Every year the competition for our attention intensifies and 2023 will be no different. To stand out in the increasingly crowded marketplace, eye-catching design and user-friendly interfaces have never been more important. Creative Lead, Sam Hubbard has immersed himself in design predictions to bring you this express guide to the digital design trends to keep your eye on in 2023.

Type-lead design

Large format type-led headlines and larger body copy, are set to become more popular across web design and social media. This is good for accessibility, performance, loading times and the impact of brand messaging.

What will this look like?

  • Large impactful fonts
  • Pure type layouts
  • Expressive/illustrative typography
  • Text overlapping images (continued trend from 2022)
showing font types for digital design

Accessibility becomes a legal requirement

All European Union member states have adopted the European Accessibility Act into law this year and in the UK there have been a set of accessibility regulations in place since 2018. With 1 in 5 UK residents having a long-term illness or disability, it is becoming increasingly important to make your website and brand accessible for all.

What will this look like? 

  • Considered type legibility
  • Use of highly contrasting colours 
  • Large, descriptive buttons for example ‘Learn more about Tann Westlake’ rather than
    Read more’ 
  • Use of descriptive alt text or captions on images, for use with screen readers
showing the difference between contrasts for digital design

Illustration and digital maximalism

Detailed, impactful illustrations will become increasingly popular in digital design this year. This will be in the form of heavily styled illustrated branding, relying less on photography. 

What will this look like?  

  • 3D illustration trend will return
  • Bespoke brand illustrations, unique artwork – not bought from stock websites
  • Overstimulation and shouting loudly will rebel against the recent minimalism trend
  • Illustrated and playful cursors 
  • Animations and micro-animations will also become popular
showing 3D illustration for digital design

Y2K/90s aesthetic

It’s commonly believed that trends roll around in 30-year cycles. Y2K and 90s styling has already started to flow through to all areas of design and fashion. Recent studies have shown that late 90s/early 00s nostalgia is especially comforting to Gen-Z, following the pandemic.

What will this look like?  

  • Back to basics digital elements
  • Pixelated iconography
  • Retro typefaces
showing what the 90s aesthetic looks like in digital design

Sustainability considerations

In contrast to the busyness of the above trends, more designers are considering their environmental impact and digital footprint, experimenting with low-carbon web design techniques. In 2023 as we become more and more aware of all the actions that need to be taken in the face of climate change, sustainability considerations will rise to prominence.

What will this look like?  

  • More text-based design, less imagery
  • New compressed image formats, eg, WebP format
  • Audio replacing video, widely accessible fonts, dark background colours that use less energy

Read more about low-carbon websites here

showing ways you can make your sites sustainable in digital design


Adding interactive elements helps to make the user experience more targeted, personal and fun. But far from mere whimsy, interactive design is now predicted to play a bigger role in the customer journey and brand experience.

What will this look like? 

  • Light and dark modes, and customisable user experiences
  • Personalised content (eg, user’s location in copy)
  • Immersive and non-traditional scrolling like this example
  • Just-for-fun animations, games and features

Other trends

A few other general observations:

  • Art Deco styling is making a comeback
  • Rise in AR & VR, particularly in e-commerce – more than a third of Gen-Z are predicted to be shopping with AR by 2025 (See this example from Ikea and read more here)
  • More serif fonts appearing
  • Mass migration to Figma expected within the industry (partly from XD after Adobe buy-out)
showing other digital design trends such as Art Deco Styling

To summarise, 2023 will be a year where designers are more sympathetic towards sustainability and accessibility, whilst experimenting with new tools and techniques such as AR and VR. Design style trends will include a bespoke illustration with a focus on digital maximalism, typography-led design and a 90s/Y2K aesthetic. If you’re excited to explore how any of these trends might turbo-charge your brand we’d love to help. Why not book in a no-strings-attached chat today?