By Roman Berezhnoi September 23, 2021 123 views


User experience may be relatively new to the scene of digital design. But the process of conceptualizing and creating impactful design is not. 

For thousands of years, humans have harnessed the power of visual communication to sell, convert, and connect with people, regardless of the language they speak. When executed properly, good design immediately grabs the observer’s attention and prompts them to take a certain action.

In the past, the only way to express visual communication was through print design—the process of creating an image or design on paper or textiles that were reproducible and tangible to human touch. However, we now live in an age where digital design is quickly becoming the most popular form of design—and the most ubiquitous. 

Although printing still has its place amongst practical artists and designers around the world, many creatives are taking their eye for design and applying it to web development and the UX sector. 

Whether you prefer digital or traditional design, the history of print design is what shaped almost everything we now understand about composition, grading, style, and color palettes. 

By drawing on the past as an inspiration for the future, print design can help UX designers create sites that feel both familiar to users from a visual perspective, yet hold all the functions and intrigues of 2021’s social, cultural, and technological context. 

Here are nine trends taken from traditional print design that are easy to incorporate into UX and UI design for more relevant and engaging creative concepts. 


When it comes to fast communication and execution, icons are an extremely useful tool to have in your back pocket. Not only are they simple to create and customize for larger projects, but they tell a quick visual story without the user needing much prior knowledge of a brand. 

Flat, 2D illustrations first rose to design fame in the 1940s Switzerland. They then made bold reappearances in the 2000s as both Microsoft and Apple re-popularized simple, intuitive shapes. After a brief lull in flat design popularity, simple, minimalistic design concepts are back and predicted to stick around. 


Muted colors are colors that have been made passive with either black, white, or a separate complementary color. A muted color palette goes hand in hand with the flat design concept, both of which are minimalistic, modern, and attractive. 

Subdued colors are much easier on the eye and allow designers to create depth and color hierarchy without needing to rely on shading or hard lines. By using a muted color scheme in 2021, UX designers can communicate modernity, elegance, and relevancy. 


Serif fonts are fonts with small lilts or embellishments on the corners. Since their debut in the 15th century, serif fonts have been the go-to font choice for newspapers, magazines, and posters from all over the world. To this day, they remain a staple part of any designer’s font collection. 

Because of their rich history, serif fonts are perceived as trustworthy, elegant, and familiar to users. For a large chunk of the population, they may even evoke a sense of nostalgia. In 2021 and beyond, serif fonts continue to communicate dependability and safety. 


When it comes to quickly conveying an important universal message, symbols and icons are the direction to go in. Classic symbols transcend mere language and utilize the instinctive contextualization that popular symbols provide. 

Currently, pop culture is turning towards symbols of power, growth, and unity to help people cope with the stress of a pandemic-stricken world. 

For many people, the world is changing in ways that are difficult to keep up with, which is why the design industry is turning towards icons, symbols, and talismans to convey solidarity and faith. 


Surrealism in design defies nature and embraces the nonsensical. With surrealism, reality marries with imagination. This classical genre of art has found its way to the heart of modern design, and attracts a large percentage of online users. 

Through surrealism, both print and digital designers can express their anxieties about the world in a fun, topsy-turvy way that gives users the escape they are dreaming of. In the context of 2021, “seamless” surrealism denotes the simplified, modernized approach to traditional surrealism. 


Adding geometric shapes to your design can create much-needed structure, order, and consistency. Whether you use sharp-edged shapes to convey a sense of division on a website’s home page, or employ soft, curvy forms to communicate fun or femininity, shapes add structure. 

The introduction of shapes to a sequence can help users follow a storyline or be guided more effectively towards a call to action


Color gradients and transitions have been popular in design techniques for a while now, and remain at the epicenter of modern print and UX design trends. 

In the future, we can expect to see this trend pushed further, as designers add texture to shade transitions for a more tangible, kinetic look and feel. Particularly useful for sites or pages with a darker flair, blurriness and grain overlays provide an interesting background for fonts to pop against. 


In the past, designers and artists were quite happy to sit on different sides of the fence. However, in 2021, creatives are less concerned with borders and more excited by artistic fusions. 

As a result, websites and brands are incorporating more complex shapes and textures into their designs that appeal to users from a purely aesthetic perspective. 

The combination of rising digital artists and a highly competitive design industry is indicative that fine art is here to stay within the current and future creative outlook of UX design. 


In 2021, we are seeing a greater awareness of diversity in design than ever before. The intense stress that came with the pandemic pushed consumers into a state of disarray, prompting them to seek out content that gave them comfort and affirmation. 

In an increasingly digital world, many people are returning to simpler ways of life that help them feel connected to their community. The warmth of authenticity and humanization in design is anticipated to play a significant role in how users perceive brands, both right now and in the future. 


Print design is the foundation upon which all other designs are built. Incorporating print design trends into UI and UX is a smart way for designers to take the theory into the 21st Century.

If you want to become a better UI/UX designer, learning how to incorporate these nine trends will let you harness your creativity in a whole new, user-friendly way.

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