2018 Design Trends: What to Expect on the Digital Landscape this Year

With a new year comes new design trends.

The top creatives in the industry have been predicting the 2018 design trends for the past few months, and now we’ll finally begin to see them in action. These trends will start to bombard us from the home page graphics of a website to email marketing campaigns. So what should we expect to see over the course of the next 11-12 months?

2018 Design Trends Predictions


This is a 2018 design trend that seems to pop up on most experts’ prediction radar. In simple terms, brutalism is harsh, eclectic, and raw in its design – it’s a response to the standardized, copy-and-paste look of most websites today. This concept is edgy, loud, and generally aesthetically displeasing.

Brutalism 2018 Design Trend

The growth of “design error” could be lumped in with this prediction as well. Think about opening a new image in your photo editor, touching it up to look just so, printing it out, and immediately having a broken highlighter bleed a bright yellow blotch onto the image. Of course, this trend is done on purpose, and it’s much more thought out.

Bold and Creative Typography

Typography is its own separate art form, but when you combine it with marketing and web design, it rises to a whole other level.

2018 Design Trend Bold Typography

Big, bad, bold fonts continue to rise to the top of the design pyramid this year. And by “bold,” we don’t just mean designers are increasing the weight of the lines. Typeface is standing alone as its own visual element – now we see an increase in sophisticated and custom fonts, designed to capture attention.

Some sites are even taking this to the extreme and using text as their only form of content.

Of course, these bold fonts serve a secondary purpose. Because users have less time to spend on sites, bolder, direct titles aid them in getting to where they want to be faster – and that helps your conversions.

Hand-Drawn Fonts

Continuing on the font-train, the uniqueness of hand-drawn typeface is on board for the 2018 design trends. Brands are continually looking to stand out from the competition, and what better way to do that than a sui generis font on the homepage of your site?

2018 Design Trend Hand-Drawn Fonts

Serif Fonts

Until recently, screen resolutions limited designers in the use of serif fonts. But now that there have been improvements, get ready for this kind of typeface to take the internet by storm. If you want to add a pop of sophistication to your site, try using them for headlines, like this:

2018 Design Trend Serif Fonts


Bold and Bright Colors

Also in part to screen resolution improvements, designers are discovering that bolder, louder colors are now readily usable. Softer hues were demanded previously for compatibility with monitors, but now colors have the opportunity to stand out.

2018 Design Trend Bold Colors



You’ve probably already seen them used as they’re not new to the internet or the design world. Cinemagraphs are GIFs and abridged videos fixed on a loop, like a picture that moves. They’re utilized on web pages to capture attention through movement and add a visual element to static information.



As many brands are trying to take a light-hearted approach to marketing, illustrations seem to be an obvious direction to take. It also gives them a chance to explore their imaginations a little more which makes them appear more genuine to their audience.

2018 Design Trend Illustrations


Two-Tone Gradients

Gradients are carrying over from 2017. They’re typically found as bold website backgrounds, but they’re starting to enter the scene as an image filter. If you have an image on your page that’s falling a little flat, try laying a gradient over it – music mega-platform Spotify is a great example of how to do this.

2018 Design Trend Two-Tone Gradiants



Designers are moving away from the flat look of websites and adding what can only be described as “depth” to pages. Using stacked colors, images, and shadowing, they’re developing pages to have a 3D effect.

2018 Design Trend Imagery Depth

Look for this in CTA buttons again, too.



They just won’t quit. After rising as a trend in 2016, geometrics gained traction in  2017, and now they’re rolling into 2018. This trend has gained such traction that it doesn’t just stick to web design and marketing. Designers of all fields are using it to their advantage and covering the world in geometrics.

2018 Design Trend Geometrics


Organic and Oblique Shapes

Goodbye sharp lines, hello curvy edges. Soft, rounded, organic shapes are predicted to take the place where grid layouts once stood, and text location will be dictated by the flow of the imagery. (This site, in particular, has marketers raving about its use of shapes.)

2018 Design Trend Organic and Oblique

Shutterstock seems to confirm this trend. They reported that they had a 432% increase in searches for “continuous lines” and a 387% increase for “neon circles.”



The separation of text and images will become a thing of the past. 2018 design trends say that overlapping these two core features will rise in popularity.

2018 Design Trend Overlapping Images and Text

The Send-Off of Carousels

2018 will also see the decline of carousels on homepages, and they’ll be replaced by still information. Designers have started moving this direction for the past year, but now they’re picking up speed. And for good reason: still information in one spot is easier for viewers to read since they can do it at their own pace.

2018 Design Trend Still Information Removal of Carousels


2018 Creative Trends Predictions

Shutterstock released a Creative Trends report this year. In it, they predicted the upcoming trends and themes based on users image searches. You can find the full report here, but we’ll give you a quick rundown.

Modern Minimalism

We don’t mean grayscale images with clean lines. This 2018 design trend that we mentioned above features vibrant colors and fluid styles.



With the rise of sci-fi movies and shows in popular media and continued space exploration, it should come as no surprise that creatives are taking an interest in the extraterrestrial.


Natural Luxe

Think vibrant, swirling marbles (a search increase of 416%). These earthy tones add a touch of mystery to web pages and designs.


Arts & Crafts for the Screen

Handmade items are once again trendy, so it seems obvious that they would find their way to the digital landscape. Searches were higher for images like embroidery (432%) and paper art. This lines up well with the 2018 design trend of depth.



Shutterstock reported searches for cryptocurrency were up 1264%. As the opportunity for a digital currency rises, expect more and more cryptocurrency media to show up in design.



2018 design trends seem to have a consistent theme of organized chaos. Designers will have to put their best creative efforts forward this year to successfully experiment with combining these different trends. And since each trend is sure to bring about something unique, the internet is sure to be full of unique designs in the coming months.


If you’d like to bring some trending uniqueness to your site, contact the Bitboyz Digital team here.

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