Elegance, sophistication, and “proper design” are often associated with minimalism. However, the year 2022 sees graphic design embrace maximalism as one of the major trends. Bold and expressive, maximalism makes your designs stand out in the crowds and is a great outlet for self-expression.
Here is everything you need to know about the rising maximalism trend.
What is Maximalism?
Maximalism is the opposite of everything the minimalism trend embodies. While there is no exact definition, the term describes itself as a visual aesthetic that fills up every empty space with colors, forms, and patterns. Once described as “cluttered” and “overwhelming”, maximalism is now viewed as a form of personal self-expression.
Maximalism seems to make a comeback after the humdrum and anxiety of the pandemic and lockdown. Many people need creative outlets that reflect their emotions and desire, something that minimalism restricts. The trend is visible in various forms of designs, including graphic, digital, and mixed-media designs.
Maximalism also blends well with other 2022 design trends that seem to break through the minimalist conventions. The “anti-design” trend, for example, uses disruptions in visuals such as mixed typefaces, clashing bold colors, and asymmetrical lines or shapes—a more specific offset of maximalism.
Elements of Maximalism Design Trend
You can showcase maximalism in various graphic design works and styles, but there are visual characteristics they share. Here are the most notable ones:
Minimum White Space
Designers who want to explore maximalism should not be afraid of filling up the space. Maximalism fills as much space as possible, allowing designers to pour as many shapes, lines, motifs, and bursts of colors as possible.
Bold Colors and Clashing Combination
Maximalism design is not afraid of using bold colors. You can incorporate as few or many as possible, depending on the final effect to achieve. Unlike minimalism, maximalism encourages you to play with the boldest versions of primary and secondary colors.
This does not mean that you cannot use black-and-white designs. Some maximalist illustrations, artworks, and designs use black-and-white or monochromatic elements. The point is to make sure that the colors work together with other elements to create strong statements.
Multiple Fonts, Dense Texts
Maximalism encourages you to make fonts and texts more distinctive in your designs. This means combining multiple fonts, using a lot of texts, or actually turning them into parts of the forms. Maximalist designs also see designers using effects to make their fonts and texts more distinctive, like textured surfaces, chunky fonts, uneven lines, and many more.
Clashing or Multiple Patterns
Why stick with one pattern when you can mix two, three, or even four? Maximalism is not afraid of mixing patterns and motifs, even in a clashing way.
Layering images, shapes, and forms create dimension and textured designs. Maximalism uses a lot of layered images to create expressive, rich images. Layered images also create a sense of decadence, creating a lavish look in design visuals.
Speaking of layering, collages are great design methods to create a maximalist touch. When you create collages, you cut and paste images, motifs, colors, and shapes from different sources. The result is a mish-mashed visual with a sense of excess, freedom, and unpredictability.
“Organize” Your Chaos
Chaotic composition is not the only way to create maximalist designs. You can create a strong message by organizing the elements in your design. For example, you can probably compose a shape using letters or collages, but still with a lot of colors and textures incorporated in that composition. The clashing combination between chaotic elements and neatly composed shape will create a distinctive look.
Examples of Maximalist Designs
The works of Atelier Bingo, which consists of a pair of graphic designers from France, are famous for their rich details, bold colors, and abstract elements. They also incorporate different media in one work, creating clashing and distinctive looks.
Iranian graphic designer Homa Delvaray is known for her use of optical illusions and 3D effects. Her works hold the marks of maximalism, with rich details, bold colors, and even abstract elements. She is also known for incorporating calligraphic arts into more modern graphics, creating clashing visuals that deliver her messages effectively.
Interested in following 2022 graphic design trends? Maximalism can be your first step in creating a bold, distinctive look. Start incorporating elements of maximalism in your works to better express your ideas and make your messages louder.