Charles Harries

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Converging on peak gradient

We're closing in on peak blurred gradient blob.

Design last reached a sort of local maximum for homogeneity back in 2017 or so: lots of fully-rounded buttons, subtle gradients, massive UI elements, hero images. At that point, these sorts of designs had permeated the Collective Agency Conciousness sufficiently that WordPress themes, like Divi had caught up (& in Divi's case, continued to ride the wave directly into 2022).

By all accounts Divi is an excellent page builder for WordPress, though
By all accounts Divi is an excellent page builder for WordPress, though

However, it feels like we're sort of approaching another local maximum, defined by more balanced layouts, blurred gradient blobs in the background, and Inter Everywhere. It feels a little bit like the Tailwindification of the web, which, behind the scenes, it probably is.

TailwindCSS
TailwindCSS
Raycast
Raycast
Linear
Linear
Railway
Railway
GitHub
GitHub
Turborepo
Turborepo
Airbyte
Airbyte

It comes in light mode flavour as well, probably most famously done by Stripe:

Stripe
Stripe
Readme
Readme
Craft (not the CMS that powers this site)
Craft (not the CMS that powers this site)

This isn't a new observation—here's Chris Coyier commenting on the Tailwindification of web design back in 2020—it just feels like the wave is about to crest and break.

Web Design