I sat down recently with Venroy Joseph, our founder and chief creative, to discuss his take on this year’s graphic design trends. We are now on the verge of returning to life as we knew it. Are these trends still relevant after a chaotic year? And who are the big players implementing these designs? What I learned is, he isn’t paying much attention to these trends.

We talked about some the trends that are projected to influence graphic design over the next decade. Take for example, authentic representation that depicts the diverse world we live in. Or, appreciation for elements of nature, and socially conscious design. These are some trends I’d imagined would be relevant to the client work we do here at veJov Design. However, what I found is that mainstream big brands are not utilizing these trends. And, they don’t typically follow design trends. According to our chief creative, “simple, clean designs allow you to land with your audience.” He suggests instead that corporations are rebranding, which he called “The Debrand”.

What is debranding?

Over the last couple of years, brands have been shedding depth and detail from their logos. They are opting instead for simplistic and minimal designs. There could be a number of reasons brands are trending toward debranding. We suspect that after many years of technological advances that allow complex design work to be accomplished with far fewer steps, brands are tired of the visual excess. Instead, they are returning to more simplistic, timeless designs. Brands have also adapted to mobile-first design. In order to reach most people who access the internet on a mobile device, logos need to stand out among ads and other online distractions. And they have to do this within smaller real estate space (think favicons, social media profile pictures). Design is now being created with both identity and functionality interwoven from the very beginning.

What Venroy sees instead, is the execution of the 2021 graphic design trends mentioned above, in a brand’s marketing and messaging. This allows them to stay on brand visually while maintaining relevance with changing trends. And that’s pretty smart branding!