The web design world is built on trends and the interpretation of those trends to enhance a brand or service message. Whether you are tasked to create an evolutionary shift in design or to lead the way with a revolutionary mold breaker, it’s worth reviewing which design trends are already proving successful before you get started. So let’s take a look at the most common design trends of 2012 that are likely to inspire the year ahead.
Use of Vector Graphics
According to Shutterstock’s design trend report, last year more than 6,000 vectors were downloaded, topping the chart of most popular visuals. More scalable than raster images, vectors can be adapted to suit a variety of styles from simple to more sophisticated work. This example from Toucouler below is a great design to demonstrate just how far you can go with vectors.
One Size Fits All…
Or at least it should. Responsive design has never been more important, particularly in light of the growing use of portable devices such as smart phones, iPads and notebook devices. However great your design, it has to work on a big screen and a smaller screen. The new design implemented by the BBC in 2012 shows just how the use of a clean simple layout translates across devices and makes the best of photography.
Just One Look
A refreshing alternative to creating pages and pages on a website, one of the most popular trends emerging in 2012 was the ‘one-page’ layout. Visitors see all content such as a company’s product or service, unique selling points and social media connections as well as navigation all in one page. Get the design right and a one-page layout can look incredibly slick and stylish, get it wrong and it could look like you couldn’t be bothered to put the effort in. The designers at My Pizza Oven got it right with this one.
A Step Ahead of Flash
Flash has hit a stumbling block due to its inability to work well with mobile devices. CSS3 and HTML5 are nipping at its heels with a big bite. More flexible than Flash, they offer interactivity, faster loading, video playback and drag and drop facilities, and will begin to take the lead in web design in 2013. This site from Colosseo Type shows that you don’t have to comprise on the design to make it work.
Typography and Custom Fonts
These days the sky’s (almost) the limit when it comes to use of creative lettering and typography. With many browsers supporting different types of font, you can feel free to be as creative and original as you like and this year web designers are likely to continue to push the boundaries on this one. See how BriAbby uses font combinations here.
Current and emerging trends offer and exciting new design possibilities to explore, now all you need to do is translate them into your own style.
Luke is a web developer and designer living in Seattle. He loves UI design and exploring the outdoors.