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Envato’s Top Creative Trend Predictions for 2022

Ready to find out which trends will dominate the creative industries over the coming year? From graphic design to marketing, here are the top creative trends we predict for 2022…

Posted 23 Dec 2021
Envato Creative Trends Predictions 2022

And just like that, another year comes to a close. 2021 has seen the development of many exciting creative, digital and design trends – including the rise of 3D design, the resurgence of retro, and increased social awareness and responsibility. Now, with 2022 just around the corner, we’re once again pondering what the future will hold. 

As always, we’ve rounded up our Envato experts and asked them to predict what trends, styles and themes they think will shape the creative industries over the coming year. So, what trends are set to dominate in 2022? 

Covering everything from graphic design and web design to video and marketing, here are the top creative trends our experts are predicting for 2022 and beyond…

Design Trend Predictions

As one of the most innovative creative industries, design trends are continually emerging and evolving. Ranging from dreamy gradients and simplistic logos to abstract surrealism and maximalism, here are some of the top graphic design trends to watch over the next year.

1. 3D Design

Thanks to the evolution of new design software and technology, 3D Illustration and 3D typography are on the rise, and we expect 3D to continue to grow in 2022. It’s all about embracing experimentation and adding a sense of depth and dimension to visual design. We’re seeing designers incorporate animation, photos and flat illustrations in their 3D work resulting in some attention-grabbing creations – such as this 3D illustration by Khyati Trehan and this 3D typography by designer Ben Fearnly. Ranging from the incredibly lifelike to compellingly abstract, 3D design is perfect for web design, branding and social media content.

3D Typography - Ben Fearnley

“Whilst 3D has been around for some time, it’s now being integrated more seamlessly into designs,” explains ​​John Kappa, Envato Senior Designer. “From vibrant bright and colorful elements through to hyper realistic abstract designs, 3D is here and it’s making things pop!”

If you want to add some dimension to your next design, our 3D Design Collection is overflowing with easily downloadable and customizable 3D items which can be used for everything from ecommerce and gaming to business and travel. 

2. Minimalist Retro

Rocc Toothpaste

Minimalist retro is back! This style features old-school fonts, warm tones, organic color palettes, and natural textures, reminiscent of vintage 70s magazine layouts. It’s as as chic as it is versatile – as seen in this design for ROCC toothpaste by Melbourne design agency Date of Birth.

“Think serif fonts, warm dusty tones, soft shadows and natural textures,” says Kate McKinnes, Envato Graphics Specialist. “This style works particularly well with product mockups and graphic templates.” 

We’re expecting minimalist retro seep into the mainstream in 2022, particularly in the area of branding.

To try minimalist retro in your own work, check out this Editorial Lookbook Magazine template from Envato Elements, which offers a variety of layouts, sizes, color backgrounds and text blocks.

3. NFTs

Crypto art has attracted a lot of attention over the last few years, and with some buyers spending millions on memes and artwork, the NFT trend is set to continue. 

Non-fungible tokens are unique digital files published directly onto a blockchain, meaning that only one person can claim the rights to each one. NFTs are attractive to both collectors and designers – who can buy and sell work without having to worry about it being replicated without permission. For example, 3D artist and Envato author Amrit Pal Design has sold his Toy Faces series as a string of NFTs, which have since been purchased by celebrities and collectors around the world.   

“NFTs are probably the best way to monetize digital art at the moment,” says Amrit. “You make money on the sale of your NFT, and the fascinating part is you also get a percentage on the secondary sale of the artwork. This is a great way to sell your personal projects or create something new and thrive as an artist.”

While not everyone is a fan of NFTs – predominantly due to their environmental footprint and copyright concerns – we expect this space to grow in 2022 with an increased number of creators and buyers looking to get in on the NFT games.

4. Dreamy Gradients

Gradients - WAV Branding

Exuding an ethereal look and feel, dreamy gradients are expected to be the next big thing in graphic design. Dreamy gradients often feature soft pastels and grainy textures, lending a dreamy aesthetic to everything from presentation design to branding and social media posts.

“Gradients have come a long way in the technical execution of what’s possible,” says Sean Feehan, Envato UX Designer. “This has led to exciting exploration and developments with irregular and multicolour blends among the creative community.” 

Evoking a calming and laid back atmosphere, more and more designers are beginning to experiment with this mesmerizing style – such as Daria Suslova who has used dreamy gradients for WAV’s branding and social content. 

To try out this hot new trend for yourself, have a play with this Fresco Mist Gradient Background Collection by featherandsage on Envato Elements. 

Web Design Trend Predictions

A discipline at the cross section of creativity and technology, it’s no surprise that the world of web design is ever evolving. So, from behavioural design to retro UI, here are the top web design trends to watch out for in 2021…

 1. Behavioural Design

Headspace - Behavioural Design

Behavioral design uses visual cues to shape user behaviour. Combining creative design with scientific data, this method is typically employed by designers of routine-based products such as fitness apps, and it follows a cue, action and reward technique to help users form habits. Many products have adopted behavioural design, such as meditation app Headspace, which encourages users to meditate every day via playlists and social cues.

“From knowing when to water your plants to ensuring that you’re washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, in 2022, we can expect continued demand for Behavioural Design in digital products and AI to reinforce behaviours and help people form habits,” explains Viv Wu, Senior Product Designer at Envato. “Gone are the days when people relied solely on calendar alerts and written notes. In this increasingly competitive market, businesses monitor people’s behaviour to deliver value for users and increase product engagement. But where do we draw the line?” 

2. Retro UI

Farhan Fauzan’s Photo Studio Website - Retro UI

Continuing our fascination with retro, the retro UI trend is now taking off in web design. One of the retro UI trends we’ve spotted is the “oval and arched border radius”, which involves cropping images into ovals and arches, mirroring the archway or oval shape to create an elegant, retro feel. 

“This trend is popular in fashion and portfolio presentation and is a nod to vintage 70’s magazine layout,” says Envato Content Specialist Vail Joy. “It is often combined with earth tones.” 

As seen on Farhan Fauzan’s Photo Studio Website, this trend uses the arch to showcase photography in a subtle and classic way, reminiscent of a free-standing mirror. 

Another retro trend infiltrating web design is 90s nostalgia. Often featuring video game graphics, VHS and glitch effects, sparkling bubble fonts, and grunge aesthetics, this playful style has started trending in UI design.

Nylon - Retro UI

For example, fashion bible Nylon has gone for a 90s feel for their website, with textured backgrounds that look like band posters as well as polaroid-inspired image layouts, collage and hand drawn details.

To get the retro look on your own website, try this JewellryWear – Jewellery Store by energeticthemes Elementor Template Kit. Or to go grunge, try these Vector Grunge Textures by Digital_infusion

3. Big Typography 

Galeries Lafayette - Big Typography

Featuring big, bold letters and eye-catching fonts, big typography is back in UI design – and it’s designed to make an impact. Big type can be particularly impressive when combined with minimalist designs or stripped back layouts, and it’s great for creating a striking first impression – such as on the navigation menu of French department store Galeries Lafayette.

“As design leans towards more minimal off-grid layouts, big typography helps tie it all together and offers simple brand impact,” explains Vail.

To go big or go home, check out this Tobel – Modern Furniture Store by Elated-Themes. A modern and chic take on big type, it’s a perfect choice for interior design or furniture stores. 

4. DIY Website Builders

DIY website builders and page-building tools are becoming increasingly popular, and we expect to see more shifts towards these platforms in 2022. A perfect choice for those with limited time or web design experience, web builders are moving towards a no-code/low-code approach and therefore are becoming more accessible and user-friendly. 

“In 2022 I’ll be watching the changing landscape of Web Design as a craft; particularly the go-to tools for building a website, getting it online, and earning an income in the process,” explains Tuts+ Web Design Editor, Ian Yates. “Customer-friendly platforms have drenched the professional web design scene in recent times; freelancers and in-house departments alike are turning more and more in their direction.”

To take a DIY approach to your website, check out the range of template kits for Elementor over on ThemeForest, such as this Influence Marketing template kit by BimberOnline, which has an intuitive layout and bright color palette. 

Audio Trend Predictions

Ready to find out what will make audio waves for 2022? From travel audio to podcasts, here are the top audio trends to keep an ear out for over the coming year… 

1. Inspiring Travel

Inspiring travel - Audio Trends

As the world continues opening up and adapting to the new normal, ‘inspiring travel’ is back on track as an increasingly popular audio trend.

It regained traction in the middle of 2021, and now travel audio is returning to advertising campaigns, promotional videos, and across social media in TikTok and Reels videos. Inspirational for some countries and aspirational for others, we see this uplifting genre continuing to trend over the coming year. 

“The world has been opening up gradually over the past months,” says Envato’s Content Specialist for Music and Audio, Adrien Gardiner. “Though it saw a pause due to worldwide lockdowns, travel always remains a timeless trend carrying hopeful and inspiring themes that let people look ahead or escape to new horizons. The familiar sound of upbeat, happy, ‘take me anywhere today’ tunes are clearly back on the musical map for 2022 – pun intended.” 

To add some travel music to your next video, try this Inspiring Travel track from Envato Elements or this travel-inspired track from Audio Jungle.

2. Positivity & Optimism

Optimistic and Positive - Audio Trends

Throughout 2021, the demand for happy, upbeat audio has also continued to grow. As people start returning to a sense of normalcy and regaining control of their lives over the next year, our experts don’t expect this collective thirst for optimism to slow down anytime soon.

“This trend keeps carrying on too,” explains Adrien. “It’s all about capturing moments, and these happy joyful vibes drive so much of what our customers need to project, it can’t’t easily be knocked off the top of the charts.”

To add some bright, happy vibes to your next creative project, have a listen to this Happy Upbeat Commercial by brandonamatias on Envato Elements. 

3. Podcasts

Podcast - Audio Trends

Podcasting has absolutely exploded over the last few years. From true crime and business advice to film reviews and sporting analysis, listeners can now tune in to any kind of show they desire. 

Since making their way into the mainstream, podcasts have transitioned from simple DIY to highly-polished media series, and we expect to see the quality of podcast production continue to increase in 2022, as well as the range of podcast genres available.

The rising popularity of podcasts has seen plenty of podcast trends popping up – spanning everything from topic and theme to podcast audio and sound effects. But, as trends change and new technologies arise, it’s more important than ever to keep your finger on the pulse if you want your podcast to be searchable, relevant and relatable for your target audience.

To capture your listeners’ attention from the get go, try out this Upbeat Podcast Intro.

Video Trend Predictions

Want to take your videos to the next level next year? We spoke to our Envato experts to find out the top video trends they’re predicting to take off in 2022…

1. Social Video Continues to Dominate

The recent explosion of TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts has further fuelled the social video trend, with big brands such as Louis Vuitton and Mecca using Reels, and big names such as MAC Cosmetics and the NBA jumping on the TikTok bandwagon. 

“Thanks to the rise of TikTok and increase in features such as Stories, video is the centre of the social universe,” explains Envato’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Julia Fernandez. “In mid 2021, the Head of Instagram announced that the platform is no longer a photo sharing app and instead is leaning into entertainment and video, inspired by video-first platforms YouTube and TikTok. Instagram has since made some changes to its video offering, delineating between Instagram Video, Shorts and Reels.

In 2022, we expect more experimentation from brands to enable their video budget to stretch further, an increase in cross-posting between platforms, as well as an embrace of more authentic video content, whether it’s including employees in video, relatable memes, or DIY tips.” 

To create short, punchy video content for social media, check out these Brutalism Instagram Stories by Colorama or this ​​TikTok Intro – Premiere Pro by kalinichev from Envato Elements

2. Shoppable Video Takes over Social Commerce

Shoppable video is one of the most exciting video trends pegged for 2022. An extension of the growth in social commerce, shoppable videos are a form of interactive video which enable the viewer to purchase items directly from the video they’re watching. Typically featuring a drop-down menu linking to a product page where viewers can purchase with the tap of a finger, shoppable videos are expected to change the ecommerce game. 

Big corporations such as IKEA, Amazon, YouTube and Instagram have already launched shoppable videos, with video platforms such as AiBUY, NTWRK and Shoploop now hosting them. 

“Shoppable Video takes the interactive video idea and commercializes it, allowing customers to shop as they watch,” says Envato’s Video Marketing Manager, Jen McKinnon. “The technology is already out there but, in 2022, it’s likely to really gain steam as brands continue to zero in on video as a valuable marketing tool.” 

To add an interactive element to your next video, try SNAP Price Tags & Labels by Therealist_Shop, this Memphis Youtube Pack by EasyEdit or this Clothes Shop by bubbledance

3. Going Live Still Going Strong

While by no means groundbreaking, live video is the video trend that simply refuses to quit! A feature now favored by every social media platform – from TikTok and Instagram to Facebook and LinkedIn – live video has become the most engaging form of online content, with many brands, corporations and individuals jumping on the bandwagon. 

“While Live Video is not a new trend, we are set to see it shine on in 2022, as audiences continue to crave and demand authenticity,” explains Jen. “On social media, live video can provide a rare glimpse into the lives of celebrities, a behind-the-scenes look at top brands or an opportunity to interact more closely with our favorite online personalities. Going live can also boost brand credibility for businesses who are positioning themselves as an authority in a particular field as it provides a platform to demonstrate immediate knowledge.” 

Marketing Trend Predictions

Ready to explore the future of marketing? From Hybrid Events to Customer-Driven Content, here are the top trends we’re predicting for 2022.

1. Hybrid Events

Throughout the global pandemic, online and virtual events became a necessity – a life saver, even – for many industries. Now, as the world begins returning to business as usual, we expect that hybrid events that deliver the best of both live and virtual events will become the norm.

Providing increased accessibility for global attendees while maintaining the atmosphere and immersion of in-person events, many organizers are opting for hybrid events to best meet everyone’s needs. For example, #FinCon2 – the digital marketing event held for Personal Finance content creators, gives ticket holders the option to attend in-person or virtually from anywhere in the world. Including live streams of all main-stage presentations, the ability to connect 1:1, as well as networking and conferencing opportunities.

“The ‘new normal’ is here to stay,” explains David Scott, Envato’s Senior Communications Manager. “With border restrictions and quarantine requirements around the world making international travel incredibly difficult – or just plain impossible – for many would-be event attendees, organisers have had to think outside of the box to come up with suitable hybrid options where local attendees can still meet IRL and experience a socially distant event, while global attendees tune in online for the stream, connecting across virtual chat rooms and visiting virtual booths.” 

To add a virtual element to your next event, check out this Twitch LiveStream Box and Countdown Plugin by Odin_Design, or advertise your event with this Virtual Event Flyer by afahmy from Envato Elements

2. Customer-Driven Content Marketing

User-generated content has quickly become the cornerstone of many brands’ marketing strategies. And with a surge in UGC over the past two years, the trend of customer-driven content marketing is on the rise. 

As more brands make an effort to connect with their customers and look to their audiences to create content, we’re now seeing customer-centric marketing become the norm across the majority of content channels – including a rise in content-driven communities and social commerce. For example, ModCloth posts almost exclusively UGC on their Instagram, and even provides the option to shop via UGC on its website, allowing customers to see items worn and styled by real people before they buy.

Athletawell - Customer-Driven Content Marketing

“One of the areas where I think authenticity is playing a role in marketing is when brands provide premium expertise and advice about an area that’s of interest to their customers,” says Julia. “In mid 2021, GAP’s Athleta launched AthletaWell, a digital platform which offers workout content, expert tips and guides – including an AMA with US Olympic athlete Simone Biles – and moderated spaces where users can discuss topics including health, fitness and body image. In markets like athleisure, where there’s a lot of growth but also a lot of competition, using a content-driven community can be a great way to build long-term relationships with customers and keep them coming back to your site for more.” 

To highlight your UGC in your next marketing campaign, check out this Fashion Brand Opener by swati_creations on Envato Elements. 

3. Futuristic Marketing Tech

From augmented reality filters and interactive video to chatbots and shoppable video, the rise of futuristic marketing technology is allowing marketers to streamline their user experience like never before. 

Over the past few years we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the capabilities of marketing technology, leading to smarter products, more advanced features, and improved customer experience. Social commerce plays such as Facebook Shops, Instagram shops, Pinterest Shopping Ads and Catalogs and augmented reality filters have become the norm on most popular social networks.

IKEA is already using shoppable videos and an AR App, Google, Amazon and Apple have all jumped on voice commerce, and food delivery company DoorDash is even trialling drone and robot delivery. And in 2022, we expect brands to take these marketing technologies even further. The future is now!

To step into the future of marketing, try out this WordPress Virtual Tour 360 Panorama Plugin by jegtheme and this WordPress Support All-In-One by NinjaTeam on Envato Elements. 

4. Creators Take Control of Monetization

Flax Mami - Creators Take Control

As we head into 2022, we’re seeing digital creators taking control of the monetization of their content. Supported by the social networks that sustain them, Instagram and Twitter are constantly introducing new features and updates to improve user experience and assist content creators – and, in turn, themselves – to increase engagement and revenue.   

Twitter has recently released a new feature called Super Follows – a new subscriber-only content revenue stream offering creators a new way to earn money from the platform. While Instagram doesn’t offer this feature, some influencers – such as FlexMami – are taking things into their own hands by offering ‘Close Friends’ subscriptions to die-hard followers, who can pay a monthly fee to access premium content via her Close Friends Stories. And in 2022, we expect the creator economy to be more empowered than ever. 

“A trend in the creator economy is for creators to move their top fans to their own tools and websites to have greater control of monetization,” says Envato’s Marketing Specialist Bianca Pellizzari. “To combat this, and in an attempt to keep creators and their top fans on social platforms, we’ll likely see more features that expand creative control of individuals on Instagram and TikTok. We’re definitely seeing this in Instagram and Twitter’s latest features.” 

To add a bit of sparkle to your Instagram Stories, check out this trendy Instagram Story Template by ovozdigital and this Cyberhype | Instagram Story by LetterStockStd on Envato Elements.

And that’s a wrap on Envato’s Creative Trend Predictions for 2022! To track back to where it all began, take a look at our Creative Trend predictions for 2021 to see if we were right!

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