Key Social Media Design Trends You Need to Know About in 2023

Knowing what’s trending will help choose which social media design trends to follow, and which to pass on. Here’s a list of the hottest trends in 2023!

Social media design
August 4, 2023

Table of Contents

Knowing the most important social media design trends right now will help you create content that’s both engaging and appropriate for your brand and target audience. Learn about the most important current design trends here!

Even if you’re not a designer or marketer, you probably know first-hand just how important graphic design is for social media. A visually compelling post can make you stop scrolling and even prompt you to share it with your friends.

But aside from that collective experience, there’s plenty of data that confirms the importance of social media design.

  1. First impressions matter: Research shows that users form an opinion about a website or social media page within 50 milliseconds. This split-second judgment is primarily based on the design elements, colors, and overall visual appeal.
  2. Content consumption habits: A study found that social media posts with relevant visuals receive 94% more views and engagement than those without. In an era where attention spans are dwindling, captivating design becomes crucial in grabbing users' attention and fostering interaction.
  3. Brand perception and trust: Consistent and aesthetically pleasing design across social media channels helps build brand recognition and trust. Approximately 75% of consumers admit that they judge a company's credibility based on the design of its social media presence.
  4. Shareability and virality: Memorable and visually stunning designs are more likely to be shared across social media platforms. According to Buffer, visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared.

Of course, one of the best ways to get noticed on social media is to follow the current social media graphic design trends. When something comes out as a “trend” it means that many people have already reacted positively to it. Moreover, you have to remember the amount of visuals people are exposed to on social media daily. If your post design feels like something they’ve already seen hundreds of times, chances are they will ignore it.

So, if you want to be able to compete with hundreds, if not thousands, of similar brands that are utilizing social media, your social media must feel updated and relevant.

So, what are some social media design trends you need to know about? Let’s explore!

Graphics for dark mode

According to the latest stats, a staggering 99% of social media users access it on their phones to access social media, and over 80% of them prefer dark mode. The conclusion? Your social media design must be optimized for dark mode.

So, how can you do this? Well, first you need to understand the primary reasons why people use dark mode, namely battery savings, and reducing eye strain. In that respect, one of the key social media graphic design trends is also utilizing colors that are less straining to look at, such as dark colors and neutrals.

Another way to jump on this current trend is to use dual color schemes, which allows you more flexibility, while still ensuring your designs look equally good in dark as well as light mode.

Motion graphics

No list of social media graphic design trends can overlook motion graphics. Ever since TikTok became immensely popular, and Instagram introduced Reels to follow suit, video content has taken social media by storm.

But while videos can be awesome, they’re not always easy or even appropriate to make (e.g. it can be tricky to shoot funny behind-the-scenes videos if you’re a remote SaaS company). That’s where motion graphics come in!

Simply put, motion graphic design is animated graphic design. Although it’s essentially the same as animation the difference comes down to complexity: animation usually involves a complex storyline and is often longer, while motion graphics are short bits of, often animated text or animation of simple shapes and forms. That’s why it’s ideal for use in the social media/digital marketing sphere.

You can create fully animated posts, or simply add motion design elements for more visual interest or even just to have a better reach - for example, the latest reports suggest that Reels have a higher reach than other forms of content. And since you can't post GIFs on Instagram, even animated images will appear as Reels.

AI-generated art

Using AI for social media is becoming increasingly popular as a way to speed up content production, and save up on costs.

While AI design is still in its early days, if you want to introduce a new type of content into your social media strategy, this can be a solid idea. One great idea for creating trending social media post design is to post AI graphics and then ask your followers for opinions. This is a hot topic nowadays and there’s a good chance people will love to chime in on the discussion.

For example, this design agency shared how their own designer utilized AI to respond to a brief. It may seem counterintuitive for a design or creative agency to utilize AI graphics. But AI tools are here to stay, so it’s really a question of how well businesses and marketers will use them to their advantage.

social media ai design.png

Custom illustrations

On the other hand, AI is (still) far away from the limitless possibilities of human creativity. And few types of graphic design exhibit it as well as custom illustrations.

Stock photos still have a place in modern design and marketing, but they ought to be used sparingly and always together with custom design. However, if you really want to stand out on social media, creating custom illustrations for your brand is the way to go.

Of course, this can be an obvious choice for visually-heavy platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest. But custom illustrations can be

One of my favorite examples is the YouTube channel School of Life. Their custom illustrated thumbnails always draw my attention as they really stand out against most thumbnails that have people in them.

school of life youtube thumbnail 2.jpg


Memes can help you promote your brand narrative in an entertaining way and make for trending social media post design. This format enables brands to engage with their audiences easily. And the best part? You don’t have to go out of your way to create original content. You can use an existing and trending meme template and mold it to fit your brand message.

The dating app Hinge is doing a brilliant job of using memes to spread its message on social media. Rather than directly promoting the dating app, the company uses universally appealing dog memes to engage customers.

meme marketing.jpg

Asymmetric layouts

Breaking away from traditional grid-based designs, asymmetrical layouts add visual interest and a sense of dynamism. They allow for more creative freedom and help content stand out.

This social media design trend applies to individual post design, as well as the way you curate your social media profile. Although you can still find those perfectly aesthetic profiles where each post fits into the overall design, these days most people opt for a more casual route. Of course, it’s still vital to maintain a sense of brand identity, by using colors, or images that are connected to your brand. But you can afford to be a lot more creative in your design.

For example, Starbucks is well known for its iconic logo and coffee ups, as well as “instagrammable” drinks. But you’ll also notice that these days their Instagram feed feels very eclectic, utilizing different layouts, types of posts, and colors for more visual interest.

starbucks instagram layout.png

Visual storytelling

Speaking of visual interest, succeeding on social media these days is much more than getting the most likes. Social media for businesses should ideally engage their target audience in more than a momentary sensation.

And what’s one of the best social media graphic design trends to help you do that? Visual storytelling.

One company that’s really doubling down on this social media design trend is Lego. Although they could simply showcase their toys or even just their recognizable packaging, they really take things to the next level. There are tons of great animations using their toys that give “life” to these beloved toys (and often the movies and TV shows they're based on).

But a simple image can sometimes work equally well. A couple of snapshots of their Indiana Jones set instantly transports you into the world of this iconic movie.

lego indiana jones 2.png
lego indiana jones 1.png

2D/3D Mashup

If you don’t know the first thing about design, you’re probably at least able to distinguish between 2D and 3D designs.

Well, one of the hottest digital design trends right now is to combine these two types of design to create visually interesting social content.


Although most of us understand that a lot of social media is curated, authenticity is still regarded very highly for brands utilizing social media marketing. In the world of social media design, this might mean stepping away from the usual polished look of post design and daring to be a little different.

Anti-design is one of the most important current trends in graphic design. It refers to a deliberate departure from polished and meticulously curated designs, instead embracing a raw, unpolished, and sometimes even gritty approach.

By embracing anti-design, brands and individuals can create a refreshing and honest online presence that breaks through the noise, connects on a deeper level with their audience, and cultivates a sense of trust and authenticity.

For example, I love how Chipotle’s Twitter is a healthy mix of perfect food shots, and funny images like these ones that look like they’ve been designed in Paint. It perfectly suits the brand’s playful identity and is bound to resonate with the target audience.

chipotle twitter duck.png
chipotle twitter.png

Interactive content

Interactive content has become a popular social media design trend due to its ability to captivate audiences, drive engagement, and create memorable brand experiences. Here are a few reasons why interactive content stands out:

Interactive content encourages active participation from users, going beyond passive consumption. It also breaks the monotony of traditional static posts and offers a refreshing and entertaining experience.

But it’s not all about the user experience either. Interactive content often includes quizzes, polls, surveys, and interactive forms that enable brands to gather valuable data about their audience. This data can be leveraged for personalized marketing campaigns, targeted messaging, and tailored recommendations, leading to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.


While it’s important to stay trendy, it’s even more vital to stay true to your brand. When choosing what are the best social media design trends to follow, be sure to consider your audience and your usual tone of voice.

If you need help designing trendy graphics for your social media look no further than our own social media design service! You can get all your social media design, along with any other projects (web design, illustrations, and more) for a flat monthly rate.

Have questions? We’d love to chat with you!

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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