Newsletter Design 2020 – current trends

Newsletter Design 2020 - die Trends

Is your newsletter design up to date?Dark mode, animated or retro - there is something for everyone

Of course, content is still king, but beautiful packaging has never hurt. It’s the same with mailings: Just a few naked lines of text, without any design, you just don’t like to read. A nicely designed newsletter makes you want to read the content much more. As with most other things in life, there are trends in newsletter design that are constantly evolving. Just take a look at newsletters from the 90s and early 2000s, for example – it’s probably not something you would consider special even today.

To ensure that your newsletters are not only 2020 in terms of content, but also visually, we have summarised the most important trends for the current newsletter design.

Dark Mode

litmus Dark Mode

As we already wrote in our global blog post “Email marketing trends – a glimpse into the future“, dark mode is on the rise. The dark design is popular not only because of its lower energy consumption. Many people simply like the modern look. Since email users have the choice to view their mails in normal or dark mode, it makes sense to make some adjustments so that dark mode is possible in addition to the often light design. Of course, mails can also be designed in a dark design in principle.

However, there are a few points to consider when changing the existing design to dark mode:

1. Images should be converted to formats that allow transparency – like PNG or SVG.

2. Dark graphics (pictures, icons, symbols) on a black background are hardly recognizable and the same applies vice versa to light graphics on a white background. So work with outlines, for example, to preserve contrast even with inverted designs.

3. It is also important to carefully select the colours used. In dark mode, particularly strong and bright colours are ideal, such as orange or a royal blue.

4. The design must look and function well on both white and black backgrounds. Therefore it is absolutely necessary to test it.



Picture source: Litmus

Colourful and gaudy

Farbenfrohe MailingsAs just mentioned, bright colors look good in dark mode, but not only there. Actually, the trend is going back to strong colours and away from the rather clean white areas. Especially strong colours, such as orange, pink or a rich green are popular. Of course you should not overdo it. Depending on the industry, as in fashion and beauty, completely colourful designs are a good choice. However, it can also be quite sufficient to set just a few colourful accents, e.g. for particularly important elements such as call-to-actions. Especially in more conservative sectors, you should pay attention to the right dose.


Picture Source: Really good Emails

Retro Style

Retro DesignIt is not only the modern age that is making its way into design in 2020, but also the past. At first glance, a rather futuristic design seems to contradict retro designs. It is no coincidence that the functional language of form is experiencing a renaissance, as the Bauhaus celebrates its centenary. The simple yet harmonious compositions of clear geometric forms and lines will also be reflected in the newsletter design of today. A touch of “retro”, but modern.


Picture Source: Really good Emails

Graphical highlights in 3D

3D Bild

In the cinema, 3D has long since ceased to be something special – but this is still the case with newsletters. Images that appear realistic are simply eye-catchers in mailings. The depth of field brings life to the pictures and thus also to your mailing. Unfortunately, creating vivid 3D images is relatively costly. However, if you have the capacity and the technical prerequisites in your company, this trend is definitely a way of attracting attention. Creating or developing 3D images for e-mail can be difficult and time consuming, but the results are worth it.


Picture Source: Really good Email

Get more from your 2D images

2D DesignIf 3D images are too complex, you can also try to get more out of your 2D images. Simply combine photo elements or illustrations with typographic highlights, textures and shading. This creates a three-dimensional effect and an interesting contrast. Play with the different elements and convey new aspects and emotions with an optimized photo.


Picture Source: Really good EMail


Animiertes PNG

We are trained to react to movement. This makes the use of moving images in newsletters especially interesting. It also corresponds to the trend that content is increasingly being consumed as video. Due to the amount of data, the integration of videos in mailings is currently not recommended. An alternative are animated GIFs and PNGs. GIFs have been the standard for small animations until now. Animated PNGs, on the other hand, are new and offer additional possibilities for creating beautiful and appealing animations with a larger color palette and transparency.

For our perception, even small movements in the image are enough to generate the necessary attention. Especially for mailings that don’t have so much textual content, animations can be a good addition and leave a lasting impression.

Minimalism - less is more

Minimalistisches Design

The inboxes of many recipients are usually brimming with mailings. So there is hardly any time to read all the mails, if they are opened at all. Therefore it makes sense to ask the recipient for as little time as possible and to keep the mailing relatively short. This applies not only to the text, but also to the newsletter design. Minimalism is particularly beneficial for the mobile use of mailings. A simple and focused newsletter structure is particularly user-friendly on mobile devices, especially since the attention span is even shorter here.

Minimalism and thus concentration on the essentials increases the chance of being noticed. The reduced mailing designs are based on generous free space and all unimportant design elements disappear. The contents can thus be absorbed quickly and easily digested.


Picture Source: Really good Emails

Not every trend suits your company

Companies appear to be particularly innovative when they take up and implement current trends. However, it should be noted that not every trend suits every company. Therefore, you should first and foremost look at your target group. What goes down well with them and what are their expectations? But also look at how you want to be perceived as a company. So what kind of image does your company have and should it be maintained or developed and in which direction? Therefore, use images, colours, texts and fonts that are not only trendy, but also match your brand personality and the message you want to convey.

We wish you a lot of fun with the implementation of one or the other design trend in email marketing!



Are you interested in current trends and a good newsletter design? Then you might find these articles exciting:

Email marketing trends – a look into the future

Newsletter occasions and ideas for the whole year

11 tips for the perfect subject