The Art in Graphic Design: Graphic Design Styles to End 2022 and Start The Next Year With

In securing a project from a client, there is one thing graphic designers should always remember: Never ever go with your gut feeling when doing a client’s design. It does not hurt to ask. In fact, most clients would deeply appreciate your acquisition about their preferences for the design that they are going to pay for. This will strengthen their trust as they would realize that you treat their opinions and preferences with high regards.

In a consultation with a client, aside from inquiring about their desired purpose for the project, another crucial thing to ask about would be their preferred graphic design style. It is normal to feel the excitement and the joy upon scoring a client, however, when you are a graphic designer, their preferences would be the main priority. How do we ask when the client does not know their preferred style or they are not as knowledgeable in graphic design, as the one with more knowledge it is your responsibility to guide them until they are able to pinpoint exactly what they want. You can show them some of the styles that you are working with so they can choose, or you can just simply show them this page.

The Top Five Most Popular Graphic Design Styles

  1. Minimalist Design

In a minimalist design, the graphic designers are certainly leaning more on the simple yet clean look. This design definitely embodies the quote, “Less is more,” as the most vital elements would usually be the only content. Excessive or unnecessary details and designs would not be included to keep the sense of the whole style. Minimalist designs started back in the 1960s with American visual art, and since then have stayed through the list of the most commonly chosen graphic design styles.

Photo Caption: Miselu by Character

General Characteristics of Minimalist Design:

  • Utilize the white space.
  • Keep elements on a grid to maintain uniformity.
  • Go (almost) flat on the elements.
  • Always plan for consistency.
  • Create balance even without symmetry.
  • Keep the amount of colors to a minimum.
  • Maintain simplicity even in typefaces.
  • Always have intention with every element.
  • Break a rule to add visual interest but not too distracting.
  • Just keep it simple.
Photo Caption: Metrograph Movie Theater Design by Anna Karlin
  1. Contemporary or Modern Design

Contemporary or Modern design is a mix of different elements from other styles and the loose definition for this style could be the reason why it is a crowd’s favorite. It could contain tiny references to art deco style, futuristic, traditional, or simply just modern design. This design does not have any specifics, considering that it follows through time and adapts the bits of changes, but the most it could be defined nowadays would be through curves and lines.

Photo Caption: (Upper) “The Lobster” Movie Poster by Vasilis Marmatakis / (Lower) “Moon” Movie Poster by Cardinal Communications USA

General Characteristics of Contemporary/Modern Design:

  • Usually uses Sans Serif Fonts.
  • Contains vibrant colors and high contrast.
  • Could be straight or angled; has geometric grids.
  • Has multiple shapes (triangle, rectangle, square, etc.) and lines.
  • Sports vibrancy in imagery or overlays.
  • Might have effects used to it.
Photo Caption: (Upper) LHC Guide Book by Matthew Blick / (Lower) The Championships by Abbas Mushtaq

Link to Photo:

  1. Corporate Design

Professional or Corporate design is not a crowd favorite, however, it is equally as significant in graphic design. It is more used in formal and professional settings and is known for its straightforwardness in content and elements as well as in its typeface.

General Characteristics of Professional/Corporate Design:

  • Very straightforward and uses a grid; standard.
  • Uses system fonts only.
  • Follows traditional layout.
  • Contains simple shapes.
  • Simple color palettes are used and are mostly muted.
  • No effects.
Photo Caption: Stylish Corporate Creative Tri-fold Brochure at Graphic Mega

  1. Elegant Design

Elegant designs are also used for formal events and we mostly see these with brands or businesses that exude a level of luxury in their promotional materials. Classic-looking types of projects as well as those that are fashion-related tend to make use of this kind of design and it really is effective in bringing that level of sophistication and class. High class hotels, fashion, or anything upscaled are usually the ones utilizing this design.

General Characteristics of Elegant Design:

  • Very subtle with its focus and tends to give close ups of the subject and elements.
  • Uses a mixture of Sans and Sans Serif typefaces.
  • Usually in gold, silver, or pastels and typically mixed with black or white.
  • Thin lines with hard angles.
Photo Caption: Elegant Design Template for a Business Logo

  1. Playful Design

Do not be fooled by the name; playful graphic designs are not always catered to children or young teens. It could also be for adults if they do prefer such a design. However, this style is truly very playful and light and will mostly suit younger audiences. This style could come in different forms such as semi-realistic, realistic, animated, and artistic.

General Characteristics of Playful Design:

  • Usually has animated elements.
  • Makes use of vibrant colors.
  • Design concepts may not always make sense in real life.
Photo Caption: Party Planning Business Card Design

Other Popular Graphic Design Styles

There are a lot more graphic design styles that will surely create a spark in your designs and their designated purpose. We have already known a little more about minimalist, contemporary, corporate, elegant, and playful styles but there are few more that are worth noting. 

Organic and Natural Design

Organic and Natural designs are, obviously, heavily inspired by nature and anything that is natural to the world around us. It usually possesses circular forms and shapes, nature-related elements, and it could come off as asymmetrical in most designs with dynamic forms.

Illustrated Graphic Design

Illustrated graphic designs often contain a layout of handmade or handwritten elements. It could be illustrations of the main subject and it usually depends on the graphic artist. They could easily be connected with playful graphic design as there is a certain lightness to these designs. There really is a variety in this design as graphic designers and their illustrations can differ from one another.

Geometric Graphic Design

Geometric graphic designs could easily pass as corporate or professional graphic design style as it is mostly used in brochures, pamphlets, or some promotional materials that would represent a high profile and professional business. These designs are usually highly symmetrical and the perfect curves and straight lines are often highlighted. Typefaces used are also leaning towards the default font styles.

There are a lot more designs that could possibly highlight how a graphic designer and a client would decide for a project, but it all comes down to what design the business would suit the most. At the end of the day, showcasing the main priority is equally as important as ensuring that it would be seen through the striking and pleasing visuals.


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