Design trends… every design and marketing firm releases an article at the turn of the year about trends to look out for in the upcoming year. But should you care? It’s always good to be aware of design trends to inform design decisions, and if you want to here’s a great article by 99 Designs on 2022 trends. But before you jump away, should you design to trends? Short answer, no. Designing to trends will instantly date your brand, content, and website. The minute the trends change you’re left behind scrambling to catch back up. And these days trends shift quickly. So, what should you do instead?
The Great Web Resurgence
Let’s take a step back to the 90s. Grassroots, flash sites were the hallmark at the advent of the World Wide Web. It was the wild west of web design. Back then there were no rules, no grids, no precedent for creators to follow when it came to web design.
Then came the big .dot coms; Facebook, Google, Amazon… the way of the web started to shift. We started to develop standards and principles for web design. Websites with lots of clean whitespace, large hero imagery and everything following a grid system with defined sections. And these websites work, but they carry no personality.
Now in 2022, we’ve created all these rules and designers are starting to look back to 90s web design, and some even further to architectural styles like Brutalism** of the 50s to 70s and Deconstructivism of the 80s. (Web design, just like fashion, is cyclical. But because the web is not very old, we need to look further to architecture and graphic design styles.) Which creates this new wave of Other Web and Neo-brutalist web design.
** Brutalism was an architectural movement that emphasized raw, exposed material like steel and concrete. And in web design it’s marked by barebones, un-styled html, plain backgrounds, asymmetrical layouts, default computer fonts and untreated photos. It takes the rules, understands the rules and then throws the rules out the window. And then add in more 90s retro flare with some bright colors, table layouts and robotic type faces.
90s web design wasn’t great for business and conversion. This created the need for design rules and principles. But now that we’ve developed those rules, we’re able to bend them and create new types of websites. Moving away from the traditional “sandwich” section structure and big banner stock imagery to create new designs that both convert and are unique to the brand.
But what does this mean for your staffing firm?
The core of Brutalism, Deconstructivism, and the 90s web era was individuality. No two sites or buildings were the same. And, especially in 90s web design, every site had its own personality. Regardless of trends, it really comes down to your unique business goals, and your unique brand story to find the best design solution for your business.
All these styles took a risk; they pushed the envelope. When you say, “let’s be different,” “let’s be unique, we don’t need to look like every other staffing firm” that’s when you’ll stand out.
Push your employer brand across your website, across social media. Ask “how can we make sure that our brand is showcasing who we are?” Why should John Smith, the candidate, choose XYZ Staffing over ABC Staffing even though they’re both qualified?
Showcase the personality of your brand. Are you a travel nurse staffing firm owned by nurses? Showcase that in your website, social graphics, and brand elements. Do you value a fun environment at work? Play with funny, goofy stocky photos paired with short, engaging copy. Particularly on social media, it’s okay to exaggerate your brand personality, personify it.
Your online brand, your website design, social graphics should all be an extension of who you are offline.
Looking to improve your brand design in 2022? Contact our team today!