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Recap with Us: Issue and Visual Design Trend of 2023

This week’s Special Features will recap South Korea’s issues and visual design trends of 2023, based on the content produced by TongRo Images.


[Dark and Bright Future Brought by Artificial Intelligence]

The most noticeable issue was Artificial Intelligence for sure. Artificial Intelligence-themed graphic designs were continuously produced during 2023 under the titles of ‘Generative AI’, ‘AI Chat Bot’, ‘Chat Bot and Artificial Intelligence Robot’. These artworks intuitively presented the futuristic atmosphere by using cold, blue undertones and smooth textures for the background and main object, such as human-shaped robots.

Among them, we could find two titles with a dramatic contrast that shows both of dark and bright future which will be brought by Artificial Intelligence. For example, the ‘Future Together with Artificial Intelligence’ depicts a better future Artificial Intelligence is helping people in the creative and medical fields, while ‘Future Brought By AI’ imagines a dystopia where future technology is taking over people and eventually exploiting them.


[Me, myself and I]

Another interesting implication found in the lifestyle category was that the influence of hyper-personalization became stronger. Hyper-personalization itself was getting attention from the marketing and IT industry from the middle and late 2010s. However, the starting point where it started to form its noteworthy, distinctive culture was the Coronavirus pandemic. In the situation of people having to spend their time explosively alone, the younger generation started to express their identity by creating their own challenges and sharing their achievements, including ‘Miracle Morning’, ‘Home Training’, or ‘Home Cafe’.

The situation stayed quite similar, even after the social distancing was entirely lifted. Therefore, TongRo Images’ production team created various pieces that could show slices of the era of hyper-personalization including ‘Kidult Playground’ where a pair having fun while like children not worrying about other people’s judgment, ‘Pink’ which illustrates a woman expressing her personality with colorful, pastel-toned makeup and kitsch props under the title, and a person preparing for their travel abroad, ‘Aestivating’.


[Recession]

As we can see from ‘The Mire of Trade Deficit’, ‘South Korea’s Export Crisis’, and ‘Outraging Heating Bills’, contents that belong to the economy category articulated the uneasiness of recession by placing main keywords in the middle and supporting objects on the outer frame on the background with dark colors and rough texture. Typography artwork displaying neologism and colors that are related to its atmosphere upfront can be found on ‘Trend Keyword’ as well.


[Modern Nostalgia]

TongRo Image also paid attention to ‘Modern nostalgia’, one of the most mentioned visual design trends of 2023, by presenting ‘Pixel Sticker’, ‘Y2K Summer’, and ‘Happy Summertime’. All these three titles reinterpreted the 1990s and early 2000s with sentiment and modernity by placing kitsch-colored pixel art and flat-looking texts on the gradation background that reminds of hologram stickers. In the case of the title ‘Shopping Week’, a composition of ‘character stickers’ with defined tone and line, was influenced by ‘colorful minimalism’ graphic design that gained its fame from the 1970s to 1990s.


[Gradation Forever]

Gradation: a way of connecting more than two colors gradually, is a familiar technique not only to the visual design industry but also to people who are outside of it. Nevertheless, the gradation of 2023 has again stolen people’s hearts by putting abstractness and calmness on. Correspondingly, an ‘Abstract Gradient’ trend, combining a variety of colors with lowered transparency and/or hue to create a more sophisticated, calming tone has impacted planning and developing ‘Dragon Calendar 2024’ and ‘Support’; respectively combined Eastern painting and Western painting’s technique and expressed business theme in geometric form.


Overall, TongRo Images grafted fast-paced trends from modern nostalgia to futurism while focusing on design elements along the lines of space, shape, color, and texture while. Take a deep look at the insightful articles predicting next year’s visual design trend while balancing your own identity, which will help you take the lead.

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