Graphic design prints from the professionals- inspiration for 2021

If you read our recent Graphic Design Trends for 2021, you’ll know that the world of design is constantly evolving, with new colour palettes, themes and finishes inspiring many projects this year. So how can creatives keep up?

We reached out to a handful of our awesome customers to get their take on these trends and asked them to share their own tips on getting the most out of new creative projects. Plus, they’ve given us a sneak peek at some of their latest work, so read on to get inspired!

So tell us, what makes great graphic design?

Graphic design trends inspiration

Image credit: Aim Studio CO

Aim Studio Co: For me, great design is all about speaking and conveying a feeling to your audience. Something that suits its purpose and has a lasting, memorable impression.

Ellie B Studio: Great graphic design comes from the heart and the individual’s personality. I like to put a piece of myself in everything I design, and that of my clients – so our personalities shine through.

Happy Go Lucky Design: I feel that everyone has their own personal style, what they are drawn to and what they want to design and each are great in their own way.

Doodlemoo: For me, great graphic design leaves an impression on the viewer without them even knowing it, creating deep emotional reaction. Like art, it’s the balance between following rules and breaking them. 

Wild Flower Design: Great graphic design can be very subjective, but following some of the basic design rules (type setting, colour theory) can really make your design seem professional.

How do you go about starting a new design project?

Image credit: Doodlemoo

Doodlemoo: Colour is especially important in my work, so colour palettes and mood boards are usually where I start. Some projects come together easier than others. For example, when I worked recently on the branding for The Museum of Happiness, I could see some of the symbols we developed in my head from the beginning. It was a really playful and free project so was perfect for my love of illustration.

Ellie B Studio: I usually create a concept board which includes inspiration imagery, to set the mood of the branding rather than just the aesthetic. When I’m happy, I start to look at more specific areas like typefaces, patterns and colours that I think will work to create the desired ‘mood’.

Happy Go Lucky Design: Graphic design all starts with a story! I design a lot of Greeting Cards that show a unique story in a small print space. This reflects back to my illustration style, as I have always been drawn to story telling in my creative practice.

Aim Studio Co: I begin with initial ideas, sometimes even rough sketches on paper. I then gradually develop these through experimentation with different layouts, typefaces and colour palettes

Wild Flower Design: I start with strategy. Always. Understanding the history behind a business is the most important thing in creating meaningful branding. I like to research the businesses’ story, their competitors and target audience to help form a visual direction.

What do you make of the graphic design trends for 2021?

Image credit: Wild Flower Design

Wild Flower Design: I’m definitely a fan of graphic design trends. I like to experiment with them when I’m doing my passion projects. Right now, I’m really loving the nature-inspired trend and I have some work in the pipeline that might just match this vibe.

Ellie B Studio: I am all about muted colour palettes! This is something I’ve definitely been influenced by for my latest collection of stationery. I wanted something neutral, minimal and timeless, which can appeal to a range of audiences. My latest Greeting Cards are made from Recycled or Kraft paper, as natural textures are also something I think makes a product special.

Happy Go Lucky: ‘Back to nature’ is the graphic design trend I’m most drawn to this year. We have spent so much time indoors and I feel that a lot of us are craving the great outdoors.

Doodlemoo: Metallic embellishment is a big one for me! I absolutely love my new rose gold Stickers and my gold Foil prints have been very popular. It’s good to dip into the latest trends as long as it goes with your brand and design style.

Aim Studio Co:  I think nature-inspired design, particularly organic shapes, are quite versatile to design with. as they allow a little more creative freedom. Pairing these two design styles with Recycled or Uncoated Paper for print gives a really lovely organic finish.

What considerations should be made when it comes to printing and paper?

Image credit: Ellie B Studio

Ellie B Studio: How do you want the customer to feel about your business when they get their order? For example, if you want to give the audience a lux experience, invest money into the special touches like Foiling. This resonates with the customer as you being a brand that goes a little further for customer satisfaction. If you care about the little things, the customer knows you care about them.

Aim Studio Co: When choosing specs for printing, I always think of the end user and put myself in their shoes. For a luxury product, I love adding soft touch (velvet) lamination as it creates a tangible element that the user can experience.

Happy Go Lucky: For me it goes back to what I believe in personally, so I really strive to make my home as ethical and green as possible. This really shows in my Greetings Cards and Art Prints where I only used Recycled Paper.

Doodlemoo: I think different papers give different effects and can make or break the design, so choosing this carefully is very important. Packaging, again can be a simple detail like a bespoke tissue paper or a Branded Sticker which would help customers remember you. 

Wild Flower Design: Colour and text size are probably my biggest two considerations. I always make sure I’m designing in CMYK for print and that any RGB colours I have used, translate well into CMYK. There’s nothing worse than designing a bright pink Thank You Card and then it arrives in a slightly dull off-purple sort of colour!

What is your top tip for other small businesses starting out in the graphic design industry?

Greeting card designs

Greeting card designs by Happy Go Lucky

Ellie B Studio: Listen to what YOU think looks best, and avoid looking too much at what other designers are doing. Don’t worry too much if you feel you don’t have a set ‘style’, experimenting and doing different things makes for growth. Be yourself, be kind and never stop learning!

Happy Go Lucky Designs: Dont be scared to put yourself out there. So many people are doing the thing that you want to do that are probably half as talented as you – keep going.

Doodlemoo: Your primary concern should always be the needs of the client. Do you research to really get to know the brand you’re working for.

Aim Studio Co: Surround yourself with fresh creative inspiration, and feel content in your workspace. Having a creative space around you will help make you feel motivated and inspired to work. Maybe mix up your workspace by rearranging things and adding new prints and desk accessories!

Wild Flower Design: Quantity over quality. A lot of new designers in the industry obsess over that first Instagram post or first project and spend days trying to make it ‘perfect’. But, there’s no such thing as a perfect design, and if you keep spending time trying to tweak your designs, you’re never going to actually get any content out there!

And there you have it, a host of graphic design tips straight from the designers making it happen in 2021. So why not let your creativity meet our craft? Translate your designs into quality print with our curated range of expertly sourced products. With a huge choice of papers, finishes and luxury additions like FoilingLaser Cutting and White Ink, creating products you’re proud to sell is simple. Hit the link below and get started today.

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About the author

Caitlin is our Social Media guru and lover of all things food and travel. When she's not scrolling through TikTok you'll find her meticulously planning her next adventure abroad.

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