Whether you’re a website design expert or you’re looking for one, you may feel tempted to jump on the latest and most trendy website design waggon. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, according to expert brand designers. Website design is like fashion design in Paris – styles surge and settle; bizarre trends surface and sink; classic staples never go bad. For these reasons, it’s always a good idea to consider both the trendy and the timeless when creating a look and feel for your website.

Brand Designers Dish on Website Design Trends-Turned-Benchmarks

Every one of these website creation essentials started out as trends, but stuck around and turned into website design staples. With any of them, you might lose the “edge” of being able to call your site completely unique; however, you will get a proven winner.

  • Word Art: This website design method is a close relative of the magazine print ad. With it, brand designers and graphic artists use words and fonts to both decorate and inform. The words themselves are large and take centre stage, leaving little room or need for photos and graphics. Think graffiti and vintage posters. This website design is in-your-face and is often used for conveying a specific message, early in the touchpoint.
  • Retro: Using design fundamentals from decades passed is cool. Why? Because when they were first trendy, the internet wasn’t offering a palette like website design in which to use them. There are no limitations when going retro. Photographs (both old images and images created using old items), vintage comics, retro fashion, dated shading techniques, old-fashioned fonts, etc. from any period are all examples of how website design can reach into the past to grasp some groovy flavour. Caveat: Brand designers warn that your brand should already have a retro aspect or value in-place if you’re considering this website design technique.
  • Ornamental: Website design that follows the principles of ornamentalism is quite similar to the styles of Art Nouveau, fleur-de-lis (lily), and elements inspired by three-dimensional applications in plaster, wood, stone, or metal. It is reminiscent of old architecture and mirrors notions of interior design. A characteristic quality of ornamentalism is a solid, or subtly detailed, background with ornate, decorative pieces “pasted” onto it.
  • Minimalist: This trend started as a pill to relieve the overstimulation caused by early website designs in which more was more. The most important element here is the content. Colour, graphics, images, and headers are sparse. Black-and-white is common. This design strategy works when the message is no-nonsense, official, or grounded in numerical or statistical elements; however, brand designers report that it has been growing in popularity amoung artistic types, too.
  • Collage: This type of website design looks like a busy creative’s desk after a long day of paper scraps, discarded design ideas, old dirt, and spilt coffee. It is anything but neat and organised. Messy is the theme. Unfettered imagination is the premise.
  • Glossy: This technique uses dramatic colour gradients to create the look of high-gloss objects that are sleek, lustrous, and liquid. Shades are brilliant and reflective qualities are generous. Brand designers say that glossism could be considered the polar opposite of grunge, and is often used to lend feelings of high-class, prosperity, and cleanliness.


No website designer is limited to any of these basic website design elements. In fact, How to Build a Brand always recommend that no trend or classic be used “verbatim.” Instead, we suggest that you first establish a strong connection between your brand’s vision/mission/values and your brand’s online and offline visual elements. Then, make it your own. Create a new trend from an old favourite. Or, create an old favourite from a new trend.

Not sure which basic style to employ in your website design? Or if you should break away with something never-before-seen? Our brand designers are here to help you decide. Simply call +44 (0) 128 203 6776 or email us on [email protected].

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