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20 Freshest Web Designs, August 2020

In this month’s collection of the freshest web designs from the last four weeks the dominant trend is attention to detail. You’ll find plenty of animation, in fact, almost every one of these sites uses animation to a greater or lesser degree. Let’s dive in: Globekit Globekit is a tool that allows developers to quickly create animated and interactive globes and embed them on web pages. Its site features some exceptional 3D animation. Yolélé Yolélé is food company built around fonio, a West African super grain. Its site features a great page transition, and the landing page carousel is one of the few examples of horizontal scrolling we’ve seen work well. Begonia Begonia is a Taiwanese design agency with an impressive client list. Its site features animated typography, a super bold splash screen, and some surreal artwork. There’s so much here, it’s almost overwhelming. Next Big Thing Next Big Thing is an agency supporting the full lifecycle of start-ups. Its site is clearly targeting tech-based clients, and there are some lovely transitions. The masked hero transition on scroll is delightful. Proper We all have every reason for the odd sleepless night right now, but regular sleep is essential for our health. Proper offers sleep solutions from coaching to supplements on its subtly shaded site. The Oyster & Fish House The site for The Oyster & Fish House is packed with some delightful details. We love the subtle wave textures, the photography has a nostalgic feel, and the typography is perfectly sophisticated. Drink Sustainably Fat Tire produces America’s first certified carbon neutral beer, and Drink Sustainably has been produced to explain the concept. We love the vintage advertising style of the artwork. Treaty It seems like every week there’s a new CBD brand launching. What we like about Treaty’s site is the slick fullscreen video, the inclusion of botanical illustrations, and the really brave use of whitespace. Studio Louise You’re greeted on Studio Louise’s site by a shot of trees with two random shapes; as you scroll the shapes morph and relocate to the top right corner, and you suddenly realize they’re an “S” and an “L”, cue: smiles. Wünder Another site for a CBD product, this time a vibrantly branded sparkling beverage. Wünder’s site features enticing photography, an on-trend color palette, and credible typography. Seal + Co Some professions lend themselves to exciting, aspirational sites, and some companies are accountancy…

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3 Essential Design Trends, August 2020

Do the lazy days have you longing for a new design technique to try? You are in luck. This month’s collection of essential design trends is packed with functional ideas to spruce up design projects. And all of them are fairly easy to accomplish and will give your project a modern – or intentionally old-school – look. Here’s what’s trending in design this month: Angles There are so many ways to add and use funky angles in design projects. An angle with a color-block can be a great way to help add a place for a text element on top of an image or video to help ensure readability. Use a color for the angled element that contrasts with the background and text overlay for a striking visual or use a color that matches the background for a more subtle feel. Another bonus for using angles in the design is that they can help create a distinct eye-tacking pattern from one part of the screen to another to help create visual focus. On a smaller, more vertical screen (such as a mobile device), large angles can even serve a pseudo-split screen purpose and create a way for text and other elements to stack in more vertical orientations. Angles can come in all different degrees and sizes. There aren’t a lot of rules with how to use them. The common factor is that they make the design easier to understand. Alternatively, angles can be an independent design element that really has nothing to do with function or adding a text layer. That’s exactly what Aviaja Dance does with their design. The main use of angles comes from the fun “A” in the logo. It’s the main visual on the homepage above the scroll and is rotated in other locations throughout the design. The next two examples use color-blocked angles. Dantia uses a small blue angle in the top corner to anchor the logo against video that uses a lot of different colors. This way the logo is always visible. Small triangles are used as bullets throughout the design to further emphasize this shape. Adige Design uses a large angle in a color that almost fades into the background to almost split the screen in half – part text, part visuals. This is a popular and effective use of an angle to enhance readability and add visual finesse. Overprint Effects While overprinting…

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3 Essential Design Trends, July 2020

The biggest trend we’re talking about this month started at WWDC as Apple provided a glimpse of what’s coming next for their operating systems. This time around there’s a distinct design element. Did you catch it?

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

1. Text Highlights and Underlines

There’s always been an unwritten rule in website design that text uses more plain styles. Bold is acceptable, italics are OK from time to time, but underlining is seldom used.

This design trend bucks that concept with text elements that use highlighter or underline elements to emphasize key words. And it works rather nicely.

What it takes to make this work is plenty of contrast and a design style that fits with underline or highlighted elements.

This design trend works thanks to clear intention. The words are obviously important to the overall meaning of the design or what visitors should take away from the content.

Pepper It uses a nifty underline that the letters seem to rest inside of to highlight a key phrase. The shape and color also mimic that of the larger button below, helping the eyes move from one element to the next. It’s an effective use of an underline (or maybe you could call it a highlight) effect in conjunction with brand colors.

Zappos Kids uses a fun highlight in a colorful scheme to highlight a key text element. It almost looks like a button and helps website visitors understand that the entire hero image area is clickable. The highlight serves to make the text more readable and the interactive element more functional.

Zeus Jones uses a variety of text treatments on the homepage, but arguable the underline is most noticeable, likely because it is the most unfamiliar in the context of website design.

2. Distinct Geometry

Geometric shapes in website design have popped up as trending elements in a variety of forms. This iteration is pretty simple: Use of distinct geometry as part of the overall aesthetic.

Geometry might pair with illustrations, photos, text, or in the background or foreground. What’s great about shapes is that they are versatile and work with a lot of other design patterns.

What can be the most challenging about shapes and design is that distinct geometry requires some space and thought. Just tossing a few triangles or rectangles in a design without reason can look rather strange.

So how can you add geometric shapes to a design so that they look intentional? These examples do it well (and in three different ways).

Rui Ma uses square and rectangular containers in a modular grid with portfolio projects inside each. This is one of the most common and applicable uses of geometry – as a container element. What makes it stand out is the circle, smiley wheel (also a geometric shape) that never leaves the center of the screen. The black background for the grid is also a nice contrast element for content blocks.

Thompson Stenning uses shapes in the background and with illustrations to create a stunning homepage visual. It’s big and bold and has just enough going on that you want to look at it and figure out the scene. Maybe what’s most intriguing about the visual concept is that it uses lots of geometric shapes – rectangles, squares, triangles, ad circles – whereas most projects pick one shape to focus on.

Romain Penchenat uses three-dimensional style angles to draw you into the portfolio website. They use a simple animation that “floats” on the homepage and follows the scroll with other geometric elements.

3. Shadow and Gradient Icons

Did you notice all the gradients and subtle shadows in icons in the images previewing iOS 14 or were you just looking at other changes (such as widgets) on the iPhone screen?

We’ve been seeing more designers incorporating more shadows and depth into icons for a while, but this move by a major player in design will push it to the forefront fast. Each of the icons moves from a flat style to one with a background gradient color as well as more shadows within icon elements for depth.

Don’t worry, the design still looks very much like Apple, but is a little more reminiscent of the skeuomorphism style icons from earlier versions of iOS.

It’s nice that the color and shadow elements are contained within each icon. This creates more visual interest and depth for each element without getting cluttered or junky. The gradients are also super simple, using a darker version of the main color in a monotone element.

It’s an iconography style that others are already using. DG Studio has a collection of icons on its homepage with subtle gradients and shadowing in the designs. Again, what’s nice about this trend is that it adds depth to visuals without tricks that get in the way of visual comprehension.

Guillaume Gouessan uses gradients in image icons in much the same way as the previous examples but with a little more color variation. Here, you can see what the gradient looks like when using a color change that’s not super drastic, but more dramatic than a monotone option. You can find some use of the more monotone gradient on his site below the scroll in the large desk image. (It’s definitely worth a few clicks to check it out.)

Love it or hate it, gradients and shadows seem to be here to stay for a while.

Conclusion

How often do you find yourself looking to major brands and companies for design inspiration? While a lot of web design trends start as experiments with smaller sites, the big players can really shape what gets popular (or not).

The example of Apple moving to icons with more shadows and gradients is a prime example. We’ve been seeing more of these elements creeping in for a while, but this style is about to get very big again.

Source

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Source: Web Designer Depot