African Graphic Design Inspiration and Trends

When I think of any African design I imagine a host of warm hues, imperfect shapes and textures.

I see an artistic approach with African Design rather than clean-cut contemporary graphic design, however, things on the sun-soaked continent have changed. I’ve come across many a great graphic designer from Africa producing beautiful and professional pieces of contemporary graphical communication.

These pieces show off great skill with a western approach leaving behind old stereotypes of rustic art. Is that a good thing though?

Africa’s identity is that of “nature” with a heritage of strength and vibrancy but that history also comes with a blood bath of bad memories and events that still exist today but luckily the identity of Africa lies with its beauty, and regardless of changing times those rough textures and varied rhythms of design will always remain a part of its identity.

Check out the following design trends inspired by African lifestyle and culture.

African Tribal design

Every continent was built upon tribes but it seems like Africa is the only one that upholds this lifestyle.

The icons, shapes, symbols, textures and styles created from those tribes have managed to impact Africa’s Identity and influence the world of design.

From sun setting dusky landscapes to face masks, face paints and fashion; tribal design shows a natural flair for shape, space and rhythm making any African tribal influence easily identifiable within a design.

African fashion Design
African Fashion Design
Afrcian Masks
Afrcian Masks : Credit
African Sculptures
African Sculptures


African tribes are set in the wilderness so it’s only natural for nature to echo through Africa’s own style of design.

From plants and trees to colours and animals, all of Africa’s wildlife plays a role in creating the textures, shapes and tones that we associate with Africa.

African Landscapes & Textures

African Hues

African design is often associated with earthy hues that naturally occur from the continent such as browns, creams, oranges and yellows but contemporary designs stretch the spectrum, infusing new variants to old, making a festival of colour with precision within African design.

The rule of thumb is to use whatever colours you want but the colour values must be deep.

african-graphic-design-trends colours
African Hues

African Patterns

Patterns descending from African tribes are probably one of the most significant and iconic elements of African design using line, shape and unification to produce unmistakable patterns with an eclectic and vibrant feel which leads us onto the next identifier of African Design.

african-graphic-design-trends patterns
African tribal patterns

The Rhythm of African Design

No matter what piece of African design you’re looking at, the biggest and most talented component tends to be a rhythm within a design that no other country can replicate.

Each piece of work defines a strong rhythm whether it be uplifting and varied or solemn and ambient.

african-graphic-design-trends rhythm
Rhtm plays a core role is African design

The key to creating an African inspired piece of design:

Deep colours + Creative Shapes + Repetition + Strong rhythm

African inspired Graphic Design

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