Sojern’s Top 8 Design Trends to Inspire Your Travel Brand in 2023

2023 offers bright opportunities for your brand, especially with design.

January 31, 2023

With new trends in colors, typography, shapes, and more, you can create unique and updated advertisements for your travel brand to make the most of your digital marketing campaigns. Here are eight trends to inspire your designs in the new year.

Showcase Bolder & Brighter Colors

In the past few years, design has focused on muted and pastel tones. This was most significantly reflected in interior design trends with heavy white, cream, or gray kitchens and living spaces. However, with the Pantone Color of the Year being a bright Viva Magenta, we predict there will be a shift in design thinking toward brighter and more colorful designs.

Pantone Color of the Year for 2023 is Viva Magenta.

Take a Confident Approach with Colorful Minimalism

As brighter colors take center stage, colorful minimalism will become a powerful tool to draw users in without being too distracting. This confident style merges a happy, optimistic approach with minimalist styles. This trend is particularly effective in packaging or standalone advertisements to draw your attention with bright colors and minimal copy.

Colorful minimalist packaging designed by Barcelona-based agency Jordi Masdeu Studio.

Shift From Traditional Fonts to Stylized Serif Fonts

Sans-serif fonts are typically considered a traditional “computer” font, while serif fonts are traditionally used in books and print materials. This is because serif fonts have decorative strokes on each character that help guide the eye of a reader. Into 2023, we’ll see a design shift towards using more stylized, retro and flared serif fonts to add emphasis and character to large callout text and logos. The Four Seasons is a great example of a luxury hotel brand at the forefront of this trend. The team promoted a high-impact promotional campaign including digital video, social and digital out-of-home advertising channels.

Four Seasons recent rebrand centered around stylized serif fonts to add emphasis and character.

Focus on Accessible Design

As new regulations are created around accessible design, using accessible design principles will become increasingly important in 2023. There are many ways to make your designs accessible, including using icons to reiterate the purpose of a page on your website, using color contrast ratio checkers for color blindness, and even clearly marking links with underlines or different colors.

This is a color checker tool to show what colors pass certain accessibility standards.

Parallax Websites Are Out; Immersive Scrolling Is In

Immersive scrolling will take the forefront of UI/UX design because creating content in a strategic and narrative way will encourage curiosity. Using smooth animation and dynamic elements will help you highlight important information and invite customers to interact with content on your website that they typically wouldn’t think twice about.

An example of an immersive scrolling experience for a hotel’s website. 

More Inclusive Icons, Photography & Illustrations 

Foundational diversity is when brands work to make diversity a core value within the business by applying diverse practices across everything they do— including branding and design. As brands become more conscious of inclusivity and diversity, there will be an increase in icons, photography and illustrations of people from various racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as imagery of people who are disabled or pregnant.

Futuristic, AI-Inspired Designs and Typography

Technology is engrained in the lives of people all over the world. With the rise of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, NFTs and more, design is inspired by this futuristic way of thinking. This could look like Sci-Fi-inspired logos, 3D illustrations, AI artwork and highly distorted-looking fonts. AI imagery in 2023 will create a mixed bag of designs—some innovative that no one has seen before and some that might miss the mark.

Examples of futuristic website design on a portfolio platform, Dribbble.

A Call Back to Retro Illustrations and Colors

In 2023, retro typography, illustrations and bold shapes are making a comeback as we try to add nostalgia to our everyday lives. The extreme minimalism mentioned above has reigned since the 2010s, and retro design creates a significant contrast. These nostalgic trends will help designs stand out among emerging futuristic and high-tech brands. Atari Hotels is a great example of a hotel brand blending the past, present, and future of video games while offering a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience.

Atari Hotels is inspired by classic and modern video game culture. 

Whether you’re new to graphic design or a seasoned professional, these trends can help you experiment with your design content throughout 2023. Design is shifting from muted and minimalist to bright, lively, and contrasting. Now’s the time to determine what works best for your travel brand and draw in your highest-value travelers with visually-appealing designs.

To continue your deep dive into design best practices, check out the following resources:

If you’re looking for help with your ad creatives, our award-winning design team can take the lift off you and your team by creating brand-consistent HTML5 ads for your travel brand. Connect with a Sojern expert today to learn more.

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