2023 Guide To The State of Design

We analyzed over 1 million design request data points to deliver observations and predictions on creative trends.

In 2022, marketers and creatives envisioned and produced an insane volume of creative assets. There has never been more content in existence than right now

As we look back on the types of requests and trends that shaped 2022, we see observable trends, patterns, and several actionable insights that stand out. 

Let’s take a deep dive into the data and how it’s evolved over the last couple years and what to anticipate in 2023. Buckle up and rev your creative engines!


Chart-Topping Design Types of 2022

Marketing trends around personalization and consumers spending more and more time on social and digital media channels have disrupted the landscape. Marketing teams have adapted as well. 

There are clear shifts in Design Pickle’s annual top 5 request types, as well as some seriously fast-growing design categories. 

What stands out most, and how can your brand leverage these trends?



Top 3 Most Surprising Finds

1. Custom Illustrations: Enabling brands to shine with hyper-relevant custom designs

A recent study by Microsoft concluded that the human attention span has dropped to eight seconds – shrinking nearly 25% in just a few years. 

Custom illustration requests outpaced graphic ad requests by 4%. Marketers are looking for more personalized graphic solutions to:

  1. Stand out in an oversaturated digital world
  2. Distinguish their brands
  3. Drive memorable visual experiences
  4. Connect emotionally

2023 Predictions

We predict that the demand for illustrations will go up significantly – especially with generative AI making custom illustrations faster, easier, and at price points previously unattainable. Illustrators and art directors can utilize generative AI to create illustrations in ways and at prices that would have been impossible for marketers previously, so illustrations, both AI and human-generated, are all the rage.

2. Social Media: What Type of Designs Are Driving Growth & Change?

Social Media requests in 2nd place for two years in a row and not slowing down. According to Forbes, social commerce is on the rise. In 2023, digital marketing ad spend is estimated to increase by a minimum of 20%, with as much as a 49% increase on some specific platforms, like TikTok.

2023 Predictions

Surprise, surprise, we expect another increase for social media and digital marketing requests in the Design Pickle platform in 2023 by at least 2-3%. We’re already seeing more vertical format, motion graphics, and lots of template-based output happening with users in these spaces as brands get more efficient at testing and segmenting digital and social channels.

3. Long live the printing press! (Sort of.) A boom in account based marketing is reviving printed marketing materials.

  • Requests for print grew by 2% this year, proving print is still not dead! 
  • 82% of consumers still trust print ads the most when making purchase decisions.
  • Digital campaigns see a 400% higher return when print marketing is used as a supplement.

2023 Predictions

Requests for print grew by 2% this year, proving print is still not dead! 82% of consumers still trust print ads the most when making purchase decisions. Digital campaigns see a 400% higher return when print marketing is used as a supplement.


Animated Assets are all the rage

Motion graphics are the most accessible form of animation, and companies are leveraging them to level-up their brand creative big time.

As marketers leverage motion graphics to improve brand recall, shorten sales cycles, and elevate branded experience, we’ve seen the demand for animated ads more than double! Social media platforms are still a force to be reckoned with for brand awareness and lead generation, but these platforms’ main disadvantage is a supremely crowded landscape. Brands are vying for attention, and motion graphic assets are just what the doctor ordered.

Predictions: It’s no wonder that motion graphics are gaining popularity for both content creators and marketers. Powerful content assets like Instagram Reels and TikTok motion graphics are on the rise, and brands are turning to animated creative as an alternative to recording live footage, as well as to avoid costly video editing.


  • Complex Vector Art Enters the Chat
    Rather than grouping pixels, vector art is rendered with lines, shapes, and actual math. The artist uses tools to continuously render shapes as math equations rather than pixels so that the lines are always clean and never lose quality, no matter how small or big they get!

    Predictions: It’s not surprising that we saw 412% YoY growth for complex vector art in 2022 with how versatile it is, and it being a hard-to-find skill. That impressive growth might earn it a spot at the top of our pack in 2023.

  • Geometric art
    What is complex vector art? Rather than a grouping of pixels, vector art is rendered with lines and shapes. These unique creations are super versatile and are often a go-to approach for illustrations and graphics that involve a lot of geometric shapes as well.

    Predictions: Growing FAST at 412% YoY, a sure sign that AI won’t be replacing human designers any time soon!


  • Step Up to the Template

    Canva-ready files are one of the fastest-growing services that help businesses do more, pivot faster, and personalize everything. We saw 800% growth in the category of template designs!

    Predictions: Since marketers tend to wear many hats at the same time, and in-house design teams are dwindling, we predict more steady growth in the template category (and Canva-ready file delivery).

Disruptive trends bleeding into 2023

Disruptive and Bold Typography

Brands are having more fun with their typography and leaving behind the basic standard fonts plaguing creative teams.

Complex Designs

Customized complex graphics and illustrations personalize a brand and elevate brand value unlike generic icon sets and cookie-cutter stock photos.

Personalized and/or Inclusive Visuals

With a reported 40% lift in conversion owed to visual personalization in email communications, this tactic is only gaining momentum in 2023.

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Design Pickle FAQS

Any type of Canva account including the free version will allow team collaboration, editing designs you have requested from us and sharing them directly to your social media channels or publishing partners.

No, our Designers will be equipped with their own Canva accounts and will send you a Canva share link which you will need to click on to accept/save the editable Canva file into your account.

You will be provided a Canva share link in the Design Pickle Platform & Slack. Using this link, you can save the design to your Canva account which you can then make revisions to.

If you need additional revisions outside what you have already completed using your Canva account, send those using the Design Pickle Platform per the usual process and include the revised Canva link. Our creatives can’t monitor comments in your Canva account and won’t have access to the design in Canva once it has been sent to you.

Depending on the complexity of the request, the Designer will make a determination as to which platform is best suited.