Inside Icons8 illustration lab: 2024 trends unveiled

A list of what comes next in digital art from a professional point of view. And how we are using this knowledge in our illustrations.

Here is the thing: we have been creating illustrations since 2013, and we always look up to current trends. However, instead of just following them, we strive to upgrade them to offer Icons8 users the most up-to-date assets to choose from. These are a few of the artworks we have made lately based on this principle. They are all different, but all about making illustrations great again!

Living up to standard flat styles

Classic corporative flat images are often boring and barely stand out. A lot of people use them just to cover some empty space in their design. We decided to turn some tables here and add emotions, bright colors, modern clothes, and accessories to make a lively and saturated flat. Animated adds even more magic to that:

Bringing emotions

As we see it now, creating just some nice-looking images is already not enough. The audience became more picky. To impress users, you need to click with them and provide a new experience through your design.

Cute and quirky

Instead of clean, generic illustrations, we go with cute elements and scenes that fuel emotions.

Sweet, exaggerated illustrations, funny scenarios…

… and the whole pack with different emotions images, inspired by Dysney’s “Inside Out.” This will definitely draw the audience’s attention.

Nostalgia

Old-fashioned techniques and nostalgia are on trend: for example, 8-bit pixeled elements and cartoonish mascot aesthetics. The animation here brings a feeling of video games.

Mixing styles

In our experimental testing playground, we like to play with various techniques and merge styles that seem to be very different together. Photorealistic elements that are mixed with 3D and vectors with various textures look satisfyingly trendy:


Pro tip: the more eclectic the images are, the easier it gets to mix and match them to create a collage in any graphic editor.

Coming up next

Working with AI

For our future projects, we gonna mix our professionally hand-crafted artwork with MidJourney and ChatGPT-generated textures and elements.

By doing this, we make the statement we truly believe: there are no extremes in the relationships between AI and artists. AI is no threat to the art community, and stable diffusion is not going to take our jobs away. Also, we don’t think that AI violates ethics here just by its existence. AI is a tool for creating special art and going beyond the limits. And together with that, it is a handy helper to avoid mundane tasks.

Go local

The world is big and so different! Having this much of different regions with their own authentic cultures gives us, the artists, the biggest inspiration. We got a lot of ideas from visual symbols of Latin America and Asia, from retro French comic books, and from much more than that.

If some time ago cultural globalization meant unification, nowadays it means more inclusivity and appreciation. We want to keep that idea in mind while creating our future illustrations so our users, be they from any part of the planet, would feel related more to what we do.

Here is a pack of monochromic vector illustrations that is inspired by modern Korean and Chinese artists:

Wrapping up

It is definitely not the full list of trends for illustrations in 2024, but it is pretty accurate and professionally hand-picked. Keeping these in mind will help you to develop an eye for up-to-date visuals and create trendy designs. Stay tuned for more insides and shares, and let us know what you think of our picks on Twitter.

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