Natural design originally made its way into web design via eco-conscious brands. However, it has made its way into the top trends of 2021 since growing in popularity across different industries. The natural imagery, calming colours, and soothing fonts aren’t just for eco-friendly companies anymore. Due to the pandemic, the past year resulted in more of us spending more time indoors and on screens. It’s no wonder we wanted a more soothing and natural user experience online, bringing the outside in.
One of the key elements of natural design is the presence of natural landscapes in graphics. Actual landscape photographs, hand-drawn mountains, and lifelike foliage are key attributes of graphics. This type of imagery projects a whimsical, yet realistic (or sometimes abstract) vision of what we see when looking at nature. Natural themes also tend to utilize nature-inspired textures to add depth to graphics. Using the grain of wood, tree bark, and veins of leaves are great ways to accomplish this. All of these elements are inspired by nature, which is what we all need a little more of, right?
The outside world provides a rich and deep range of colours that inspire the natural design theme. The colour palette of natural design primarily focuses on earth tone colour schemes. Some of the common colours used are softer greens, muted turquoise, and warmer colours like faded pinks and oranges. The softness of whites, beiges, and grays tie it all together. If you’re looking to incorporate natural colourways into your design, a good rule of thumb is asking yourself if you see it in nature.
The fonts that accompany natural themes tend to be ones described as organic, soft, simple, and in their own way, powerful. Similar to the traits of graphics used in natural design, you’ll generally see a lot of fonts that appear hand-drawn. Some of the fonts will go as far as to take on the appearance of leaves, vines, or the texture of tree bark, actually using natural elements to make up the composition of the font. These highly stylized fonts will generally be accompanied by simple, clean fonts.
Who’s Using Natural Design?
While natural design was originally used by eco-conscious brands, this has greatly expanded over the years. Other industries using this style are health-conscious brands, self-improvement, and sustainable fashion. However, it has reached beyond the scope of health, and industries that are traditionally perceived as high-stress are taking on a natural theme. For example, real estate and financial companies use natural design as a way to counter stress and create a soothing online experience for their customers. What better way to get your customers to sit down and stay awhile on your site than create a calming visual experience for them?
Curious if your business can benefit from incorporating natural design into your brand strategy? Book a consultation at Cloud9 Marketing today!