3 Essential Design Trends

Bob The Web Page Builder

If you are feeling like me right now, you have mixed emotions about the world in general. And this is translating into a pretty distinct design trend that’s happening almost across the board: Websites aren’t using many images of people right now.

There are just too many questions about what is appropriate (mask, no mask? groups?), so the default answer seems to be using more “artless” options focusing on typography, graphical elements, and small animations.

Here’s what’s trending in design this month.…

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3 Essential Design Trends

1. No Photos Above the Scroll

As the world works to pull itself out of the pandemic, designers struggle with post-pandemic design elements, mainly photography.

Many brands and companies started to refresh their libraries with new imagery that included smaller groups and masked people. Now some parts of the world are pushing to reopen, making some of these images seem immediately dated.

What is a designer to do? First, you have to weigh keeping a fresh-looking design with a world that’s changing quickly right now.

That’s likely the big reason why so many website designs are launching without photos above the scroll. Instead, the hero areas are dominated by oversized typography, graphical elements, and small animations to grab attention.

There aren’t many images that contain people or real-life scenes.

This middle ground allows designers to create something interesting within some pretty distinct constraints while preventing a design from looking dated if local pandemic health guidelines change. (It’s a fine line to walk that may continue for some time to come.)

Each of these three sites does it differently, but with similar themes.

Michael Sumner uses bright color and subtle text animations to keep you look at the design. Clean lines and flowing graphical elements almost seem to counter the in-your-face color choice.

2. Left Align Headline Dominates the Hero

This website design trend is a twofer of sorts: There are no photos above the scroll, and the main headlines are aligned left with dominance in the header area.

A left-aligned stack headline can be a striking and dominant element. It can have even more impact with the right words in the headline that entice and engage users to learn more. (If you use this design trend, it is imperative to spend time on the words to ensure that the design says something meaningful.)

Here’s where it gets tricky. To push the eye across the screen, you want the stacked headline not to extend all the way across. Most of the designs using this trend are going half to two-thirds across the screen.

Then the text size needs to be large enough so that the words don’t break awkwardly. (Sizing depends on how many words and letters you have to deal with.)

Finally, you want to stack lines of text to fall nicely into the main, first scroll of the design. If the headline sits too low, it might be distracting. The same is true of a headline that’s too close to the navigation or breaks funny on the scroll.

The lesson here is that stacking text in this manner is a fine art, takes just the right (and highly readable) typeface to pull off, and requires meaningful messaging.

Steadfast Collective does it with a simple headline and “pieces” of images that encourage scrolling.

3. Fun with Fonts

When you don’t have many images to work with and no faces to show, it leaves more room for typographic creativity.

From experimental typefaces to line styles to interesting weight combinations to completely artistic font treatments, designers are having a lot of fun in this area.

Here are three examples to crush on.

Mantic uses a fun dot-style experimental typeface for an AI tool with a futuristic feel. Using a type style that matches the tone and content of the design is key for making a technique like this really work wonders.

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