Graphic Design Trends for Social Media in 2021

the best graphic design trends for social media in 2021

    When it comes to social networks, success requires more than quality content and a competent strategy – the “third whale” is thoughtful design. It’s this “outfit” that users evaluate your presence by.

    The visual message has to evoke the right emotions and interest in a few seconds to increase the number of followers, subscribers, or even clients. Otherwise, they will get back to cat memes.

    It’s about unique brand history, which, however, has to consider new fashion trends.

    It is not in vain that even the largest companies like Apple, Volkswagen, and Zara periodically update their brand images. Individuality is important but it’s only valuable when combined with relevance.

    Changing your logo and style is a responsible step that companies risk to take once in a decade.

    With social networks, everything is much simpler – such platforms offer endless experimental opportunities for your business. You can test different styles and formats with minimal risks – users will immediately let you know what they like or dislike. Or, maybe, just about the latter.

    If you plan to revive your company’s presence or surprise users with a new project, start by studying design trends or design tools for 2021. We bring your concepts that inspire the best creatives in the world and conquer feeds of popular social networks.

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    2021 Graphic Design Trends in Social Networks 

    On the threshold of a new decade, designers are trying to create an image of a high-tech future and are not afraid to break the rules. The following trends will (continue to) shape the industry in 2021.

    1. Scale and Immersion

    Users get used to augmented and virtual reality, so they expect more immersion from graphics in social networks. Designers come to the rescue with detailed 3D objects with high-res textures.

    Panoramas, motion graphics, and a combination of three-dimensional figures with flat graphics – that’s the way to go.

    2. Brutalism 

    When it becomes too beautiful in social networks, brutalism comes on stage and ruins all ideas about design.

    Bold experiments with colors, typography, and layouts attract users’ attention and help companies to emphasize their rebellious spirit. However, it is important to maintain the right balance between challenge and aesthetics. 

    3. Classics 

    Such timeless trends as cyberpunk, Bauhaus, and optical illusions will not be forsaken.

    These are “eternal” destinations that only slightly change over time. The technologies are developing and organically fit into everyday life. What seemed fantastic yesterday, today is a part of everyday life: voice assistants, drones, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, new generation consoles, etc.

    The world is changing beyond recognition – designers see it as an anti-utopia. After all, CyberPunk 2077 will finally see the world on December 10th. For real this time (fingers crossed, though).

    We combine, blend, and evolve. At the moment, it’s quite relevant: the more styles combined, the more spontaneous and attractive the video sequence.

    By the way, different styles are often mixed when creating backstage movies, because we have complete freedom backstage and want to experiment.

    4. Coronavirus and Niche Trends

    Of course, the coronavirus situation has not left the sphere of visual content unchanged. During the pandemic, almost all familiar animations and design studios worked in full force, and still keep up the good pace.

    Many videos, pictures use the image of the mask because now it’s perceived as a symbol of our new reality.

    The mask can literally be considered a reflection of the Coronavirus era, so we’re sure that created at this time, the visual series will be part of history for future generations.

    As for individual trends inherent in a particular sphere, in our opinion, they are not as common as can be assumed. Most companies still tend to follow general trends of the market because the “niche” visual can face a misunderstanding of the user who is used to a certain kind of content.

    5. Tik Tok

    The popularity of the platform can’t be overestimated these days, because anyone can, without the slightest financial investment, use the simplest programs to mount video clips and make an attractive and engaging product from information video.

    The problem is that Tick-Tock is available to the public, which means that it’s simply swamped with low-quality content. Thus, it often happens that truly talented content makers remain on the margins.

    This does not mean that Tik Tok should be ignored. We just have to remember that it provides opportunities for constant rapid content development.

    Tik Tok is a place where an ordinary user with something plain and simple, but bright and colorful, can by chance outdo a professional creative.

    6. Naturalness 

    It would seem that naturalness has always been in demand.

    In fact, it was in the era of social network development that the most important trend in the visual and text content became real, live emotions, and poses – captured moments of real, non-stop life.

    Real-life as it is, without any special processing – spontaneity and instincts – something that attracts the attention of every user. This works for all videos – from movies to commercials, including social networks and YouTube.

    When someone sees a natural visual image, a sense of belonging arises. There is an identification of the picture and the real world, and therefore, the information, contained in the video, is perceived better.

    In addition, the “one preset” design is losing popularity. If earlier, to have a single-color feed, people bought special presets and could count on leading positions, based on trends in color schemes, now social network feeds are based on photography elements: shades, professional frame content (e.g., the alternation of minimalism and maximalism), poses, emotions.

    Users are increasingly demanding today, and we should not forget this. There are enough “perfect” images in the network, but high-quality content will always be valuable.

    Now the fastidious online audience aspires to a real, open, and sincere life, instead of the standard “say-cheese” approach!

    Design Micro Trends on Instagram

    Instagram is no longer a marketing tool but the marketing itself. In 2021, targeted advertising and native advertising from bloggers, who, by the way, are going to be taken under strict financial control by IG, will be the only things left, and free promotion will stand aside.

    With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram belongs to the most popular social networks worldwide. Therefore, the presence of a company in this social network is not just promotion using one of the channels, but a conscious need to maximize the product audience, increase sales, and promote its brand.

    In addition to global trends that will affect the graphics as a whole, there are several specific to a particular platform. Instagram, as always, occupies a special place, with its own rules and winning techniques.

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    1. Authentic Content

    According to research by specialists of Finances Online, opinion leaders and brands received more subscribers by posting raw, truthful messages. The more reliable the post looks, the more users express their approval.

    For example, the https://www.instagram.com/humansofny Humansofny channel has managed to get 11 million subscribers in a few years by posting images with ordinary people and telling their stories. For business, this can be duplicated by placing campaigns with social impact.

    Take note:

    • Authentic content = success at IG;
    • A balance between “authenticity” and the quality of materials posted should be maintained;
    • Followers should feel the connection with the brand, support its views, and mission.

    2. World problems

    For the majority of users, Instagram is not just a social network for communication but a way to declare their position in relation to the environment, social projects, and culture.

    American marketer Jenny Chang, specializing in SaaS and B2B software research, believes that Instagrammers support those companies whose activities correspond to their understanding of the global problem.

    According to her research, in recent years, users are increasingly involved in climate change discussions, racial problems, condemning violence in any of its manifestations, and more.

    For a business brand, social responsibility, as well as participation in solving planetary problems, is essential. People will associate the company not only with the product it sells but with a certain work for the benefit of humanity.

    Take notes:

    • Users will always support a company with an important (from their point of view) social mission;
    • Instagrammers will prefer to purchase a product from a company with values similar to their own;
    • If a brand is associated with positive changes in the world order, the number of people, who choose it, will grow.

    3. Opinion Leaders 

    Finances Online notes that iconic persons have a great influence on Instagram users.

    A huge number of subscribers are following a person who is important to them, watching their every step: what they buy, where they prefer to rest, read their opinions on various issues, etc.

    Native advertising with bloggers is an important tool for product and brand promotion, which is not fully used at the moment.

    But in 2021, when both companies and Instagram realize it, this channel will be one of the most popular.

    According to Chang, you don’t have to attract famous personalities to promote the brand. Nano- or micro-influencers with 100 or 1000 followers can attract more attention from the target audience than readable bloggers.

    This is due to the fact that small brand advocates answer comments and questions and have an impact on the most difficult categories of users.

    Take notes:

    • IG accounts, which are not at the top of the most visited, can be more useful and attract more followers.
    • Nano- and micro-influencers communicate more with visitors and answer their questions;
    • If possible, use the opinions of opinion leaders in advertising campaigns, place native ads in their blogs.

    4. Stories

    Almost all IG experts listed earlier agree that Stories will be further developed.

    Advertising costs for this feature are growing exponentially. Stickers and interactive functionality increase the involvement of social network users. Moreover, we believe that this format will continue to develop and increase audience coverage in 2021.

    Take notes:

    • More than 600 million people watch Stories a day;
    • This tool increases coverage of TA;
    • Stories will help users assess the professionalism of the company’s staff.

    5. TikTok Functionality

    Since time has shown interest in video formats placed on Tick-Tock, experts like Jenny Chang assume that IG will soon have a separate infrastructure that allows placing videos of the same format.

    Brands can shoot Tick-Tock-style videos and throw contests for the best video. This will help generate traffic to the IG account and website of a particular company, increasing sales.

    Take notes:

    • The growing popularity of TikTok encourages IG to promote this format at home;
    • Companies can use similar parameters to promote their brand;
    • Announcing a contest for the best video, as a rule, creates a stir around the brand and increases sales.

    6. Text content

    In 2021, IG will place full-fledged longreads in the feed, as well as reviews and ratings. According to expert predictions, an IG account will resemble a landing page or website.

    Take notes:

    • Due to the ability to place full content, an IG account will be able to replace landing (at least);
    • All the “action” content (incl. current offers, videos) will be transferred to Stories.

    7. E-commerce

    Instagram Shopping will allow you to make purchases without leaving the social network.

    You can already place a product announcement and price tag. In 2021, it will be even easier to purchase a product on Instagram in a single click.

    It’s quite possible that in 2-3 years IG services will partially replace online stores.

    Take notes:

    • Ensure that the company has access to the Instagram purchasing function;
    • Attach a catalog to your IG account;
    • Keep an eye on IG features and their updates.

    8. Stop Motion 

    The effectiveness of videos in social networks is growing, as the demand for high-quality video design. Stop motion has long enjoyed popularity at Instagram.

    In December 2019, IG started testing a built-in tool for creating content of this format in Stories – now it’s time to prepare for new experiments.

    9. Interface Elements

    An unusual micro-trend that helps to bring the idea of an IG post to users in an interactive format – the inclusion of recognizable interface elements in the design.

    These can be tabs of modern smartphones, as well as OS windows from the ’90s.

    10. Dark Mode

    The presence of an alternative dark theme in the form of an extra option is the trend in 2020. It’s already a feature of Instagram, Apple, and Android. As a rule, users perform transitions on their own.

    The main advantages of this solution:

    • Looks ultramodern and stylish;
    • Allows you to highlight other design elements, which are not visible in the regular version;
    • Saves battery power for OLED and AMOLED screens, which is relevant in the mobile-friendly era;
    • Reduces eye fatigue when the user browses IG in bad lighting.

    Facebook Design MicroTrends

    In 2021, videos will rule FB, thus, the transformation of all the elements of page design into video clips is one of the most promising strategies.

    It will help stand out in the general flow of clients and bring more information to the viewers.

    1. Animation Typography

    Who would have thought that the running line would again become a trend in design?

    The technique is more and more often in the posts and group covers because typography, correctly integrated with the design, looks fresh and modern. The text may take any form if it does not harm readability.

    2. More Movement

    Not only texts but also graphics come to life on Facebook. A tip for those who plan to become the star of the feed: use one of the above fashion styles and add movement.

    If you manage to achieve a hypnotic effect – that’s a double win.

    Meet 2021 in all armor – update graphics, experiment with visual presentation of content, and learn fashion trends.

    The following aspects are exactly what you need to know:

    • Cyberpunk is a celebration of neon, dark shades, and glitch;
    • Scale – immerse the viewer in 3D graphics;
    • Bright words – use typography as the main tool of communication;
    • Simple geometry – experiment with forms and fills;
    • Single-color filters – turn boring photos into artworks of the future;
    • Brutalism – erase the boundaries of good and evil in design, add passion and surprise;
    • Test stop motion, collages, text posts, animations, and interface elements; 
    • Create videos, liven up typography, and choose muted colors.

    Conclusion 

    The effectiveness of your promotion on social networks depends on the strong text and constant communication with the audience.

    For your brand to shine on the expanses of Instagram or Facebook, it needs a good SMM design: modern, trendy, and, most importantly, memorable.

    Social networks are a vivid example of the “it’s what shows up on the surface that counts” saying. You understand this since you follow your influencers, being inspired by their posts and stylish design.

    The task is to do the same with your business. Make sure that the “outfit” causes the “wow effect” in just a couple of minutes – and witness improved traffic and sales. Don’t let your users get back to cats or reread “insightful” quotes of Instagram models! Create and be successful!

    This article was written by Kamelia Stone, Content Manager at Marketbusinessnews. She appreciates her time and always works for results. She likes to travel, meditate, and draw inspiration from different sources, primarily from books.

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