Outdated graphic design trends to avoid this year

Design something that is constantly evolving and it is important to stay updated and maintain a fresh perspective to create visuals that can move an audience. A quarter into 2024, let’s explore design elements and trends and shine a light on those that had difficulty withstanding the test of time and fell out of favour.

1) Bevel, Emboss, Drop Shadows

Bevels, embossing, and drop shadows have become outdated due to the dominance of flat minimalism, the need to optimize designs for digital platforms and the progression of design aesthetics towards simplicity and clarity. While these techniques may still have niche applications, they are generally considered old fashioned and tacky in today’s design practice.

Outdated graphic design trends to avoid this year

2) Water colour fonts

Popular with a very specific audience, these can work for a particular look and aesthetic, but most of the time, it will just bring your design right back to the 2010s and not in a cool retro way (not enough has passed for it to be considered nostalgic anyways). With its visibility issues and tenancy to look unreliable, these typefaces have fallen out of favour in recent years clashing with the current trend being having a focus on a simplified, minimalist aesthetic.

3) Excessive usage of stock imagery

The usage of stock imagery in graphic design is considered outdated due to its lack of originality and limited customization. While one or two can be an helpful tool, overloading with them might risk your brand from looking inauthentic and lazy.

4) Warm neutral colour palette 

Okay, I mean this specifically for graphic design, so don’t kill me. Warm neutral colour palettes do still have their place in the design world in other contexts. But in creating flat 2D designs, they still may be considered slightly outdated in the broader landscape due to its limitations to expressing a wide variety of emotions, going against the current trend of creating bold and strong designs that can make an impact.

As we conclude our exploration of outdated graphic design trends, it’s important to remember that design is not one-size-fits-all. While certain elements may have fallen out of favor in mainstream design, they can still find relevance in niche contexts or specific aesthetic preferences. 

In today’s rapidly evolving marketplace, it’s crucial to design with an eye toward the future, anticipating how your brand will resonate with audiences in the years to come. By staying adaptable and responsive to shifting trends and consumer preferences, you can ensure that your designs remain fresh and impactful. 

At Ripple Marketing, we understand the importance of staying ahead of the curve in design. Our team of experienced designers specializes in creating visually compelling and on-trend graphics that elevate brands and engage audiences. Whether you’re looking to refresh your brand identity or develop a new marketing campaign, we’re here to help. 

For inquiries about our design services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. Let’s collaborate to bring your vision to life and propel your brand into the future of design excellence. 

Written by Subin Lee

Ripple, Moving Brands Forward