Top Graphic Design Trends, Chris Do’s Expert Tips, and Tools for 2023

Top Graphic Design Trends, Chris Do’s Expert Tips, and Tools for 2023
14 min read

In the ever-evolving world of graphic design, staying updated with the latest trends and tools is essential for graphic designers and graphic design companies. As we step into 2023, the graphic design landscape promises to be both innovative and dynamic. To help you navigate this exciting journey, we’ll explore the top graphic design trends, Chris Do’s expert tips, and the best creative tools for this year.

graphic design trends

Who is Chris Do?

Chris Do is a prominent figure in the world of graphic design, entrepreneurship, and education. With a captivating journey and an impressive list of accomplishments, he has made a significant impact on the creative industry. Let’s dive into who Chris Do is and why he is considered a leading authority in graphic design and business.

Early Life and Education

Growing up in a multicultural environment, Chris developed a keen interest in art and design from a young age. He attended the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he honed his design skills and developed a deep understanding of the principles of graphic design.

Founding Blind and The Futur

Chris Do’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to co-found “Blind”, a highly respected brand strategy design consultancy, in 1995. Blind gained recognition for its innovative design work, attracting clients from various industries, including entertainment, technology, and fashion.

In 2011, Chris Do launched “The Futur”, a platform dedicated to educating and empowering creatives and entrepreneurs. Through The Futur, Chris shares his knowledge and experiences with a global audience. His mission is to bridge the gap between creativity and business, helping designers and creative professionals thrive in a competitive landscape.

Educator and Content Creator

One of Chris Do’s most significant contributions to the design community is his role as an educator and content creator. He has produced a wealth of educational content on topics ranging from graphic design and branding to entrepreneurship and marketing. His YouTube channel, also named The Futur, has garnered a massive following, making it a go-to resource for designers and business-minded creatives.

Through his videos, webinars, podcasts, and online courses, Chris imparts practical advice, insights, and strategies to help aspiring designers and seasoned professionals navigate the challenges and opportunities in the creative industry. His ability to break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand lessons has earned him a loyal and appreciative audience.

Author and Speaker

In addition to his online presence, Chris Do is a sought-after speaker and author. He has delivered talks and workshops at conferences, universities, and industry events worldwide. His book, “Pocket Full of Do,” offers a glimpse into his journey and serves as a source of inspiration for those looking to pursue a career in design and entrepreneurship.

Impact and Influence

Chris Do’s influence extends beyond design circles. He has played a pivotal role in elevating the status of graphic design as a strategic business tool. His emphasis on the fusion of design thinking and business acumen has helped designers and creatives position themselves as valuable contributors to organizations and startups.

He is a remarkable individual who has carved a niche for himself in the creative industry through his design expertise, entrepreneurship, and dedication to education. His journey from a young creative with a passion for design to a globally recognized thought leader and educator is a testament to his talent and commitment. Chris Do continues to inspire and empower designers, reminding them that creativity and business go hand in hand and that the possibilities in the world of graphic design are limitless.

Graphic Design Trends for 2023

Sustainable Design:

In a world increasingly conscious of environmental issues, sustainable design is gaining prominence. Graphic designers are incorporating eco-friendly elements into their work, using recycled materials, and earthy color palettes, and emphasizing sustainability in their designs.

Minimalism with a Twist:

Minimalism in design has always been about the principle of “less is more.” It seeks to convey a message or evoke a feeling with the simplest and most essential elements. Historically, minimalism has been associated with clean lines, a limited color palette, and a focus on negative space. While this design approach remains timeless, 2023 introduces an exciting evolution.

Bold Typography

One of the key elements that characterize “Minimalism with a Twist” is the use of bold typography. Traditionally, minimalist designs often featured sleek, unadorned fonts. However, in 2023, designers are embracing the power of typography to create impact. Bold, expressive typefaces take center stage, becoming a focal point of the design.

These bold fonts not only grab the viewer’s attention but also convey a sense of confidence and assertiveness. When combined with minimalist aesthetics, they create a striking contrast that enhances the overall visual appeal. This use of typography adds depth and personality to what might otherwise be a simple design.

Creative Negative Space

Negative space, also known as white space, has always been a fundamental element of minimalist design. In “Minimalism with a Twist,” designers are pushing the boundaries of negative space to create intriguing and thought-provoking compositions.

Rather than merely using negative space to create balance and simplicity, designers are now using it as a canvas for storytelling. They are cleverly integrating shapes and objects within negative space to convey hidden messages or add layers of meaning to the design. This approach encourages viewers to engage more deeply with the artwork, as they uncover hidden elements within the white space.

Subtle Gradients

Another noteworthy aspect of this design trend is the incorporation of subtle gradients. While traditional minimalism often relies on flat colors, 2023 introduces a touch of gradient magic. These gradients are subtle, transitioning smoothly from one color to another, creating a sense of depth and dimensionality.

The use of gradients adds a modern and dynamic element to minimalist designs. They can be employed to create soft transitions between different elements, providing a gentle visual flow within the composition. These gradients are not overpowering; instead, they complement the overall simplicity of the design, adding a touch of sophistication.

Captivating and Engaging Designs

The Minimalistic trend is all about capturing and maintaining the viewer’s attention. By incorporating bold typography, creative negative space, and subtle gradients, graphic designers are producing designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also emotionally engaging.

This design approach challenges the notion that minimalism is purely about simplicity. Instead, it showcases the versatility of minimalism as a design philosophy that can be adapted to various contexts and purposes. Whether it’s a brand identity, a website, or a poster, “Minimalism with a Twist” infuses vitality and intrigue into minimalist design, making it more captivating and relevant in the ever-evolving world of graphic design in 2023.

3D Graphics and Typography:

With advancements in technology, 3D graphics and typography are becoming more accessible. These elements add depth and realism to designs, making them stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

Muted Color Palettes:

Subdued and muted color palettes are gaining traction. These soft, sophisticated colors create a calming and elegant atmosphere in designs, appealing to a wide range of audiences.

Nostalgic Design:

Nostalgia is a universal emotion that tugs at our heartstrings, evoking feelings of warmth, comfort, and a yearning for the past. In graphic design, tapping into nostalgia is a powerful strategy because it connects with audiences on a deeply emotional level. The nostalgic design takes elements from the past and brings them into the present, creating a sense of familiarity and nostalgia that viewers find irresistible.

Incorporating Vintage Design Elements

One of the hallmark features of nostalgic design is the incorporation of vintage design elements. Graphic designers are revisiting styles from bygone eras, such as the mid-20th century, the 80s, or the 90s, and infusing them into contemporary projects. These elements can include retro color schemes, vintage illustrations, classic patterns, and iconic design motifs.

By reintroducing these elements, designers evoke memories and associations from the past. For example, a product packaging design featuring retro typography and imagery can transport viewers back in time, triggering memories of products they used to see on their grandparents’ shelves. This emotional connection is a potent tool for branding and marketing.

Retro Fonts and Typography

Typography plays a pivotal role in nostalgic design. Retro fonts, inspired by typefaces from past decades, add a distinctive touch to the overall aesthetic. These fonts may have bold, playful, or elegant characteristics that harken back to a specific era. Whether it’s the curvy script of the 1950s or the pixelated look of the 8-bit era, these fonts carry a sense of nostalgia.

Retro typography not only conveys a visual style but also helps set the tone and mood of the design. It can transport viewers to a different time and place, eliciting emotions associated with that era. This is especially valuable in branding, as it can establish a brand’s identity and resonate with its target audience.

Old-School Aesthetics and Imagery

In addition to vintage design elements and typography, nostalgic design often incorporates old-school aesthetics and imagery. This can involve using faded or distressed textures to create a weathered, aged look. Designers might add visual elements like polaroid frames, film grain, or retro patterns to evoke memories of analog photography and print media.

The use of old-school aesthetics serves to amplify the nostalgic effect. It’s like dusting off an old family photo album or flipping through the pages of a vintage magazine, eliciting a sense of authenticity and a connection to the past.

Audience Engagement and Comfort

Nostalgic design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about forging a genuine connection with the audience. In a world that often feels fast-paced and uncertain, nostalgia provides a comforting anchor to the past. It allows people to momentarily escape to simpler times or relive cherished memories.

For businesses and brands, leveraging nostalgia can be a powerful marketing tool. It resonates with consumers who appreciate the blend of old and new, and it creates a sense of trust and authenticity. The nostalgic design fosters a feeling of camaraderie between the brand and its audience as if they are sharing a collective trip down memory lane.

To sum it up, nostalgic design is a compelling trend in graphic design for 2023. By drawing upon vintage design elements, retro fonts, and old-school aesthetics, graphic designers are harnessing the emotional power of nostalgia to create designs that resonate deeply with audiences. This trend not only connects people with their past but also allows brands and businesses to establish a genuine and enduring bond with their customers, making it a timeless and effective approach in the world of graphic design.

Chris Do's Expert Tips

Chris Do, a renowned graphic designer and founder of The Futur, shares his invaluable insights for graphic designers in 2023:

Constant Learning:

Never stop learning. The graphic design industry is constantly evolving, and staying updated with the latest techniques and trends is essential to stay competitive.

Master the Basics:

Before diving into trends, ensure you have a strong foundation in design principles. Mastery of the fundamentals will make it easier to adapt to new trends and technologies.

Understand Your Audience:

Successful design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about effectively communicating with your target audience. Understand their preferences, needs, and pain points to create compelling designs.

Collaborate and Seek Feedback:

Graphic design is often a collaborative process. Don’t be afraid to seek feedback from peers and clients. Constructive criticism can lead to better design outcomes.

Stay Inspired:

Keep your creative juices flowing by seeking inspiration from various sources. Explore art, nature, and other forms of design to keep your ideas fresh and innovative.

The Best Creative Tools for 2023

In the digital age, having the right creative tools is crucial for graphic designers. Here are some top tools for 2023:

Adobe Creative Cloud:

Adobe Creative Cloud remains a staple for graphic designers. With software like Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, it offers a comprehensive suite for all design needs.


Figma is gaining popularity as a collaborative design tool. It allows multiple designers to work on projects simultaneously, streamlining the design process.


For digital illustrators and artists, Procreate on the iPad continues to be a game-changer. Its intuitive interface and powerful features make it a go-to tool for digital art.


Canva is a user-friendly design tool for creating social media graphics, posters, and marketing materials. It’s perfect for those who need quick and visually appealing designs.

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite:

CorelDRAW offers a robust set of design tools, particularly for vector graphics. It’s an excellent alternative for those looking for options beyond Adobe.

In conclusion, 2023 promises to be an exciting year for graphic designers and graphic design companies in Washington DC, or anywhere else. Embracing sustainable design, exploring new trends, and mastering essential design principles are keys to success. Remember Chris Do’s expert tips, and leverage the best creative tools to stay at the forefront of the industry. Whether you’re a seasoned graphic designer or someone searching for a “graphic designer near me,” these insights and tools will help you thrive in the dynamic world of graphic design.

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