Graphic Design gets Nostalgic in 2022

Decorative: Black and pink triangle with the word Nostalgia
Decorative: Black and pink triangle with the word Nostalgia

Graphic Design trends in 2022

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Do you feel nostalgic while scrolling through the website of your favorite beauty products? The packaging offers elegance and simplicity that you might have seen in your grandmother's cabinet when you sneaked into her bathroom as a child to discover her beauty secrets. The box on the shelves of your local supermarket seems to take you back in time, making you feel like you're in an episode of Stranger Things. Concert posters are becoming stranger, making you search for the information you're looking for, and the layout confuses you with how unappetizing it can be. You're not back in time; we're still in 2022!

Graphic Design trends in 2022

Every new year brings a new set of trends in the graphic design world. There are so many that each designer can choose from to integrate into their work. This year is no exception; the trends are diverse, sometimes contradictory to each other, but most of them have one common characteristic: Nostalgia. Read below about the latest graphic design trends for 2022.

Vintage on the Page

Last year already showcased the influence of the 1980s, but it seems like design is going even further back in time, picking various trends from the past and adapting them to our time.

Minimalist-Retro / Vintage

If you love beauty, skincare, or fashion, you shouldn't miss this trend. It's easily recognizable by the retro fonts (usually serif fonts), and the text is simple, concise, and to the point. The colors are organic and warm, never too much. Simplicity is the keyword (of course, nothing stops you from using more or brighter colors; let's break the rules!). Logos become simpler, flat. Sometimes, the decorations are inspired by the Art Deco movement with a minimalist lift. All combined, it offers an elegant touch with a sense of tranquility.

Art Deco

Last year, the work of Isaac Asimov was adapted into a TV show with significant inspiration from the Art Deco movement, and now it's making its comeback in graphic design. Unlike the vintage trend, abundance is okay here, detailed linework (always in the same weight, it's a key code of this style). Geometric shapes and patterns inspired by industry and machinery designed in flawless symmetry. This design reduces visual stress and allows the viewer to quickly see the information they're seeking. All these elements come together with a limited color palette, only 2 or 3, with the possible addition of gold for an extra touch! This trend goes very well with web design and branding, providing a luxurious signature with a to-the-point aspect.


Here's a trend that's more attached to branding. Just like Art Deco, Bauhaus utilizes geometric shapes, simple color schemes, and industrial forms. It's not surprising that it's gaining popularity again. However, the philosophy of this trend differs, prioritizing function over aesthetics—form follows function! In the '20s/'30s, this movement had a significant impact on architecture, furniture, and interior design. Nowadays, designers love using bold and playful colors, creating catchy patterns and grabbing attention.

Anti-design / brutalisme / dadaïsme

You've surely come across a website or poster that made your eyebrows raise in astonishment. Far from the sleek, to-the-point, minimalist design we're used to seeing everywhere, this trend has only one goal: to break the rules mercilessly! This design features unbalanced compositions, flashy and clashing colors, and lots of distortions. It may seem like the matrix is irritating you; that's the idea. For humor, attention, or freshness, the designers want to leave behind the traditional principles and aesthetics of graphic design. By being unconventional, their production captures attention, and by not immediately providing information, the viewer becomes more engaged. The biggest challenge when deciding to try this trend is that it intentionally looks like it, and you can easily fall into a cheap design that looks like an accident.


If you were born in the early '90s like me (so we're dinosaurs before TikTok), you might have memories of one of your parents or siblings listening to bands like Nirvana, having posters on the walls, and long hair. Well, with this trend, you'll feel like you're back in that era! Grunge is like a rebellious teenager, getting rid of the clean, as there's no place for white spaces here! Let's break the rules, add texture, give your design a DIY aspect, distort the fonts, rip pages, and use handwriting. Be rough, don't be afraid to make it look homemade. You can also draw inspiration from the mashup between Grunge and Y2K and incorporate the influence of technology with glitches, neon lights, or vinyl records.


If the 80s were the trend in recent years, thanks to media like Stranger Things or It, it's time for the 90s to shine! It might not look exactly as you remember the designs from that period, but it's more of a romanticized version. Bright colors, playful designs, quirky fonts, and elements that remind you of the internet. This was the era when the internet began to enter our homes, simpler times when webpages took hours to load, and we were less dependent on digital. It could be the reason why Gen Z finds these times interesting. Young designers are using the aesthetics of this period with a touch of romance, nostalgic for a time when numerics were less cannibalistic.


Last but not least, the 2000s! A year when our electronics were supposed to die in our hands at the stroke of midnight. When it didn't happen, people started getting more excited about technology, which could be why younger designers are turning to this trend. Social media has become suffocating, and the sense of isolation is growing, so they might want to go back to a time that was more hopeful about technology. How do you recognize this trend? Y2K drew inspiration from grunge, technology, pop culture, and anime. Pastel colors, bubblegum vibes, refreshing like the Spice Girls CDs you listened to over and over. The aesthetic is bright and sweet with a cheap-looking charm. It might evoke cyberpunk but if cyberpunk is Batman, Y2K is Sailor Moon!

Nostalgia, a good idea?

Before becoming a graphic designer, I was an artist. During my studies, I had to accept a difficult truth: it's hard, even impossible, to create something completely new, not with such a vast art history behind you, not with so many creators around you. You might think you've created something completely original and then discover it has been done before, or better, somewhere else. It's okay, but it's hard to swallow as you grow as an artist. Let's not even get into imposter syndrome and art block... Being creative can seem easy, but it comes with a lot of passion, an empty mind, and the fear of going off-topic.

To let your creativity flourish, ideas bloom, and learn from a specific subject or period, learning from the past is important. That's why I'm not surprised that nostalgia is so prevalent in 2022, especially after the pandemic years. We have always looked to the past for inspiration, and today we long to rediscover a world that is simpler, less stressful, and less isolated. The future has been so uncertain in recent years that it's difficult to project ourselves into it, so we look back and fantasize about the past, taking the sunny side of this year and implementing it into our designs.

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