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17 Web Design Trends 2019

New year, new time to think about web design trends.

The start of the year is a great time to look back on the previous year and your successes and look ahead to things that you want to improve and change.

And that goes for website design trends and techniques as well. Many elements that gained popularity in the later part of 2018 will continue to emerge as trends in 2019. These trending elements include everything to color choices, typography and text usage, voice and VR interfaces and everything UX.

There are so many great things happening in web design right now that it was tough to break it down, but we hope you’ll enjoy our look at the top 17 web design and UI trends for 2019.

Vibrant Color Palettes

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Bright color is everywhere. From gradient backgrounds to bright image overlays to animations that feature moving colors, vibrant color palettes will continue to gain popularity.

Even Pantone is getting in on the action by naming a bright hue – Living Coral – as color of the year. Although a scan of current designs shows that bright blues, such as Spotify or Secure Invest (above), might be the most popular choice.

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Many of these bright colors have evolved from other design trends. Brights first started gaining popularity with flat design, morphed into even more vibrant colors with Material Design, and now some of these hues even have a hint of neon in them.

The nice thing about this design trend is that color – once you have a palette – is pretty simple to deploy. You don’t have to completely redesign your website to add this trending element to the design.

Emotional Design

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You have to create a connection with users. That’s what emotional design is all about.

In 2019, websites and apps that don’t establish this emotional connection will get lost. According to Design Shack, emotional connections fall into four basic categories — joy and sadness, trust and disgust, fear and anger, and surprise and anticipation. Think about how your content falls into ones of these grouping and use color, imagery and the user interface to further connect on that level with users.

Every visual element in the design provides a cue to users about how they should react. The movement in the bike app, above, for example, shows motion; that makes the user want to ride along. The same is true of the example from Sprout – a smiling face creates a positive first interaction with users. The woman in the image is happy and users can feel and want to emulate that emotion.

Depth and Almost “Real” Design Elements

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While virtual reality isn’t truly accessible to everyone yet, its influences are already evident.

More designers are adding more depth and design elements that have a more real or tactical feel to them to projects. This includes everything from illustrations (and even animated illustrations) with a more three-dimensional look to moving shapes or products that users can seemingly reach out and touch.

As more designers use these techniques, they will become more of the norm and much more expected parts of the user experience. They will also start to look more real and less “VR-ish.”

Purposeful Animation

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Web an apps designs are packed with animation. But it has to be there for a reason.

Animation draws users to certain parts of the design, helps drive engagement or interest or tells a story. Use animation in web projects to provide a great depth of understanding to users who engage with the design. (Click through both examples above to see this animation in action … and think about how it engages your senses.)

Surreal Design and Abstract Design

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Web Design Trends 2019

Web Design Trends 2019

With the crazy world that we live in, more designers are creating projects that have more surreal and abstract elements in them. Surreal design and abstract design will continue to develop and grow as more users want these experiences that are almost, but not quite real.

The reason this design technique works goes back to the idea of emotional connection: Surreal design and abstract design provide a connection for users that they can relate to on their own terms. (Maybe because more surreal and abstract elements allow users to picture themselves inside the design?)

These projects are often exemplified by elements that have some animation, illustrated people or things and a somewhat playful or cartoonish nature that users want to be a part of. The goal of surreal and abstract design projects is to maintain a fresh style that keeps users engaged. (We think this trend works well and hope to see plenty of it in the coming year.)

Even More Voice

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“Google, play my favorite song.”

In 2019, you will have to design for conversational interfaces. With a rising number of people using smart devices in their homes, you’ll need to start thinking about ways your designs interact with these devices and how to create user experiences that fit the way people want to use websites.

The big change for designers is understanding how users will interact with voice commands and then prototyping the voice interface with keywords and related actions.

And it makes all the content on your website that much more important. Voice interfaces are rooted in “reading” websites for information and data. So text content matters a great deal. (This is quite a shift from more visual thinking.)

Single Page Design Makes a Comeback

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It wasn’t all that long ago that we proclaimed that the scroll was dead. (We missed the boat on that one, obviously.)

More designers will deploy single page designs with interesting scroll features and immersive storytelling to keep users engaged. Single-page design actually works better on mobile and smaller devices because users can get everything with trying to navigate the menu. And mobile users – likely the highest number of your website visitors – are accustomed to scrolling.

Don’t ignore this growing user pattern.

Flat Design Emulates 3D

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Three-dimensional renderings are providing an update to flat design. The result is a mash-up of 3D realistic and flat interfaces that are complex, visually interesting and showing up everywhere.

It’s like a touch of virtual reality in designs that don’t require anything special to look at.

When you look deeper into the trend, a lot of what make it work are depth in layers plus animation. (See how multiple design trends impact one another?)

Some people are starting to call this concept “deep flat.” But we just think it is a natural evolution of flat design.

Brutalism Goes a Little More Mainstream

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In the way that minimal designs have dominated web interfaces, brutalism is taking over. It’s the antithesis of all the bright-color designs. (You could say it is the yin to that yang.)

Brutalism is described like this by the Nielsen Norman Group: “Brutalism in digital design is a style that intentionally attempts to look raw, haphazard, or unadorned. It echoes early 1990s-style websites (think Craigslist and the Drudge Report). Sometimes this aspect of brutalism is expressed as bare-bones, almost naked HTML site with blue links and monochromatic Monospace text.”

And while few people would classify this design style as pretty, it does have a certain charm for some content types. And with a stark and bold style, it definitely makes an impact when you stumble on one of these designs.

More Gradients

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Gradients are the multipurpose color trend that work on pretty much any type of design. And that’s evident by how many projects are using them.

Gradients can add a fun burst of color to almost any design pattern, but are most commonly being featured in projects that might be a little “art poor.” Gradient backgrounds can be a fun way to break out text elements or highlight specific content, such as Train Body Brain (above top); for text elements such as Orion; or create an interesting background for a product placement, such as Mel.

The biggest shift in using gradients as a color trend in 2019, is that gradients are a featured technique paired with primarily bright color choices, whereas in 2018 gradients were more of a photo overlay tool. Now, this popular technique has room to stand on its own.

Vintage Typography/More Serifs

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One of the most refreshing design trends of 2019 is a shift to more vintage typography styles.

More serif typefaces, rounded slabs and text elements that seem to have an older feel. These vintage styles all seem to have bolder, thinker lines than some of the thinner sans serifs that have been popular in the last few years.

Even some well-known brands, such as Mailchimp (above) have shifted to this vintage typography style.

The biggest contributing factor to this design trend is better screen resolutions across all devices. It was once thought that sans serifs were the most readable on screens, but thanks to high def and high-res understanding serifs is not an issue.

Variable Fonts

More designers will use variable fonts in 2019 to make the web that much more readable across devices.

According to Google: “A variable font is a collection of master styles, with one central ‘default’ master (usually the Regular font style) and multiple registered “axes” which tie the central master to the other masters. For example, the Weight axis might connect a Light style master to the default style and through to the Bold style master. The individual styles that can be located along this axis are called instances.”

While the concept behind OpenType variable fonts might still be a little intimidating to some, they are starting to become more mainstream. They are made for responsive design and can help projects look more complete on different screen sizes.

Variable fonts provide all the flexibility you have always wished for.

Three variable fonts to try:

Focus on Data Visualization

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Everywhere you look, someone seems to have an infographic as part of the design.

Data visualizations are a more interesting and understandable way to presenting complex information to users. This visual format for everything from numbers to maps to understanding complex algorithms, is loved by users. It can help people understand content and works in a number of ways – as a still image, in scrolling panels, as an animation or interactive game.

The way to make it work most effectively is to turn your data into a story. Create a beginning, middle and end so that users follow the journey of information to complete understanding that hopefully results in longer time on site and higher conversion rates.

Writing for UX

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All good design has some element of messaging in the form of text. With users demanding authentic web experiences, there’s a growing focus on writing for UX.

All of the copy on websites will be designed to help users better engage and connect with the product or service. The days of the hard sell are gone and content that useful and practical will rule the day.

Good UX writing is useful and respectful of the user. (Seems pretty simple, right?)

UX writing is so important because you don’t have a lot of space, time or words to tell your story. So, every sentence has to lead to a goal and user outcome that people want to read. (Seems a little more complicated, huh?)

Split Screen Design Keeps Growing

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You might be catching on to a theme here – website designs need to fit mobile users. That’s why split screen patterns keep emerging.

The split screen aesthetic – where a desktop screen is broken into two panels of content that collapses into vertical content blocks on smaller devices – is an approachable way to design content that works across devices with a fairly seamless UX.

While many of these designs started featuring side-by-side “screens” that looked similar, more designs are shifting to asymmetrical splits for content. This can create more hierarchy in the design for desktop users, with the larger item having greater importance. (It is assumed for mobile users because the item on top is perceived as being more important.)

Mobile Animation

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While designers have shied away from animation on mobile versions of websites, there’s a movement to include animations.

Video is still a concern – particularly for iPhone users, which doesn’t render video on websites well – but timed animations are growing steadily in popularity. You might even start to see more scroll animations on mobile as a shift back to mobile-first thinking starts to take hold.

Remembering that most of your website visits are coming from mobile devices, why wouldn’t you design for these users first?

More Text (Seriously!)

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Would you be surprised if 2019 went down as the year of text?

From stacked headlines with plenty of words to designs with all and few images, there’s a shift to text as a featured element. With the right typography, this trend can look amazing and provide a great deal of information to users quickly. Without good typography, it can fall flat and be disastrous.

The easiest way to get started with more text-heavy designs is to use a double- or triple-stacked headline on the homepage. You get more room for messaging. The adjustment here is that text sizes are often much smaller than some of the oversized fonts that have been popular. Keep in mind that multiple lines of text at a smaller size can actually have the same weight as fewer words in a larger font.

The trick to making more text work for design projects is that it needs to be valuable text. Users need to want to read the words. So, plan the design carefully. (Don’t just write a lot for the sake of writing; make every word count.)


Design Inspiration Featured Graphic Inspiration

10 gorgeous graphic design trends for 2019

Whether you’re a designer or are working with one, you need to stay on top of the latest graphic design trends. No matter the medium, understanding how styles are changing and evolving keeps your work fresh and resonate with clients.

The overarching design trend for 2019? Just like in every other part of life, we seem to be in opposition with ourselves: this year is all about contradictions. Trends from conflicting eras and opposing ends of the visual spectrum are all vying for attention, while being equally embraced by designers looking for an edge.

10 graphic design trends that will be huge in 2019

1. 3D design and typography

Three dimensional works seems to be everywhere right now: entire compositions that have so much depth, you can’t help but reach out and touch them. 3D typography especially feels just about ready to pop. The best part about it is there’s no particular type that works best for this trend: bold, skinny, sans-serif, script, any font can be rendered in 3D.

Mulher 3D logo
A gorgeous example of 3D type brings whole new life to the floral trend. Via Diêgo Soou.
A creative and fun metallic poster

A creative and fun metallic poster. By Pinch Studio.

These complex designs by Khatt Phatt offer something new for your eye every time you examine them.

3D netbee logo
This composition shows how 3D design can enhance a logo design. Via Khatt Phatt.

Beyond typography, we’re seeing a lot of gorgeously rendered 3D compositions that give the impression of being still-lives from distant planets. Some designs, like Pinch Studio’s vibrant pop art or Issey Miyake’s marriage of textiles and food, merge these two trends into futuristic landscapes of color, type and form. Others, like the stunning papercut illustrations by Eiko Ojala, seem like they were created from elements directly from the natural world. In both directions, the effect is stunning—these compositions literally jump right off the page and make it impossible to look away.

Pop art design
A fantastic pop art composition. By Pinch Studio.
Wine textile texture

Incredibly rich textile textures. Via Isse Miyake.

Ice cream textile texture
Paper design of green woman

Papercut illustrations by Eiko Ojala manage to feel both futuristic and retro at the same time.

Colorful 3D city landscape

A fun, colorful 3D landscape by EFL.

2. Asymmetrical layouts

We’re starting to see the beginnings of a move away from the rigid grid-based designs that have been standard for the past few years. The dominance of Squarespace and Canva and other template-based design sites provided beginners with beautiful websites and graphic products, even if they had no idea what a grid was. Now designers are looking to create products that feel more bespoke and alive.

Enter asymmetrical designs.

Because these layouts break free from the rigid and predictable grid, they deliver more kinetic energy and movement. An asymmetrical layout, whether on a design composition, in an app or on a site, demands attention. The user feels an innate curiosity about where the information and graphics might go next, creating a feeling of wonder and interest as they scroll or peruse a design.

Deconstructed web design
A deconstructed and unconventional web design. Via Mila Jones Cann.
Furniture asymmetrical design

Another asymmetrical layout challenges notions of the way products should be displayed. Via Artem Oberland.

Remote working design

The boxes in this design don’t interact the way we expect in a standard grid. Via Jesse Showalter.

The wisdom of nature gallery display design
This design avoids the normal grid display for artwork. By AbdooElhamdaoui.

3. Art Deco

The “modern” design era gets its name from the artistic movement of modernism that began after World War I and continued for nearly a half-century. There are two major styles from this period that are currently experiencing a total renaissance: the highly ornamental and glamorous Art Deco designs of the 1920s and the streamlined organic forms of the Mid-Century Modern period of the 1950s and 60s.

Chalk it up to the nearing centennial of the roaring twenties, but Art Deco-inspired designs are set to blow up in 2019. We’re seeing the trend emerge particularly in logo work. Designers are embracing the complex line-work intense symmetry of the era’s best work, while combining it with sharp metallics that would make Jay Gatsby feel right at home. We’re noticing this influence in typography as well, as sans-serifs get narrower and leggier, like they were pulled from a classic A.M. Cassandre poster design. These designs feel opulent and luxurious—and starkly in contrast to the rustic, country-inspired work that has dominated for the past few years.

Minimal Lettermark logo and Line Graphic Illustration for Juicebox
A gorgeous and intricate metallic branding design. By Skilline.
Tulipan Husene logo

Another lovely metallic logo by Arthean.

Cannabis Regulatory Compliance logo

Logo by aarif ™

Peacock logo design

Logo design by flycr.

Insaaph logo

This modern lion logo evokes the glamour and pomp of the Art Deco period. By Arthean.

Collective Humanity package logo
Packaging design that uses fonts and motifs lifted directly from the Art Deco movement. By svart ink.

4. Modern Mid-Century Modern

After the Art Deco period—and in direct response to it—designers decided that function should dictate form, ditching the flashy designs and embracing stripped down and organic clean lines. While mid-century influence has been prominently visible in areas like interior design and fashion for the past few years, it’s been steadily growing in graphic work.

It’s especially prominent in the illustration styles that harken back to the iconic advertising illustrations of the post-War era. And like in that era, small companies and start-ups are recognizing the power of custom illustration work. We’re seeing a lot of brands launching with gorgeous websites, full of these mid-century influenced illustrations, often rendered in a clearly modern style but retaining dreamy vintage color palettes. In 2019 we expect to see these continue to dominate web and in print work as well.

Goodbye summer web slider
A very modern web slider, with a decidedly retro vibe. Via Paarth Desai.
Retro-futuristic boxing poster

Poster and ad design came to define Mid-Mod period. Via ANAMOLLY.

How attentive are you? illustration

This illustration style pulls heavily from the mid-century aesthetic and will be everywhere in the coming year. By Spoon Lancer.

Golden Rule - Old Fashioned Matchbooks

A matchbook design that draws on the classic “Atomic” styling popularized in the Cold War period. Via Nicola Broderick.

Solar Eliquids logo

Another Space Race inspired design. By Arthean.

Mid-Century modern graphic design logo
Patterns that evoke the masters Mid-Century modern graphic design. Via Andrew Littmann.

5. The continuing evolution of duotones and gradients

Gradients—“color transitions,” as they are now sometimes called—have been a well-recognized trend for the past few years. Recently they’ve definitely begun to creep back into logo design more heavily. Simple one-color logos aren’t enough; more and more are showing up with some kind of gradient. Some are the expected combinations (blue/purple, red/orange) but others use chunkier duotone fades.

There was much noise made in the past year or two about the “return of the duotone”. Now, often contributed entirely to Spotify and their iconic playlist covers, the two parallel trends have combined, making 2019 the year of the duotone gradient.

Immaculate Styles concert poster
Poster design via nevergohungry
vlogeasy logo

artsigma offers two nice gradient logos in the classic “blurple” duotone.

Buildify Systems logo
Printing Apparel Company website design

This shows how bright (but complimentary) gradients can be used throughout a web design. By mikebarnes.

Explore. Sonhe. Descubra. poster design

This gorgeous combination of bold gradients is the definition of on-trend. Via Bruno Pego.

6. But also a steady rise for warm and moody color palettes for photos

But of course for every action there is an equal reaction: the prevalence of saturated and bold duotones has led to a rise in moody, vintage tones. While a few years ago designers were told to shun muted colors to embrace the bold and neon—inspired by shows like Stranger Things—these colors feel more like the days when cameras and screens were not able to capture deeply saturated colors.

They feel like a direct throwback to the soft, low-fi photography of the seventies and even muted camcorder footage of the 1980s. Incorporating some amount of black into each color, these photos have a warm and wistful vibe that neon colors will never compete with.

Moody fashion shoot

More moody colors in fashion photography via Tiago Ferreira.

Fashion spread

A fashion spread that ditches the usual bold colors in favor of muted tones. Via lasho.

Woman eating at restaurant

Contemporary portraits that feel like they were lifted from a 1970s photo album. Via Fernando Machado.

Woman wearing denim jacket and sunglasses
Lil Yachty mixtape cover

Stunning collage-inspired book cover and mixtape cover by nevergohungry

You Don

by nevergohungry

7. Custom illustrations lighten up

After years of bold, thick lines in illustration, there’s been a recent rise in more delicate, elegant illustration. Heavily influenced by botanical and natural elements, this style is more feminine and appeals to a more innocent and childlike part of us all. We’re seeing it take a front seat particularly in packaging design, where intricate designs are rendered beautifully against a textured paper background. With addition of premium materials like foil and embossing, these designs strike a balance between maximalism and simplicity.

Sophisticated chocolate bar packaging
The packaging for these chocolate bars feels expensive and natural. By Mila Katagarova.
Natural Deodorant packaging

Lighter, more organic packaging design for a natural deodorant company. By Wooden Horse.

Sea Monster Software logo

A playful branding design by Gwydion”

Clinical looking illustration of Dandelion plant

A soft illustration inspired by old botanical drawings. By Yokaona.

The Seattle Baby Company logo

This adorable deer created for a baby accessory brand. By Mad Pepper.

8. Buxom serifs

While the illustrations are getting lighter, the fonts are beefing up—especially when it comes to serifs. While sans-serifs aren’t going anywhere—especially in digital—2019 will be the year of the serif. The past year has given us some gorgeous plump serifs that seem pulled from the days of cast-metal type. While sans-serifs and hand-drawn fonts will continue to be highly visible, this is the year where the range and diversity of serif fonts will explode.

Custom type is becoming more and more necessary for brands that really want to stand out and increasingly a signature serif type or logomark is what designers are turning to. Why? Because after years of dominance the clean sans serif is now seen as “soulless” and “characterless” and serifs are the horned-rimmed glasses of type–seen as quirky cute, smart, and bursting with personality.

Cabin Fever web design
A stunning and immersive serif font web design. Via Nathan Riley.
D. McQuillan Construction and Fine Homes logo

The beautiful and classic serif feels bespoke and hand-carved in this logo for a high-end construction company. By Dave Roach.

Lighter illustration and trendy serifs combine on this restaurant logo. Via tulimilka.

Minimalist/Scandinavian web design

A website template that evokes ultra-minimalist/Scandinavian design. By Alex Capellan.

Branding for a toast and juice bar

Branding for a toast and juice bar. Via Levi Lowell.

9. Open compositions

Remember that old adage about leaving something to the imagination? After years of boxes and frames encasing elements in a strict order, every single part visible and accounted for, designers are starting to embrace more open compositions. These are designs where you feel like you only see a part of the whole picture and there’s an entire world off the page.

These compositions embrace white space and eschew clear hierarchy. The elements in these compositions feel loosely tethered to each other, as if they could float away. Often open-styled, seemingly chaotic, broken and cut-up, these compositions take a very strong design hand since the placement of each element is anything but random.

text open composition website
This entire website is a menu, with not all the letterforms present on the screen at once. Via Lionel Durimel.
Rise up statue design

This design hits the mark for 2019 with duotones, gradients and an open composition style. Via Bruno Pego.

3D poster design

A bold and open design that makes you wonder if you’re holding it right side up. Via Vasjen Katro.

Pink Louis Vuitton design

Light, modern illustrations that feel like they are continuing off-screen. Via Lionel Durimel.

Ayodele modeling website

A open composition used for a modeling website. Via Kieran.

10. Isometric design

While open compositions leave some things out, isometric designs create whole universes in tiny little spaces. Isometric design sounds highly technical, but it’s simply a method of drawing a 3D object in two dimensions. The drawing is simple and clean, but has a depth that flat design can’t compete with. The arena where this trend is heating up the most is with icons. Isometric icons have a lot more tactility and warmth than flat design, drawing users in. Plus they are saved to a smaller file size than 3D, so you get all of the bang with none of the lag!

City illustration
An isometric illustration of a city. By LittleFox. web design

A very on-trend isometric mountain. By KisaDesign.

Savagely website design

A super fun isometric landing page. Via Ghani Pradita.

Isometric data design

This design shows data moving in a way that feels more vibrant and alive than flat design. Via Dmitrii Kharchenko.

Man sitting at desk with computer

Isometric design can be used for character creation, as well. By Daria V.

Are you ready for design in 2019?

We’re embarking on what is sure to be a deeply interesting year for graphic design. There’s a push and pull happening between the forward-looking, tech-conscious designers exploring in newer areas like 3D and AR, and the traditionalists still putting pen to paper each day. We also see this in the simultaneous embrace of vibrant duotones co-existing with toned down, vintage palettes. Same goes for whimsical illustration and mid-century functionality.

The best part? Exciting things happen when designers embrace conflict, allowing room for inspiration to strike from every direction at once. We celebrate and look forward to seeing what incredible work they create. Make 2019 the year you create your best work!

Originally Published:

Design Inspiration Featured Graphic Inspiration

10 Graphic Design Trends in 2019 – 3D edition

See the projects and creatives we think are going to set the trends for 2019 and inspire creatives in typography, advertising, illustration, photography, motion, and graphic design.