You may not be ready to embrace the new fashion trends – the statement trouser? (heck, we can barely get out of our sweatpants) – but the web can be a safe space to try on some new styles.
Monochrome minimalism isn’t going anywhere in home décor, and with graphic design it’s no different. But every interior designer will tell you a room can be completely devoid of color – white upon white upon white (or a glut of grey, for that matter) – and still be interesting to the eye. And that’s done through texture. A crinkly linen pillow here. A pebbly leather chair there.
Likewise, in web design solid blocks of flat color are being replaced by those with a subtle texture or grain. A barely-there background of dust or noise creates a more tactile, natural feel that users want to literally reach out and touch (and hopefully get in touch with you as a result.)
A grain can also create a mood. A subtle splattering for an outdoorsy ‘we don’t take ourselves too seriously’ vibe. Or a paper-like fleck for a reliable, old-fashioned affect. It can also provide a pop of personality as seen in the understated hand-drawn illustrations in the header for soda co. Jarritos.
Far from distracting, text and images actually appear more prominent against a grainy or blurred background meaning your message comes across loud and clear.
If you don’t know who ‘The Fonz’ is let’s just say everything old is new again when it comes to typeface. And not just Happy Days circa. 1974 to 1984 either. A good retro font can be psychedelically curvy disco, a Mid-Century Modern straight out of Mad Men or go back as far as the 18th Century.
Gywneth Paltrow’s G (synonymous with her Goop modern lifestyle brand) is actually a slightly altered version of Caslon, created by a British designer in the 1700s. (The original United States Declaration of Independence was printed in this!)
Text speaks – literally and figuratively – to your client. So while what you say is important the ebb and flow of each letter can also shout volumes about your business. And sometimes nothing says it better than a blast from the past.
In a WFH world where most of us are spending all day staring at a screen for business – and pleasure, (socially distanced poker night, anyone?) – muted colors reign supreme. That’s because they’re proven to reduce eye strain meaning customers will want to linger longer if you keep shades on the down low.
A quieter palette of earthier tones derived from nature is soothing. And not just on the eyes but also on our emotions. It makes sense: Would you want to spend more time in a living room painted hot pink sitting on a day-glow green couch or in one with walls awash in a soft sage sprawled out on a cream chaise?
Kvell Home is a great example of a website that still uses color
but in a desaturated greyed-out way that makes us want to move right in.
With most trends we’d advise not piling them all on at once.
But these three – muted colors, a grain and a retro typeface – are subdued enough to compliment rather than clash with each other. So if you’re feeling a restrained red, speckled with grey, overlaid by a 1920s flapper font go for it – no one’s going to call the fashion police, we promise.