2018 promises to be a magical year for web design full of vivid colors, new experimental layouts and a chance for old trends to return in a brand new way. Read on for a detailed breakdown on the 7 most prominent trends for the year ahead.

1. Broken Grid Layouts


The grid has been traditionally relied upon to bring order and harmony to our layouts. Over time however, it has slowly become a constraint, limiting the designer’s creativity. In 2018, we can expect designers to test the boundaries by creating alternative/broken grid layouts to showcase creative content in a unique and original way. InVision has already predicted this and is in the process of releasing a new tool called InVision Studio which will allow designers to create any layout they desire and make it responsive using the tool. The promotional website along with the explainer video feature a range fresh and unique broken grid layouts to set the tone. 

2. Big Bold Type


We’ve seen the beginnings of this trend last year with large type being used to anchor home pages and grab the user’s attention. This comes from a “content first” design consensus which we can expect to continue in 2018. The large type will make its way into body copy in the form of well designed pull quotes and subheading to create contrast. Design agencies like Huge and Heco are already leading the way.

3. Non Distracting Animation

Website animation effects have been around for some time and have a tendency to fall in and out of favour. In the 90’s loud animated backgrounds were the norm but at the start of the 2000s they started to fall out of favour largely because designers overused them by animating everything. In 2010 more elegant options because available with CSS3 and jQuery and now in 2018 we expect they will be used with more restrain to add to the user experience without unnecessary distractions.

4. Return Of Serif Fonts


It seems as though serif fonts never gained much popularity among web designers. This could well be explained by screen resolution limitations of non retina displays. The lack of custom font support undoubtedly also played a big role in keeping serifs off the web. Technology has gone leaps and bounds since those early days and is now fully capable of supporting perfect serif rendering. Last year we saw a big push for custom fonts and in 2018 we’re already seeing some brands embrace it.

5. Saturated Gradients


Gradients made a big comeback in the last few years. Their use went from standard to tacky and back to trending in late 2017. With each iteration, the trend evolves and this year saturated gradients are at the top of the trend lists. The Kaleidoscopic style gradient was widespread in 2017 but this year will bring with it use of bring and vivid colors with a more minimalist gradient pattern. Many websites have already jumped on board with the new trend, Impossible Bereau’s landing page is a good example. http://www.impossible-bureau.com/

6. Ultra Minimalism


On the opposite end of the spectrum, web designers in 2018 will likely continue the minimalism trend and take it to new heights. We’ve seen some of the best examples of minimalism in 2016 when it has just gained mainstream popularity but has not made a huge leap last year. This year, we’re seeing super minimalist text only sites appearing on the scene, here is a good example. 

7. Brutalism


Brutalism, with it’s rugged carelessness stands on the opposite side of clean, light and organised trends we mentioned above. This emerging trend has confused many designers and surprised many more when the style was adopted by 2 large e-commerce websites late last year. The style is said to draw inspiration from the blocky, gray and immovable concrete architecture in the 1950-1970s. Some some call ugly and others call it art . Whatever your view of the style, it’s here to stay in 2018 

The web design trends in 2018 leave a lot of freedom for experimentation and creative expression. Why not modernise your site with some of the ideas above?

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