Maximalist Design Trend: What to Know for 2024

Maximalist Design Trend: What to Know for 2024


This new wave of maximalism isn’t just about throwing a bunch of stuff together. It’s about telling stories, eliciting emotions, and catering to the diverse preferences of website visitors.

But what is maximalism, and why’s it taking over web design as of 2024? Let’s jump in and find out.

What is Maximalism?

Maximalism, in stark contrast to the “less is more” mantra of minimalism, operates on “more is more.” This artistic movement revels in excess, complexity, and the joy of abundance. 

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“Joy of abundance” demonstrated by the Grandeur website

Within web design, it translates to vibrant color schemes, eclectic typography, rich textures, and an overall embrace of aesthetic diversity. Maximalism encourages designers to break free from the constraints of white space, allowing creativity to flourish in every pixel and interaction. These designs fill the page and offer interesting things to look at in every corner. 

Historical Roots

The roots of maximalism trace back beyond the era of the Internet, of course, deeply embedded in the postmodern movement that sought to challenge the conventions and simplicity of modernism. Architect Robert Venturi’s critique of minimalism with his famous “Less is a bore” laid the groundwork for what would become a celebration of ornamentation, diversity, and personal expression. 

http://excessocenus.com/http://excessocenus.com/http://excessocenus.com/
Sensory overload thanks to excessocenus.com

This movement found its footing in various forms of art and design, from the intricate patterns of Art Nouveau in the 1890s to the bold, eclectic works of maximalist artists like Gustav Klimt and Yayoi Kusama​.

As maximalism permeated fashion, art, and interior design, it was only a matter of time before it influenced web design. The digital adaptation of maximalism is a response to the desire for more personalized, expressive, and immersive online experiences. 

footer from https://consumer.haus/footer from https://consumer.haus/footer from https://consumer.haus/
Distinctly neubrutalist and maximalist footer from consumer.haus

It’s actually a reflection of how the Internet used to be. Online spaces were positively cluttered in the late 90s and early 2000s. 

Now, as a response to minimalism, this new maximalism is a way for brands and designers to stand out in crowded and competitive niches with visually rich, engaging sites that captivate people’s attention. 

Maximalism thrives on abundance, complexity, and tons of visual and interactive elements working together. 

It isn’t just about adding more to a design. It’s about meaningful excess, where every element serves a purpose in creating an immersive experience. 

Let’s take a look now at the key trends in maximalist web design for 2024.

1. Bold Colors and Patterns

Maximalist design in 2024 is unmistakably vibrant. Bold color schemes and intricate patterns are the go-to for making websites that leave a real lasting impression. 

This approach is about evoking energy and excitement and making every visit to a website unforgettable. The use of color and pattern in maximalism isn’t random though. It’s a quite deliberate choice to communicate brand identity, mood, and message.

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The Full Rotation website has an overall minimal design, I’d say, but it’s relying on principles of maximalism in its highly contrasting color choices. The color scheme reads as almost aggressive, but it also captures attention and draws the visitor in.

2. Dynamic Typography and Kinetic Text

Typography in maximalist web design is breaking away from conventional norms. The trend towards eclectic, bold typography and kinetic text introduces motion and personality, turning static pages into dynamic stories. 

This trend underscores the importance of text not just as a way to deliver information but as an integral part of the design’s overall aesthetic and narrative structure. Dynamic typography in maximalism is about catching the user’s eye and keeping them engaged with moving, evolving text that plays an active role in the storytelling process.

3. Embracing Digital Art and Multimedia

Digital art and multimedia elements are other key players in how maximalism is being used in web design. This is where web experiences become truly immersive, incorporating elements like high-definition video backgrounds, interactive 3D elements, and complex animations. 

Take artist Hattie Stewart’s portfolio as an example: 

hattie stewart’s portfoliohattie stewart’s portfoliohattie stewart’s portfolio

It’s got the bright and bold colors we discussed. And while the main layout is simple, it has an animated heart that flies around the screen. 

Maximalism embraces these elements for their visual appeal and their ability to create a deeper, more engaging UX. 

4. Retro and Nostalgic Influences

Retro and nostalgic influences in maximalist design tap into a collective yearning for the past. Reimagined for modern sensibilities, of course. This trend sees the revival of design elements from previous decades, such as neon colors, pixel art, and vintage typography, all integrated into modern designs in a way that feels both familiar and new. 

Specifically, design elements from print media of the 80s and 90s are making a comeback, as is Y2K web design. If you’re old enough to remember Geocities, you know what we’re talking about here. If not, Cameron’s World serves as an archive and homage to the era: 

cameron’s worldcameron’s worldcameron’s world

Practical Tips for Embracing Maximalist Web Design 

Embracing maximalist web design requires a bold approach and a keen eye for detail to ensure that the multiple included elements enhance rather than overwhelm site visitors. 

Here are some practical tips for incorporating maximalism into your web designs effectively:

1. Balance Complexity with Usability

While maximalism celebrates the rich layering of patterns, colors, and graphics, maintaining navigational clarity is essential. Any design you create shouldn’t allow complexity to compromise the site’s usability. 

Always use clear, intuitive navigation and organize content in a way that guides users through the site without confusion.

2. Curate Content Thoughtfully

Maximalist design isn’t about cluttering your space with every possible element. We’re drawing inspiration from Y2K era sites but not copying them entirely. You don’t actually need a site filled with just animated GIFs of a horse running. 

Instead, you should curate content and visuals that tell your brand’s story in a compelling and cohesive manner. Choose elements that resonate with your brand identity and arrange them in a way that adds value to the overall narrative.

3. Use Color Strategically

Color is a powerful tool in maximalist design. Use vibrant, contrasting colors to draw attention to key areas of your website and guide the user’s journey. However, ensure that your color choices work together and reflect your brand’s personality. A well-thought-out color scheme can unify various elements and create a visually cohesive experience – even if it’s “loud.”

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Leedo HTML template is colorful and incorporates layered animations.

The Leedo HTML template offers a great example of this with bold colors, parallax scrolling animations, and plenty of opportunities to include layered, patterned effects. 

4. Experiment with Typography

Maximalism offers the freedom to experiment with bold and creative typography. Mix and match different typefaces to create visual interest and hierarchy. Consider custom or expressive fonts for headings and accents, kinetic fonts, or even animations. Keep readability in mind, though, especially for body text.

5. Incorporate Interactive Elements

Interactive elements like animations, hover effects, and scroll-triggered changes can enrich the user experience in a maximalist design, too. These elements invite users to engage with the content actively, transforming passive browsing into something more engaging that keeps visitors on-site for longer.

6. Optimize for Performance

A common challenge with maximalist designs is ensuring that the website remains fast and responsive despite the heavy use of graphics and multimedia. Optimize images and videos, leverage lazy loading, and consider performance implications when adding interactive elements to keep loading times short.

7. Be Mindful of Accessibility

Accessibility should never be an afterthought. Ensure that your website is navigable and readable for everyone, including those who use assistive devices. This includes using alt tags for images, ensuring sufficient color contrast, and providing keyboard navigation.

Maximalism is About Making the Most of Your Designs

Maximalism in web design makes a bold statement and that’s the entire point. It’s about maintaining functionality while taking the opportunity to express creativity. And build a real individuality in your brand. 

Infusing your web designs with maximalism can captivate your audience and offer them a more immersive experience that sets your website apart. 

Why not let your creativity run wild and use every pixel of your website to reflect your company’s personality? It’s worth experimenting with, at the very least.

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