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Web design trends 2020: the nineties are back!

Oh, the ‘ 90s … this era has given us so much. Grunge was on the rise, the East coast was at war with the West in hip-hop. Everyone wore high-waisted jeans and shirts, and their feet (ideally) were Converse. In addition, this decade has given us the series “Friends”, “the Simpsons” and “South Park”. And everything that comes to mind – pop culture, politics, fashion-was somehow rude, uncouth. This view marked an era.

Fast forward to the present: this image of the 90s returns to a new level. And it can’t be stopped.

The rough era of the 90’s rules the design. Bright animation, large fonts and asymmetry.

Tennent Brown
Gone are the days when perfect symmetry and delicate design were in demand.

Daniel Spatzek
Although each website is unique in itself, there are some elements that match. Below we will tell you about these elements – they will help you achieve the style of the 90’s.

Overkill in typography
One of the most striking characteristics of the nineties – catchy typography. Of course, do not forget about the readability of the text. But that doesn’t mean you should make it faded. Add peppercorns and make lettering the center of your design. Some combinations work better than others, so be careful when choosing fonts for your site.

Experiment with font styles and use uppercase and lowercase letters. You have a huge number of options. The main principle – the more, the better. Locomotive design Agency provides interesting cases.

Just look at this title, which takes up the entire screen. It’s really designed for you to notice it. And, of course, the contrast.


There are also sites like davideperozzi.com who stepped forward and made typography the most visible element of their design.

Davide Perozzi
Even in the Portfolio section, everything is turned on huge letters! Images and colors are secondary. You will see pictures – but only glimpses-if you hover the cursor or click on a word. This typography is combined with various animation effects. And it is this combination of large fonts and atypical animations that makes the site dynamic, interesting and memorable.

Read also: Dark interface-the reverse side of UX
Contrasts in font sizes
Due to the fact that you use huge headers, the rest of the typography on the site should be smaller. This does not mean that it should be “standard”. It’s just that the difference should be such as to mitigate the excessive effect and show that you have a visual hierarchy.

Guys from craftedbygc.com they did a great job of combining perfectly defined font sizes with the images they chose to use on the page.

Crafted Bygc

Headings are the most visible element of this design, while the rest of the typography is much smaller. It supports the structure of the page without overlapping the image.

Asymmetric layout
Until a few years ago, the symmetrical arrangement of elements was the design standard. Forget about it. In our days ruled by the asymmetry. While this technique may be a bit provocative, it is definitely effective.

A great example is the Burnish Creative website.

Burnish Creative

Something strange happens to each of your scrolls. Letters move, videos play, faces appear in images, one element overlaps another. It may seem that this is too much. But for such a site, this technique refreshes the overall look.

Each page is a content store. Sometimes there is too much of it, and the visitor gets tired. But this variety will give a new motif: it will scroll to see a new animation or video.

Perhaps the aesthetics of the 90’s do not look minimalistic, but in fact it is. You should not be confused by the huge fonts and bold design. If you look closely, you will see that there are not very many elements on any of these pages.

Design Canada
The design is devoid of any elements that don’t make sense. The whole point is to give your visitors exactly what they were looking for. You don’t want to distract them with unnecessary makeup. By simplifying your design, you increase the effectiveness of your message. Put users first and make sure that your design meets their needs.

See also: Meet the Brand New Roman – the font of famous logos
Contour typography
The aesthetics of the 90’s and contour typography are love forever. Hollow fonts are a great choice, especially for websites that have a lot of images. If you don’t want your typography to suppress images, but the text itself is very important, this method will kill two birds with one stone.

Website benandmartin.com – a great example of using typography.

Benand Martin

When you scroll down the page, new projects “jump out” on you, and each one is signed with a contour font. And most importantly, even though the font is large, there is no sense that it dominates. Images are the main element of the page. If they used a solid font and then placed the text on top of the images, the images would just serve as a background for the text.

This type of typography is good because you can play with it and place the labels where you want.

Bold animation
We want it to be simple, right? As we have already said, there is no need to add unnecessary details. But you can add several animation effects here and there to make the viewing process more fun and exciting.

Like this guy:


Louis ANSA uses bold animations to turn an ordinary portfolio site into something memorable. He also took care of micro-interaction on his site. As soon as you hover your mouse over an image or button, the pointer changes its shape. These little things matter and make the viewing process special and enjoyable.

The extremes of brutalism

One way to give your sites a ‘ 90s look is to use brutalism. Pascal Deville (brutalistwebsites.com) gave one of the best explanations of what brutalism is:

In its rigidity and lack of concern about looking comfortable or simple, brutalism can be seen as a reaction of the younger generation to the optimism and frivolity of modern web design.

Saint Gervais

Brutalism is the complete opposite of the strict designs we are all used to. A lot of bright colors, micro-interactions, inappropriate images, animations… These are some of the main characteristics of both the aesthetics of the 90’s and brutalistic design.

Read also: 20 sites where you can kill your time
Break the rules and forget about perfection. Fill the content with personality and character. This is the essence of brutalism. And while brutalist artists often take a bolder approach to this philosophy, it can help you achieve a nineties aesthetic.

Make it red
We have already mentioned that designs inspired by the 90s are mostly devoid of color – they use it as a highlight. But if you want to use this highlight, what color will it be? What color is best combined with the simple but impressive aesthetics of the 90’s? Red, of course!

Agauche Delalune

If your goal is to attract attention, then feel free to choose red. This color is already deeply ingrained in our brains. We associate it with strength, energy, and passion. Go back and look again at all the examples we used in the text. There aren’t many colors on these sites, but red details are everywhere! Your eye immediately turns to these elements.

But it is important not to overdo it. Make sure you use it in moderation, and only for the details you want to highlight.

The unique aesthetic of the 90’s is gaining popularity today. Especially among a more alternative audience. Simple, effective, bold, eye-catching-this is what your design should look like if you want to look like in the 90’s.

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