Brutalists websites, a new trend in web design, are becoming increasingly popular amongst designers, artists, and professionals from the tech industry. When Pascal Deville launched brutalistwebsites.com, which lists examples of brutalist websites, this innovative approach to web design went viral. In a nutshell, brutalist websites strip web design back to the basics, leaving a raw and harsh aesthetic that is deliberately off-putting yet attractive and, most importantly, unique in comparison to the websites we are used to seeing.
One of the key features of brutalist web design is simple, clean font, which is at times the only visual feature of the whole website. Knowing what fonts to use to fit your theme is an integral part of designing a website; when typography is the only visual element of a website, it creates an opportunity to appreciate the importance, as well as aesthetic value, of font in web design.
'Brutalism' is not new, it has been a well-known genre of design for over half a century. The term originates from the French word 'raw' and was originally a form of architecture characterized by rough textures, concrete, and angular shapes. Brutalist websites share the rawness of brutalist architecture. Some incorporate HTML code into the design, as if stripping the internet of its skin to expose the innards. This hot new trend in web design offers something different to conventional web design, by attracting users with its bare simplicity. Rather than impressing the user with fancy animation and photographic content, brutalist web designers make websites that stand out by showing how effective simplicity can be. This is the ‘no frills’ approach to web design.
Brutalist web design is suitable for websites that don’t have very much content – perfect for online portfolios or websites for individual professionals and artists whose purpose is to showcase their skills. But for websites with multiple pages and large amounts of visual content, a brutalist approach may not be the best method. Most brutalist websites will have a maximum of five pages, each page containing minimal text, if there are any images they will also be limited. Some brutalist web designers use simple stock animation, but any other kind of animated content doesn’t suit the aesthetic. A popular trend in brutalist web design is photographic content displayed in a rough-around-the-edges collage, which looks like a scrapbook and gives the overall appearance a personal touch.
The popularity of brutalist web design shows that designers are eager to radically change the way we view web design. What is interesting, is that rather than becoming more technically advanced, the new way to stand out from the crowd is to go back to basics.