So the trend is going flat and minimalist. Artistic negative space and keeping things simple is a good thing, but why is it then are websites starting to become generic? I am not sure how or when companies started to think that flat and minimalist is all about being generic. Sorry you still need to show and present your brand. Having all white and your logo being super small in the top left of the website is not branding a website. Maybe the reason is businesses think this “generic” style is okay because they see so many other websites out there coming off as generic. The reason your competitor’s website is generic is because they bought a $50 template and dropped in their logo. They were cheap! Hired some inexperienced designer to edit their template and for whatever reason think they have a great website. The functionality might be great, yes WordPress is great. But their design is lame!
No matter how simple or minimalist design becomes with the trend leaning toward mobile design you should never, let me repeat, NEVER sacrifice brand! Two people presented with a branded site and a generic site, which one do you think the person will remember a few hours later? Probably the one that is using a color scheme that matched their logo and isn’t all black and white. I will let you in on a little secret folks, a logo that is text only, black and New Time Roman means it was something someone designed in Microsoft Word as a lame attempt at a logo. Really that’s not a logo at all but just text! And often times it is just live text on the website. There is no brand in that!
But big brand companies are doing it….
Just because multimillion dollar companies are “jumping on the band wagon” doesn’t mean you can afford to. When these companies were small and growing do you think the pulled any generic crap? No! They couldn’t afford to! These big iconic companies, you don’t see them slacking with their TV ads, in fact TV ads are getting more creative and graphically over the years. TV seems to be their priority, so why not use their TV ad as a guide of what they are doing. They can slack in the web world because they have already built their brand to be known on a global scale. You, the small or medium size business, don’t have that luxury. You need to be branding every chance you get, especially on your website. More than likely your website gets the most traffic unless you are a store front that gets lots of foot traffic, in which case print would be your branding medium. Posters on the wall, packaging that has your logo and brand, things along those lines. You need to re-enforce your brand as much as possible, especially if you don’t have the big budget of TV advertising. The web is your TV, so act like the big boys and put your budget, and branding creativity into your website and stop thinking “generic” is the in thing. Flat and minimalist is the trend not “generic”!