Where Did Brutalist Web Design Come From?


Author: VEONIO

February 22, 2018

At the moment brutalism web design is a niche movement, but it has seen some mainstream attention. As this unconventional approach popularity grows, more retail brands are adopting brutalist techniques themselves. It’s great for increasing conversions or in generating interest over a competitor’s site that takes a more traditional route to web design.

What is brutalist web design?

Brutalism looks like a very basic wireframe. You can think that someone didn’t finish his work or images must have been in the midst of filling in. But after a while, you’ll find that this is indeed the design of the website and not a rudimentary.

Where did the brutalist design come from?

The term “brutalism” comes from Sweden, Britain, and France. Defined as a functional and raw (French béton brut) visual aesthetic. And that’s exactly what brutalist design–in architecture and on the web–is at its core.
The name is borrowed from brutalist architecture, which features buildings with large blocks of exposed concrete, designers of these sites intentionally display pages that appear unpolished. This trend can be often uncomfortable for many audiences and users to interact with. But for others, this new style is seen by some to be a welcome response to generic design practices and conventions that typify many template-based websites.

This is what it consists of:

  • Repeating geometric patterns;
  • Highly modularized grid designs;
  • Concrete and brick materials;
  • Exposed inner support systems;
  • Greater focus on practicality and purpose instead of ornamental design.

Is Brutalist Web Design an Antidesign?

Many people confuse brutalist web design with antidesign. Brutalist designers want to avoid the stale, cookie-cutter, premade-template sites that dominate the web today. They want the web to be true and honest to itself, not contrived.

Anti-design is to create websites to get an effect that feels like bad 1990s’ designs. Designers interpret brutalism to mean rebelling against oversimplified design by intentionally creating ugly, disorienting, or complex interfaces. Some use harsh colours, disorienting patterns, weird cursors, and unnecessary distracting animations.

Examples of brutalist web design

Brutalist Web Design - Reloading Technology
Brutalist Web Design – Reloading Technology
Brutalist Web Design - Travis Scott
Brutalist Web Design – Travis Scott
Brutalist Web Design - Balenciaga
Brutalist Web Design – Balenciaga

How can you use the brutalist web design correctly?

  • Remove any unnecessary bits of flare so that the purpose is as clear;
  • Use mostly a bunch of white space and very trimmed-back messaging;
  • If you want your website to have quite a logical nature use the black-and-white colour scheme, which exemplifies well. This site may be unimpressive at first glance but easy to read;
  • Use colour synonymous with the raw materials used in the architectural style: namely, concrete;
  • Use modular bricks;
  • Try to use just one call-to-action on the entire single-page website;
  • Background colour should be the concrete;
  • Simplified and non-hierarchical font;
  • The oversized text in the centre of it all.

If you want to create web design which will be warm with a welcoming environment or you don’t like a clean and raw design you shouldn’t use brutalist web design. But if you want to shock the audience and make a social statement or you want to focus on the reading experience and less on distractions then brutalist web design is for you. If brutalist web design really is going to be a top trend, then there must be something good about it. Websites should be faster to load, easier to navigate, and present fewer choices to work through this is due to a simple design.

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