Web Brutalism: New Web Design Trend | Castle Marketing Group
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Web Brutalism: New Web Design Trend

The newest, and strangest, trend in web design is purposefully making sites ugly and difficult to use. Known as “Web brutalism”, a term coined by Pascal Deville in 2014, more and more businesses are using hand-coded, 90’s-inspired, and ugly websites.


brutalismThe “brutalism” that most readers will be familiar with is an architectural style that became popular during the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Characterized by exposed concrete, steel, and glass and a focus on function over beauty, brutalism is one of the most controversial architectural styles.


In 2014, Deville started the site brutalistwebsites.com to showcase websites that he believed fit the brutalist aesthetic: sites maked by “ruggedness and lack of concern to look comfortable or easy” in “reaction by a younger generation to the lightness, optimism, and frivolity of today’s Web design.”

So, should you try your hand at web brutalism? Here at Castle Marketing, we think the answer should usually be no.

Just as brutalist architecture divides public opinion, web brutalism is divisive as well. Sites that employ these techniques are difficult to use and downright ugly, yet some large companies are still turning to the technique.




So, should you try your hand at web brutalism? Here at Castle Marketing, we think the answer should usually be no.


It seems that the only sites that can really get away with brutalist design are obscure art blogs, sites that already have a ton of traffic, or websites that seem to be running on pure irony. Unless your clientele are really “in the know”, or are millennials, brutalist design will most likely just confuse your website visitors. The best web design is conversion-driven, not purposefully off-putting.


If you’re looking to update your website, there are a lot of better options than trying out extreme trends like web brutalism. For a free consultation on your web design needs, contact us today.

Carly Vaughn About the author

Carly Vaughn is content writer, public relations strategist, and social media marketer based in Nashville, TN. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor's of Arts in English with a specialization in Creative Writing. She uses this creativity in all of her work for Castle Marketing Group and their clients.