Brutalism in Web Design Explained


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Web design is evolving as we speak, and a notable trend that has emerged in recent years is Brutalism. This is inspired by the movement, chiefly architectural, of the same name. In web design, Brutalism challenges traditional aesthetics and engages in a raw, somewhat unpolished approach. In breaking away from conventional principles of design, Brutalism provides a distinct user experience, encouraging a shift toward genuineness, boldness, and simplicity.

Web Design and Brutalism in its Essence

Brutalism in web design is mainly characterized by the way it rejects conventional norms, adopting a minimalistic, primarily raw aesthetic prioritizing simplicity with functionality above and beyond polished visuals. This approach to design frequently features a robust emphasis on stark and vivid color contrasts, typography, asymmetry in layouts, as well as bold variables. It seeks to tear away embellishments that are not required, choosing instead, a blatant raw, and uncomplicated presentation.

The Pros of Brutalism in Web Design

  • Stand-out User Experience: Brutalism fights the notion of what a typical website should appear as, offering users an alternate experience. Deviating from the expected, Brutalism captures attention and creates curiosity.
  • Originality: Brutalism encourages the expression of authenticity and genuine art in designers by unleashing creativity in an authentic manner. Embracing imperfections is the norm, and the rejecting of overly polished designs is considered. Mainstream design is to be ignored.
  • Efficiency in Performance: Brutalism’s stress on simplicity/functionality most frequently results in lightweight websites. These will load rapidly and effectively. Unnecessary elements are eradicated, and you get optimization in performance. This enhances the satisfaction of any user.

Applying Brutalism in Web Design

Brutalism finds significant applications in different types of websites. These may be ranging from creative websites of agencies to personal portfolios. The aesthetic is unapologetic and totally raw. Consequently, this evokes emotions and creates experiences that are not easily forgotten. An instance is a website of a famous designer, Frank Chimero (, where the typography is bold and the layout minimalistic. These create a striking visual and immersive experience. One more example is the Bloomberg Businessweek ( which incorporates Brutalist variables to send out a message of a sense of urgency to provoke thoughts on current events and news.

Alternative Norms – Playing with Boundaries

Brutalism in web design actively shifts boundaries and pays no heed to established norms. Breaking away from the refined and polished predictable designs of convention, Brutalism encourages thinking outside the box and experimenting with novel approaches. In this sense, designers should be prepared with an aligned mindset; one where they’re willing to work on something that is different and may not be acceptable. It results in conversations embracing the definition of good design and encourages a move in the perspective toward boldness and extreme originality.

Adaptation and Adjusting to New Trends

Like any other design movement, the movement of Brutalism continues evolving as designers experiment with a range of principles. The movement has influenced sub-styles like “Soft Brutalism.” This retains rawness but includes soft color palettes and subtle factors. As the digital landscape evolves further, designers are adjusting and adapting concepts of Brutalism to accommodate accessibility standards, enhancing user experiences.

Controversies Around Brutalism

  • Accessibility Plus User Experience: The unconventionally raw nature of Brutalist designs may sometimes compromise the user experience and subsequent accessibility. The excessive use of novel layouts or “difficult-to-read” typographical elements can confuse users, hindering accessibility, especially for users with disabilities.
  • Overload of a Visual Nature: While Brutalism has its objective in simplicity, it can, at times, cross the line that goes into visual overload. Care must be taken to strike balances between functionality, usability, and rawness. Users should not feel overwhelmed with too bold a set of elements.

Influences – Brutalism in Web Design

Brutalism takes inspiration from different design/artistic movements. These include the architectural Brutalism of the mid-20th century. The focus on functionality and simplicity of the movement translates into the realm of digitization, providing an alternative to the stylistic, sleek, and refined designs existing in mainstream web design.

Brutalist Websites – Basic Examples

A variety of websites embrace Brutalism to create unique user experiences. Examples are The Outline (, featuring vivid contrast and bold typography. There is also Space10 (, which uses raw visuals with minimalistic layouts to put forth its message.

Leading the Way – Brutalism for a New Age

Brutalism openly challenges already-known and adopted aesthetics, advocating simplicity, originality, and boldness. It may spark controversy, but it provides a distinctive user experience. With its encouragement of a departure from traditional design norms, web designers can explore new avenues, bringing fresh perspectives to an “ancient” design landscape. The whole idea of Brutalism is more acceptable if designers can strike a positive balance between users and design and make the trend more within reach.

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