Photoshop Tutorials: Graphic Design Trends 2018

It can be hard to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to design trends. Design techniques come and go with the seasons, but it’s important to try to keep on top of the latest design crazes, so you don’t get left in the dust. The easiest way to do this? Read some 2018 design trends articles.

Recently, I read Top Graphic Design Trends 2018: The Ultimate Guide which is an excellent source of information about current trends, upcoming trends, and trends that are passing. The author does a great job of explaining how some new visual styles are offshoots of previous popular aesthetics and others are opposing current design movements.

Sometimes reading design trend articles can make you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel – running circles, getting nowhere, and chasing visual trends to no avail. Other times they can excite and inspire you to try new things and experiment. It’s not crucial that you’re ahead of the pack with your designs, it’s important to always be learning and expanding your creative toolkit.

design trends photoshop tutorials

While most new visual styles can look or feel quite daunting to learn by yourself, they aren’t. There are endless amounts of tutorials and instructional videos and blogs online that can teach you anything you want! The hardest part about finding good tutorials? Knowing what to keywords search. Graphic design styles can be hard to describe with words, especially when it’s something entirely new for you, that’s why I compiled a list of Photoshop tutorials that will help you get a grasp on 2018’s latest design trends.

Torn Paper Effect

The torn paper effect is super easy for anyone to learn and it looks impressive, especially for how little effort it takes. The ‘ruined image’ style is a personal favourite of mine, and there are lots of ways to play with this effect outside of Photoshop, which I prefer, but if you’re looking for a quick way to channel that homemade feeling this tutorial is a life saver.

Draw On Photo / Brush Effect

You’ve likely seen this design style in magazines or that one Justin Bieber music video we all love. It’s extremely simple to do in Photoshop and requires little to no drawing skills. Learn the art of how to customize and use the brush tool in Photoshop within a few minutes, and you’ll be an expert in no time.

Paper Cutout Text Effect

There seems to be a real push to get back to traditional printed material graphic design in the digital space. This Photoshop tutorial can show you how to create a cutout paper effect with your text. This one seems pretty hard, but the tutorial makes it a clear step-by-step format that you can follow whether you’re a beginner or an expert.

Paint Text Effect

While paint text isn’t anything new, it is an easy way to get your foot in the door of ‘ruined image’ or collage-like design in the digital realm. The paint text effect is best used if you’re trying to re-create a mixed-media feeling with something like the torn paper effect mentioned above. This tutorial will teach you how to apply a paint dripping effect to your lettering in Photoshop. Once you have a grasp of this relatively simple technique, you can begin to apply it to other artistic styles.

Liquify Effect

Photoshop Liquify tool

Wavy lettering, distorted greek statues? Probably the doing of Photoshop’s liquify tool. This easy to use tool can be a powerful ally to any graphic designer trying to be relevant in the digital world. Popular with abstract and brutalist design aesthetics, the liquify tool can bring any image into the digital age with its glitch-like effects. Easy to learn and fun to master, the liquify tool is worth experimenting with for a few hours.

Color Transition / Gradient Effect

Gradients have come and gone in the past, but it looks like they’re back as a counter push to the very popular flat solid colour design style we’ve seen so much of lately. The flat design had a huge push with apps, and it’s huge user interface benefits, but the rest of the web is transitioning into colour gradients. You might as well get familiar with gradients because it looks like they’re here to stay for a minute.

Double Exposure Effect

Photoshop double exposure

Double exposure is always fun to mess around with in Photoshop and now that it’s a trending design style, why not dive a little deeper. Learn how to create a colourful, eye-catching design by combining two images. You can also use double exposure techniques to create some pretty cool 3D photography effects.

Glitch Photo Effect

Photoshop glitch effect gif

There are lots of Photoshop tutorials online for making glitched images, but my favourite way doesn’t involve Photoshop at all. The fastest, easiest way to glitch a photo is to use play with it’s it’s code in a text editor. There’s a fine art to it, but it gives you an entirely random way to glitch a photo. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make glitch images using a simple text editor as well as an app that can help visualize the process.

Photoshop tutorials for 2018 graphic design trends

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While analogue media aesthetics have had a resurgence this year, so have early digital styles that we used to equate to defects and glitches. Old internet aesthetics have been on the rise for a few years now, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Nostalgia seems to be the theme of the 2018 design trends.

Harlen Malkowich
May 03, 2018
By Harlen Malkowich

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