5 Unique Design Trends for Every Beginner Designer

2023 brings to you another year of wonderful design choices and creative experimentation. The latest trends have really leaned into new technology and global movements. With this year’s political climate becoming very sensitive, it can be easy to see why new innovations have been made. Some of them are made as an act of rebellion or activism. Others are made as part of trying out the weird and the new. If you wish to enter the design industry, learning about these trends can give you an impression of the current market. We can present you the top 5 design choices currently trending this year.

The Mystical and the Magical

This is a design choice that has been around for a long time. However, it has slowly picked up track due to many iconic influencers making it a trend online. In its implicitly, the power of mysticism delves into the more spiritual and supernatural aesthetics. This can be things like astrology or divination. It can be about looking at ancient myths are how they are shown in different cultures. A lot of designers use zodiac signs as a template to create patterns. Depending on the culture, this can also be different zodiacs, such as the Chinese Zodiac or the Celtic zodiac.

To get started, try doing some research into mysticism itself to see how it is represented. For example, the traditional zodiac has twelve different signs. The Taurus relates to the bull. Pisces is aquatic in showing swimming fish. Gemini represents the twins based on duality. There are a lot of stars and constellations used to help try and tell the future. It is important to do this deeper research so that the aesthetic is not poorly represented. This includes the positioning of the stars, the use of colours, and what symbols to use that aren’t considered insensitive. It may not cause any actual magic to happen, but it would look incredible.


Risograph Printing

We all love an 80’s resurgence. Even in graphic design, there is something in the 80s that became popular again. Risographs were a form of printing used in Japan. The Riso Kagaku Corporation developed it. It was mainly used as a way to save costs on bulk printing. This uses a combination of dots and desaturated colours. The images themselves have a grainy and unique style that makes them look more abstract. The different shapes and faded shading make them look like modern pieces of art. All kinds of landscapes and close-ups can be made in various designs.

Since many designs are now used with computers, Risograph styles are now being reinvented with this technology. Even more, details can now be added, making more variations to the pictures. In the past, this was mainly used to create posters or signs for advertising. Now, modern designers are using Risographs to tell stories. They are well used in making cartoon characters for children's books. Combining the abstract look can add more detail to these characters than regular drawings could. The grainy look can help them blend into colourful backdrops. Examples of Risograph books are found below. A few of them come from a Riso printing press in Toronto called Friends Make Books:
  • DINO by Diego Valsberg
  • To the Extend of Sigrid Calon
  • Signs of the Times
  • Dead Darlings – Entropy
  • A House, Halfway

The Recall of Punk

For those looking for something more rebellious or alternative, punk is always something for new designers. What started out as a counterculture for many aspects of society, this style created a whole new sense of style for wayward youths. It doesn’t have to be anything too political. Punk, in its essence, is all about rising against the failing systems and taking back what is yours.

The basis of punk design is very self-made. It involves a lot of DIY artwork, including scribbling letters, graffiti, using cutouts of different letters, or making collages. The collages themselves can be from various artists or famous figures. If you want to make a punk piece that means something, try making a statement with the letters and collages you use. For example, you could add some googly eyes to a picture of a politician to show you silly/incompetent they are. The design itself needs to be messy and chaotic. It is something that should express your anger and disappointment towards what you are rebelling against.


Retro Cartoons

Some designs don’t have to be complex to make something beautiful. Sometimes you just need a clear and dynamic image to make it eye-catching. Retro line art is where you use minimal lines to draw an image. The image itself can be something like a cartoon character or an object. It is mainly used to make something funny. You can simply look at this picture and feel a type of joy from it. What really causes this surge of happiness is the touch of nostalgia it brings. There is a reason why it is called “retro”. It brings out memories of a time when we all used to draw pictures like this when we were kids.

When designing something in this style, the main parts to focus on are the thick lines. Cell shading or just using a thicker drawing tool can help make the lines pop out more. When designing characters, the rubber hose limbs are the way to go. It allows you to make an appealing character without adding too much detail. All that is needed is the silhouette; just colour it in how you want. It's best to keep some parts of it white so that the colours you do add can be noticed. Try not to add too much colour so the silhouette isn’t ruined.


The Dreamworld of Surrealism

Surrealist art is where it is if you want to make something truly unique. A lot of famous painters and designers have experimented with surreal art in various forms. Some of them have been used in sculptures and paintings. Others have helped create new landmarks and buildings. These variations can easily be added to anything you wish to design. A popular method that was once used in the 80s was the airbrush technique. This allowed designers to create surreal art that looks almost photo-realistic. Other techniques best suited for surrealism are:

  • Automatism
  • Bulletism
  • Calligramme
  • Collage
  • Cut-up Technique

When using airbrushing, it helps create a glossy style that makes whatever you’re drawing look polished. You could make a pile of books that look like they are falling off. Look at it from a different angle. It can be seen as a pile of books neatly tidied. Abstract art is about getting a different reaction from each viewer that looks at it. It must be something that makes sense, but when looked at, it appears nonsensical. This lets the designer be creative in whatever they want. Sometimes it can be just a mess when done half-hazard. The designer must still need a kind of theme behind it. Think of it as a dream you can never remember. Design something based on the images you saw and how you were feeling. The art will convey this much better with surrealist art because it doesn’t have to be 100% clear.


Where to Apply These Designs

Once you have practised with a few of the trends we have suggested, we can also provide some ideas on where to apply them. A lot of these styles are best suited for specific things. Applying them to something that doesn’t mesh well can harm both the art and the purpose of the design. Be sure to select an application and the design you choose to specialise in. Below is a table with some examples of how to apply the designs we suggested above.





House design, tarot cards, shops, cafes, games, books.


Books, posters, websites, billboards, printing.


Posters, artwork, flyers for bands, music covers, fashion. 


Cartoons, books, restaurants, cafes, shops, phone apps, and photography.


Modern art, book covers, music covers, games, sculptures.

You can apply a lot of these designs to businesses. As an example, online casinos use them to make more eye-catching games. To advertise 3 deposit casino deals at once, they can use retro art to make designs for their classic fruit machines that attract players with free spins and other bonus promotions. They can fully recreate the design of the site based on retro gambling. This is just one main method of how you can use these designs.

Learn From Professionals

If you ever wish to learn more about these styles, many online courses can help you. You can study from a list of professionals who sometimes even advertise their work online. Courses in university or college can offer insight into how to create these styles effectively, especially in the modern world where everything is done digitally. Some programs like Adobe Illustrator are great for practising in different styles. Keep an eye out for updates so that you can be prepared for next year’s growing trends. Other graphic design programs you can use include:
  • CorelDRAW
  • Inkscape
  • Canva
  • Sketch
  • Creative Cloud
  • Blender
5 Unique Design Trends for Every Beginner Designer 5 Unique Design Trends for Every Beginner Designer Reviewed by Opus Web Design on July 10, 2023 Rating: 5

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