There are lots of dark, retro trending vibes in website design right now. While a number of light projects are still emerging – including a pastel trend below – many of what we are seeing is feeling modest.
Here’s a design habit this month.
Pastel Color Palettes
Let’s start the trend with a lighter feel – pastel color palettes. While much of the web is heading in a dark aesthetic, there is a segment that is heading in the right direction. These sites come in soft, pastel color palettes that act as a balance for the extremely dark websites out there.
One thing about this trend in website design is that it stands out because of the stark contrast with all the dark color palettes out there.
Each of these designs seems to use a pastel color palette as the basis for a background. A vague effect is paired with the colors to use pastels in a way that has a natural feel without being too feminine or too light.
Strong uses blue and earth tones for a pastel background that feels modern and strong when paired with the hard-edged headline print.
Atmos uses a light pastel theme that takes you through the clouds with blues, and pink, and purple. The pastel color scheme works well with the airline’s themed material and makes you feel like you are flying through the sky. The colors are also soft enough to provide an easy reading experience.
Klezma is another design with the same pastel background with faded color. The peach tones are fairly neutral and give the subject plenty of space.
Fonts with a Special Back View
Each of these websites uses a font that has a similar look and feel. This retro headline style is trending in a big way.
The best way to use this design element is short words. This typeface design is not designed for many words or where legibility is a high priority.
This style is about creating a specific type of vibe for your website. The print faces in this trend have a lot of look and feel and feel almost from the 1960s or 70s. The rest of the design mimics this feeling as well as surrounding colors and elements that add to the overall look.
Common elements here include the use of all capital letters font sets and letter forms that incorporate curved shapes and lines.
Sretks not only use a retro print face but it also bends and twists a bit to add to the old-school feel. The background color helps add to the groovy vibe.
Barge 166 uses a retro print face with the same design feel as the other examples but with a sharper and more serif edge. It’s easier to read but still has a retro look and feel. Use a font like this if you want to capture that retro font style for a trendy look and maintain as much readability as possible. This option works best for multiple word lines in large volume.
Picky Joe uses a retro typeface with rounded and slightly biased letters for the characters to create a unique feel. This is certainly a style that is rarely used but can be a fun option, depending on the content of your website design.
Dark “Products” Sites
Dark mode design is probably the biggest design trend of 2022. Everywhere you look, websites are using dark color palettes and styles. Designers are creating more projects with a dark / light toggle so users can control their experience.
This visual concept is passed on to website designs that also include products. This is one of the last places that the dark aesthetic was not touched. It’s a bit of an unwritten rule that product images should be on a white or light background to help make them easy to see and explore digitally.
This design trend meets that idea and there are products on a dark background – some of which are so contrasting that you find it difficult to see the products. (Maybe these brands are using the idea that you already know them or are selling a lifestyle product.)
HQBC sells bicycle accessories such as glasses and helmets and the site has a slim look and feel. You know it’s great from the moment you land on it. The question though – is there enough visual information with the dark background to help you make a purchase? This design probably works because it only encourages you to find a physical location to make a purchase rather than an online purchase.
Doggy Style Shop is all about the idea that you know the shopping experience or brand when you enter. What the design does, however, is place products on a white background after you click long enough to make a purchase promise. This helps you see the product well one last time before you make a purchase. (The challenge is that it’s mostly between three or four clicks.)
FirstFit uses the design trend in a similar way to the first example. They’re showing a product, but they don’t want to convert sales into the Web site. Other links take you to more product information and content – using a lighter background and color scheme – and the dark background with the product acts largely as a highly visual landing page that will help entice users to learning. When it comes to dark mode and products, this seems to be the best choice for most website designs.
Websites and other design projects can be severely affected by the state of the world around us and our emotions. Some of the darker elements that are very popular now may be indicative of that or it may be more of a dark follow – on scheme.
Either way, there is a pretty dark feeling on the web right now.