There’s an interesting trend in web design these days: Making websites that look, well … bad.
Look at Hacker News. Pinboard. The Drudge Report. Adult Swim. Bloomberg Businessweek features. All of these sites — some decades old, some built recently — and hundreds more like them, eschew the templated, user-friendly interfaces that has long been the industry’s best practice. Instead they’re built on imperfect, hand-coded HTML and take their design cues from ’90s graphics.
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The name of this school, if you could call it that, is “web brutalism” — and there’s no question that much of the recent interest stems from the work of Pascal Deville.
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In 2014 Deville, now Creative Director at the Freundliche Grüsse ad agency in Zurich, Switzerland, founded brutalistwebsites.com. He meant it as a place to showcase websites that he thought fit the “brutalist” aesthetic: Design marked by a “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.” (In architecture, brutalism describes a ’70s architectural movement characterised by large buildings with exposed concrete construction.)
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