Take a look at what you’re wearing – what does it say about you? Are you a heels and sequins type of girl or do you feel most yourself in minimalist basics? In most cases, the choices we make about our clothing and outfits are not only dictated by where we are going and what we are doing, but they’re a reflection of our personalities.
In a similar way, the way a brand portrays itself, ie through their social media, website, and packaging is an important way for them to showcase the ‘personality’ of the brand. In the same way as individuals skew toward a certain natural style, a brand may like to perceived as classic and traditional, modern and trend-setting, or fun and exciting.
In fact, fashion always inspires graphic design. And for every new trend in fashion, you’ll be sure to find those same elements popping up on different marketing materials, apps, and website designs.
When creating a modern brand aesthetic, designers will often overlay certain design trends that are established by what is happening in fashion today. You only have to take a look at some of the most popular websites in the world to quickly discover that they have taken inspiration from the world of fashion and from leading fashion trends.
What can website designers learn from fashion and personal style?
One of the ways for website designers to stay ahead of the game is to pay close attention to what’s happening in fashion. And just as we all have our own personal style websites are no different.
Whether it’s an established brand that has been online for 20+ years or a new start-up, when creating a website for the first time, it’s important to understand the ‘personal style’ of the brand and apply it throughout the design.
So, when creating a website, the designer will need to take some basic fundamentals into account and these will typically be driven by brand and style guidelines – it is unusual for any consumer-centric business to set off on a new website design and build without them. These brand guidelines will form the foundation of the overall design of the website and will dictate the colours that can be used and the fonts.
Structure, balance and harmony are basic design principles and these are relevant both in fashion and in website or graphic design. A website designer needs to understand these principles and apply them to the process when designing a website.
Colour choice is key when it comes to designing a website, as the colours used have to both reflect the brand but also have to resonate with the target audience.
Colour goes hand in hand with great design, and fashion is a great reflection of this because it teaches us that what we wear translates into who we are and how people interpret us. The colours used on a website are no different.
Every new fashion line starts with a colour story and that is typically a good place to start for website designers. A strong website design will be crafted around a particular colour palette and those colours must work in harmony to provide structure and balance to the website and drive action.
Current design trends
A strong trend in website design at the moment is the use of black as the primary background colour with bold, strong branding colours as the call to action buttons. Websites like Netflix (black and red), Amazon (black and yellow), Betway Online Casino (black and green), and Stan (black and blue) have embraced this trend.
The use of bold, bright colours on a black background helps to create a strong call to action and encourage people to click to navigate around the site.
Another design trend these websites have in common is a minimalist look. Decluttering the design will make it easier for people to use the site and take the desired actions. Let’s face it, no one wants to waste time looking for things – they want to engage straightaway and a minimalist design, as in fashion, allows you to do that.
Whenever a brand starts the process of designing a new website, there are four key questions they need to consider: Who is the website for? What do we want a website visitor to do? Where will the visitors come from? Why would a visitor come to the website?
Understanding who your visitors are is the key to designing a website and again, inspiration can be taken from the fashion industry. Fashion designers speak in special occasions. Before creating their work, they imagine who the person is and what they would be doing whilst wearing the garment.
In a similar way, website designers will often use personas to help them design a website for a specific ‘person’ – a character type indicative of the type of visitor most likely to be interacting with the website.
By understanding the potential audience, website designers can create a design that is tailored to the people most likely to be visiting the website and ensure they have a positive experience through the design and layout of the site.