How brutalism is transforming conventional web design

Web Development

29 Mar 2021

2 min read


Brutalism, as a design movement, began in the 1950s to the mid-1970s. It can be seen as a reaction by younger generations to the frivolity of some earlier architecture. Brutalism is usually comprised of repeating modular elements forming distinct functional zones.

For websites, brutalism follows very similar principles, throwing common UX trends out the window in favour of bold shapes, web safe colours, gradients and large amounts of white space. While many 'brutalist' websites can be considered ugly, often their simplicity reflects an ease of use and straightforwardness that can greatly benefit certain types of sites.

Why Would I Use Brutalism?

Well, you need to consider your audience first. A website aimed at children is certainly a poor place to use brutalist design elements. If you aim to have a mobile friendly, WordPress site with lots of plugins, brutalism would also be a poor choice.

That being said, simple, one-page sites for personal use or to simply show off professional skills are a great spot to try out brutalism. Maximilian Behrens uses brutalism to simply show off his resume, simple as that. The font is ugly and not especially easy to read, but it contains all the necessary information without the bells and whistles you might expect from a modern website.


Where Can I Find Brutalist Websites?

Unsurprisingly, this is not a popular design choice as it runs counter to most current UX theories and trends. Freelancers use brutalism to great effect to highlight their work as quickly as possible. Our favourites include Sam Thornton and Stromstoff. Even popular band HAIM uses brutalism on their official site.

If you want to see the range of sites that brutalism can produce, check out or Pierre Buttin's brutalist redesigns of existing sites.

If you're looking for a site with a brutalist edge but don't know where to start, get in touch with Salt & Fuessel and let us create a site that works.

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