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5 Graphic Design Trends to Modernize Your Print Materials in 2024

Brian Kroeker

May 8, 2024

Summary:

  • There are a number of ways you can add a modern touch to your print materials—simply look at what’s trending in the graphic design world and find ways to implement those elements into your design.
  • For 2024, we’re seeing a contrasting mix of design trends: retro vs futuristic, bold vs muted, minimalism vs maximalism, and more. No matter your business type, there’s a trend for you.
  • When you’re ready to bring your design to life, submit your print-friendly design files to Little Rock for professional printing. We offer in-house printing services, no order minimums, and can send you a free proof before you submit your full order.

When you’re ready to design your print materials, the best place you can look for inspiration is to see what’s trending in the graphic design world. For 2024, it’s all about fun and play through experimentation, whether it’s an epic colour scheme, playful accents like doodles or geometric shapes, or a cool layout.

We’ve also noticed that many graphic design trends this year are complete opposites, like natural vs bold colours, minimalism vs maximalism, retro vs futuristic and more. So no matter what type of branding represents your business, there’s probably a modern trend for you.

Retro comedy event poster in California

Via portarocha.com

The best part is that you can apply all of these trends to any of your print materials—whether you use it on brochures, lawn signs, roll labels, or more. Here’s why keeping up with modern trends is a good idea for your business:

  • Helps you stay relevant: Aligning with current design trends helps your brand stay fresh and relevant in the eyes of your customers, demonstrating that you are keeping up with evolving tastes and preferences.
  • Enhances brand perception: First impressions count, and some print materials allow only a short amount of time to grab a customer’s attention. Sleek and modern design elements can enhance the perception of your brand, conveying creativity and innovation to your audience.
  • Boosts engagement: On-trend graphics are more likely to capture the attention of your customers and allow you to stand out. Pair that with an actionable print ad, like including your URL or a QR code, and you’re likely to interact with your customer even more.
  • Showcases your personality: Creative trending graphics help differentiate your brand from competitors and provide an opportunity to showcase your personality and values. This fosters an emotional connection with your customers and humanizes your brand.

Ready to start your next design project? Here’s a look at some of the best graphic design trends for 2024 that you can use today.

Colorful labels with sticker accents for Henry Mantecas products, geometric business card design for Purpur, bold pattern design for Odara & poster with doodle illustrations for Buna Whiskey

Via jukeboxprint.com, looka.com (Polina Zagumenova on Behance), jukeboxprint.com

Playful Accents

Bold, bright, and colourful—oh my! Maximalism is taking center stage in 2024, and a majority of graphic designers are enhancing their larger-than-life designs with eye-catching accents like geometric shapes, patterns, stickers, and hand-drawn doodles. The bigger the better! Even with a sleek, minimalistic design, a splash of color or a whimsical doodle can make your design really pop.

Here are some fun details you may want to consider for your next print design:

  • Stickers: Social media has heavily influenced the use of digital stickers and can be used to inject a sense of personality—whether it’s an emoji, a star, or a thought bubble. Since stickers are generally informal and used for personal expression, it’s a great option if you’re looking to appear more personable with your audience. If you’re looking for physical stickers to add to your print materials, check out our custom die-cut sticker page.
  • Geometric Shapes: There’s nothing like pristine angles and symmetry to make your print materials dynamic and captivating. Although the idea of geometric shapes seems elementary, they’re making a sharp entrance into 2024 design trends. Many designers are using shapes in different sizes and colors to make a bold impact in their packaging, branding, and even business cards.
  • Patterns: Another way to grab your customer’s attention is through patterns. This trend actually pairs nicely with the geometric trend, allowing you to add modern flair to your design. Patterns also offer you a canvas for storytelling and can help your customer associate it with your brand identity.
  • Doodles: For an extra bout of whimsy, spontaneous illustrations and doodles add a human touch to your brand. These graphics allow you to be a little more authentic, friendly, and approachable with your audience with just a hint of nostalgia. It’s also a great reminder that design doesn’t have to be rigid, but can be free-spirited and fun—perfect for a more playful business like an ice cream store, daycare, or a whiskey company like the example above.
Bright and bold poster for the Sydney Art Festival, expressive typography example for a fitness company & large banner for Marlow pillows hanging on a building

Via jukeboxprint.com, looka.com (Sarah Vermeulen on Behance), jukeboxprint.com

Experimental Typography

Typography is one of the most important elements of graphic design—it literally tells your customers the message you want to convey. As mentioned above, everything’s bigger and better in 2024, including fonts and typography! Here are some common themes we’re noticing within this trend:

  • 3D fonts: Thanks to Adobe Illustrator’s “inflate” feature, we’re seeing an increase of puffy, fluffy 3D fonts. Today, designers have access to 3D elements more readily, allowing them to create immersive visuals that captivate their audience and establish a heartfelt connection with them. The whimsical yet modern style is great for branded print materials like banners, posters, and more.
  • Anti-perfect: We’re also noticing a lot of fonts that are completely off-the-charts with no rules. We’re talking edgy or funky lines and strokes where each letter gets its own weight, size, and placement.
  • The Serif: It may not be “experimental” per se, but the Serif font is also making headlines this year. There’s something bold and prestigious about the way the Serif font looks, but it also adds character with its slender letterform.

What we love about all these typography trends is how different they are, and can be used based on which audience you’re speaking to.

Collages & Grids

Whether you’re feeling more playful or more structured, there’s a layout that can fit your business needs. We’re seeing another contradicting design trend through layout options: collages versus grids—and there’s room for both in the graphic design world.

Collage-like NYU event posters on display on the street

Via jukeboxprint.com

A collage is perfect if you’re trying to reach a younger audience or simply want something that’s less cookie-cutter. It’s visually stimulating and boasts creativity and individuality in a scrapbook-type manner. The best part is that it’s not designated for only one visual element: you can use a collage for a mix-mash of images, patterns, typography, and other fun elements.

Inspirational posters featured at a subway station

Via jukeboxprint.com

If you’re looking to achieve balance, rhythm, and consistency, a grid is a good option. They not only provide structure to your design, but also enhance the hierarchy. However, don’t assume adherence to grids must be purely rigid—just check out the example above where the designer used bright colors and bold text to create something truly eye-catching.

You can also use grids as a framework for creativity and easy navigation, similar to a Japanese bento box. Simply place your company logo or hi-res image in the largest box and fill the other boxes with smaller elements or important text.

Retro cocktail menu for a restaurant, flyer for the Music Midtown event in Atlanta & retro flyer for The Breakfast Club

Via looka.com (Daria Kuzenkova on Behance, Andrew Footit on Behance, Nur Diyanah M.Nasir on Behance)

Retro

Looking for an overall theme for your next event that would look great on a flyer, tent cards, or your packaging? Retro-inspired designs are hitting the design floor hard in 2024. One of the great things about this trend is that it’s an all-encompassing design approach: multi-colour palettes, grainy photography, and cartoon-inspired characters, just to name a few.

What’s so captivating about having a blast from the past? It’s all about human connection. Designers are tapping into people’s nostalgia (mainly Millenials and older) and giving them a taste of the “good old days” through these vintage-inspired designs. The result—clean, simple, and sophisticated marketing that looks and feels timeless. That doesn’t mean the occasional bold print, funky pattern or groovy typography won’t show its head, but this definition of “retro” is definitely a more understated trend overall.

AI-generated 2024 logo with gradient colours & AI-generated flying pigs in a supermarket

Via svgator.com

Generative Art

While the “retro” design trend is getting its groove back, it would be remiss to ignore that many designers are looking to the future for their design inspiration. That’s where Generative Art is making its presence known.

The use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) platforms and tools is growing as a trend, allowing graphic designers to turn the visuals of their creative minds into reality. We’ve seen hyper-realistic displays on several types of marketing materials, and these AI-generated designs are truly mesmerizing and surprising. We consider AI the ultimate wingman: it can help suggest colour palettes and design layouts based on your target audience, plus a variety of tools like automated image resizing, background removals, and colour correction, making it a real timesaver.

One consideration to be mindful of is how often you’re using generative AI for your print materials. Subtle AI additions like a fun graphic or the occasional image are fine, but we don’t recommend AI as a replacement for real-life imagery, if you have it. Nothing beats that true human connection!

We hope you feel inspired to try one or all of these graphic design trends for your next big printing project. Again, the sky’s the limit on which type of print material can benefit from one of these modern trends. Choose something that fits your brand, makes an impact, and engages your customers.

Let Little Rock Handle All Your Essential Print Material Needs

At Little Rock, we’re here to bring all your print essentials to life. When you’re finished with your design, submit a print-friendly PDF for professional printing. We offer no minimums, free sample proofs, and flexible timelines so you can get your print materials when you need them. Contact the Little Rock Printing experts today to get started.

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