2022 Design Trends: What’s Catching the Eye of Gen Z and Millennials

After a strange 2020, 2021 brought us a year of creativity in design trends. It was characterized by visuals of bright colors, hope, warmth, neon, nostalgia, and humor. Moreover, the Picsart community contributed over 1 billion edits per month, continuing to amaze us with the most creative and inspiring remixes, edits and replays!

But what’s next? With more than 150 million monthly active creators, and 80% of those being under the age of 35, we think we have a pretty good grip on what design trends Gen Z and Millennials are heading toward. So we took a look at the top trending searches in Picsart from the last few months and spoke with our expert creative team to predict what’s coming in 2022.

Below, you can check out a teaser taste of our predictions for the top design trends in 2022. For a more in-depth look at what we think will catch the eye of creators worldwide, you’ll have to download the eBook, The Top 10 Creative and Design Trends of 2022. You can grab that by filling in your details on the form to the right. For now, here’s a preview of what to expect.

Top Design Trends to Watch in 2022

Modern Nostalgia

In the past, we’ve seen trends that harken back to a specific era, pulling in elements of trendy ’80s or ’90s graphic design styles. We saw it this year particularly with the use of old user interfaces like Windows 95 or nostalgic Polaroid-esque filters.

Modern nostalgia vintage album cover designed in picsart

Now we’re seeing a mashup of it all. This rings true especially in music with new tracks from artists like The Weeknd, John Mayer, and Dua Lipa. It’s as if they’re all giving us a new audio clip that never existed before, but somehow we feel nostalgic about it. It sounds familiar to us and we love that familiarity.

collage of modern nostalgia design elements

In 2022, we’ll see this modern nostalgia take hold in the visual world as well. We’re already starting to see it with album covers like Dua Lipa’s album “Future Nostalgia – Moonlight Edition” and The Weeknd’s single “Take my breath.”

The Metaverse

The Meta-what? The Metaverse is basically a 3D virtual world filled with avatars of real people. Although the term was coined in 1992 in the novel Snow Crashrecent evolutions in technologies like NFTs, smart glasses, and even 3D-Model influencers have spurred renewed talk of the metaverse. We’ve seen a gradual shift from presenting online as yourself, to a new reality where people can present as an avatar. A common everyday example of this is with the use of Memojis, where people can ‘become’ sharks, cows, or cartoon versions of themselves.

woman wearing vr headset in the metaverse

We’ve seen searches around virtual world game Toca World increase 1614% and social avatar app ‘imvu’ increase 641%. We predict this will continue to rise in popularity as more creators embrace the Metaverse.

woman wearing vr headset seeing butterflies and the moon

Time for Tea

In recent months, we’ve seen searches relating to teal and blue increase 101% with no signs of slowing. And this makes sense! Teal creates a nice contrast from the brightness we saw in 2021, which included creative editing trends like the sunset lamp or projector edit. The color also evokes association with the digital world, like The Matrix or a system error interface.

woman sitting in teal design elements from old computer systems

Shades of teal are calming to the eye but still carry some of the characteristics of the popular bright and fun shades of 2021. So when looking at 2022 design trends, we’ll definitely see more brands and creators gravitate toward teal and teal adjacent colors.

teal blue and teal green objects on a grid background

Gender Inclusivity

Gen Z and Millennials care deeply about representation and inclusivity in media. This demand isn’t going anywhere. In fact, we’ve seen searches around gender inclusivity increase 237%, with terms like ‘trans flag’ and ‘gender fluid’ being among the highest.

model with pink flowers

As gender fluidity becomes more widely discussed, we predict that representation will only become more important in creative work.

pride photoshoot model

Organic Digital

Think of the organic feel of print material, old paper, or vintage film. Organic Digital is the concept of emulating those things with digital tools.

We see this often in Picsart with edits like ripped paperfilm grain, bokeh, brush strokes, and the ‘plastic wrap effect’ which looks as if something is wrapped in bubble wrap, plastic, or laminated.

plastic wrap effect image

“Torn Paper” has seen a 909% increase in search, with many creators implementing this ripped paper aesthetic in various creative ways. We also saw usage of “handwritten fonts” increase by 270%.

colorful collage edit with a ripped paper effect

All of this indicates creatives want the feeling of real and tangible, and are emulating it through digital mediums.

Gothic Fonts

We can’t talk about design trends without talking about typefaces. Sans serif and serif fonts tend to rotate in popularity, but we predict that 2022 will be all about the serif fonts – particularly Gothic fonts.

fashion edit with a trendy gothic font

What are Gothic fonts? Also called Blackletter, Gothic fonts are known for their very ornate details. These decorative fonts stem from old German manuscripts from the Middle Ages, but are rising in popularity once again.

2022 visual trend showing a gothic font on an orange tshirt

Usage of Gothic fonts in Picsart has increased 270%, and we expect to see even more edits with this style into the new year. That’s why we think Goth fonts are bound to be one of the top design trends in 2022.

That’s all we can share with you for now, but there’s a lot more where that came from. For a deeper insight into what we think will catch the eye of Gen Z and Millennials this year, sign up for the eBook. It’s as easy as filling in the form on the right. You’ll then receive a link to your email where you can download it.

Want to ensure you keep your finger on the pulse of this year’s top creative and design trends? You know what to do.

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