Crafting the Future: The top 7 graphic design trends shaping branding in 2023

Crafting the Future: The top 7 graphic design trends shaping branding in 2023

As we navigate through 2023, the landscape of graphic design continues to evolve at a rapid pace, influenced by cultural shifts, technological advancements, and consumer behaviors. Brands are not just competing for market share; they are vying for attention, connection, and memorability in a digital-first world. This year, we’re seeing a resurgence of some nostalgic elements reimagined for the modern eye, alongside the embrace of bold new aesthetics that push the boundaries of the traditional branding playbook. From the minimalism of vintage-inspired designs to the bold frontiers of the Metaverse, these top 7 graphic design trends are setting the tone for how brands communicate their identity and values. Each trend not only reflects the current zeitgeist but also offers a unique set of opportunities for brands to tell their story in a way that is visually compelling and resonant with their audience. Let’s dive into each of the top graphic design trends for branding in 2023.

Minimal Vintage

This trend revives classic design elements from the past but presents them with a minimalist approach. The goal is to evoke nostalgia while keeping the design clean and uncluttered. Brands may use this style to signify craftsmanship and timelessness, utilizing muted color palettes and simplified illustrations that pay homage to the past without overwhelming the senses. It’s a balancing act between old and new, aiming to appeal to those who appreciate the elegance of simplicity and the charm of yesteryear.

Work by Tahmina Azim,
Explore the full project here.

Photographic Branding

High-quality, authentic photographs are becoming the centerpiece of branding efforts, moving away from generic stock images. The emphasis is on storytelling through imagery that captures the brand’s essence and values. This approach can create a strong emotional connection with the audience by showcasing real-life scenarios, products in action, or the people behind the brand. It’s about creating a visual narrative that aligns with the brand’s message and feels both personal and relatable.

Work by FAENA Studio.
Explore the full project here.

The Return of the Sans Serif

Sans serif typefaces are making a comeback, favored for their readability and modern aesthetics. Brands are embracing this trend for both digital and print media, favoring clean lines and open spaces that enhance legibility. This trend reflects the digital-first approach of many companies, with an emphasis on clarity and functionality. The return of the sans serif speaks to a desire for directness and efficiency in communication.

Work by TT Commons™ Pro
Explore the full project here.

Rich Jewel Colours

Bold and saturated jewel tones like emerald green, sapphire blue, and amethyst purple are being used to convey luxury and exclusivity. These colors are often paired with high-quality materials in branding materials, suggesting opulence and premium status. This trend is particularly popular in branding for high-end products and services, where color can instantly communicate a sense of indulgence and sophistication.

Distorted Type

Distorted type challenges traditional typography rules by stretching, skewing, and warping text to create unique and eye-catching designs. This approach is not just about being different; it’s about grabbing attention and making a statement. It’s particularly effective for brands that want to stand out in crowded markets and convey a sense of innovation or rebellion.

Work by iframe desiegn
Explore the full project here.

Liquid Gradients

Fluid and multi-colored gradients are being used to add depth and dimension to flat designs. This trend offers a modern twist on the gradients of the past, with smooth transitions that mimic natural light and movement. Brands use liquid gradients to suggest innovation and to give a fresh, contemporary feel to their visual identity. This style is versatile and can be adapted to various contexts, from app interfaces to product packaging.


The Metaverse trend in graphic design reflects the growing intersection between our physical reality and digital experiences. This trend is characterized by the creation of branding materials that evoke a sense of immersion into a virtual world. Designers leverage 3D elements, digital textures, and interactive components to craft brand identities that are not just seen but experienced. These designs often feature virtual reality environments, augmented reality interfaces, and other elements of a digital ecosystem that communicate a brand’s forward-thinking and innovative nature. By utilizing the Metaverse aesthetic, brands can position themselves at the cutting edge of technology, appealing to a tech-savvy audience that values the convergence of digital and physical spaces. The key to this trend is crafting a visual language that transcends traditional media and offers a glimpse into a future where brand interactions are multi-dimensional and deeply integrated with our daily lives.

Explore the full project here.

Brands tone of voice

The tone of voice for a brand is a critical element of its identity and communication strategy. It helps convey the brand's personality, values, and messaging in a consistent and relatable manner. Here are some common tones of voice that brands may adopt:



This tone is characterized by a professional and serious approach. It is often used by law firms, financial institutions, and other businesses that need to project a sense of authority and trustworthiness.




A casual tone is conversational and approachable. It's used by many modern brands, especially in tech and e-commerce, to create a friendly and relatable image. It's often seen in social media posts and email marketing.




A friendly tone is warm and welcoming. Brands that want to create a sense of community and connection often use this tone. It's prevalent in industries like hospitality and nonprofit organizations.




An inspirational tone aims to motivate and uplift the audience. It's often used by brands associated with health and wellness, personal development, or charitable causes.




A humorous tone is used to entertain and create a positive emotional connection with the audience. Companies like snack brands or fast-food chains often use humor in their advertising.




An educational tone is informative and seeks to position the brand as an expert in its field. This is common among companies in the tech industry, educational institutions, and healthcare.




Some brands adopt a sarcastic or ironic tone to stand out and appeal to a specific audience that appreciates this kind of humor. This is often used by companies in the fashion or entertainment industries.




An empathetic tone is understanding and compassionate. Brands that want to show support and care, such as healthcare providers or customer service-oriented companies, often use this tone.




A luxurious tone is associated with exclusivity and elegance. High-end fashion brands and luxury car manufacturers often adopt this tone to create a sense of prestige.




Brands targeting a younger audience may use a tone that is energetic, vibrant, and full of enthusiasm. This is common among sports and energy drink brands.


It's important for a brand to choose a tone of voice that aligns with its target audience, values, and overall identity. Consistency in tone across all communication channels, from marketing materials to customer support, helps in building a strong and recognizable brand image.

Importance of the basic brand guidelines

Brand guidelines, also known as brand style guides, brandbook or brand manuals, are a set of rules and instructions that define how a brand should be presented to the public. They serve as a comprehensive reference for anyone involved in creating or using the brand's visual and written materials, ensuring consistency and cohesion in all branding efforts. Here are the key components typically found in brand guidelines:

Brand Identity

This section outlines the core elements that make up the brand's identity, including the logo, tagline, and any key visual or graphic elements.


Logo Usage

Details on how the logo should be used, including variations, minimum sizes, clear space requirements, and placement guidelines.


Color Palette

Specification of the brand's primary and secondary colors, including color codes (e.g., Pantone, CMYK, RGB, HEX) to ensure consistent color reproduction across different mediums.



Information about the typefaces and fonts to be used in all brand materials, including guidelines for headline and body text usage.


Visual Elements

If there are specific design elements associated with the brand (e.g., patterns, textures, icons), they should be outlined in this section.


Photography and Imagery

Guidelines for the types of images that should be used, their style, and any specific photo or illustration treatments to maintain brand consistency.


Voice and Tone

Instructions for the brand's writing style, including tone of voice, language usage, and messaging guidelines.


Usage Examples

Examples of correct and incorrect brand applications to help users understand the guidelines in practice.


Digital and Web Guidelines

Specific instructions for web design, social media, and digital applications, including responsive design considerations and social media profile usage.


Print Guidelines

Details on how the brand should be represented in print materials, including brochures, business cards, and other physical collateral.


Stationery and Templates

Templates for common brand materials, such as letterheads, email signatures, and PowerPoint presentations.


Compliance and Legal Requirements

Any legal considerations or industry-specific regulations that need to be followed in brand communications.


Version Control

Information on how to handle updates or revisions to the brand guidelines to ensure everyone is working with the most current information.


Brand guidelines are crucial for maintaining a strong and consistent brand identity, which can help build trust with consumers and differentiate a brand from competitors. They are particularly important for organizations with multiple teams or agencies working on various branding initiatives to ensure a unified and cohesive brand image.

The art of rebranding: When and how to refresh your brand

In the ever-evolving world of business, the only constant is change. As your company grows, market dynamics shift, and consumer expectations evolve, there may come a time when you need to consider rebranding. Rebranding is not just about changing your logo or slogan; it's a comprehensive process that involves reshaping your brand's identity, message, and strategy to stay relevant and resonate with your audience. In this article, we'll delve into the art of rebranding, exploring when it's the right time to refresh your brand and the steps involved in a successful rebranding.


 The signs it's time to rebrand


  1. Outdated visual identity: If your logo, color scheme, or overall visual identity looks like it's stuck in another era, it might be time for a makeover. An outdated image can make your brand seem irrelevant to modern consumers.


  1. Change in audience: As your target audience shifts or expands, your brand should evolve to address their needs, preferences, and values. Failing to do so can lead to a disconnect with your market.


  1. Reputation challenges: A tarnished reputation can be a compelling reason to rebrand. It allows you to distance your brand from past mistakes and start fresh with a new image.


  1. Market expansion: When entering new markets or offering new products or services, rebranding can help communicate your company's evolution and capture a broader customer base.


  1. Mergers and acquisitions: Combining with another company often necessitates rebranding to create a cohesive and unified identity.


  1. Differentiation: If your brand has lost its distinctiveness and blends in with the competition, rebranding can help you stand out and regain a competitive edge.



The steps to successful rebranding


  1. Self-reflection: Define your purpose and values

Before diving into design and marketing, take a step back to reflect on your brand's core purpose and values. What does your brand stand for, and what do you want to achieve? A successful rebrand should be built on a strong foundation.


  1. Market research: Understand your audience

In-depth market research is critical to understanding your audience's current preferences, behaviors, and expectations. This data will guide your rebranding decisions.


  1. Set clear goals: What do you want to achieve?

Outline your rebranding objectives. Are you looking to attract a new audience, recover from a crisis, or increase brand recognition? Clear goals will drive your strategy.


  1. Creative strategy: Visual identity and messaging

Develop a new visual identity, including a logo, color palette, typography, and design principles. Your messaging, including your tagline and brand story, should align with your rebranding goals.


  1. Implement the changes gradually

A complete brand overhaul can be overwhelming for your audience. Consider a phased approach to ease the transition, especially if your brand has strong recognition.


  1. Communicate the change

Your audience needs to know about the rebrand and understand why it's happening. Use various communication channels to inform, educate, and engage with your customers during the transition.


  1. Involve your team

Your employees should be brand ambassadors. Keep them informed and excited about the rebranding process to ensure consistency in their interactions with customers.


  1. Monitor and adjust

After the rebrand, track your brand's performance and gather feedback. Be prepared to make adjustments based on data and customer reactions.


  1. Reveal your new brand to the world

When you're confident in your rebrand's success, launch it with a splash. This might include a brand reveal event, social media campaigns, and press releases.


  1. Consistency is key

Maintain consistency across all brand touchpoints to solidify the new brand identity and deliver a unified message to your audience.



Conclusion: A fresh start


Rebranding is a strategic move that can breathe new life into your business and help you stay relevant and competitive in a rapidly changing world. By recognizing the signs that it's time for a change and following a thoughtful rebranding process, you can create a fresh and exciting image for your brand that resonates with your audience and sets the stage for future success. Rebranding is not just a makeover; it's an opportunity for a fresh start and a stronger brand identity.