interior design and is now making its way into the graphic design world too. Midcentury modern principles came about in the 1950s thanks to the idea that the function of a design should drive the form, but that doesn’t mean the form itself can’t be beautiful. You’ll be seeing a lot of midcentury art and color palettes from brands in the coming year.

3. Gradients, halftones and vibrant color palettes

For most designers, it felt like gradients fell off the face of the earth when vector graphics became popular. This was especially true for logo design; flat graphics and solid colors ruled the land. Maybe in response to flat and minimalist design, many brands are moving back to brighter colors and color transitions in their graphic styles to stand out. [need a good example for this one, designers]

4. 90s Throwback

It’s official—the 90s now qualify as old school. Sorry if that made you feel old, because it sure did for us! Either way, you can’t deny that 90s graphic style is coming back in a big way. The return of vivid colors and gradients that we already mentioned is probably a tied to this trend. We’d argue that 90s design styles aren’t making a comeback because they’re vintage, but because of nostalgia. Why? The movers and shakers of the consumer economy time are mostly 35-50 year olds. A significant chunk of this population was coming of age—you guessed it—in the 90s. They’re now ready to relive their childhood through mass media.

5. Isometric

Isometric designs create lots of dimension without needing realism. Technically speaking, isometric design refers to any kind of 3-D imagery without perspective angles. Some designers think this is a product of 90s design coming back (think Sim City). Some designers think it’s part of the movement away from flat, iconographic design (think logos for mobile apps). Whatever the reason, this style of illustration is so interesting because it creates depth and texture, which we’re not used to seeing in digital illustrations. It’s also a great way to illustrate something and create a real sense of place without obsessing over details. [PLAY office illo that Nick created for the video like a year ago]