A website design can say a lot about a brand through the simplest elements like the color scheme, typography, and layout. Whether you’re an authoritative company and use bold colors or are a traditional company that prefers softer colors, the design concepts you choose can communicate much more. The design and its components should all work cohesively to tell your brand story.

As 2018 comes to a close, we evaluated the design trends of 2018 and are forecasting what is up and coming in the website design world for 2019. As website functionalities evolve, we can expect to see more stimulating website designs in the future. 

Along with all other fads, old trends seem to boomerang because people love the sense of nostalgia; it makes them feel good. So why wouldn’t website design trends also follow that same logic? We can infer that many of the trends we’ll see will be a mixture of old-school favorites and contemporary concepts. Let’s dive in to see what website design trends will be in store for 2019.

Breaking the Grid

Website designers use a grid system to help them structure their design to ensure that elements and content are organized. Those who don’t absolutely rely on the grid and use it as more of a guide have the opportunity to span out into a land of perpetual creativity.

As we push for innovation in various industries, we can anticipate more designers breaking the grid for extra impact and differentiating themselves from the competition. You can think of breaking the grid as Apple’s slogan, “Think Different.” In 2019, we’ll see more designs playing with unusual layouts, layering, eye-catching patterns, and coloring outside the lines.

Art Deco and Mid-Century Styles

Modern designers will be experimenting with more abstract elements including art deco and mid-century styles. Art deco styles have a strong foundation in shapes, lines, and rich colors which gives off a luxurious and elegant feel. The art deco theme will be adapted with the use of logos as we head into 2019, specifically with very clean and elegant linework. 

We’ll also start to see more mid-century styles used in illustrations on websites. Designs will still have a modern feel but will incorporate the mid-century twist with color schemes and the use of more organic shapes. Illustrations will incorporate traditional primary colors and a lot of customization with artwork that resembles advertisements of the 1960s with a modern spin. Many of these modern designs, shapes, and typography are elements that will stand out but will still adopt a simplistic approach.

Natural Organic Shapes

In 2019, natural shapes will be used more than geometric shapes with sharp corners. The use of natural organic shapes can help the website flow better and provide a fresh and creative take. The use of fluid lines will be more inviting and make the website feel more approachable from a user perspective. 

Nature itself isn’t perfect which is why it’s so intriguing. Organic shapes will incorporate more curves and wave-like motions to help pages stand out while providing an illusion of movement that flows throughout the design. Of course, not all designs will use this particular style, but if it fits your brand, then you may see more websites incorporating natural organic shapes into their designs.


The Instagram logo provides a good example of using gradients, and they were definitely a thing back in the ’80s and ’90s. Think of the old MTV and Saved by the Bell days. Gradient colors were all the rage, and it’s not surprising to see them come back.

Gradients provide website backgrounds with not only nostalgia but also some texture and direction. It’s being used not only for backgrounds but can also be used in a variety of ways whether it’s an image overlay to bring out warm or cool hues or used to guide your eye. The great thing about gradients is they are fun and can be used to bring some life into a design without being overly loud. 

Advanced Illustrations and Animation

Website designers are getting more creative with their illustrations, and we can expect to see a variety of illustrative techniques with companies that are looking to make their websites more interactive. Animations may not make sense for a lot of websites, but for the ones that do, it can help bring some life and quirkiness to a brand. If done right, an animation can become an icon or trademark for a brand.

●     Isometric Illustrations – Isometric illustrations have been around in website design for a little while, but are not utilized that much. That will change in 2019. Flat illustrations will fade a bit in the new year as we start to see more custom and eye-catching illustrations. Due to their “realistic” look, isometric illustrations have been incorporated into various industries. It’s a nice middle ground from flat and 3D illustrations and is essentially a two-dimensional piece of art. With the addition of bright color schemes, isometric illustrations can create a fun visual component to websites.

●     3-Dimensional Illustrations (throwback) – Website designers are getting more creative with their illustrations and with the use of 3D design elements, it can definitely get your attention. With its versatility and pop-out effects, we can speculate that more designers will incorporate a 3D design if they are looking for a more “realistic” and whimsical approach. 

Another way to make website design more interactive is by adding micro-interactions. Micro-interactions are all about the details. 

●     Scroll Triggered Animations – Scroll triggered animation is something that has been used to showcase skill, but not a lot of websites incorporated it as a feature. But, it’s something that seems to be breaking through now. Scroll triggered animation is a way to stand out from the crowd and make your website more engaging and interactive. 

●     Micro-Interactions – Micro-interactions are another way to get users to engage with your website and could actually increase average time on those pages. They can range from simple message alerts to sounds or transition animations like the scrolling animations we just touched on.

Something to keep in mind is mobile interactions. They will differ from the way they function on a desktop. For example, if you hover over an image with your cursor on your desktop and get a micro-interaction, you’ll have to modify it for mobile scrolling since mobile uses a tapping or scroll motion. 

Statement Typography

●     Bold Serif Fonts – Bold typography is being utilized as a way to gain user attention. It’s a great way to make statements with messaging you want the reader to absorb when they visit your website. Depending on the font type you decide to use, the feeling or emotion you want to bring out of the user can vary greatly. Whether it’s awareness, caution, or empathy, big and bold typography is the way to get a strong message across in an alternative way.  

Bold typography can make a statement in itself, but with the added element of having serif font, it takes it to a whole new level. We’ve seen sans serif fonts take over in 2018, but in 2019 we’ll start to see more serif fonts incorporated within the art deco and mid-century modern styles. Designers will use serif fonts to make brands stand out from the “plain” characteristic of the san serif font. 

As technology continues to evolve, 2019 will be another year to look out for new design innovations and breakthroughs. We can expect to see companies incorporate designs that will encourage interaction and personalization. Technology will help guide future design styles, but creative techniques from the past will also continue to make their way into the new age with more modern angles.

We Design Compelling Websites

Looking to redesign your website in 2019? New Target can help. Take a look at some of the work we’ve done in various industries from government to e-commerce and everything in between. We can’t wait to work on new design projects next year and hope we can partner with your organization to create something that drives results for you online. Get started and fill out our form.

A global team of digerati with offices in Washington, D.C. and Southern California, we provide digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, and creative for brands you know and nonprofits you love.
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