As a designer, this is one of the most exciting parts of a new year. Here we are, trying to figure out what’s going to be big for design trends in 2013. It absolutely makes sense. Web designers have to really be up on all the new trends to be relevant and abreast of what’s next after that trend.
It’s really what makes design fun. But too many experts have called for trends that aren’t even really trends or ones that don’t shock the world. Of course responsive design is going to be big this year — it was big last year! And of course we’re going to continue designing with grids. That’s basic design!
This time around, I wanted to look into some trends that seem to be growing. Ones that we’ve played around with, but now we’re going to really get into them this year. So, let’s jump right in.
More White/Negative Space
We’re going super clean. We loved minimalism and the clean look last year. We used it with anything from our logos to our business cards and to our websites. This year I think we’re going to ramp it up a bit by calling for more white space.
Negative space is one of those artistic guidelines that pretty much says every inch of the canvas doesn’t have to be filled with stuff. This negative space in web design is excellent because we are transitioning to an era where we want and desire less fluff. Many times when we visit websites we know exactly what we want, or we want to be able to figure out exactly what’s in front of us without doing much searching.
Tip: Don’t think about how you can design to create space. Create as you normally would and see what you can remove to get the look you’re going for.
Peach and Salmon
We go through a lot of popular colors in web design. One of the most popular is blue. From corporate to recreational sites, a shade of blue will probably get you a nice website. Even for a while (and maybe still), we loved dark themed websites. The point is, for many of the colors, you can reference a point in time.
The color for this year is this fleshy, pinky, salmony color. I’m calling it now. It’s a color that goes well with almost any other color and any other neutral. It’s calming without being too boring and predictable. It’s charming without being too bold and loud. This is a great color that I think many people will (and should) at least experiment with this year.
Tip: Looking for some hex color codes to start? Try #F97743 and #F38268.
Bigger is Better
Right now, we are designing not just with a computer monitor in mind, but with tablets and mobile phones in mind as well. Websites need to be visible in the palm of our hands. Many designers have met this task by upping the size of text and images in web design. But they haven’t been too ridiculous or gone overboard.
Now, is the time to go overboard. We’ve been designing as we normally would, but everything has been a couple of pixels taller and wider. As a matter of fact, we’ve taken many of our ideas from print and implemented them on screen. It’s time to maybe mix the two or get back to the web.
Going super big requires a lot of attention and is in the same vein as going super clean in 2013. If it takes up more space and draws my attention, I’m going to look there first. Perhaps this is another way to rid ourselves of the fluff that we endure daily.
Tip: We already have tried full-size images, so try huge fonts around size 64px and 72px. Use something like FitText so your fonts can scale down for different screen sizes.
Advances in technology are making it easier and easier to add moving images and video to our web designs without taking a ton of space. Because of that, we can look forward to that becoming a stale in websites everywhere. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re looking at websites from Hogwarts?
It adds a bit of fascination to your typical images or even your typical slider. Movement is eye-catching and now we don’t have to do that solely with static images. We’re able to use dynamic images and that busts the creative playing field wide open. This is one of the trends I’m looking forward to the most. Who’s going to use this the best?
Tip: Check out some tutorials and such that talk about HTML5 video to get started.
No more stock photography
People don’t want the glamour shots any more. They want a more realistic view of what a product portrays or represents. It’s time out for the days of dry stock photos and product photos with bland white backgrounds. People want personality. People want the story.
Websites are made to create and maintain the relationships you have with your audience. The idea is to make things real for your group of consumers and that’s not always a bunch of flavorless photos and glamour shots.
While most web designers don’t have a ton of control over photography, it remains that it’s completely important that the personality of a brand is portrayed online. I’m looking forward to seeing more websites that aren’t afraid to be individualistic by using imagery that’s real to them and creates a story through composition.
Tip: You may invest in a camera or link up with a photographer to get the right imagery for the web design. It makes for quite an up-sale.
Web design is much like fashion design where what’s in one day could be totally played by the end of the week. The beauty is being apart of these trends and trying out new things to help inspire innovation for the future.