Design trends

Email design trends 2021: What’s there in the bag for you?

2020 has been disruptive for everyone. This year would go down in history to be one of the most impactful and influencing times in a long time. And while our lifestyle has been hugely affected, other ‘not-so-evident’ aspects have been affected, too, such as email designs.

As per Coastal Creative’s recent report on design trends for the next year, “2021 will be all about imposing and chaotic designs – you can say goodbye to harmony and legibility. Outsized typography is in, while harmonious color combos are out. Next year is all about clashes.”

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To put it into context, 2021 will be an era of maximalist and disharmonious design styles. Still didn’t get a clear picture? Scroll down to read as today I present you the most prominent design trends that would redefine or rather, ‘redesign’ the email marketing landscape in 2021.

Nostalgia and futurism

As the future looks promising yet uncertain, looking back at things from the past is another continuing trend. However, retro and nostalgia have been a slow adoption for email design till now. There’s a lot from the past that can affect the future of design, but you can expect to see keylined shapes, serif fonts, off-print techniques, fonts and containers, and solid drop shadows the most in your email inbox.

Talking about futurism, it is usually demonstrated with outer glows, bright colors, and space themes. However, with the fate of 2021 still being an optimistic mystery, it would be interesting to see how email designers experiment with this highly anticipated trend.

A design language that oozes nostalgia, or depicts a positive future, would radiate a sense of positivity and perseverance to the subscribers while also making your emails eye-catching and aesthetically appealing.

Here is a brilliant example from Great Jones of how going the retro way can make your email stand out and that too just flawlessly. Nostalgia instantly evokes emotions, and this email hits just the right chord.

If you are looking to tweak or even transform your email designs, you can always look up to professional services such as Mailchimp email experts or Marketo certified associates. They would not only provide you with impeccable email designs but would also elevate the appeal of your entire email marketing campaign.


Let me keep it straight: Minimalism is in, and it is going to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. As the volume of emails being shot rises, minimalism would become the preferred choice to keep things clean and crisp.

Expect the brands to rely more on stripped-back color palettes, muted colors while going for simplified compositions to ramify a sense of calm and serenity in the inbox.

Apple and minimalism love to take a stroll together and this Airpods Pro email just joins the walk. See how a subtle yet consistent imagery and color pattern can strike effective communication.

Source: Really Good Emails

Want to create that ‘Woooow’ email but don’t know where to start from? Well, you can always fall back on email templates from professional services. Pardot email templates and Salesforce email templates are some of the best in the business to help you nail your email designs.


Organic and geometric shapes will be a dominating aspect of email designs in 2021. Don’t be taken aback if you find a shape as the only central visual element in an email next year. This practice is getting popular as it reduces the cognitive load, as a subscriber doesn’t need efforts to understand the imagery. Instead, it oozes an artistic appeal, and the written content becomes the mainstay of consumption.

The below email is the perfect example of how simple shapes can create a world of difference. Not only do they enhance the visual appeal, but they also contribute towards minimalism in a ‘minimalistic’ way.

Source: Really Good Emails

Values representation

I know it’s been oversaid, but we still can’t deny the fact that 2020 has impacted us and everything around us in an incredible way. This year has made us look more sincerely towards issues such as racism and equality. And, with all the time we had with ourselves, 2020 made us wonder if these issues were being represented the way they deserve to be or not.

From conversations, these issues will foray into emails more prominently in the upcoming year as brands would take a firm stand to celebrate diversity and set some bold examples.

When Uber circulated their community guidelines, the email beautifully captured the message of equality and its associated values. Have a look!

Source: Really Good Emails


One of the most anticipated email design trends for 2021 is AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages. They let the users interact with the email without making them leave the page. AMP-enabled emails enable the users to execute various actions: from completing the CTA within the email to going through the listing of products and shops.

Wrapping up

Email marketing has been the reigning king for a long time when it comes to customer acquisition and retention, and design has played a significant role. These extraordinary times have placed the stakes even higher. So, it’s better to adopt and then adapt to these email design trends for the next year to keep email marketing campaigns ahead of the curve.

To learn more about these trends, head to the insightful infographic created by our friends at Email Uplers: 11 Email Design Trends That Will Reign Supreme in 2021.

Author Bio:

Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.


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