Our Forecast: Design Trends of 2024

Welcome to 2024, where design trends continue to evolve rapidly! The team at Oak have delved into what we predict will be on trend this year, and highlighting how they’re shaping the landscape of design.

1. A focus on words

Typography is transforming into a captivating art form in its own right, with type now being employed to fill spaces traditionally reserved for shapes and imagery. Brands are stepping away from classic typefaces, boldly crafting bespoke and imaginative fonts that truly set them apart. As a result, typography is increasingly becoming a distinctive hallmark of brand identity. We can expect this trend to continue, with typography becoming ever more adventurous and experimental. Watch out for funky new styles, innovative applications, and the exciting integration of motion and 3D elements in typographic design.

2. Mixed media

The resurgence of interest in craftsmanship has paved the way for mixed media, marrying the charm of handcrafted elements with the sleekness of modern techniques. A popular manifestation of this is the seamless fusion of 2D and 3D styles, creating dynamic and engaging scenes. Mixed media also opens the door to richer storytelling within a singular artwork, thanks to its ability to create vivid layers of depth and meaning. The rising popularity of mixed media can also be attributed to a growing desire for authenticity in response to the impersonal nature of AI-generated designs. It brings a much-valued touch of human essence and creativity to the table.

3. The wave of nostalgia

It’s with no surprise that we are continuing to see retro and nostalgic themes all over the place. From brands returning to retro looks, to a fresh take on 80s and 90s themes. This year, we’re witnessing a resurgence of old-school illustration styles, particularly with grainy textures that evoke a sense of warmth and familiarity. The collage or scrapbook aesthetic, once a staple of personal memorabilia, is also making a comeback, offering a charmingly eclectic and personalised touch to design. There is also a re-integration of neon and chrome effects. These elements are not just throwbacks to a bygone era; they’re a bridge to a more vibrant and audacious colour palette. These styles make graphics leap off the page, standing in stark contrast to the mundane.

4. Big bold colours

Moving away from the subdued palettes of recent years, we are seeing a shift towards more bold and expressive colours. This trend reflects a move towards individualism and self-expression in design. Saturated colours are also more likely to grab attention in the fast-paced, scroll-heavy environment of digital media. This trend ties back in with the rise of nostalgic design because we are seeing a lot more gradients, chrome colours and neon that again stand out from the crowd in a time where our attention spans are decreasing. Colour contrast is also incredibly important for accessible design, which is becoming more and more important in both print and digital.

5. A love of nature

Integrating elements of nature into design, including organic forms, natural materials, and plant life, is a trend that’s set to continue. Thous this movement is more than just an aesthetic choice. It is a reflection of a deepening desire to connect with the natural world and its beauty. Additionally, sustainability is no longer a mere consideration but a priority. There is increasing emphasis on environmental mindfulness in branding and product design. The year 2024 stands as a testament to our planet’s magnificence, with design playing a pivotal role in celebrating our love for Earth, inspiring change, and harmonising with the environment that cradles us.

6. The evolution of AI

We of course have to mention the ever-growing beast that is AI. The tools available continue to expand and it’s time to accept that it is becoming a part of everyone’s lives. The challenge now is for designers to accept these tools as a wingman that enhances their creative processes. It can enhance learning and growth, as well as offering easy editing abilities and idea creation. AI is influencing styles of design too by largely leaning into hyper realistic graphics, wacky scenery and detailed compositions. To learn more about how best to utilise and navigate AI, read our recent blog here.