graphic design styles featured image
Graphic Design

Graphic Design Styles

Are you looking for that perfect graphic design style for your latest project? Maybe you cannot decide what visual type you should go with for your newest design. Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place.

Here I will tell you about the 5 most popular graphic design styles available and how you can choose among them. Now, if you want to learn about different design styles, you will have to read further, so let’s dive in.

How Can You Choose The Perfect Graphic Design Style?

Any graphic design project you do, you will start with it from scratch. In the beginning, you will be looking for inspiration from different design directions, which will help you create something unique.

Some might say that you can not create something original from existing designs. Still, if you take the bids of different styles and do not copy every line, you will definitely end up with a novelty.

Let’s look at an example:

Think about a new project. You are meeting the client for the first time. The client shows you a picture of the Apple logo and tells you they want their logo to look something like that.

Immediately you know that they want their logo design to be minimalistic, with a potent symbol as a primary element.

Now, remember the client must approve the graphic design style you choose for the project. Always ask them what type of style they would like their project to be based on.

If the client doesn’t know what they want, your job as a graphic designer is to suggest different styles and find out the right design direction they want to go with. The style they choose will be based on the design you’ll build upon.

person giving directions on a team meeting

If you miss this initial step and go with the approach where you only think what a client wants, you are likely to risk a rejection of your work.

That is why you should never go with your gut feeling designing something you think the client will like because they might have a totally different idea in their head. And because you didn’t collect the facts, you will have to start with the project again.

Discovering the right design direction will also help build a better client relationship. You will not waste unnecessary energy and time working on something that you will ultimately have to scrap because the client didn’t like it.

I cannot stress how important it is to get your client’s preference or option on the preferred graphic design style. I had to learn this hard when I was just a beginner graphic designer, and I got my first gig.

I remember how thrilled I was to land my first client. But in the middle of all this excitement, I made a rookie mistake – I didn’t ask the client’s preference about the design style. The client ultimately rejected the proposed design, and I had to create a new one according to their taste.

person pointing to a macbook computer screen

Ultimately, it just cost me some valuable time, nerves, and energy, which I would have better spent playing FIFA with my pals.

If you want to avoid the pain and bad feelings, you always need to be clear on the specific requirements your client likes. As I said before, the easiest way to see if you’re on the right is to send them some drafts of the project you are working on in different graphic design styles and see which one they prefer the most.

The design style they choose is what you should go with for the whole project. This is one trick that will make your life as a graphic designer much easier and less stressful. With the experience, you will immediately know what style is suitable for the given project.

Let’s say you are working on a project for a channel that creates kid’s videos on YouTube, and you’re asked to make a logo and other visual elements for it. Without any questions, you will propose bright, saturated colors which will create a joyful feeling that kid’s like.

Now that we have that covered let’s check some popular graphic design styles.

1. 3D Design Style

The third dimension is becoming one of the most popular methods this year. The three-dimensional graphic design is the opposite of flat design. The 3D design style characterizes its elements by the illusion of volume and mass, making the design look like it occupies space and is more realistic.

peter tarka at&t commercial
Peter Tarka – AT&T Commercial


  • Lighting effect
  • Mostly uses a single shade of color.
  • It will give you an illusion of volume and depth.

It mixes well with:

  • Masculine
  • Illustrations
  • Grunge
  • Fun and Playful styles
  • Abstract

2. Retro Style

The retro-style gives us a taste of the recent past. For example: Think about the first Air Jordan shoes that came out. They were released in 1985, and if they decide to re-launch the same model of Jordans, they will be called Retro Jordans. We want to recreate the past era for this graphic design style, which is usually vintage-inspired.

Musa WorkLab - Cabra Identity
Musa WorkLab – Cabra Identity


  • Illustration of old technology and music
  • Use of bold colors, different patterns, and shapes
  • Use of fonts with hard shadows or hand-drawn typefaces.

It mixes well with:

  • Typography
  • Nature
  • Luxury
  • Grunge
  • Flat
  • Amusement

3. Abstract Style

The abstract graphic design style is creative and one of my favorite techniques to work with. You can literally draw random lines and combine elements to form a design. If that grabs the viewer’s attention, you’ve achieved your goal.

Even though you can put together random shapes and forms, the design has to serve a purpose: to convey the client’s message.

Aurore Laga - Poster_Collection
Aurore Laga – Poster_Collection


  • Not defined representation of objects.
  • It depends on the opinion of an individual.


  • You need to choose the font style, which is relevant to your theme or project.
  • Design of the text will ultimately convey the brand message.

Mixes well with:

  • Feminine themes
  • Retro themes
  • Natural themes
  • Illustrations
  • Grunge
  • Fun and Entertainment
  • Flat

4. Photorealistic Illustrations

With this style, you will create an illustration from an artistic concept that will have inspiration from an actual image.

atomic 14 - FROOTI 18
Atomic 14 – FROOTI 18


  • You need well-defined lines
  • Need to detail the illustration perfectly.
  • Should have some resemblance to the original image.

It mixes well with:

  • Vintage designs
  • 3D designs
  • Natural designs
  • Feminine designs
  • Masculine designs
  • Grunge.

5. Minimalism Graphic Design Style

Minimalism graphic design style is one of the methods out there. Now, as you can guess, its name is defined by simplicity. It is different from other styles, where we use a lot of highly decorative elements.

Dist lemoto - Retro life
Dist lemoto – Retro life

With this style, you will use some simple elements to convey the message and successfully grab the onlooker’s attention. I like this style and working with it, but to make it look minimalistic and not too sterile is quite a challenge to achieve.


  • Use of a minimal number of elements
  • Use of a few selective colors
  • It helps communicate the message in a straight forward manner.

Mixes well with:

  • Luxurious graphic design.
  • Abstract designs.
  • Professional designs.
  • Feminine designs.
  • Geometric designs.
  • Flat designs.

Final Thoughts

There are many different graphic design styles you can choose among for your design project. In this article, we touched on the 5 most popular ones. In the end, it is up to you and your client’s preference with which style you want to go along with.

You Might Also Like...