Summary: Modernism’s principles of functionality, clarity, and simplicity shape my web design portfolio, emphasising bold typography, clean layouts, asymmetry, and minimalism for a seamless user experience.

What has mid-century modernism to do with web design?

Modernism is a cornerstone of my design philosophy; it influences everything from my creative processes to my approach to web design. While often associated with architecture, art, sculpture, and interior design, Modernism has also significantly impacted web design. In this blog post, I’ll explore the influence of Modernist principles on web design and how they shape my work.

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A brief history of Modernism

Vienna: The birthplace of Modernism

By the late 19th century, artists were growing weary of traditional, conservative art forms. In Vienna, a group of artists led by Gustav Klimt formed the Vienna Secession, breaking away from the established artistic institutions of the time. They explored new forms, compositions, and expressions, sparking similar movements in France and Germany. Their experimentation with flat colours and stylistic typography laid the groundwork for modern graphic and web design.

Global conflict and the evolution of design

World War I saw graphic design employed for commercial, corporate, and aesthetic purposes, as well as political propaganda. Advances in mass colour printing enabled the production of posters to raise funds, encourage enlistment, and boost morale. The challenges and turmoil of both World Wars inspired the first wave of true Modernism in graphic design, which would later influence web design.

The Bauhaus movement and beyond

Across Europe and America, graphic designers drew inspiration from movements like Cubism, Futurism, De Stijl, and Surrealism. The Bauhaus movement in Germany, with its emphasis on thick lines, primary colours, and disruptive white space, had a significant impact on design. These principles translated seamlessly into the digital realm, influencing the clean, functional aesthetics seen in modern web design.

Modernism’s impact on web design

Form follows function

One of the core tenets of Modernism is that form follows function. This principle is evident in web design through the emphasis on usability and user experience. Modernist web design favours clean lines, simple navigation, and functional layouts that prioritise the user’s needs. This approach ensures that websites are not only visually appealing but also intuitive and easy to use.

Emphasis on typography

Modernist designers were pioneers in the use of bold typography, and this influence is evident in contemporary web design. Typography is a powerful tool for creating hierarchy, guiding the user’s eye, and conveying the brand’s message. In my web design work, I utilise bold, sans-serif fonts to create a modern and professional look, ensuring that the text is legible and engaging.

Asymmetry and white space

Modernism embraces asymmetry and the strategic use of white space to create balance and harmony. In web design, asymmetry can add visual interest and draw attention to key elements. White space, or negative space, is used to give the design room to breathe, making it more accessible and easier to navigate. These principles help create a clean and uncluttered aesthetic, which is a hallmark of modern web design.

Primary colours and minimalism

Modernist designers often used primary colours to create striking visual contrasts. This minimalistic approach is prevalent in web design today, where a limited colour palette can create a cohesive and sophisticated look. By using primary colours and simple, geometric shapes, I create visually compelling websites that are both modern and timeless.

Applying modernism in my web design portfolio

My portfolio reflects the influence of Modernism through:

  • Clean lines and functional layouts: Ensuring that each website is user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Bold typography: Using fonts that are easy to read and make a statement.
  • Asymmetry and white space: Creating balanced and harmonious designs that are visually engaging.
  • Primary colours and minimalism: Employing a restrained colour palette to create a sleek and modern appearance.

Modernism’s emphasis on functionality, clarity, and simplicity resonates deeply with my design ethos. These principles guide me in creating websites that are not only beautiful but also highly functional and user-centric.

If you’re interested in seeing how Modernism shapes my web design work, feel free to explore my portfolio. Every project is a testament to the enduring impact of Modernist principles on contemporary web design.


In conclusion, Modernism is more than a design style – it’s a philosophy that prioritises function, clarity, and simplicity. By embracing these principles, I create web designs that are both timeless and innovative, ensuring a seamless user experience. Explore my portfolio to see how Modernism influences my work and discover the beauty of functional design.

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