Inspiration & Trends

Design trends 2023 and how to incorporate them into your print on demand designs

Published:
March 28, 2023
8
min read
Table of contents:

Keeping designs up to date makes your e-commerce print on demand shop feel relevant and modern. It signals to your customer that not only they will get the best and most on-trend items in your shop but also that you take care of your business and have a forward-thinking mindset. So keep reading to learn more about design trends in 2023 and how you can incorporate them into your print on demand designs!

Overall feel of 2023 in graphic design

A definite trend of 2023 is AI (artificial intelligence) generated and AI-inspired designs, as well as designs that make us have a futuristic feeling. To balance out the future-seeking design trends, another part of what is hot this year is looking back into the past and mimicking old-school designs with a modern twist. Minimalism is still rising and is expressed through flat designs and serif fonts. And last but not least, complex compositions and maximalism are starting to enter the design arena.

Escapism

Escapism trend is continuing from last year and making its way into 2023. To make things interesting, it is evolving and getting more and more experimental. What started as real situations with a fantasy touch is now turning more and more into fantasy situations with a touch of reality. There are no rules and the imagination of the designer can run free. It brings the viewer into amazing imaginary worlds where anything ispossible, everything is beautiful, even perfect and unreal.

If you are not yet selling print on demand products with an escapism theme, you might want to hop on the trend as soon as you can. Escapism is perfect for canvas prints – they are immersive, detailed, and mesmerizing to look at. This art style can look good in large-size prints, for example, framed posters, as well as smaller ones. It all depends on the artwork and your customers’ needs.

Manas Bhatia

AI-generated art

Building on escapism, AI-generated art is definitely a hot topic this year. With programs like DALL-E and Midjourney digital creators are experimenting with AI and creating fun and surprising designs. The main gist has been asking the AI to create something that seemingly doesn’t go together, for example, a dancing banana in space riding a cow, and then seeing what AI comes up with.

AI creates images that are unusual and reminds of escapism. An artist then can decide what to do with it – either take the concept and develop it further, get inspiration for a different artwork, or just take the AI design as it is. Or, of course, the last option – toss it if it doesn’t work.

As with everything new, there are controversial opinions about AI and whether it is even art, but it undeniably has influenced the digital design space. Artists are experimenting, trying new things, and going beyond concepts that have worked before.

For your e-commerce shop, definitely try out the trend and proudly add a tag stating that the design is either AI-generated or created with AI assistance. People are excited and amazed to see what AI can come up with, and it can become a strong selling point for your items.

“a dancing banana in space riding a cow” DALL-E prompt

“a dancing banana in space riding a cow” Midjourney prompt

Maximalism

The busy mind of the 21st century is making its way to paper or at least to the digital canvas. Maximalism as opposed to minimalism, brings everything in – colors, shapes, and fonts. These designs are busy, colorful, and full of noise. They attract attention and leaves a viewer turning their heads to have a second look. They are bold and perfect for billboards, magazine covers, and so on.

Maximalism is the perfect trend to try on a canvas tote bag. It will look colorful and abstract and will still have a message to say. T-shirts and hoodies are also good candidates for exploiting the maximalism theme.

Behance, Júlia Mota Albuquerque

Complex compositions

Complex compositions try to show life as it is – full of details, elements, and different characters. They usually involve lots of elements and lots of stories in one design. Complex compositions are definitely more suited for designs where there is space to express all the little details.

This trend can find a lot of places where to shine in your print on demand shop. Starting from canvas or poster prints and ending with clothing items like t-shirts and hoodies. People love to wear items that are unique and interesting, and complex compositions definitely check both of these boxes.

Anastasia S.

Abstract gradient/Liquid gradient

Gradient is all the hype this year. If you want your designs to look sleek and modern, definitely include a good gradient moment. Gradients in 2023 are expressed through different shapes and diffuse in blurs. They feel like colorful water falling through different forms and leaving an imprint.

For print on demand items, you can experiment with minimalistic decor, for example, creating canvas or posters just with gradient colors. Or use the gradient as a background for inspirational quotes. The thequoted text can be minimalistic or bold and maximalistic – it all depends on your preference.

Freepik, Nadyazharul1

Minimalism and Serif family fonts

Minimalism is a trend that is not going anywhere anytime soon. Even with the rise of maximalism, minimalism stays strong and supports the values of today’s society – conscious living, care for the environment and Earth’s resources, and conciseness. Minimalism is expressed through solid colors and easily readable fonts like the ones from the Serif family.

Minimalism is perfect for any kind of print on demand item – t-shirts and hoodies with one-word print, canvas with just a few words or elements, and tote bags with one sentence. The theme is to say it all with just one word, one shape, or one sentence. Keep it short but powerful!

Behance, Hello Comrade

Twisted letters

To make a text interesting and artful, the fonts have started to twist, bend, and warp. Usually, it is one or two words that are used as the main attraction of the design. There are different distortions happening – from letters being stretched to letters having knots and folds.

Twisted fonts are great to use for a simple design. You can use one word, any word, and make it into a stylish print. It will look good on posters, as well as tote bags.

Pixel Surplus, Toni Studio

Flat designs

Two-dimensional designs are definitely sneaking into the design world. It means that illustrations, logos, graphics, and digital art are ditching all the extras like shadows and 3D feel and leaving just the most necessary parts – the contours that make an element recognizable. Even though the designs are not decorated with extra garnish, they are still interesting, engaging, and pleasing to the eye.

Flat design is perfect for clothing items like t-shirts, hoodies, or tote bags. They will look cute, fun, and attractive –something for the modern human of younger generations.

Freepik, Goodstudiominsk

Risograph

Risograph images bring us back to the past with a touch of today’s world. Artists are using this technique in digital art to create minimalistic designs with depth and interest. This trend is seen in posters and product packaging, rocking colorful shapes and contours.

Try a risograph-inspired design on clothing items! For example, t-shirts or hoodies. Marry this trend with minimalism and create a small element with risograph properties or go the other way and go bold with a large, colorful design. Either way, you will hit the 2023 design jackpot.

Behance, Julian Klein ,Hendrik Klein

Retroline art

Retro elements are definitely having their comeback. People love the old-school look that reminds them of simpler times. Designs in this style usually are playful, fun, and humorous – they often resemble elevated doodles teenagers used to scribble on their notebooks with felt-tip markers.

Retro line art is great for t-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags. A fun thing to do is to create a design about a burning topic in today's society, for example, veganism, minimalism, social system, etc. but make it retro. You will get an interesting combination of a design that looks like it is from the previous century but has topical information.

Behance, James Belkevitz

Punk

There is always something to rebel against, and 2023 is not an exception. Emotional and mental consequences of the pandemic, economic recession, hostility, and social stigma are just some of the issues that the world is facing at the moment. Punk as an art style is a reflection of that inner rebel that wants to get out. In design, punk is messy, chaotic, and defiant but that is sometimes exactly what people need – brutal honesty and imperfect compositions.

You don’t necessarily need to get political or economical with your print on demand designs if you don’t want to. However, you can take from punk the form of expression: the fonts, graffiti art, and collage-inspired looks.

Behance, Lusel Corazón

90ties space psychedelia

Space is coming to Earth and is wrapped in bright colors, unusual shapes, and unseen sights. 90ties space psychedelia makes a comeback and brings back some exciting ideas and fun future designs. It’s all about mixing together colors and imaginary space scenarios with everyday human life.

If you are interested in adding the 90's space psychedelia designs to your print on demand shop, start experimenting! Mix together colors, imagine fun situations, and put it all on the print on demand item of your choice.

Pablo Espinosa

Conclusion

You don’t have to ditch all your existing designs to follow the design trends of 2023. However, you can definitely mix some of the trends that speak to you into your prints. Not only will it make your brand look more fresh and up-to-date, but you will also get some new ideas, perspectives, and renewed design portfolio. Have fun designing!

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