Polygon Graphic Design

Trending Graphic Design Styles 2016: Polygon Graphic Design

We recently featured Double Exposure as a design style surging in popularity. As we round the corner into 2016, it’s safe to say that geometric graphic design, and specifically polygon art, is another style that will continue to continue to rise in popularity for the foreseeable future.

Polygon (or low poly) art was first made popular in the early 20th century by expressionists looking for an anthesis to the literal and detailed nature of photography. Years later, the concept was used in a more practical sense, as a way to create fast-rendering computer graphics for 3d models and video games.

Giving it a Go

We’re not sure what sparked the reemergence of low poly, but we’ve become intrigued enough, to want to try our hands at it. Several experimental bits, pieces, and side projects randomly are now scattered throughout the peripheries of our hard drives and sketch pads. We’ve decided that polygon design is both tedious and strangely relaxing.

By Wikipdia’s definition, a polygon is a plane figure that is bounded by a finite chain of straight line segments closing in a loop to form a closed chain or circuit. These segments are called its edges or sides, and the points where two edges meet are the polygon’s vertices (singular: vertex) or corners.

Polygon Graphic Design Pronghorn by Hound Creative Agency

For our purposes, that translates into a design created by drawing and filling lots (and lots, and lots) of connected triangles using Adobe Illustrator, creating a blocky, geometric design, dimensional design.

The above pronghorn design is a result of my tendency toward subjects from the animal kingdom, affinity for the American West, and commitment to not putting another stag graphic into the universe.

We’re not sure if we’ll find an opportunity for real-world application of polygon design (c’mon… one of you needs a cool poster!). Nonetheless, our experimentation has certainly fed the need to learn, grow, and design without bounds.


  1. Hi Chris, my guess at what sparked this reemergence is the rise of flat design coupled with a desire to retain depth. Any thoughts?

    1. Chris Hall says:

      Hi Mark–

      Well said! I think that flat design is a reaction to skeuomorphic gradients, shadows, etc. getting out of hand, and agree that things like low poly and material design (flat 2.0) are an attempt to add a dash dimension, interest, and usability into to flat design without mucking it up too much. Papyrus > Helvetica > Proxima Nova?

      Thanks for commenting!