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5 Website Trends to Look Out For in 2021

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  Minute read

What design trends can we expect to see in 2021?

When it comes to design, trends have existed for centuries.

The floral prints of the 60s. Bell bottom trousers of the 70s. Double denim in the 80s. Scrunchies in the 90s. The list goes on...

And the same goes for website design.

Trends change just as fashions change, so we're taking a look at 5 design aspects we're expecting to see a lot more of in 2021 across website design.

1. Brutalist design

Cut out images, harsh shapes and random compositions.

brutalist web design

It’s hard to clearly define the features of this style, but some recurring characteristics of brutalist shapes in web design are:

  • Asymmetry
  • Geometrical shapes
  • Overlapping elements
  • Solid backgrounds
  • Bright colours

Brutalist designs complement minimalist designs as solid blocks of colour are complemented by lots of clean, white space.

The origin of brutalist design

The term “Brutalism” was first associated with architecture. in French, brut means raw concrete, hence brutalist became the architectural name for all those ugly concrete tower blocks built in the 60s and 70s!

Despite the trend quickly disappearing (thank heavens!) the name has stuck and refers to simple geometrical structures.

We saw this trend reappear years later, in other art forms, print and digital media.

How brutalist design will be used

Forward-thinking, 'out there' brands will use brutalist design as a sign of confidence.

Sharp angles and block colour will convey strong personalities whilst creating a sense of chaos that encourages website visitors to stick around and see what it's all about.

2. Gradients

Abstract feels using blurred overlays meshed together.

gradients web design

Gradients were big in 2020 and we believe they'll only get bigger. Expect to see gradients as one of the standard elements of graphic design.

They add texture and character to a website, not to mention they're great for pull out pieces such as blog headings, icons and illustrations.

Colour palettes also open to door to more varied colour palettes.

3. Thin lines

‘Hand-drawn’ squiggles add personality.

thin lines web design

Thanks to browser updates, thin lines and hand-drawn squiggles are now visible on screens. It might feel like this should have been possible many moons ago but browsers just simple couldn't handle displaying such teeny pixel widths.

Hand-drawn elements are key to bringing personality. They're great for playful brands but not limited to them.

4. Character fonts

A move away from free fonts to personalised, quirky typography.

custom typeface web design

Free fonts just won't cut it in 2021.

There's no distinguishing yourself when you use a free font that's available to all. Instead, we'll see a shift towards not only paid fonts, but custom typeface.

We're certain this will be one of the biggest website design trends of the year!

Why pay for a custom typeface?

A custom typeface unlocks potential for furthering brand identity and character by enabling brands to portray their character.

Designing your own font system is also a surefire way to set yourself apart from competitors and helps brands become instantly recognisable.

5. 2D + 3D shapes

WebGL makes high-performance interactions possible.

2d + 3d shapes web design

WebGL is a type of Javascript that makes 2D and 3D interactions more accessible.

Bringing this type of design to websites enables interactive experiences which can gamify webpages.

Emma Fieldhouse Founder of Beyond Agency
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