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Eleven email design tips that will reign supreme in 2021. Every year we can see predictions when it comes to design in any area. Colors, tones, and shapes are most common to trigger humans to gain interest or not. Email channels are still one of the most performing marketing channels which are now very much on mobile devices established.

While the whole world is reflecting back on 2020 and all the uncertain things which happen, brands stayed on the safe side with their redesign and did not go the extra mile of new user experience. Simple was the new normal, staying away from the noise, simple shapes, and pastel colors were still in.

The question in 2021 remains, will brands continue to stay on the safe side or go a new route, how does it impact email design?

An infographic from Uplers tackles a lot of points when it comes to email design, looks, and feels. I want to pick up some elements which jump into my eye when I was reading the infographic.


Bold Typography is seen as a trend. Well, I have not seen any reason why this is coming new. Bold was always for standing out and caught our attention quickly. While we have seen in the past years Typography to slim down I am a little reminded of the 90s and early 2000s. Welcome back bold.

One way to grab a user’s attention in a massive overload of text and characters is to set some of the text in a bold font. Minimalistic thinking does tell us not to write too much text. But we put much more text on images and photos, which require the text to stand out.

Dark Mode

Call me old fashion, but I personally did never adapt to this trend at all. I can remember the years when Apple went dark in all business presentations, Microsoft followed, and soon many others. I thought the trend is going away when it comes to presentation to be more bright again which transports a different mood to people.

In the infographic, we can read that the majority of mobile device holders (over 81%) are using dark mode. The impact of marketing and design is to attract the audience by making their design compatible to be comfortable readable in dark mode.


Backgrounds and banners had a big impact back in the 2000s when it comes to gradients. Will many feel it is an older trend from the 60s it could find it’s new spring in 2021. But compared to the 80s design of gradients where we saw them in many different ways it is all about creating a memorable scene by using natural gradients seen in color smooth photos.

A good aspect pointed out in the infographic is brand-related gradients which we can see in the sample of Instagram using it on buttons.

Emotional Design

Bringing emotions to the table is a goal that is still underutilized by a lot of marketers. It does not stop on the design, much more are the buzz words interesting which can make an impact on the audience. Emotional marketing did already grab over the last years attention.

In the infographic, we can see the top picks on words and their related colors which can make the difference.


Neumorphism is a new slang term in design for embossed design elements. We know them from radio buttons and submit buttons. Essentially, it’s a new, minimal way to design with a soft, extruded plastic look. It’s almost as if the interface has been vacuum-formed, neumorphism uses subtle effects for the objects without over-representing them.

Tools like Adobe XD, Figma, Sketch, and Adobe Photoshop can be used for a great email design.

2D Images

A visual marketing strategy is as much as essential as knowing your channels. If you are still going the routes of old fashion stock images try a new route in 2021, pimp your emails with more vector graphics.

Take a look at the samples in the infographic which can give you some more idea on it.

3-Dimensional Images

Why did we wait so long to incorporate them into our email design? They are not new and exist already a while.

Well, maybe it is all about the experience we have in our palm of our hand. High-resolution devices which are already a while much more than only a phone. Considering that now user experience comes through our email and to our smartphone should adopt the way we want to present ourselves and being seen.

Phantasmagoric Collage

We have seen news channels and media agencies to be the first ones who used phantasmagoric collage to present information of different sizes and layouts.

Now finally it comes to emails and can have a nice impact on the visualization of photos and images.

Monochrome Layout

Minimalistic and simple is the new normal? No, it is not, but considering the impact of noisy colors, light and bright does not stand for the times we live in.

Illustrated Animations

Ok, I personally feel this is now the Royce Rolls of email designing by using animation. While tools involved and help us to come quickly to the targets we might need to shift to designers which can help to embrace illustrated animations.

Not every animation makes sense and helps us to grab people’s attention. Curiosity is still out there, and humans are attracted to be impacted by visual presentations in any matter. Moving elements reach our audience better than stills.

Wrap up

I can see that couple of things and not the rebirth of the past, we have new things getting adopted and shining. Digital Marketing is still evolving more and more into content marketing and knowing how to present yourself on digital channels. So where do you see your favorite design impact? What will you adopt in your email marketing campaign?


Email Design Trends 2021
Skillz Middle East makes Digital Transformation happening for your company. We focus on the quick win to ensure Digital Marketing, e-learning, Web Meeting, Web Conferencing, Digital Signature, Digital Asset Management are ready to enhance your organization. Digital Marketing shall save money and bring a more efficient conversion for your brand and products.
Dieter Hovorka

CTO, Co-founder, Skillz Middle East

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