An Insider’s Look at Spoonflower’s Spring 2021 Trend Report

DEC 18, 2020 updated Jun 7, 2021

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We are thrilled to bring you our second installment of the Spoonflower Trend Report! Join Tara Reed, Spoonflower’s resident curator and Artist Community Manager, for an insider’s look at the trends on the horizon. From home decor to trending color palettes, this report will be your go-to guide for what’s in store for the first quarter of 2021: January, February, and March.

Meet Tara Reed
Spoonflower’s Resident Curator and Artist Community Manager


I am pleased to announce that I am stepping into a new role as Artist Community Manager. I’ve been with the company for 8 years and have had many different job titles, but this is the one I’m most excited about. It will allow me to put more focus on this amazing artist community and bring you more things like this trend report to help you be successful.

I’m most excited about wallpaper still being a huge product trend! Any time I’m watching a new movie or tv show I am immediately drawn to the wallpaper in the background. It’s popping up everywhere! As a Spoonflower artist you can dream up anything and make it a reality. I find that incredibly inspiring and motivating. 


Spoonflower News

While this report focuses on 2021 trends, we can’t help but celebrate the exciting milestones we experienced this year.

With customer preference toward personal expression and sustainably-produced products growing, Spoonflower’s vast Marketplace of over 1 million unique designs attracted a surge of new customers in Q3, increasing 197% YoY.

The Spoonflower artist community has also continued to show strong momentum with a number of exciting milestones captured:

  • The number of artists who were paid a commission increased 51% YoY
  • Commissions paid to the artist community increased 141% YoY

See more highlights from Q3 and stay tuned for Q4 results!


Important Dates

Save the date for these upcoming holidays and events taking place in the first quarter of 2021.

  • January
    • 1 – New Year’s Day
    • 7 – Orthodox Christmas
    • 18 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
    • 26 – Australia Day
  • February: Black History Month
    • 12 – Chinese New Year (Year of the Ox)
    • 14 – Valentine’s Day
    • 16 – Mardi Gras
  • March: Quilting Month
    • 8 – International Women’s Day
    • 17 – St. Patrick’s Day
    • 20 – First day of spring

Shoppers start searching for Easter and spring designs as early as January and searches typically peak in March.

Tara’s Tip: Keep in mind that Easter is April 4th and Ramadan starts April 12th this year. So while they’re technically not in the first quarter, don’t forget to get a jump start on designing fun spring and holiday designs before the end of Q1.


Trending Spoonflower Searches

We broke down the most searched-for terms on Spoonflower so you can get a sense of the kinds of designs that are rising in popularity and what new themes have popped up.

Here’s what customers have been searching for most recently:

  1. Paisley +241%
  2. Damask +208%
  3. Retro +152%
  4. Dog (s) +141% (Corgi +169%)
  5. Science +125%
  6. Horse +114%
  7. Boho +103%
  8. Sunflower +74%
  9. Dinosaur +59%
  10. Japanese +56%
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Improved Search
We have been further improving our search results for relevance and discovery. Our best-selling search algorithm is now focused on ranking designs by sales in the product the customer is searching in (wallpaper, tea towel, pillows, etc.) rather than defaulting to best selling on fabric.

We’ll keep improving based on your feedback and are excited for what 2021 has in store!


Trending Home Products

On the Rise Products rapidly gaining in popularity among consumers

Dinner Napkins
Consumers are increasingly seeking responsibly sourced products. Our reusable dinner napkins are a great entry point for adding a sustainable element into your home.

Designs that sell best: Simple motifs and more complex traditional designs in small to medium scale with light-colored backgrounds.

Sheet Sets
Interiors will be a bigger focus in 2021. Consumers will be drawn to products and spaces that bring joy and reassurance. What’s more comforting than a cozy set of sheets? When thinking about designs, choose hues that create quiet and reassuring spaces that will offer a haven from the outside world.

Designs that sell best: Traditional motifs, florals, and animal designs in varying scales with light or neutral backgrounds.

Throw Pillows
Spending more time at home is highlighting how essential it is to surround ourselves with products that make us feel good. Throw pillows are a great way for consumers to add some joy to their living rooms without breaking the bank.  We have a unique opportunity at Spoonflower to offer designs that nobody else has.

Designs that sell best: Medium to large-scale flora/fauna designs with moody or bright color schemes. Abstract designs with lighter color schemes are also popular.

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Tara’s Tip: Keep in mind that we have our new Extra Long Lumbar Throw Pillow available! These have been growing in popularity as bedding decor. Consider revisiting your designs that would be great for bedding—what can you create to coordinate with what you already have?

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Top Selling

Wallpaper
Wallpaper continues to be a best selling product. Think about any current movies or tv shows that you are watching. Have you noticed that wallpaper is popping up in almost every room scene? It really adds to the mood and atmosphere. I encourage you to dream up wallpaper while watching your favorite movies—take note of the color palettes/textiles.

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What’s Next?

Now that you know what search terms and products have been trending, here’s a look at what might be coming next. As always, we hope you feel inspired by these trends and use them as a jumping-off point!

Upcoming Design Trends & Themes

  • Re-imagined Art Deco – Works well as bedding and wallpaper
    • Take another look at Art Deco, focus on the geometric aspects, and try experimenting with exaggerated curves and crescent shapes.
  • Damask – Great for wallpaper and upholstery
    • Think richly patterned damasks with a lived-in quality. Give new life to 18th- and 19th-century inspired textiles with rich and warm tones.
  • Baroque, Victorian and Rococo – Key design periods to look to for inspiration
  • Kids’ apparel
    • Most popular themes: Sun, moon, and star designs, vintage florals and fungi.
  • Empowering slogans – Great for tea towel designs or small repeating patterns for face masks
  • Cats and Dogs
    • Pet adoptions have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic. Our Marketplace is filled with wonderful interpretations of this category, but are there any dog or cat breeds not represented? Fill those Marketplace holes with your own spin.
  • Small scale geometrics – Best for apparel and face masks
  • Abstract nature – Great for wallpaper, apparel and home decor
    • “Bringing the outdoors in” has been a huge trend all year and will continue well into 2021. The desire to reconnect with the outdoors will inspire earthy palettes and nature-themed patterns. There are lots of literal ways that we can bring nature inside, but how can we go more abstract with it? Think ocean ripples, forest floor, rock formations, marble and organic camouflage.
  • Papayas and Pomegranates – This one is for fun!
    • Fruit designs are always popular. Remember when watermelons and pineapples were big? Most recently, oranges and lemons have been dominating the design world, but what new fruit trends can we bring into existence? I’ve noticed more designs with papayas and pomegranates popping up recently, so I think those are the ones to watch out for!

Tara’s Tip: I’m constantly favoriting and curating designs for upcoming marketing projects. I check newly uploaded designs regularly, so be sure to add new designs periodically!

Color Predictions

This has been a hard year, to put it mildly. When thinking about your color choices, focus on ways to either calm and ground or to lift the mood and boost positivity. Color is powerful. I don’t know about you, but I’m yearning for comfort and nostalgia right now. Consider taking colors that you remember from your childhood and give them a modern spin—keep it neutral or add a bright pop of energizing color.

Greige
#d1c0b0

Copper
#a5521b

Jade
#8aad8e

Peacock
#009ba3

Dark Oak
#3f2c27

Goldenrod
#e5a400

Tara’s Tip: I encourage you to play with the tones of these colors to make them your very own.

Pantone 2021 Colors of the Year

Want to incorporate Illuminating Yellow and Ultimate Gray into your Spoonflower shop? We recommend updating your most popular designs by creating an additional colorway featuring the colors of the year. Remember to add the tags “Illuminating Yellow” and “Ultimate Gray” to your design and organize a collection of yellow and gray designs so makers can easily shop them all in one place.

Learn more about the color choices from Pantone

Eight pieces of fabric folded in half on their side featuring gray and yellow designs inspired by the Pantone Colors of the Year
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Now it’s your turn!

What trends and colors do you see getting popular during the first part of 2021? Leave us a comment with what you’re hoping to see in the new year. Who knows—maybe you’ll see it trending in the Marketplace!

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  • I so love the Spring palette as a starting point for designs. I used it for the starting point for my patchwork design and added some variations, too. Is there a tag designers should use to for their designs that include these colors? It would help buyers find these and people putting together collections, too. Right now I have used some of the color names.

  • Juliet Lehman

    Hi Tara, Thanks so much for teaching me more about trends, colorways, collections and providing exciting growth opportunities through design challenges. Thank you for creating a platform where I can interact with fellow textile designers, see where I stand amongst the crowd and be a part of it too. I love so much about spoonflower. Wishing you the best. Juliet Roya Lillehammer

  • I used to dream of putting my photography on material that would one day be on their pillows, bedding, clothing for men or women, etc. This was years ago. I even printed up some swatches through Spoon flower. It came out great. I never fulfilled my dreams. I put my photography on pop up calendars and canvas instead. I still dream of putting my art on material.

  • Aaron Gallén

    Wow! congrats for this report!!! It\’s a useful guide for those like me that are starting.

    Thanks!!!

  • Congratulations!
    I love better this Q1-2021 than what it was for the previous. Now to work with those!
    All is dandy!
    And I am happy this is something attainable and in my usual grove…
    Thank you!
    Fantastic choice too.

  • Working on an “into the woods” fabric collection as I write this, and a lot of those colors are in my palette! Yay for being trendy… haha. Congrats on the position!

  • Lourdes Maravilla

    Congratulations and I love the format here joshing us into position and looking at what’s ahead.
    Crash the old and start being bold for the New Year! We’ve all been depressed so now s time
    to reverse this stress!

    • Hi Karen, Thanks for reading our trend report! That is great feedback for future reports and I will pass it along to the team.

      Take care,
      Amy
      Spoonflower

  • Big congrats on the new position! I know you will do an awesome job, this trend forecast is very inspiring! I will give it a closer look (with a notebook and pen at hand!) when I’ve put the wee one to bed. Also fun to get a glimpse of you on Insta stories! I am also very camera shy but hope to face my fears in the near future so I can give tutorials and such ( a Skillshare class if I can manage the tech stuff, haha!). Very brave of you, and you did great.
    I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

  • Susan Stevenson

    Congratulations on your new position. They obviously selected the right person. When I looked at the collection of new colors I hated them. But I looked at the fabrics you selected and I love them . Great job.

  • Hey Tara, thank you so much for this trend report! It’s so helpful to see your insights into trends. This report is perfect for planning the upcoming year. Excellent resource for some design inspiration! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Kim, Some artist offer coordinating prints of their designs in a collection. If you find a design you like, on the design page in the grey horizontal box, there will be a link under “Featured In” that will give you a collection if it is available. I would also recommend checking out our digital magazine for inspiration here. Best of luck with your bedroom refresh!

      Take care,
      Amy

  • This is awesome! So inspiring. Congratulations on the new position and thanks for sharing this valuable information. I am learning so much here. Spoonflower is a great community. Sometimes I just scroll through designs here for hours to feed my brain and feel happy. It has been so uplifting.

  • I can’t daw dogs, but I searched for some that looked like ‘rescued’ ones, or animal shelter pups and only found designer dogs! Also, tuxedo cats.
    Love your designs.

  • I like so much of what you offer. I would like to see more designs in the realm of African fabrics..by the realm I mean earthy, mud clothy, primitive like qualities.
    Dianne S.

  • Ksusha Dusmikeeva

    Congrats on your new role, Tara! And thank you for this trend report, I find it very helpful and will sure use it in my designs 🙂

  • I’ve only just started out on my pattern design journey in the past couple of months so this is such a fabulous resource for me!

    Thank you and I look forward to seeing what else you bring us in your new role!

  • Hey,

    Inspiring report, thanks for making this!

    One suggestion: could you add visuals to the new trends? Like “Re-imagined Art Deco” is hard for me to understand what you mean. I believe this deserves some examples or moodboard images. (Reading on mobile, so perhaps it is there on desktop?).

    • Hello! We’re glad you are enjoying the report and thanks for your feedback. I’ve passed it along to the team for future reports.

      Take care,
      Amy
      Spoonflower

  • Congratulations on the new position Tara. Lots of love from NSW Australia. I can’t wait to create more this year now we don’t have our scary fires this time last year. I can’t wait to do more native animal inspired designs of my beautiful country

  • Hey Tara, congrats on the new position and for overriding your introversion to do the Insta reel. Nicely done. Love the trend report; especially since my design is shone for bedding. 🥰