It is very common among designers to believe that following the trends is a crucial piece of their work. Being constantly updated is considered mandatory. Many designers evaluate the work of others through a prism of tendencies: labeling something like #old can be seen as an insult, as if not fitting into the most recent style would automatically make the whole project less valuable.
However, there are reasons to follow the trends. Visiting up-to-date websites in design can inspire you and help you to venture out to try different ways of design than you normally do.
In the last two years, it has become apparent that many designers are trying to get away from simple and closed compositions. More and more open, seemingly chaotic, «broken» and cut compositions are being created. The previously revered network lost its importance and its rules were deliberately and consciously bent. The content began to be displaced, seemingly moved, its parts sometimes overlapping and intermingling.
Here are some trends for 2017.
- Open composition
Until recently, the design world was dominated by closed, symmetrical and static compositions. With 2016 came a lot of websites that deviated from this style. Open compositions of loosely suspended elements that are fleeing somewhere off the screen are gaining popularity – examples of such work can be seen at romainpsd.com, durimel.io, or booneselections.com. The distribution of elements on these websites gives the impression that they still «exist» somewhere beyond the edge of the monitor. Creative agencies like Krea Agency are in constant renewal through this trend.
2016 also broke the rule of symmetry, which took the reins of the industry for a long time. Many designers created asymmetrical designs that are not perfectly balanced on the left and right sides.
- More diversity
The designers made compositions with greater dynamism that have more diagonal lines that cross (poigneedemainvirile.com, vanderlanth.io), or that were based on more complex forms (resident.com/en/organic) (helloheco.com, predictiveworld.watchdogs.com).
- The apparent chaos
By 2016, many designers consciously and deliberately began to move away from the minimalist way of composing. There was a desire for more freedom and a less rigid approach to design. Behind this certainly there is a need to make a change, but also an ordinary feeling of boredom. At some point, everyone will get tired of creating simple designs with simply organized elements.
However, when analyzing the projects from 2016 it became clear that the chaos is only evident. The designs continue to be based on the classic contrast of shapes, colors, textures, sizes, etc. What has changed is the location of the different elements and the harmony of dependency between them. Currently, elements like headers, icons or paragraphs are displayed more frequently, despite the trivial logic.
There are geometric figures «suspended in the air» that have only a decorative purpose. Also, it is characteristic to superimpose elements together. Texts partially overlap photos, such as e03.epicurrence.com and melville-design.com, or the images overlap each other, which can be seen at olivierbernstein.com.
- Richer background and patterns
Increasingly, there are more backgrounds and patterns used in web design, for example, small dashes, dashes or dots.
Especially common is the grid pattern, which is treated as a «frame» for the other design elements. These elements move on the grid at the beginning of parallax and are often arranged in a chaotic way.
- Grid pattern
One of the first sites that used the grid pattern was werkstatt.fr, which did not use the characteristic motions.
A slightly different way to use the grid pattern is shown at klimov.agency, brand.uber.com, and maisonullens.com. In these cases it has a very specific function: to make all movement of elements logical.
It rationalizes unconventional decisions and provides answers to questions like «why does not the edge of an illustration match the edge of a button?» It creates a rhythm and at the same time justifies its violations.
- Decorative details
What has also changed recently is the focus on details. There is a gradual exit of the tracking function in a minimalist and raw way. There are many more items that only have decorative functions. «Flying» geometric figures or fragments of them are common. Linear and rundown icons are slightly separated from the content they illustrate. Underlines and separators are shifting. There are digital noises and bugs, as in bigyouth.fr or kikk.be.
The buttons are created less frequently as rough rectangles with texts inserted in the center. They are often designed as soft and changed scripts, such as dahllaw.dk or yasuhiroyokota.com. Another button style is to create spectacular scrolls on canvas, just like on hpsoundincolor.com and cavalierchallenge.com.
As you could see, you can learn about the new visual worlds, so that (then consciously or not), you integrate it with your graphic language. Seeing the work of others helps you keep improving your skills while keeping up to date when it comes to the latest technologies.