What will make the eyes sparkle. Freepik Visual Trends 2023 are out!
When it comes to creating content, it is difficult to know what is going to be trendy: which formats? which style? which colors? At Freepik Company we understand this is a real brain teaser, and that is why we are launching Visual Trends 2023. Thanks to the creativity of our contributors and the experience of our content and design team, it is easy for us to observe and predict an overview of the trends that will likely be everywhere in the upcoming months.
Our inspirational guide for 2023 trends features photography, vectors, mockups, color palettes, typography, and much more. Let’s celebrate another year with fantasy and creativity!
- Photography trends
- Vector trends
- PSD/Template trends
- Mockup trends
- Icon trends
- Font trends
- 3D trends
- Color palette trends
- Viva Magenta
1. Photography trends
This new year two particularly opposite photographic trends are emerging: after two years of restrictions, we want to capture simple moments without fuss by highlighting natural bodies and imperfect portraits and putting ourselves and our loved ones in the spotlight.
There is also a need to escape where fantasy takes over reality and when the past is the new ultra trend. We want to travel to an idealized past or a futuristic artificial world. Here we are between the pure and centered self and a fantasy alter ego.
Between fantasy and reality, the photographic trends of the coming year will take us on a creative journey while presenting a new “oniric” reality.
For many years now, highlighting unique body types in a positive way has been at the heart of image trends. Integration and inclusion are key messages to convey and reflect current events. This idea is gaining speed in 2023: We want to see true human beings in photographs. Honest and pure portraits which transmit emotions at first sight.
Like a landscape, the curves and textures of the bodies give depth to the images. The human being is the thread that connects the image, its story, and its meaning. Beyond predictions, it is the emotions that touch us directly which will always have the most significant impact.
Technology and nature
However, we can use technology as an ally to present a better world. These images show modern and futuristic assets as a helping hand, helpful and easy to use in our daily lives. Moreover, new technologies appear as a solution to face global change. Organic and technological figures are mixed to create unity. This underlines the complementarity of two elements often presented as opposites.
The barriers between human creativity and digital ingenuity are being blurred and opening up a whole world of possibilities. This will give way to hyper-realistic photographic compositions in which elements related to dreams and fantasy will fit perfectly. Fasten your seatbelts, and let’s meet in the metaverse of creativity!
After the global pandemic, taking care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our homes has taken on a new meaning. Moments that may have seemed trivial have become times to cherish. Enjoying the simple, everyday things in life has never been so precious. These are the moments that we want to capture now and keep forever: portraits of our loved ones in common situations and everyday life details take on their full meaning in front of the lens.
2023 vector trends are a call for renewal and sustainability. They evoke childhood memories with catchy illustrations and reinforce the design with a strong and unique aesthetic using a simplified and more “imperfect” style.
Retro and nostalgic
The retro style inspired by the 90s is back in force and it is everywhere! Not only in fashion but also in illustrations, stickers, labels, and a multitude of graphic formats such as posters, logos, and banners. The grunge and pop style of the 90s and the Y2K and vaporwave style from the early 00s are particularly popular. We feel that lately being nostalgic is the new cool. These graphic effects with strong colors, childlike patterns, and a very direct aesthetic gives a strong visual identity. After all, everything was predicted in the pages of Seventeen and Teen People.
Hand Drawn illustrations
Whether in minimalist illustrations or sketches loaded with detail and texture, organic, hand-drawn forms are becoming more and more popular. This trend fits perfectly with the photographic style to produce more natural and “imperfect” images using digital tools. Within the hand-drawn style, the Henri Matisse style is widely used – it is also distinguished by its use of simple, organic forms. These forms are just like us, unique and imperfect.
The combination of realistic volumes with the cartoon style gives a casual and fun touch, Yet another trend to keep an eye on this year is cartoon aesthetics as they are no longer reserved exclusively for children’s themes, but can be applied to almost any topic. They offer an attractive and catchy aesthetic appreciated by children young and old!
Embracing change to deal with the climate and environmental challenges we are facing has become a priority. We will continue seeing many references to recycled materials, local and smaller shops, renewable energy, and eco-products. This approach will be even more important in the coming years. Its references are numerous: colors reflecting nature such as green and brown, minimalist and straight-to-the-point composition, illustrations of tips, and good practice… Can you hear the Eco?
3. PSD/Template trends
Template trends are inspired by new creative elements as we are looking for something that is out of the ordinary! Let’s explore creativity and break the codes to send a clear and appealing message.
As we said about vectors, the nostalgic style has reached all kinds of resources, and templates are a good example of this. Layouts for social networks are especially interesting, adding eye-catching graphic elements to the posts, which help to capture the attention of users. The vintage trends always come back. Adapted to different themes such as music or food, it creates emotions related to memories. It is never out of fashion, especially as it touches the sensibility of the viewers. Who said the retro style was only acceptable in the 90s?
Another trend that is also very present, both in illustrations and templates, is the use of muted palettes which includes not only neutral colors but all kinds of non-bright colors reinforcing the rest of the elements. This low saturation of colors conveys a sense of peace and calm. Once again this gives added value to all themes touching the sensibility of the users which makes it a good asset to be used for restaurants or music themes mixed with retro-style elements.
Gradients and duotones
In terms of colors, another trendy option is gradients and duotones, which can also be combined and add a colorful and futuristic touch to any template. Both will always be our best allies in sports themes as they transmit a sense of movement and energy. They are also ideal to share a positive and uplifting message.
Authentic and hand-drawn style content is increasingly valued over “perfect” content, which applies to all formats. No-frills, less elaborate designs make the content more accessible and straight to the point. In templates, the absence of grids offers more flexibility and dynamic designs. This new year, we will note this freer style gaining ground against the purist style by pushing the rules of design to the limits. Organic shapes, movement in typography, and compositional variety will help us to create that dynamic feeling that adapts easily to any layout.
4. Mockup trends
Just as in photography, this new year’s Mockup trends are an invitation to the past, a need to return to simplicity and nature, and a journey into a fantasy world.
In a society where addressing climate change has become a priority, the trend toward eco-responsible products is on the rise. Brands want to share the values of sustainability with messages such as: reduce, reuse and recycle. That is why labels are increasingly making use of colors and textures that reflect nature on their packaging. The idea is to convey a strong and committed message through natural elements to show the way to a greener future.
This out-of-the-box graphic style became more trendy last year and it is rapidly growing in popularity. But what is Glass Morphism? It is an element that looks like virtual glass with a transparent and blurry background. The user can see through the different layers and this offers a hierarchy between the different components. This is a fun design system as the blurry effect gives the impression that elements are wandering around in space. Also, the transparency gives more intensity to the bright colors. This effect is very attractive to users and is increasingly appreciated by designers.
The grunge style of the 90s is also making a comeback. It is widely represented in fashion and accessories and can be used in a more expensive way to blow a wind of freedom and non-conformism. Elements are shown with a broken and dirty twist, inspired by urban and industrial scenery. This gives a vibrant and unique effect that reminds us that everyone is special with their flaws.
Over the last few years, we all have been looking for comfort in our everyday life, especially in the way we dress – which is why sporty garments have gained prominence. These clothes, often inspired by sports and lifestyle from the USA, have become a must-have for brands, even those that advocate elegance. Jogger suits, tank tops, hoodies, leggings, large and cozy T-shirts…There are so many to choose from!
5. Icon trends
In the coming year, icon trends will break the rules focusing on catchy and lively icons. Motion, strong colors, and joyful aspects will make users want to play and explore. We are moving away from realistic and sophisticated icons, to create icons that push the boundaries of inventiveness and create a vibrant user experience.
3…2….1…. Action! With these linear and refined icons, the color change and the motion of elements are central. The movement transforms the icon and creates an effective communicative result. Animated icons are very present in the current development of interfaces and videos, as screens are becoming our main interaction medium.
Plain palette icons
Applying just one or only a few colors creates a communicative guideline. Using different tints, tones, and shades of the same colors gives a strong sense of visual cohesion. The changes in tones and texture offer greater visual and creative freedom to make the icon more engaging to the user.
Retro neon icons
Assets with a retro aesthetic and bold colors are in vogue this year. They are flashy, and playful and offer a friendly and engaging visual experience to the user. They fit perfectly with vintage visuals inspired by the 80s and 90s, and are widely used nowadays in all types of formats. This playful and simplified style encourages users to explore and play.
The vibrant colors, the soft texture, and the use of bubble shapes give these icons a special final touch. The appearance of icons looks almost juicy, with an elastic and bouncy feel which adds brightness and contrast. They give an original and tasty look to add to any project.
6. Font trends
To get our message across in 2023, we will choose fonts with a strong visual identity: from invitations with bold, rounded letters to more sophisticated typefaces with an exclusive style, all these styles will give strength and personality to your projects!
The vintage style looks set to continue and extends to typography too. Classic and timeless types from the 20th century are here in full force. Those are inspired by the ones found in American shop windows in the 20th century. They are used as a guarantee of quality to present timeless and outstanding products.
We continue our journey into the past with these types straight out of the 70s. The disco songs and psychedelic outfits seem just as popular as they were decades ago. The messages of freedom from the hippie communities still resonate today: peace, love, and freedom. The groovy typefaces used before, with thick, rounded letters and ornaments, remind us of that time when everything seemed possible. It is exactly the same type of positive message that we want to convey with this groovy style.
When the message is handwritten, it has immediately a different interest. These handwritten types are very expressive and seem to address a personal message. They are perfect for use on posters, album covers, invitations… to make the reader feel unique.
Comic fonts have always been very popular and they still have a powerful impact in 2023. Thanks to the bold design, they are easy to read. Therefore, they are perfect for posters, comic books, cartoons, and projects aimed at children. Nevertheless, they give a modern and powerful twist to any project.
7. 3D trends
Time to see things from a new perspective! Whether in art, fashion, video games or web illustrations, 3D design is more and more present. This gives infinite possibilities for creation, pushing the boundaries of creativity further with realistic or crazy immersive settings that provide users with captivating experiences.
Objects with 3D aesthetics are gaining popularity outside the field of video games. They are small objects with cartoon aesthetics, where realism is set aside. They go for cheerful colors, flattened and friendly shapes. They look like something out of a console or children’s channel and offer joyful and engaging content for the user to interact with.
Realist sceneries add depth to the content. They allow users to picture themselves in the settings and offer a lot of realism. Geometric shapes are ubiquitous in these modern, acidic settings. This gives the user the opportunity to enjoy a complete experience.
The 3D realism highlights everyday elements in a realistic way. The intention is to highlight familiar objects with simple scenography. This recalls the trend of capturing everyday simple moments, without fuss, to create content that speaks to everyone.
3D conceptual images
These images aim to create visual concepts that are quick and easy to recognize. They are often associated with diaphanous and single-color backgrounds and are perfect for use in posters, landing pages, and social media. As we often say: an image is worth a thousand words… but it could also leave you speechless.
8. Color palette trends
Color is an essential (if not primary) aspect of the creative process. For next year we have selected several color palettes that will bring your projects to life. From the neutral tones inspired by nature to the delirious colors from the digital world, discover what colors hold for 2023.
Choosing vibrant colors inspired by impressive natural landscapes creates visual emotions. The use of blue tending towards green and lilac tones reminds us of stunning mountain or auroras landscapes creating a visual effect that does not leave one cold.
In a warmer way, colors such as orange, red, and lilac that echo the tones of sunsets and sunny days create strong and lively images. This palette is ideal for warming the atmosphere and should be used without moderation to create a cozy scenery.
Always inspired by nature, the green colors are great to remind us of the need to protect what surrounds us. Green tones inspired by vegetation convey a message: live life cleaner, make it greener. They do brilliantly on eco-packaging, food menus and ads, and sustainable fashion items.
The neon colors open up to a world far from the natural elements of our daily life. These bright and powerful colors such as old pink, purple-blue and orange take us to a fantasy world. They are the perfect match to make viewers dream.
9. Viva Magenta
Pantone Color of the Year 2023 also illustrates the parallel between the strong natural elements and the bright colors of the digital world. Viva Magenta is described as a “brave and fearless red shade”, it is largely inspired by ancient natural dyes and opens up to artificial scenarios using artificial intelligence. Discover the Magentaverse.
Now it’s time to make good resolutions for this new year and celebrate creativity with these new trends including photography, mockups, templates, icons, color palettes, and much more.
Our team is constantly looking for innovative ideas to offer you limitless and cutting-edge creative resources. Whether with images, vectors, video, templates, icons or presentations, we do our best to provide you with inventive and user-friendly solutions so that you can let your imagination run wild with quality tools.