David Airey mentions seven standards in his book “Logo Design Love” for well-designed logos. One of those is to avoid trends, which make logos and graphics look dated in a relatively short time period. But that runs counter to the inclination of many web and graphic designers. Given the particular application of a design, and the purpose and information to be conveyed, a design that implements the latest trends may give the reader or viewer the sense that the information is fresh and up-to-date.
What’s a web designer to do?
One reason many graphic designers avoided web design for so long is because the desired effect couldn’t be achieved in the same manner as traditional print. Paper (static and trustworthy) did not move your text in unpredictable ways or wrap it awkwardly around an image. In short, designers can be control freaks and the idea of not completely controlling the look of a design was unsettling.
When designers did begin to venture into the realm of the screen, typography was still an issue. With advances in CSS and devices that are more versatile, screen graphics have been playing catch-up in a major way. Frank Cao’s article “The future of typography in web design” on The Next Web site delves into this change, highlighting how web type is now more reflective of type used in print. While this is liberating for designers, it could be a potential accessibility nightmare, depending on what assistive technology users employ. One example shown in the article has delicately thin typeface, almost imperceptible. It looks very “designerly”, but it could only be used effectively with certain audiences.
Some of the other trends mentioned in the article, such as text over images and customized typefaces, lend a certain craftsmanship to the site’s design and are visually appealing. Using a font, versus a graphic containing the text, decreases load times, potential for broken links, and various other benefits.
The future is here. It’s scalable, incorporates style, and has a flourish!