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17 August 2018  /  

Design trends for web design and social media marketing

The Internet is the new real estate. Everyone wants to have a piece of it by having a website. So, with a million websites fighting to get your customer’s attention, it is useful to know some of the current design trends that can make your website stand out.

The following list of trends is not necessarily specific to website design, but it is also useful for digital agencies, like Netable, that do social media marketing and EDMs as well.

1. Duo tones and double exposure

This trend started in 2017, but it looks like it’s going to stick around for a while.

A photography technique as old as the art itself, double exposures came to existence almost by mistake, and they have turned out to be beautiful mistakes. Half the photography world sets out to avoid doubling the slides on their film, while the other half has spent years creating things you couldn’t see with the naked eye.

Today, many designers use it to do exactly the same thing – create a new artistic vision that lures the onlooker.


2. Strong, non-complementary & unconventional colours (retro colour)

The future looks good for strong colours. Conventional design principles normally stay away from these colours as they are not complementary, but the key is to push colour harmony to another level without looking too ridiculous.


This style became popular thanks to the improving quality of screens, monitors and TV colour replication (HDR). We weren’t able to see these ranges of colours before, but now, advancing technology is allowing us a huge playground for ideas and experimentation.

3. Retro modern custom illustrations

This is a trend that seems to be growing in popularity. Illustrations that show some sort of humour, friendly connotations and action-base concepts are here and thriving.

But not just random illustrations. We’re talking about illustrations that are specifically customised to each project.

These custom illustrations are not only great when applied to social media as a flat image, but they can also be implemented into short, quirky animations that convey a specific message with some sort of call to action.


4. GIFs and cinemagraphs

Modern GIFs are more elaborate, complex and customised to brands. It can be very difficult to make these GIFs with Photoshop alone, and in most cases, you’d need to use Adobe After Effects or similar software to create them before exporting them out as GIF animation.

Cinemagraphs are also gaining more traction. Cinemagraphs are basically still photographs in which a minor and repeated movement occurs, forming a video clip. They are normally published as an animated GIF. In the image below, the numbers are ticking up. This, though, can still be done with Photoshop.


5. Dynamic gradients

Dynamic gradients are coming back in a big way.

Clean looking flat images started trending a few years ago, but it has now grown to include bright moving gradients. Once again, this is due to the fact that screens are getting much better and are now able to show colour gradients without them looking grainy.


6. Split page / image design

This new trend is applied to some websites, but is mostly done on web banners. The old style of a single-image banner is outdated, and it is time for a change.

The split design allows the layout to have a more striking impact, that will attract attention and lead the eye to specific information.


7. Bigger, bolder typography

Typography is, quite simply, the art and technique of arranging type. But if you think that typography is just about making words legible, you are so wrong.

Typography is central to the skills of a designer, and, used correctly, it can convey a certain mood or feeling.

Your choice of typeface and how you make it work with your layout, grid, colour scheme, design theme and so on, will also make the difference between a good, a bad, and a great design.


Some of these trends might take time to be implemented, as you’d need to adjust to these new ideas, and also learn, practice and test them out. Research and development, picking up new techniques and understanding the latest technologies don’t happen overnight, especially for animations. But these trends are definitely ones to consider if you are serious about making your website and social media marketing better.