Fashion is forever changing and this also applies to web design. After all, the word ‘design’ itself means a creative layer that clothes a website and gives it an appealing look. Looking at the evolution of web design since the early 2000s and up to the present, we can note tremendous changes in popular layouts, graphic elements and colour combinations.
Web design trends of 2017 are governed by a couple of concepts: responsive design, adaptation to every screen size, from computer monitor to smartphone; and the need for companies to build a cohesive brand image which is expressed by every digital asset it owns, including their website.
However, these are general trends which are expected to live on for some time now. What we want to discuss in this article is the set of trends which will really take off this year and make a definite change to the look of websites.
The time of flash elements and animated GIFs is long gone, so how do you add a bit of action to your website? The answer is cinemagraphs. This recent invention of designers consists of a static image with a single animated element in it.
Cinemagraphs are a novelty and look very stylish on any screen, so we expect that they will become extremely popular in highlighting product features and benefits. Although technically speaking they are still GIF images, cinemagraphs are not garish or large sized and load instantly on websites.
- Modern Retro Style
Every now and then we take a look at the past, find an element we used to love and give it a new life through modern interpretation. This is true for the layout and menu styles we keep seeing cropping up every now and then – but with increased frequency.
The inspiration for these web design styles is old newspaper ads and posters from the ’60s and ’70s. The retro trend is in full swing, not just in web design. After all, we’ve seen the comeback of the Polaroid camera and the Nintendo NES console. This makes us believe that the new retro style will be here for a while.
- Magnificent Typography
Titles, headlines, new logos and website headers start looking like a careful work of calligraphic art. Stylish typeface in various font styles and great combinations of drop shadows and lettering colour – they are sleek, bold, New Age style, futuristic and definitely 100% original and proprietary.
Companies are no longer satisfied with using a great font – they want to own it, as well. Right now, even smaller companies can afford to have their own font created by a graphic designer. So we expect to feast our eyes on great examples of typography on all websites.
- Original and Proprietary Photographs
Perhaps you did not read it in print, but this trend is around for some time now: nobody wants meaningless, standard stock photos on their websites anymore. Now is the time for authenticity, for splendid images which speak out about brand values and are exclusively created for the company using them.
After all, doing business becomes an increasingly personal experience, with tailored offers and marketing messages. You cannot get personal with stock photos, can you?
- Hand Drawn Icons and Graphic Elements
It looks like a child’s drawing, but this precise aspect makes the new wave of icons and graphics so refreshingly genuine and appreciated by people. Forget about precise geometry, perfect lines and perfect shadows. Hand-drawn, flat designs are in style and they are gaining momentum. It is a big change from the overly stylized icon sets of a few years ago and it looks great on any screen. So we bet our bottom dollar that we will see more and more websites with simple and minimalist hand-drawn design elements.