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Social Media Design Trends of 2020

Each new year, trends come and go for social media design as marketers and designers scramble to stick out from massive content clutter. The start of the new decade gives us a chance to intensify our search for more forward and fresh-thinking perspectives.

So far, it looks like 2020 will be the year of extremes as designers try to balance uncontrolled and hectic-looking newsfeeds and online scenery.

Throwback ➤ Social Media Design Trends of 2019 and 2018

Expect bolder colors or even the opposite in tomorrow’s social media landscape as the new decade’s 1st year will be a testing ground of opposing aesthetics to see which will stick. Here are our thoughts on 2020’s possible social media trends.


Cyber Punk vs Muted Color Palettes

The last few years of the 2010s were filled with the promises that bigger, bolder and in-your face colors and designs would break through the clutter, and for a while it did. For 2020, some say it’s going to get even bigger, bolder and neon.

Vuk N
Lanz Jaurice Linchangco

These Cyber Punk color palettes are inspired by futuristic themes that mainly focus on bright, bold and oversaturated hues, giving a surreal or otherworldly feel to designs. These visually strong designs, when done well, will be thumb-stopping and irresistible especially for younger audiences.

The 2nd example shows just how simple it can be for brands to edit photos to move into the trend as well.

On the other side of the color spectrum, the muted color scheme has been gaining momentum as some designers opt for a softer aesthetic that highlights certain pieces rather than fill the entire canvas.

In the sea of overly-saturated designs, this color strategy is an effective trend on social media as a way of expressing that your brand is calmer and a little easier to love.

Designers will most likely pick a side on this debate throughout the year, but both look to be strong contenders for social media design as both are provocative and cool choices that are easily implemented in monthly content calendars.


Monochrome and Image/Text Masking

Remember when Duotone was a big thing? Well, it has now evolved into a more loving focus on single colors. In the last 2 years, we saw a big move in social media design that started to focus more on monochromatic choices and color schemes.

Valerie (Childers) Parks

This is a very easy-to-use trend for smaller companies or those looking to create a strong relationship between various elements and photos/designs for branding.

In 2020, we expect monochromatic filters to be included in another popular mainstay of social media design, Image or Text Masking.


Surreal vs Authenticity

Authenticity has been having a lot of time in the spotlight as consumers look away from brands hard selling products and look for meaningful connections instead.

However, in general, audiences mainly want to steer clear from brands only looking to focus on designs that are product focused, which led to surreal designs becoming a growing trend in the industry.

For some brands and designers, being online means giving less of an authentic experience that consumers can have anywhere and instead give them a more exciting and novel experience with majestic dreamscapes and product shoots that showcase imagination over the practical and realistic.

VA Designer

Alongside this, many brands and consumers still stand by the authentic approach.

With Instagram’s slow but continuous removal of Likes from newsfeeds, authentic “no-edit” images are said to be the way to ensure engagement for those who use the platform to sell such as Instagram business partners and influencers.

So far, it is mainly trend-breakers such as Nike that is pushing boundaries with surreal designs but it should be something that mid-tier brands consider as a way to separate from competition and give consumers a more different experience.


Minimalist vs Maximalist Typography

Typography is definitely going to continue trending in the new decade, but in a conflicting form.

While only a few years ago, the debate with typography was between serif and non-serif, now designers have to consider whether to go big or small as both Minimalist and Maximalist type heat up in 2020.

Together We Create

Whether it will be exciting giant letterforms in bezel or 3D or editorial type that is focused on simplicity and legibility, type will continue to be an exciting way to stand out this year.


Uncertainty and Creativity

Social media design in 2020 will be unpredictable, as the new decade will hopefully bring new wonderful perspectives and styles as data and tech become more integrated with design.

The only real prediction this year about design will be its unique blend of contrasting trends as designers and brands search for new perspectives or more intriguing ways to capture audiences’ attentions.

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