Web Design Trends for 2017

Being that I am a newbie when it comes to web design, I have done some reading to see what is going on in the [very] vast world of web design.  Some of the things that always seem to be discussed concerning graphic design are what the “trends” for the current and upcoming year are.  Web design is certainly not an exception — people in the industry are always anticipating what could be happening next!

The following list are some of the things that I am excited about:

  • Layouts that let content shine:  it is amazing how much technology and web design have changed, even just over the past couple of years.  A shift recently has occurred; causing the focus to not be just having a “pretty” website for consumers to look at, but a website that goes back to what the actual function of a website is:  to consume the information that the website communicates.  The result has become a more minimalist approach to the design (which I rather like), and this allows for the information to really take center stage.
  • Big and Bold type:  along with the concept of letting the content take the spotlight, another concept that is being utilized is using large fonts to communicate the information the website holds.  This is another simple concept but I like that it truly makes a bold statement about what the goal of the website is when the visitor goes to the landing page.
  • More of Bright colors: continuing with the concept of simple design, another trend that we could see more of this year is the use of bright color more often.  Bright colors certainly make a statement, and that is a step that the client should want to take, should this be utilized.  Going even further into this concept; people seem to be losing their minds over the observation that some websites observed are not only utilizing bright colors, they are using lots of gradients to show different shades of bright colors.  Now, I like a good gradient as much as the next guy, but I think that they must be used with discretion.  I think that gradients are like a good spice: just the perfect amount and you’re golden,  but use too much and you’ve ruined the dish.
  • Unique layouts:  another way that web designers see to be finding creative ways to present information to readers is with unique layouts!  Specifically, this is happening with broken grids.  Some ways that designers are utilizing this concept in their designs are through overlapping typographic and graphic elements and [seeming[ to randomly combine text and images.  I really love seeing these things because it breaks the website up visually, and it is aesthetically pleasing because it produces a bit of a surprise for the viewer, but not too much to where it makes the material difficult to read.

These are just some of the things that people are talking about to look out for in web design for 2017.  Of course, these are all just speculation and only time will tell exactly what the popular web design things end up being for this year!

3 Important Things to Remember About Branding

One side of graphic design that can tend to be pushed to the back burner is how important graphic designers are in the implementation and use of branding.

I have been reading a good deal about branding recently, and I have found a lot of similarities with what I have been reading.  The below are some of the most important things that I have been reading, and they are especially important so that a business’s voice is able to be heard.

          1.  Be Smarter, Not Louder

With so many businesses vying for our attention, they to be smart if they want to be heard over everybody else.  The key to grabbing a consumer’s attention probably will not be trying to be “louder” than everybody else; depending on the product as well as the audience they are communicating with, the answer might actually be to whisper to the customer.  I believe the key to success is being inventive and innovative, not louder.

          2.  Tone of Voice

Since businesses communicate with their customers is so many different ways now, one of the things that is so important to keep consistent is the tone of voice.  Across all mediums in which a business communicates from, the message that is being communicated needs to be exactly the same.  I think that if a customer were to get a different tone of voice from a business on social media and then on print, the message that was trying to be communicated would be lost.  The goal with branding should always be to keep the customer engaged in what the business is doing.

          3.  Believe in the Product

Pretty simple concept, but if a customer gets the impression that the business doesn’t believe in the product/service they are marketing, then the customer certainly won’t either.  Customers want to see that a business believes in their product with unwavering support.  That’s certainly what makes me interested in and have confidence in a product that I am going to invest time and money into.

Website Landing Pages: Good Design That Captivates

Have you ever wondered what it is that some websites have that makes you sit and just look for a few seconds?  I have certainly come across my fair share of great landing pages and I would like to take some time and share with you just a few of my favorites.

  • Apple

apple website

I have always loved visiting Apple’s homepage.  I think simplicity in good design can be highly underrated, and Apple just embraces the simplicity.  They truly let the products speak for themselves (one product at a time is featured right in the middle of the screen), the font choice is very easy to read, and the website is just as easy to navigate.  I also love their use of all the white space as the background for the website — it almost allows the viewer to breathe a little bit; it is such a breath of fresh air to not see too much going on with a website.

  • Pinterest

Pinterest

I will say that while I am not the most avid Pinterest user, I do enjoy using the website for a good recipe every now and again!  There are a few things that are striking and immediately noticeable when going to Pinterest:  1) To view any content on their website, you must join!  2) They’re all about passing information on to the user.  So literally, Pinterest has something for anybody who could happen upon their website.

While I don’t think that Pinterest is the most clean looking website I have ever seen, I do think that they do a great job of keeping everything quite organized (with as much information that is being shared), and it is also very easy to navigate.  With one quick search you’ve got a few thousand different recipes at your fingertips, and that’s just for Fettuccine Alfredo.

  • Indochino

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 12.05.56 AM

Ah, Indochino.  I have been to this website many times but I have never actually purchased anything from them.  This company specializes in custom made suits, and the entire ordering process takes place online.  The website will even walk you through step by step on how to get the perfect measurements (if you don’t already know them) so that you can get the perfect bespoke suit in the mail.  These folks really know how to make a gorgeous suit.

The whole concept of getting a custom suit all online is still a pretty new concept, and I think that the design of the website reflects that.  The website is modern looking and simple, and it is ridiculously easy to navigate.  The first thing you see when you open the website is always either a closeup of one of their suits, or a group picture (usually a wedding shot) of guys wearing their suits.  You almost can’t look at that first glance of one of their suits and not continue clicking farther and farther into their website.  Indochina certainly does know what they’re doing.

 

These are just a few of my favorite landing pages with websites that I am familiar with.  That first look at a website does make a big impression, and I know that is makes a big impact on what I think about the company.

Brands: How NOT to get Lost at Sea

I was recently reading an article by George Lange (brand content expert who has worked with Facebook and Instagram) that got me thinking — how does any company not get absolutely lost among all the chaos that is branding being thrown at consumers, especially on social media?

I think it can be safe to say that (even though some people might not intend it), every person on the many different forms of social media are there because they have a story to share.

Every day people share the high’s and lo’s of their day, the big moments of their lives, the seemingly normal and uneventful parts of their day, as well as their opinions of social and political events (though this is not an exhaustive list, of course).

Any of us that has a Twitter feed or a Facebook timeline is no stranger to the stories that the people in our lives share.  But shouldn’t the businesses and companies that we frequent have stories to tell as well?  Without a doubt, there is a reason why companies like Coca-Cola and Verizon are remembered by millions of people; the stories they have to tell resonate with their consumers.

I think that more than anything consumers want to connect with the businesses they support on a personal level.  This however, is no small task.  Consumers what to know that the businesses they support are not just there to make a profit — the customer want to see that the business has real causes and issues they care about, that they genuinely care about the customers, and that they give back to the community.  People want to see that businesses are living and breathing entities.

There are unique people within businesses that drive their success in our communities/the world.  We need and want to hear of these people and how they help connect their business’ mission to our cities, and exactly how the company fits into our city.  Each business like each person, is unique and needs to have their story told.  Our world wants to hear these stories, especially since people will be able to relate to them!

The identity of a company and their brand is not just about the product they sell anymore; the stories these companies have to tell to the world is just as crucial to their success.