2019 has been a strange year for design. We seem to be caught between two conflicting impulses: simple, natural and authentic typography set against vibrant, modern, punky palates and disruptive design elements. It’s a unique, liminal aesthetic, and one that I think I’m falling in love with.
- A Whole New World of Typefaces
Serif typefaces are having a moment, and I think it’s going to last. The wisdom has long-gone that they only belong in print, but advances in screen technology have made them pop a lot better on mobile devices, and good designers are taking advantage of this. Serif fonts have a certain gravitas that sans-serif tends to lack. They feel more grounded and professional, and can provide an excellent counterpoint to your more playful elements.
- Text is getting bigger
We’re seeing a lot of sites using some sort of large-scale typography as their centerpoint rather than the traditional hero image. The cher-ami site (probably one of the best this year) uses a white serif text carousel as its primary visual element, which would’ve been unthinkably gauche as little as three years ago.
- Frames Are So Last Year
One of the major trends we’re seeing in 2019 is sites that break the page and call attention to its limitations; open compositions with graphic and text elements that extend beyond the edges of the screen. This ties together with a lot of what we’re seeing: 2019 is a year of cheeky disruption, and pushing up against the Fourth Wall. This sort of bold design can make small mobile screens feel bigger, and give your site a more expansive feel.
- Sites You Can Reach Out and Touch
3D and woodgrain have both been very popular this year, and at first they don’t seem connected, until you realise what they’re doing—they’re making the design look tactile. A lot of this year’s best designs creates sites that you could almost reach into, and pluck the elements out of. This sort of design has a real depth which—when combined with an open composition—makes the site a lot more real.
- Be Bold With Colour
Pantone’s Colour of the Year is Living Coral (Pantone 16-1456), a richer, more lively pink than the washed-out Pantone 13-1404 (Pale Dogwood aka Millennial Pink). 2017 was a washed-out year, but 2019 is about being bold and playful, and Living Coral is a colour that really puts this on display.
Pastels are out, and bold, rich colours are in.
2019 is a year defined by its rebellious spirit, and all the best web design companies are using that to its full extent, creating designs that are bold, tactile and frame-breaking. 2019 is the year where you break all the rules and do something amazing.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you’re looking at expanding your web design toolkit into development, check out this great piece on 5 Recommended YouTube Channels for Developers.