Web Design Trends for 2010

By / Nov 2, 2009 / Tips

With a new year on the horizon, it’s time to pack away the old, worn web designs and prepare for the brave, new face of tomorrow. Although trends don’t start and stop on January 1st, there is a definite shift from what we craved at the beginning of the year to what we are seeking tutorials for at the end of the year. Most of the time, this shift is subtle. It’s a perfection or re-interpretation of a currently hot trend. Trends help us evolve as designers. As we master the skills of design aesthetic, we continue to push forward to what’s next or what needs to be fully discovered.

Make no mistake about it, you will recognize the ideas behind these trends. Although this list isn’t a drastic departure from what was popular in 2009, it marks different trends that will be expanded upon and made better as a result. As you think of how you will incorporate new trends into your designs, focus on the main idea of each trend. Be encouraged to dabble into these trends so that you become part of the movement.

1. Oversized Logos/ Headers

Splash pages are so yesterday. To make an unforgettable impression on the visitor, the trend for 2010 will be oversized logos on an equally oversized header. These types of headers can take up the entire screen, but with one important note. Visitors will not need to click anything, just scroll down. Visitors often having a clicking phobia (due to years of poor navigation), so big headers do the job of a splash page without forcing your visitors to click anything.

Main Idea: Huge headers that make your visitors remember you.

2. Sketch/ Hand-drawn Design

Hand-drawn design is not exactly new on the horizon, but we all know that it is still on the fringes of web design. Many designers admire the style but are afraid to create their own sketches because of the “I can’t really draw” attitude. If you look at the most popular hand-drawn websites (and relative to other types of trends, there are only a few), you will notice that most of your fellow designers can’t draw. These designs are not exactly headed to an art museum, but they do convey a sense of whimsy, and blur the line between cold web and personal interaction– the ultimate goal of the internet. If you can doodle, you can sketch for web design.

Sketch in 2010 will become more elemental, and not as much the main focus of a web design. It will be used to personalize standard web copy in new and exciting ways.

Main Idea: Sketch becomes an elemental part of corporate design.

3. Slab Typefaces

Slab typefaces are relatively new, although they’ve been around for over 200 years in traditional media. To get a good visual definition of slab typefaces, think of the old Wild West “Wanted” posters. Those bold letters are slab typefaces. Slab typeface is commonly all capital letters and are bold and imposing. Many designers have shied away from slab typefaces in the past because logos and headers were smaller and more understated. However, combined with the trend toward larger headers, slab typefaces demand the reader to take notice.

Main Idea: Slab typefaces is used to bravely express who you are.

4. Typography

Typography is one of the most difficult trends to tackle which is why it will remain fresh in 2010. With all the cries for usability, web designers are afraid of using new and different fonts. The idea of mixing varying font sizes together is completely unthinkable. Fonts are meant to be explored, twisted, and molded to fit your purposes. With the correct placement, a website that utilizes Typography as its main design element will be more interesting to a reader than overloading the same site with tons of photos.

Main Idea: Typography is young, but will continue to be a part of web design.

5. One Page Layouts

One pay layouts challenge you to edit away what’s unnecessary. In 2010, this trend will move away from the quirky navigation and become more minimal in its approach. Think of these websites as business cards. These websites will be more of a one-stop-shop for how to locate you and your work on various other sites– your blog and your social media hangouts.

Main Idea: One page layouts will be more about personal profiles and less corporate.

6. Huge Images

A close relative to the oversized logo/ header, the huge image does much the same thing. It creates an visual impact that the visitor won’t soon forget. Unlike the oversized header from above, huge images are not part of the site’s branding. Instead, these images draw the visitor into your site, if not for their content then for their humongous size. In 2010, web designers will find themselves more comfortable using these big statements in their design to convey the site’s tone.

Main Idea: Huge images will be used to invite visitors in.

7. Change of Perspective

As we’ve discussed before, the desktop perspective has been done to death. 2010 will see a definite change in perspective to a more realistic view. There may also be a move toward side-shot aerial.

Main Idea: 2010 will play around with different perspectives.

8. Interactive/ Intuitive Design

Flash has seen better days. There was a time when you couldn’t visit a website without running into an annoying Flash interface. These days Flash is a lot more relaxed and much more professional. Although some designers prefer jQuery for forms and popups, Flash still has its place in design, especially when done subtly. Flash still has no equal to its interactivity. In 2010, web designers will move toward the more redeeming elements of Flash. Because the average visitor is more web savvy these days, designers will also create sites that are slightly more intuitive than in the past.

Main Idea: Interactive design will make a come-back.

9. Modal Boxes

Modal boxes are a trend that’s picking up steam and will be virtually everywhere in 2010. A modal box is like the popup’s more sophisticated older brother– it’s smooth, good looking and popular. Modal boxes are so easy to design and easy to use, making them the perfect solution for any designer concerned with usability.

Main Idea: Modal boxes will continue to pop up in 2010 designs.

10. Minimalism

Forget the old school minimal websites. Websites of 2010 will continue to feature lots of white space but with bold typology and surprising color schemes. Not all minimal websites will agree with the notion of black and white simplicity. Although minimalism is by nature muted, it will also showcase fresh colors. Minimalism isn’t cold, it’s warm and too the point.

Main Idea: Minimalism will venture into typology.

11. Oversized Footer

Oversized footers may be everywhere already, but 2010 will find them even more exaggerated. The footers of tomorrow will be less of an after-thought and more of an integral part of the design. Look for footers that feature contain random information, such as feed updates from various social media, daily polls, and Flickr feeds.

Main Idea: Oversized Footers will feature less important, but more personal information.

12. Retro

Retro designs are here to stay. Although a lot of the design community admires retro web design, it can be difficult to fully embrace this style without coming across “undone.” The key to retro designs is to be inspired by its tone and underlying playfulness. In 2010, retro design will be expanded as designers find new ways to honor vintage art.

Main Idea: Retro is new.

13. Intro Boxes

“Hi, my name is…” will find an even bigger stage in 2010 as designers recognize the beautiful simplicity of introducing yourself to your visitor. If you’re struggling with making a creative “About” page, the intro box will be your best bet. It forces you to condense who you are into a relatively small about of space. In 2010, intro boxes will push its own boundaries. Instead of the boring hello, designers will find new pick-up lines. And, instead of the left-flanked intro block, 2010 will see boxes in unusual placement, perhaps even in the middle of a page.

Main Idea: New ways to say “hello.”

14. Magazine Layouts

As more and more people migrate from the comforts of traditional press to online infotainment, designers are challenged to welcome them in with an easy transition. There is a move toward the magazine layout, where information is carefully organized on a single home page, giving the visitor an opportunity to explore as interested. The familiar layout will appeal to appeal to anyone who’s ever read a magazine or newspaper, but it will also be easier to use– no flipping pages! In 2010, magazine layout will become very huge for blogs in particular.

Main Idea: Magazine layouts will be used for infotainment sites.

About the Author

Jacqueline is an artist and a writer who spends an inordinate amount of time playing Super Nintendo and watching Star Trek. You can find out more about Jacqueline on her website, and follow her updates on Twitter.


  1. Nikita
    May 16, 2010

    Great article! Very well-structured. Here you can find Logo Design Trends 2010 http://limejam.tumblr.com/post/600512350/logo-design-trends-2010

  2. ale
    May 20, 2010

    thank you! really great article! mad props!

  3. Webstandard-Blog
    May 20, 2010

    A lot of that trends, has been trends in 2009 too (Huge Images, Oversized Logos/ Headers, Big Typo, ect.). Webdesign doesn’t change?

  4. Freelance Web Designer
    May 22, 2010

    Fantastic article, thanks

  5. Web Design Bristol
    May 25, 2010

    Hey, great blog post. Do you only write on here or do you write on other blogs to? Would like to follow your content.

  6. Chris
    May 26, 2010

    I’m not so sure about the continued use of over-sized headers, especially on one-page sites. Typography will surely dominate the list…maybe number 1? I think visitors are looking for more content, more white space (to make it easier to read), and stunning new ideas in the content…not bigger headers.

  7. Todd
    June 3, 2010

    I think Jacqueline is right on the money. Great article! Is WordPress going to remain popular, or is custom work where it is at?

  8. Christoper Poolheco
    June 10, 2010

    It’s nice to see an interesting post written on the subject of design every now and again. Nice one, ta!

  9. PopcornWebDesign
    June 12, 2010

    Nice examples but I think each project should be approached according to its needs. Splash pages will work only with beautiful design over-sized or not.
    Great article though.

  10. Eric
    June 15, 2010

    Good looking, good looking……
    i must say thumbs up….how about some publication design trends

  11. Steve Graham
    June 15, 2010

    Very well put togther article. This must have taken quite a bit of work. Thanks.

    Definitely going to use some of these design inspirations.

  12. burtyburty
    June 23, 2010

    Interesting post :) Thanks for creating an excellent post about inspiration. You make some brilliant points :)

  13. Aashin
    June 24, 2010

    this site vety usful 4 my business logo dsin thank you

  14. Web designers Ireland
    July 1, 2010

    Very nice article, lots of food for thought, never knew they were called modal boxes guess there’s a name for everything these days…


  15. Bergen
    July 2, 2010

    Seriously, great information! Thank you for your hard work putting this together.

  16. juuso
    July 21, 2010

    Quite many things listed, how about article what’s not cool in web 2010 :D ?

  17. Website Center
    July 22, 2010

    Good question Todd. It seems that if clients can find someone who is talented enough to customize a wonderful website like many of the ones shared above, they will be much more impressed and ready to sign off on the design than a lot of the WordPress sites out there today. Great/informative post with incredible web examples. I really like Zach Klein’s clean simple site, personally.

  18. Frank Web
    July 23, 2010

    Love them though I prefer web designs that are simple yet with great impact. It details all what you want to tell about your site.

  19. Mark
    July 23, 2010

    Great article, I have not long ago re-designed my site. It is interesting that things like large images and large logos/headers appear again, however it is the fact that this type of design is much more widely used in 2010 it just feels like we have seen it before. I love how great design can influence the main stream, I am having a think about the hello my name is box :-)

  20. Web
    July 24, 2010

    Nice collection, thanks for the ideas!

  21. Par 4 Web Design
    July 27, 2010

    Personally, I’m already sick of the oversized header. It’s a waste of real estate on a web page if you ask me.

  22. Kaye Faison
    July 27, 2010

    Great article thanks for the info.

  23. vector artan
    July 28, 2010

    I would say over sized logos were and will continue to be trendy. Good work Jacqueline, Thanks

  24. Krish
    August 7, 2010

    WOW… Its relay nice article.

  25. PharmerDon
    August 8, 2010

    Lots of great information and some beautifully designed websites. Thanks for this helpful article. Now I have to try to incorporate some of this into pharmacy website design.


  26. ElfDell
    August 15, 2010

    Loved the post! It helps sometimes to know that there are lots of us out there taking the slow road to the top. LOL

  27. Chris – High End Web Design
    August 17, 2010

    Jacqueline, great post! You’ve made a really valuable and accurate list here– design trends with my clients in the past year have shown a shift toward the over-sized header images and footers. You’ve compiled really great ideas and examples here– a great read. I’m bookmarking you! Thanks– C.

  28. Gemma
    August 18, 2010

    I think you’ve forgotten to include big photographic backgrounds.

  29. tips and advicetips
    August 19, 2010

    well done keep the posts coming

  30. Daniel Lowton
    August 24, 2010

    Great article but if we all follow the same trends all the websites in the world would look the same…

  31. mickaservices
    August 26, 2010

    Love it! thanks for sharing….

  32. Nick Tavish
    August 27, 2010

    Great Article thanks. It will come in handy when I try redo my website.

  33. Digital Extreme Media Group
    August 30, 2010

    Awsome designs, thanks for sharing. They all have a great 2010 look. Thanks again for sharing.

  34. Paulo
    September 6, 2010

    Very good post!

  35. VividWebGraphics
    September 9, 2010

    Food for designers!! Love it!

  36. Addikiin Technology
    September 16, 2010

    Very useful details… something that can be applied practically…Thanks :)

  37. Allen
    September 22, 2010

    Definitely like the trend of typography and what it is now like on the web!

  38. Trent Sanders
    October 5, 2010

    Love the article. For me the most important thing is that fact that we can now use HTML5 and CSS3…experimenting with everything that can offer. I feel that the technology will guide the trends. Now I just need an innovative developer…which I am finding harder and harder to find…hey don’t kill the messanger…just give me your number.

    Anyways…the expanded horizons with transitions and typefaces is incredibly vital to my trend setting this year. Great article…thanks for the quality post.

  39. Michael Persson
    January 7, 2011

    Inspiration and trends like this are always welcome. We easily get stuck in our own ideas a s free lance web creators.

    Thanks alot

  40. Suresh
    January 19, 2011

    Excellent analysis…

  41. Christopher
    February 10, 2011

    Gosh, I’m guilty of all of the above. Particularly the oversized EVERYTHING.

    • leslie
      February 25, 2011

      ha thats funny!!

  42. leslie
    February 25, 2011

    interesting facts i just hate all the grammar errors

  43. su deposu
    April 20, 2011

    Particularly the oversized EVERYTHING

  44. J. Hendrix
    May 10, 2011

    Thanks for the roundup!

  45. web developer
    June 7, 2011

    thanks!! usefull!! :-)

  46. Karan vyas
    June 14, 2011

    Thanks for the gallery here. I would like to know so corporate and business website designs also. For companies and organization, yes but not product showcase website. :) I hope you will post some related to them also.


  47. Tom | Website Design Durban
    November 7, 2011

    Great Resource! Tx

  48. All Web Design Info
    May 15, 2012

    in 2010 most of the designers liking Vector Background images, This type of webpages loading time taken….Nice Collection!

  49. Howard Steele
    July 26, 2013

    Nice collection, some trends are still popular :)


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