2022 Design Trends for Social Media

Published by
Kristen Dahlin

Social media for businesses is not simply about selling products or services. It’s also a powerful tool for connection, inspiration, and building relationships! To do this successfully, part of the mission on social media becomes speaking to your audience in a language they understand – and on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, that’s accomplished through design.

Graphic design language evolves year over year, with many trends coming and going, and a select few standing the test of time. The trends that do become popular for a time reflect what people care about most, and by using these elements of graphic design, brands can build recognition and familiarity with their audience!

That’s why we undertook the work of forecasting what’s coming up next in the realms of graphic design and social media design, and translating these trends into ready-to-use, easily customizable template packs, color palettes, font pairings and more in Tailwind Create!

Below, you’ll see the painstaking research the Tailwind team collected from 70+ resources translated into color, patterns and textures, elements and motifs, photography and styling, and typography to use to stay relevant with your social media designs. Enjoy!

2022 Color Trends

Every year as December approaches, designers the world over breathlessly await influential companies like PANTONE and Sherwin-Williams to release the Color of the Year. Palettes, swatches, and mood boards stream from these colors, sparking imagination in home decor, fashion, and graphic design. Here’s what’s coming up this year!

1. The Outdoors Are In

Blame it on the pandemic, or a desire to be more connected to the outdoors, but this year’s major color trend is all about cool, misty greens and rich clay tones found in nature.

Paint company BEHR announced Breezeway as their color of the year – “A relaxed and uplifting sea glass green expressing peace and tranquility for forward movement.”

Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore were not far behind with Evergreen Fog and October Mist respectively.

These wispy greens inspired by silver-green flower stems and foggy evergreen forests partner with palettes of clay earth tones, watery blues, and granite neutrals to bring organic hues to the forefront of design.

Need some color palette inspiration? Check out our new 2022 Design Trend Color Palettes to capture these tranquil shades for yourself!

2. Bold Possibilities

After 23 years of choosing colors that would influence product development, fashion, and design, Pantone took an unexpected step this year: the company didn’t choose a color, they created one.

Veri Peri, the 2022 Pantone Color of the Year is a new red-violet color laced heavily with blue. It’s meant to represent the excitement and boldness of the future and “helps us embrace this altered landscape of possibilities, opening us up to a new vision as we rewrite our lives.”

This confident, curious color that stands at the crossroads of color in the digital world and the physical world shines in palettes with bold hues, energetic blues, and moody neutrals.

Need some color palette inspiration? Check out our new 2022 Design Trend Color Palettes to capture these futuristic shades for yourself!

3. A Touch of Nostalgia

Even as color stories begin looking to the future, retro shades from the ’60s and ’70s linger on. Groovy Daffodil, vintage Harbor Blue, and funky Coca Mocha shades paired with soft pastels like Spun Sugar and Gossamer Pink to dominate Pantone’s Spring/ Summer 2022 NYFW Color Palette.

These retro shades reminded us of the famed Jet Era and vintage travel posters, reflected in our 2022 custom color palettes that are now available in Tailwind Create!

4. Bubblegum Pop

Did someone say Y2K? The upbeat colors in Pantone’s Spring/Summer 2022 London Color Palette are the perfect complement to your favorite throwback playlist. Youthful Bubblegum pink, acidic lime Fragile Sprout, and feminine Orchid Bloom are bringing us back in the best ways!

Whether your head is stuck in the clouds, or you’re just an imaginative day dreamer, our Vivid Dreams curated color palettes will make your sparkle shine ✨. 

Try it out now in Tailwind Create!

Patterns, Shapes and Textures

1. Check It Out

‘Check’ yes Juliet to the reinvention of this classic emo/scene style! Checkerboard is not just for your vintage slip-ons – in fact, new life can be found in this timeless classic by reviving it with the playful pop colors and fresh plastic florals currently trending today!

2. Stenciled Blooms

Ever since the cozy, countryside-themed aesthetic we know as “cottagecore” first received its official name on Tumblr in 2018, the doily, wildflower-laden lifestyle has steadily dominated fashion and social media.

In 2022, Cottagecore’s dreamy wildflowers are receiving a vibrant upgrade as florals are reduced to their simplest forms and washed in bold contrasts and vibrant hues!

3. Rounding It Out

Find your future (or simply push past your funk) by rounding out your edges into soft orbs, half-moons, and semi-circles.

In 2022, rigid boxes and angles are being phased out in favor of soft feminine curves in the home, office, community spaces, and more. Round out your own edges for inviting signals of virtual and inner peace!

Use this template in Tailwind Create!

Elements and Motifs

1. Zen – Inspired Lines

Not only do these patterns remind us of Japanese rock gardens and mindfulness, but there’s also an important pop culture phenomenon at play here. With influences from technology and Sci-Fi resurgences (Dune, anyone?) minimal line style with futuristic elements is on the rise.

Source: Society6

2. Matisse Motifs

Organic motifs are out-pacing rigid geometrics in 2022 design, lending an air of freedom, movement, and familiarity to graphics. Matisse inspires one to find their inner peace, as the hallmark organic and balanced shapes create freedom-centered designs. 

Source: Society6

3. Plastic Florals

Trends are all about styles of years past being revived. In 2021, we saw the 90’s come back front and center. These small blocky florals may remind you of that decade, but trust us, that wasn’t their first time around!

Small florals with simple edges actually first saw their rise in the ’60s and 70’s, and seem to continually refresh their image for coming generations.

Photography & Styling

1. Subtle Dimension

Texture is becoming more prevalent in graphic design in 2022, as design programs begin pursuing 3D rendering in everyday graphics. Adobe Capture is making great strides in this area!

2. Natural Shadow

Where light, bright and crisp photo styles once reigned, photo stylings are shifting more towards softer, dimensional shadows and interrupted light to showcase products.

3. Two-Tone Glow

Flat, crisp backdrops are being replaced with luminous gradients in photo and product styling, tantalizing the eye and drawing viewers into the frame.

Source: Studio Zelden

1. Catch Me If You Can

There’s a note of nostalgia in the air, with mod fonts that remind us of the glory days of Pan Am, summer resort vacations, and striped bathing suits. New-old serif fonts like Airplane and Fairview are inspired by the golden age of air travel, while decorative headline fonts with a throwback twist remind us of days gone by. 

2. Styled Geometrics

This 1920’s revival style is the bee’s knees! Art deco-inspired geometric Sans Serifs updated for the modern world will make you fall in ‘green-glass’ love. Daydream in Cuba with fonts like Habana or wander the bygone streets of Miami Beach with Governor for a new take on a timeless classic.

3. Heartfelt Detail

Charming, simplistic fonts that remind us of our favorite small-town cafe are in this year, lending a down-to-earth, cozy feel to branding and design. For a crash course in using organic-feeling scripts and serif fonts like Viktor Script and Futura PT, check out this curated collection from Adobe

4. The Energy of Youth

Oh to be forever young! Design trends are tilting this way with chunky, fat-pen display fonts and zesty handwritten details that will remind you of the days of fuzzy journals and Limited Too shopping trips! 

To get this look, try a big, bold display like Beautiful Freak or cutesy fonts like Adorable or Teashop!

Putting It All Together: Ready-to Use Designs

Itching to use some of these top trending design elements in your next social media posts? Don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you! 

Drawing inspiration from the top trends in design for 2022, we’ve launched four exclusive social media template packs, sixteen curated color palettes, and more right inside Tailwind Create.

Check out each set and prepare to be inspired! 

Jet Set

Inspired by the golden age of air travel in the ’50s and ’60s, Jet Set is chock full of vintage washes, modern lines with a retro twist to wow your followers. 

Check out our brand new vintage travel-poster-inspired color palettes: Secret Island, First Class, South Seas, and Hibiscus Colada, and ready-to-use designs here!

Vivid Dreams

Did someone say the 90’s? Our exclusive Vivid Dreams template pack is inspired by bright pops of color, plastic florals, patch art, and all the things we loved most about Y2K. Warning: this template pack may cause you to hang boy band posters on your office wall. 

Get a sneak peek of our brand new Vivid Dreams color palettes: Dreamhouse, Lip Smackers, Wind Breaker, and Spice World here!

All Organic

Inspired by the soft and simple charms of nature, our All Organic template pack and color palette set is inspired by muted shades, florals, and foliage paired with playful organic shapes!

Get a sneak peek of our dreamy All Organic color palettes: Sedona Sunrise, Fresh Laundry, Meadow Cottage, and Favorite Quilt here!

Look to the Future

Although many trends surging in popularity this year focus on where we’ve been, we’re also collectively thinking – and designing for – where we’re going.

Our Look to the Future template pack is inspired by glowing gradients, sound waves, and the boundless possibilities of the Metaverse. Are you in?

Check out our brand new futuristic color palettes: Neon Sky, Dune, Fiber Optics, and Cyberbike here!

Use Trending Social Media Designs in Tailwind Create

Say bye-bye to boring beige and bland monotonous palettes. And in 2022, let’s start experimenting with bold, energizing colors and designs!  

This new innovative direction is so exciting the Tailwind team wanted to bring our versions to Tailwind Create with curated easy-to-use templates – straight from our designers to you! 
Whether you want to be ahead of the curve and Look to the Future, make your Vivid Dreams a reality, you’re ready to Jet Set to better social media analytics, or you’re feeling pulled to an All Organic approach.

Whatever your design goals are for 2022, Tailwind Create is prepared to take you there!

Psst! This Pin was made in seconds with Tailwind Create. Try it for yourself

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Kristen Dahlin

Kristen Dahlin is the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind — your new Marketing team, helping you create social media designs, schedule posts, and optimize across Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest with one easy-to-use social media management tool. Kristen lives in rural Oklahoma with her husband Kyle, daughter Sophie, boxer Lila, and a very temperamental flower garden.

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Kristen Dahlin

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