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5 Graphic Design Trends to Improve Your Social Media Branding in 2024

In this article, we've curated the top five graphic design trends for social media branding in 2024.

Apr 18, 2024 10 min readFlow
Photo of Valerie Kakovkina
Valerie Kakovkina

Writer at VistaPrint

Each year, fresh ideas, concepts, and technological innovations shape the creative design landscape. These influences give rise to a wave of new graphic design trends, revolutionizing how we conceive, craft, and engage with art.

Many of these graphic design trends infiltrate the realms of business and marketing. Some influence web design, some make their way onto packaging, and others become a staple for social media branding.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, savvy business owners are constantly on the lookout for ways to keep their social media branding fresh, engaging, and relevant. One powerful strategy? Embracing the latest graphic design trends. Here’s what staying in tune with them will mean for your brand:

  • Stay relevant: Aligning with current design trends helps your brand stay fresh and relevant in the eyes of your social media followers, demonstrating that you are attuned to evolving tastes and preferences.
  • Enhance brand perception: First impressions count, especially on social media, where scrolling has become our default mode, and you have a short amount of time to grab a user’s attention. Sleek and modern design elements can enhance the perception of your brand, conveying creativity and innovation to your audience.
  • Boost engagement: On-trend graphics are more likely to capture the attention of social media users, standing out in a vast sea of content. They are inherently more shareable and likable, driving higher levels of engagement and increasing brand reach.
  • Increase brand reach: Utilizing on-trend graphic design increases your chances of getting noticed by publications that focus on design and marketing. They might use your social media content as an example to illustrate their articles, therefore introducing your brand to a broader audience.
  • Showcase personality: Creative trending graphics help differentiate your brand from competitors and provide an opportunity to showcase its personality and values. This fosters an emotional connection with your audience and humanizes your brand identity.

In this article, we've curated the top five graphic design trends for social media branding in 2024. We’ll delve into what they are, their ideal use cases, and how brands can effectively integrate them into their social media design to boost engagement, enhance brand perception, and increase brand reach.

3D hyper-surrealism 

A captivating blend of hyper-realism and surrealism, the 3D hyper-surrealism design trend intertwines lifelike elements with playful flourishes, with vibrant hues, abstract forms, and daring typography.

Example of the 3D hyper-surrealism design trend in social media post design
3D hyper-surrealism social media post design by šaška™ via 99designs by Vista

What sets this graphic design trend apart and makes it a must-have for marketers seeking to refresh their social media branding is its versatility. Whether you're ready to dive in and incorporate 3D mascots and characters or prefer to dip your toes in with strategically placed 3D graphics, the options are bountiful.

Best use cases: the 3D hyper-surrealism design trend will be most suitable for food and beverage, music, and clothing brands. This graphic design trend is best for Instagram stories and X covers.

Inflatable 3D

Delving deeper into the 3D hyper-surrealism trend unveils a fascinating sub-trend: inflatable 3D. Here, experimental typography and imagery take center stage, morphing into bubbly fonts and squishy shapes. The color palette, dominated by iridescent pink and blue tones, feels nostalgic with a contemporary twist. This trend offers a lighthearted and memorable approach to social media branding.

Inflatable 3D social media graphic design trend
Inflatable 3D social media post design by bright_woo_art via Instagram
Inflatable 3D social media graphic design trend
Inflatable 3D social media post design by cvit_ukraine via Instagram

Best use cases: Inflatable 3D is useful for brands seeking to establish a heartfelt connection with their audience, whether appealing to millennials by tapping into the power of nostalgia or Gen Z through playful, visually engaging content. This graphic design trend is best for Instagram stories and carousels.

Example of the inflatable 3D design trend in social media post design
Social media post design that uses inflatable 3D by noemibuehlerr via Instagram

Bento box grids

Inspired by the compartments of traditional Japanese bento boxes, the Bento box grids graphic design trend  arranges “boxes” of varying sizes to present information or graphics, creating a cohesive and visually striking layout.

Bento box grids graphic design trend for social media
Bento box grids graphic design by Dirty barn via Behance

Bento box grids shine when it comes to social media infographics on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn. Their modular layout lends itself seamlessly to the fragmented storytelling often found in infographics. Whether you’re breaking down industry trends or simplifying complex concepts, Bento box grids provide the structure you need to captivate and inform your audience.

Bento box grids graphic design trend used for an Instagram post
Instagram post using Bento box grids by hisuperhi via Instagram

Best use cases: Bento box grids shine when it comes to social media infographics on platforms like Instagram and LinkedIn. Their modular layout lends itself to the fragmented storytelling often found in infographics. Whether you’re breaking down industry trends or simplifying complex concepts, Bento box grids provide the structure you need to captivate and inform your audience. 

Freehand revival

Drawing inspiration from Japanese culture, particularly the aesthetic philosophy of wabi-sabi (a world view that focuses on accepting flaws), this 2024 graphic design trend celebrates imperfection and incompleteness. The freehand revival trend invites us into a world of hand-drawn lines where beauty lies in the imperfections.

Freehand revival graphic design trend elements in an Instagram post
Instagram post using freehand revival graphic design trend elements by whatisfeminine via Instagram

For brands looking to infuse their social media designs with a touch of authenticity and personality, freehand revival offers a handy graphic design solution. Imagine Instagram posts and story highlight covers featuring handwritten text,. These hand-drawn elements add a human touch to digital content, creating a sense of connection and warmth that resonates with audiences.

Handwritten elements in an Instagram post design
Instagram post using the freehand revival graphic design trend by cvit_ukraine via Instagram

Alternatively, brands can explore freehand drawings to enhance their social media visuals, from custom product illustrations to playful doodles in Stories.

Hand-drawn illustrations as a part of an Instagram post design
Instagram post design promoting a music event with hand-drawn illustrations by hvlv.music via Instagram
Freehand revival graphic design trend for social media branding
An example of Instagram branding that taps into the Freehand revival graphic design trend by ardhy via Pinterest

Best use cases: Freehand revival is a versatile graphic design trend that resonates with many industries, particularly those seeking to convey authenticity, creativity, and human connection. This 2024 trend will be a particularly good fit for the social media branding of creative agencies and studios, artisanal and craft businesses, and wellness and lifestyle brands, NGOs, food and beverage brands.

Cluttercore

Cluttercore is a 2024 graphic design trend that takes maximalism to new heights, celebrating self-expression with unapologetic boldness and vibrancy. The trend is all about making a statement, grabbing attention, and reveling in excess and extravagance.

Cluttercore design trend in an Instagram post graphic
Cluttercore graphic design trend by hum_gooool via Instagram

Cluttercore is known for its thick strokes, vibrant colors, and the deliberate overlap of graphics as a means of self-expression. Whether it's a riot of colors on a canvas or a cacophony of patterns in a digital design, cluttercore embraces chaos.

Cluttercore design trend in an Instagram post graphic
Cluttercore graphic design trend in an Instagram post by hisuperhi via Instagram
Cluttercore graphic design trend for social media branding
Instagram branding tapping into the Cluttercore trend by gannelanye via Pinterest

Best use cases: Whether you're a fashion brand looking to push the boundaries of creativity or a design agency seeking to express yourself in bold new ways, cluttercore offers a canvas for unbridled self-expression and creativity. It’s great for brands looking to attract rebellious audiences and appeal to Gen Z online.

Digital destruction 

Ever since the rise of AI that can generate flawless digital art, there’s a rebellion brewing in the creative community—one that celebrates imperfection and chaos. Enter digital destruction, a trend that draws inspiration from the fragmented world of computers, transforming glitches and distortions into captivating designs.

Pixelated graphic design]
Digital destruction design by Bas van der Burgh via Behance

Digital destruction is a bold departure from clean design trends, opting instead for pixelation, fractured typography, and distortion. If you want to make this graphic design trend a part of your social media branding, borrow one or more elements, from distorted fonts to pixelated images.

An Instagram post design that uses distorted typography
An Instagram post using distorted typography by aborecords via Instagram

Best use cases: The digital destruction trend is useful for brands seeking to make a bold statement and challenge the status quo. Whether you're a tech startup looking to disrupt the industry or an artist pushing the boundaries of digital art, this graphic design trend offers opportunity for experimentation and innovation.

So, you're up to speed with the hottest graphic design trends, but this knowledge is just the tip of the iceberg. 

Practical know-how about how to integrate these trends into your social media branding will.... Get ready for a crash course in maximizing the impact of 2024 graphic design trends on your brand’s social media presence. 

Not all graphic design trends are created equal, and what works for one brand may not resonate with another. Select trends that align with your target audience's preferences and your brand's unique story to maintain consistency and maximize engagement.

Example of a good trend-brand match:

For a Y2K clothing brand targeting Gen Z customers, embracing the cluttercore trend could be a smart move. Its bold, expressive nature aligns with the brand's youthful and energetic vibe, while resonating with the target audience's desire for self-expression.

Example of a poor trend-brand match:

On the other hand, a financial services company jumping on the cluttercore bandwagon might miss the mark. The trend's chaotic and unstructured aesthetic could clash with the brand's values of stability and trustworthiness, potentially alienating its audience and undermining its credibility.

Each graphic design trend carries its own intrinsic style and characteristics that should harmonize with a brand's identity for effective integration. Your chosen trend should complement your brand's personality, values, and target audience (understand the latter using market research, surveys, social media analytics, and customer feedback).

Start small 

Don't reinvent your brand identity from scratch when it comes to jazzing up your social media branding with on-trend graphic design. Tinkering with your logo too often can spell trouble, resulting in decreased brand awareness and a shrinking follower count. After all, your followers might not recognize your brand in their social media feeds, leading them to hit that unfollow button. So, while a fresh look is cool, let's ensure it's not at the expense of your follower base!

Strive for a balance between trendy and timeless. There’s no need to commit to the trend fully; you can start small and—granted that your social media followers like the new look—increasingly add more elements to your designs.

When introducing graphic design trends to your social media branding, adopting a strategic approach is essential. Rather than overwhelming your audience with a sudden influx of new styles, drip-feed trends gradually to maintain interest and engagement.

Test the waters first with something casual and fleeting like Instagram stories, then move towards more permanent social media content formats. Here’s an example of how to drip-feed a graphic design trend on socials:

  1. Stories: Experiment with graphic design trends in Instagram or Facebook stories to keep your content fresh and engaging. This is also a risk-free way to test different trends, measuring their success or popularity without fully committing.
  2. Feed posts: Once you soft launch the new graphic design trend via stories (and receive positive feedback), slowly add elements into your feed posts. But remember, we’re still taking baby steps, no rush!
  3. Instagram highlights covers: Update your Instagram highlights covers with on-trend graphic designs that reflect your brand's aesthetic.
  4. Facebook headers: Revamp your Facebook header, cementing your commitment to the chosen trend.
  5. LinkedIn headers: If it’s a trend that you know will become an integral part of your brand identity, it’s time to make things official on LinkedIn.
  6. Update your social media style guide to make sure all your publications use the new design elements.

Embrace storytelling

Always be authentic in your choice of trends; keep your brand's story, values, and who you are at your core when considering which graphic design trend (if any at all) to go for. Leverage these 2024 trends to weave compelling narratives that resonate with your audience on a deeper level. Whether through captivating imagery, evocative colors, or distinctive fonts, use design trends as tools to tell stories that engage your audience.

Ensure consistency across all social media platforms 

When introducing graphic design trends across your brand's social media channels, consistency is paramount. Ensure that the same design elements are integrated across all platforms to maintain brand recognition and cohesion. Here's how to achieve consistency:

  • Uniform design elements: Use the same graphic design trends for color schemes, typography, and visual motifs—whether vibrant 3D illustrations or minimalist cluttercore aesthetics—across all social media platforms to create a unified brand identity.
  • Coordinated visual assets: Ensure that social media assets, such as profile pictures, cover photos, and posts, reflect the same design trends across all platforms. This ensures that your brand's visual identity remains recognizable to your audience.
  • Standardized branding guidelines: Develop branding guidelines that outline how graphic design trends should be applied and executed across different platforms. These guidelines should include specifications for dimensions, color codes, and fonts.

Monitor, analyze, and evolve

Your social media branding journey doesn't end with implementation—it's an ongoing process of refinement and evolution. Actively seek feedback from your social media followers about your brand's design changes. Pay attention to their reactions and comments to gauge the effectiveness of your choices.

It’s also paramount to regularly analyze the performance of your social media branding efforts. Track metrics such as engagement and click-through rates, as well as follower growth, and click-through rates to see whether or not your social media designs work. 

Remember that social media landscapes are constantly evolving, and so should your branding strategy. Keep a finger on the pulse of emerging design trends and industry developments. Plus, pay attention to what's resonating with your audience and be prepared to adapt your social media branding accordingly.

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