The new year is upon us, so it is time to assess the state of web design and make our predictions for trends that will persevere and grow throughout the year. The following is a list of six web design trends to look out for in 2018.

Return of Depth

With the release of iOS 7 in 2013, much of the design industry went crazy for flat design. But design trends tend to swing back and forth, and slowly but surely depth has been making a return. For years, designers would scoff at other designers who used drop shadows and three-dimensional effects, but it’s finally time to re-embrace depth in design and make our decisions intentional to draw the eye in an intended manner. As designers, we need to make sure we don’t overdo it again (looking at you, curled ribbon effects).

Bright Colors

If 2017 was the year of bright, bold gradients, then 2018 is the year of bright, bold colors. This, coupled with elements from the next two sections (bold text, photographs, or custom illustrations), can make a very big visual statement.

Notice how the example below uses a combination of photography, bold text, and a bright blue color (with complimentary pink shadows) to make an eye-catching landing page.

bright imagery
via http://circulardev.com/nike/cortez/

Bold Text and Impactful Photographs

While beautiful photographs and bold text are nothing new in web design, and would likely be on any design trend list for many years, it is still a trend we don’t see go anywhere in 2018. You will likely see lots of beautiful photography and videography coupled with bold text continuing to fill your 27-inch 5k displays and squished down to fit on your phones.

Illustrations

When we redesigned our site last year, one of the rules we set in placed was to not use any stock icons. It can be tempting (and fast!) to download an icon pack and pepper them throughout your design, but it’s not 2012 anymore. Custom illustrations of a variety of styles are in style, and in 2018 you will see us expanding our designs with custom illustrations that are tailored to fit the messaging of the page.

custom illustrations

Animation

Animation has been growing in popularity over the years with the introduction of HTML5 and JQuery. We’ve come a long way since the days of heavily-dithered GIF animations, and non-SEO friendly flash. Animation, when used properly, can present information in an engaging and interesting way and add a level of polish to designs. This is another effect that is important not to overdo—the animations should serve the content.

Purple

pantone 2018

While most brands we work with already have pre-approved color schemes and brand guidelines, sometimes we get to play around with new color schemes. As it does every year, Pantone has announced 2018 is the year of purple (or more specifically, Ultra Violet 18-3838). it’s important to note that this is largely a marketing move for Pantone and should be taken with a grain of salt, but we still see this as being a trend worth noting.

Adobe makes great use of purple in this eye-catching landing page.

Purple Design
via Adobe Marketing Cloud