The “New” Design Trends of the Past Six Months


We’ve reached the half-way point in the year, and more than a couple web design websites have started sharing their lists of trends for the year. But, most of these lists seem oddly familiar. Anyone keeping up with the blogs and news has already seen more articles on the popularity of minimalism, flat design, responsive design, and typography.

None of those articles are wrong, but surprisingly not much has changed in web design trends over the past six months. The trends gaining traction at the beginning of the year have just ingrained themselves even further into web design, but there are a couple things that have managed to start gaining traction that are worth noting.

Creative Overflow recently shared one of these lists of “new” trends in web design, but surprisingly not a single entry on the list is the least bit new. Minimalism goes hand in hand with responsive design which is quickly becoming a standard. Minimalistic sites also rely strongly on typography because they forsake all the other common embellishments. Elsewhere, the rise of high definition screens on everything from our phones to our computers has led many designers to begin using lush background photography rather than simple colors, because there is now a high enough resolution to differentiate the text from more complex images.

At this point, there is little doubt you’ve heard about all of these issues, but there are a couple more trends slowly spreading that have been less discussed, though they’re far from new.
Detailed illustrations have been a popular part of the internet for quite a while now, but on sites that want to appear light-hearted or nostalgic these illustrations have almost become prerequisite. The illustrations tend to give a sort of hand-crafted charm to sites as well as shying away from the edgy or dramatic moods prevalent on more “serious” minded sites.

An even more popular trend that has been steadily growing for the past couple years is the use of circles. We tend not to think about it, but the internet has been largely rectangular for much of its history, but with the advent of smartphones and touch screens, the use of circles has become shorthand for interactive features. If you want someone to touch something on the screen, make it a circle. Of course, it has outgrown the touch-focused usage, and circles are now just a hugely popular motif in design. Once touch interfaces turned to circles instead of squares, it opened up the floodgates for designers of all kinds to step outside the box based designs.

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