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Why You Should Try Pixel Graphic Design At Least Once

Brian Bojan Dordevic
About The Author

Brian Decoded

President at Alpha Efficiency

Join me at the forefront of web design and digital marketing innovation. I am obsessed with web design, business philosophy and marketing performance.
I write Conversion Insider newsletter.

It took years for graphic design technologies to allow artists to create almost anything they could imagine. However, despite innovative tools, aesthetical advances, and AI, users still have a deep appreciation for one old love: pixel graphic design.

Is pixel art relevant today? I believe it is. If you pay attention, pixel art still plays a significant role in logos, digital illustration, maximalist graphic design, apps, and game design. Moreover, besides being relevant even now, pixel design has multiple advantages for graphic designers, both beginners and seasoned.

If you never tried pixel art before, you are missing out on an opportunity to surpass the limits of your creativity and enhance your design skills. What’s more, you are passing out the chance to add this trend to your arsenal of design styles to create attractive and engaging workpieces.

In this article, I’ll tell you more about pixel art, why it’s expected to be one of the top 2024 graphic design trends, and how it can help you sharpen your skills and create profitable designs.

Table of Contents:
Pixel graphic design

What Is Pixel Art? – And Why You Might Want To Give It A Try

You probably associate pixel art with old arcade games or 80’s retro graphic design. The past was filled with this style, which thrived, left its distinctive mark, and paved the way for new design innovations. Today, all seems to point out that pixel art is making a huge comeback.

Pixel graphic design is a style where images are built pixel by pixel, each one crucial for the overall design. Each of those pixels has its own color and color range, enabling designers to create images, locos, and icons with striking details.

Pixel art designers use simple shapes and a limited color spectrum. But don’t let the simplicity of this trend fool you; by playing with colors combinations, layering, and shades, you can create unique designs and enhance creative expression.

I decided to try pixel art at my web design agency in Los Angeles, and these are some of the incredible benefits my design team and company got from engaging in pixel graphic design.

Room For Personal Expression and Creative Growth

Are you going through a creative block? Sometimes, what seems like a creative rut can become the next step of your creative journey. By taking the right approach, you can turn this roadblock into an opportunity to grow as a designer.

Pixel graphics design is the perfect canvas where you can start to free your imagination and regain your creative game. Let me tell you why.

Pixel art strips down complexity and takes graphic design back to its roots. You will only have a grid of color points (pixels) and a reduced color palette; the rest is up to your imagination. The elements may be limited, but what you can create has no boundaries. From pixel logo and web design to fun retro animations, you are free to explore pixel art in any graphic design area you want.

Aspiring designers can use this trend as a bootcamp to practice, acquire new skills, and build a portfolio to showcase their services. Pixel graphic design is ideal for experienced designers to unleash their creativity, get out of creative ruts, sharpen their skills, and increase their design catalog.

Evoke Nostalgia And Increase Sales Through Reto Pixel Art

Evoking nostalgia with pixel art graphic design

There is an undeniable charm to the simplicity and beauty of pixels that provoke feelings of nostalgia. This trend brings back memories of classic video games, childhood, and the good old days. There lies a power in nostalgia, and that is why retro website design is also making a comeback.

Nostalgia evokes positive memories and feelings from our past. By tapping into those emotions, businesses can influence users to engage with their brands and become loyal customers. Furthermore, when those feelings, values, and beliefs are shared, brands can use this strategy to create a sense of familiarity and build a community among their clients,

The kids who grew up playing pixel art video games and lived the pick of pixel graphics design are now adults who could be among your target audience. Through pixel designs, you can connect the past with the present and create highly engaging, money-making logo designs, websites, packaging, and digital experiences.

A Hidden Challenge For Designers Looking To Upgrade Their Game

Nowadays, we are used to having amazing tools that make our work process a hundred times easier. Pixel art is all about going back to basics. That doesn’t mean useful technological tools are not allowed. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and even AI graphic design tools are welcome and necessary to create outstanding pixel art designs.

However, at the end of the day, it’s the designer’s imagination and creativity that bring the best designs to life. Nothing tests a designer’s artistry and skills as pixel graphic design does.

Behind its charming simplicity, pixel art hides a world of complexity and precision designers must craft. Taking objects back to their most essential details requires a deep understanding of form and representation. You must achieve all that by serving yourself a limited color palette and a set of tiny squares, where you have to make each pixel count.

Pixel art pushed designers to think out of the box, expand their creativity, and develop new skills. You can use those new skills to create stunning pixel designs or put them to work on other profitable design ideas for your clients.

Technology Is Taking Pixel Graphic Design to The Next Level

As stated above, pixel art remains relevant and can help you polish your skills and increase sales. What’s even better is that technological advances in design tools and image editors have significantly improved digital art since pixel design origins.

Since the resurging of pixel art, technology has not only enhanced it but also opened up new and exciting territories for designers to explore. With today’s advanced techniques, design templates, a vast range of colors, experimental typography, and useful tools, graphic designers leaning into this trend can create complex and vibrant scenes, characters, and illustrations.

I’d say that if there was ever an ideal time to jump into this trend, that time is today. Thanks to technology, you can develop unique pixel design work that resonates with your client’s brand identity and appeals to their audiences.

What Are The Best Modern Tools For Pixel Graphic Design?

Ready to start making your way into the world of pixel graphics design? There are plenty of tools that can help you complete your projects. You have available some good free tools, perfect for new designers or those wanting to try out pixel art. For those with a bit more knowledge of the field and looking to create professional designs, I’d recommend premium tools.

Free Tools For Creating Pixel Designs

Best free tools for pixel design

If you want to give pixel art a try or are working on a budget, you can try any of these three free graphic design tools:

Piskel

Piskel is a free tool primarily developed for drawing pixel art highly preferred by beginners. All the tools you will find in this software only have to do with pixel design. Piskel is also fully online, user-friendly, and very streamlined.

The best Piskel feature is its animator editor that allows for live preview – a huge plus compared to other software.

If you are just tapping into pixel art and want a minimalistic tool, Piskel is the right choice.

Pixilart

Pixelart is another free web-based software. Designers can use this tool to create beautiful pixel art from their browsers on any device.

This tool has all the essential features to create quality pixel designs. Something interesting about Pixilart is that regardless of being perfect for beginners, it holds competition from time to time. If you want to display your work, check what other designers are creating, and have fun in a friendly competition while enhancing your skills, you should definitely try Pixilart.

GIMP

GIMP is a free pixel graphic design software that stands out for its impressive image editor. This tool comes with powerful features to create high-end pixel art, such as customizable brushes and pixel grid view.

This tool resembles a lot of Photoshop but with the advantage of being totally free. Just like the Adobe software, this image editor can be a bit challenging for beginners, but it’s the perfect professional tool if you are working on a budget.

Premium Tools For Pixel Graphic Design Art

Best premium tools for designers

If you are an advanced designer working on a high-end design, the following tools can help you create beautiful pixel art:

Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop might not be the first software that comes to mind when thinking about pixel art. However, this versatile graphic editing tool can help you create stunning pixel art designs.

Photoshop’s professionalism level attracts many pixel artists; it includes all the professional image editing tools designers need to develop top-notch pixel designs and animations.

If you are a seasoned graphic designer, then you know Photoshop is an industry standard. Mastering this tool will go a long way to help you create professional workpieces and land you more clients.

Aseprite

Aseprite is another one I’d recommend to advanced graphic designers looking to create professional pixel art. Despite being a cutting-edge tool, Aseprite is still highly user-friendly.

Besides having all the necessary pixel art tools, Aseprite stands out for its onion skinning feature. With that feature, designers can overlap different frames on a canvas, making it easier to create realistic movements for pixel art animation.

If you want professional software that is ideal for pixel graphic design animation, go take a look at Aseprite.

Fotor AI Pixel Art Maker

If you ever used Fotor for graphic design before, you may be familiar with this software’s powerful image editing tools and AI effects. Fotor AI Pixel Art Maker is an outstanding pixel art program with an advanced artificial intelligence algorithm.

This pixel art maker allows designers to convert text into images and create a multitude of AI-generated pixel art images. You can use this tool for design inspiration or to turn your art visions into reality.

This advanced and easy-to-use tool is perfect if you want to use AI for your pixel graphic design projects.

Ready To Unleash Your Creative Mind And Build Highly Engaging Pixel Designs?

Pixel art is making a comeback as one of the burning design trends of 2024. But this style never really stopped beating relevant.

Through nostalgia, pixel graphic design has the power to engage clients and increase sales. This year, you can expect to see more of this trend in upcoming logos, layouts, and web design. At Alpha Efficiency, my agency, I already started exploring this interesting and profitable trend, and so far, the results are more than optimal.

Graphic designers skipping this trend will miss potential job opportunities and the chance to expand their creativity and learn new skills they can apply to other projects.

The good news is that learning pixel art is a fun process filled with creativity and personal expression.

Do you want to learn how to sharpen your skills with pixel graphic design? Are you eager to start incorporating this trend into your creative projects? Schedule a call with me; I can help you create high-converting pixel art designs for your clients’ ventures.

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