Brutalism: Experimenting with Unconventional Web Design


In web design, designers constantly push the boundaries of creativity to create unique and engaging online experiences. One of the most intriguing trends to emerge in recent years is brutalist web design. Brutalism, characterized by its unconventional aesthetics, bold typography, and raw, unpolished visuals, challenges the norms of traditional web design. In this blog post, we’ll explore the concept of brutalism in web design, its potential benefits, and the risks it poses to your website’s success.


Defining Brutalist Web Design

Brutalism in web design draws inspiration from the architectural movement of the same name that originated in the mid-20th century. This design style prioritizes functionality, minimalism, and an almost defiant rejection of conventional aesthetics. Brutalist websites often feature:


Bold Typography: Typography is a cornerstone of brutalist design. Websites may use oversized, stark, and harsh fonts that demand attention.

Raw Visuals: Images and graphics are often unfiltered and unedited, embracing imperfections and a sense of authenticity.

Minimalist Layouts: Brutalist websites tend to have simple layouts for emphasis on functionality over aesthetics.

Limited Colour Palette: Many brutalist websites consistently keep a restricted colour scheme, often with high-contrast elements.

Heavy Use of White Space: While the design may appear cluttered at first glance, it often leverages ample white space to create a sense of focus.

The Potential Benefits of Brutalism in Web Design

Embracing brutalism in web design can offer several potential advantages for your website:

Memorability: Brutalist websites tend to stand out in a sea of more conventional designs. Their unconventional aesthetics can make a lasting impression on visitors.

Performance: By prioritizing functionality and simplicity, brutalist websites frequently load faster and perform better on various devices.

Content Focus: The stripped-down design forces visitors to focus on the content, which can be advantageous for sites that rely heavily on information or storytelling.

Anti-Corporate Aesthetics: Brutalism can communicate authenticity and a break from traditional corporate design, which may resonate with audiences.


The Risks of Brutalism in Web Design

However, it’s essential to recognize that brutalism is unsuitable for every website. Here are some potential risks to consider:


User Experience: The unconventional aesthetics of brutalism can be off-putting to some visitors, leading to a higher bounce rate.

Accessibility: Overly bold typography and raw visuals can hinder accessibility for users with visual impairments or cognitive disabilities.

Brand Image: For businesses seeking a professional and polished image, brutalism may not align with their brand identity.

SEO Challenges: Search engines may struggle to interpret and rank the content on brutalist websites, impacting their visibility in search results.


Finding the Right Balance

Incorporating brutalist elements into web design doesn’t mean going to the extreme. Many websites successfully strike a balance between unconventional aesthetics and user-friendly functionality. Here are some tips for experimenting with brutalism in web design:

User Testing: Gather feedback from diverse groups of users to ensure your brutalist design doesn’t alienate your target audience.

Accessibility: Prioritize accessibility using proper HTML markup and ensure your content is easy to navigate with assistive technologies.

Branding Considerations: Evaluate whether brutalism aligns with your brand’s values and image before implementing it.

SEO Optimization: Optimizing your brutalist website for search engines to maintain online visibility.


Brutalist web design is a bold experiment that can make your website stand out, but it’s not without risks. Striking the right balance between unconventional aesthetics and user-friendly functionality is essential to harnessing the power of brutalism without breaking your website’s chances of success. Whether redesigning an existing site or starting from scratch, brutalism is a trend worth exploring if you want to make a memorable and unique online statement.

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