Activism and EngagementWebsites with a focus on societal issues have moved to the forefront. While the look and design techniques used for these websites can vary greatly, there’s a common theme of activism, community engagement, and support. What’s great about this movement – and what it reflects – is that people can take to the digital space to help amplify their message or find support with people who are going through the same things they are. While some of these efforts are backed by people and brands you may know, that’s not always the case. The designs also work best when they reflect the personality of the spokesperson or mood of the issue at hand. Note the vast differences in the three examples. The I Weigh Community uses bright color with a black and white image of promoter and celebrity Jameela Jamil to bring attention to mental health issues. Wear the Waste by retailer H&M uses simple typography in a natural environment to set the stage for more eco-friendly clothing options. Wavering Stripes uses an illustrative approach to bring attention to the stories of immigrants in detention. Each design is vastly different but all are striking and draw attention to the causes therein. The common thread is that each design is simple enough to draw you in and help you better understand the message and not get lost in tricks or design effects.
In Your Face Products’Tis the season for product promotion. Designers are opting for larger-than-life product images that allow shoppers to see every detail before making a purchase. (Seems like a good plan in a socially-distanced pandemic world.) It can work in a number of ways:
- With an oversized image and ability to use on-screen controls to take a closer look;
- With video and animation effects to see the product in action;
- With super high-resolution and zoomed in photography.
Simple Motion for ImpactCarrying on the theme of big, bold, and oversized designs, this trend focuses on simple animation for maximum impact. While all-out cinematic animation can be fun to watch, it can be a little overwhelming at times. This more subtle approach is easier to digest and helps put the focus on the content at hand rather than the effect on the display. There are plenty of ways to use simple animated effects, including scrolling animations, hover actions, and constantly moving elements. (You can see each of these if you click through the examples.) The Patrick Mahomes store, 2PM, uses a single line of moving text that tells you what the website is about. It differentiates the retail store website from information about the athlete or his other efforts. White text on a black background is classic and easy to read. The most important thing of note may be the speed of the animation; it’s timed in a way that’s scannable but not dizzying. Sometimes the hardest part of nailing an animation is getting the speed right. The resume-style website for Naomi Niko is striking and simple, but neat hover effects and a simple scroll animation for her resume only – and not the photo or details on the left side of the screen – make the design intriguing. The almost awkward crop and directional pull of her image also creates interest and makes you want to get further into the design. Guilbo uses layered hover animation to make it look like he’s blowing a glittery-dust off the screen and at the user. The rugged detail of his face with the sparkle of the animation is a fun contrast. The design uses layering with dots in the foreground and background for an additional depth effect. It’s also especially nice that the objects are made to stay off his face for a realistic effect.
ConclusionWhile 2020 has been an interesting year, designers have continued to find new ways to evolve the craft and create visual experiences that are inspiring. These trends are no exception. It shows that even in unusual circumstances or with odd constraints, that amazing work and creativity can thrive. Stay creative everyone, and keep those new designs – and potential trends – coming!
Carrie Cousins is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in the communications industry, including writing for print and online publications, and design and editing. You can connect with Carrie on Twitter @carriecousins.
So, you’ve finished college and are ready to showcase your design skills to the world. This is a pivotal moment that…
Mind-bending videos. Divisive Images. Eye-straining visuals. This list of optical illusions has it all. Join us as we…
By Max Walton
Always trying to walk the tightrope between image quality and file size? Looking to branch out from JPGs and PNGs this…