Design Trends that Will Rule 2022

Discover how creativity and curiosity will shape the most important design trends in the next year.

December 17, 2021

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Want to learn about the hottest trends for 2022? Here’s our pick of the most relevant ones, from interior design to typography.

Call me “glass half full”, but I think 2021 showed a lot of improvement in comparison to the dumpster fire that was 2020. We got the vaccine (even though there’s work to be done there), we travelled, we got to hug grandma again.

And hopefully, 2022 will be a year to rebuild and start moving forward again. So, how to prepare your business for whatever’s coming in the year ahead?

Make sure you know what are the expected interior and graphic design trends for 2022, and decide which ones will make sense for you to follow.

The “natural” look is still in

After spending a year cooped up in our apartments, it made sense that 2021 was a year where we strived to bring more of nature into our lives. Earthy color palettes, natural materials and even repurposed outdoor spaces were ways to bring a bit of a healthy balance into our lives.

Well, this trend seems to be continuing into 2022. Not only is it a matter of preference, but many psychological studies have shown that living spaces with landscape palettes and organic forms make people less stressed and more creative, so this is definitely something we’re happy to keep in 2022!

And good news for all plant moms—biophilic design will remain one of the major interior design trends in 2022. The so-called “cottagecore” aesthetic might reach new heights with even more plants being added to our living spaces to create “contemporary conservatories”

Of course, bringing nature indoors doesn’t only make our houses beautiful, it also has an array of benefits to our physical and mental health so it makes sense this is a trend we’d want to continue.

Merging 2D with 3D

Photorealistic illustration and 3D design have taken over all kinds of online spaces, from web design to social media posts. Though they are still very impressive in an aesthetic and technical sense, in the year ahead it’s time to shake things up a bit.

This means combining these newer forms of digital design with traditional illustration and 2D design. Instead of highlighting the skill of the designer, the idea is to create entertaining spaces and visuals for people online.

Of course, the importance of motion design continues as well, and combining these styles can lead to really fun and unique designs, suitable for almost any industry or business.

Adobe Live - Getting Started from oddfellows on Vimeo.

Breaking the rules in typography

If there is one area in which next year will likely bring the most dramatic changes, it’s typography. You’ll often hear us advising brands to choose fonts carefully, so as not to compromise legibility.

But if legibility is not absolutely paramount, then in 2022 it’s more than fine to go a different route and choose hybrid typography that will challenge the viewers/readers.

There’s no clear winner between sans and serif fonts since the main idea is to do something a little different. One letter upside down, fluid lettering or imperfect kerning—in 2022 fonts should be used to provide an edge to even the most classic and polished designs.

Soft lines and edges

Keeping in line with the domination of organic forms, fluid shapes will be much more prominent than sharp, geometric designs. Whether it’s a round kitchen island, curvy lettering or 3D design, designs in 2022 should strive for a natural flow and rhythm.

A creative purple

It’s been just a few days since Pantone announced the color of the year 2022 and it’s a color called Very Peri. It’s said to have a mix of the calming effect of blue, and the vibrancy and urgency of red.

While 2021 has been a year to be hopeful, 2022 will (hopefully) finally be a year where we really get to put our plans into action. In color psychology purple is often said to be associated with creativity and mystery, and the people behind this color choice felt that it’s precisely creativity and curiosity that will help us move forward in these, still uncertain times.

The color choice was also inspired by technological developments (blue and purple hues have been dominant in the SaaS industry for years now), such as the space shuttle trips, Mark Zuckerberg’s promise of a metaverse and the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency.

Tone on tone

Since we’re on the subject of color, let’s mention one more trend that is useful to look at. In line with the nature-oriented color schemes and appreciation for ethical supply chains, when it comes to interior design, in particular, sharp contrasts are no longer in fashion.

Tone on tone means combining several tones of the same color, and of course, this is most popular with earthy color palettes. However, it’s a trend that can pretty much translate to anything from your living room wallpaper to product packaging. If you’re considering rebranding and trying to work out the perfect color palette, this is a great option to consider.

Last year, this was often done with muted colors, however, tone on tone can work with pretty much any color palette you settle on.

Retro 90s

Retro trends are quite cyclical and designs inspired by bygone decades always seem to find a way back into relevance. A couple of years ago the hit show Stranger Things ignited a new appreciation for the 80s aesthetic, which has now had its run.

So, 2022 predicts yet another revival of the 1990s. However, only a portion of the decade will be super prominent and reimagined through a rather nostalgic lens. If you were a kid in the 90s, then you’ll definitely remember the Memphis style colors and patterns, and we are likely to see these in various aspects of the design next year.

Simple icons, emojis that bring back the early days of the internet will take nostalgic millennials back to their childhood, and give younger generations a quirky, imperfect aesthetic that they can appreciate.


Simple illustrations can make any design project more interesting, whilst still maintaining a professional edge.

However, in the next year, we’ll be seeing a return to more basic elements such as lines and doodles. At first glance, doodles look simpler and easier to produce, however, they can also add a great personal touch to design projects (ever heard that what you doodle is a reflection of your personality?)

Plus, they can be combined in countless ways with other design elements and create truly unique and eclectic designs, which we’ll be seeing more of in 2022.

Fantasy and escapism

For centuries, art has offered people an escape from the harshness of reality into enchanting, magical worlds. For the past couple of years we’ve been seeing a reemergence of retro-futurism (again, think Stranger Things) as well 1960s/70s psychedelia, trends that allow us to imagine different worlds.

This trend will continue, but perhaps with fewer recognizable references. Instead, the goal is to allow viewers to wonder in a childlike fashion, to reignite the love of magic and mystery (after all we are getting a Harry Potter reunion and that’s as about as magical as things can be!)

Breaking the rules and maximalism

The final noteworthy design trend on our list is one that will appeal to all the rule-breakers. If you’re familiar with the aesthetic called grand millennial, then you might have a hunch what this emerging trend is all about.

Not simply a counterpart to minimalist design, maximalism means adding as many visual elements as possible according to the artist’s whim. Maximalist design takes focus on an individual element, delivering as much impact as possible without necessarily trying to create a perfect balance between the elements.


Having lived and studied in London and Berlin, I'm back in native Serbia, working remotely and writing short stories and plays in my free time. With previous experience in the nonprofit sector, I'm currently writing about the universal language of good graphic design. I make mix CDs and my playlists are almost exclusively 1960s.

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