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Dana Kachan
Dana Kachan

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The Most Magnetic Web Animation Trends You Haven’t Expected in 2021

Modern animation styles and techniques can add more dynamics and intrigue to your web design. Discover these top seven most impressive website animation and motion design trends expected in 2021 for your inspiration.

Animation is a powerful medium for expressing the brightest brand’s ideas, messages, and concepts. It breathes with life and novelty every time you watch it in contemporary web design. Applied masterfully, it adds a lot of “style” and emotion to the brand’s online image and helps set it apart from the competition.

Web animation is a large digital brand itself. It can also be broken down into several design sub-trends. Each of them is beautiful, each is fascinating, each adds specific spices to an overall website look. Here I’m considering the most exciting web animation trends that are going to boom in 2021.

Think 3-Dimensional: Depth Effect in 3D Designs

The 3D design never leaves anybody indifferent thanks to its immersive and engaging nature. It has been popular before and doesn’t lose its strong position among the top trends this year too. Involved by incredible opportunities of designing in a 3D environment, website creators may want to imitate the effect of depth in everything, from images to typography. Gradient coloring and shading can help them create the “reality” inside the image.

Some experts even say that 2021 is going to be the year of 3D. At the edge of 2020 and 2021, we have seen an increasing number of websites with animations that create a feeling of hyper-realism and allow the user to explore the object’s different sides and aspects.

Alt TextExample 1 here: Cube Experiment by Advanced Team

Alt TextExample 2 here: Abstract 3D Pack Vol.1 by Kirill Emelyanov

Beautiful Chaos: Noise, Distortion & Glitch Animations

Mostly, we don’t like noise in anything. In anything but web design. The so-called effect of “noise” is a futuristic visual technique that makes websites look bold, extraordinary, and remarkable. The noise “loves” experimenting in web design but not overdoing it.

It often comes along with the effects such as distortion and glitch. This “noisy trio” creates beautiful and eye-pleasing chaos in website design. This web animation perfectly suits eCommerce, media production, and creative industry’s sites that don’t require an “official” or “traditional” look (like governmental, healthcare, or financial organizations).

Alt TextExample 1 here: Hello World by Aslan Almukhambetov for Fireart Studio

Alt TextExample 2 here: Glitch Effect by Ann Homeniuk

Alt TextExample 3 here: X for Geex by subexit for Geex Arts

Animated Background Videos: The Story Behind The Brand

Not actually a new but still very popular trend is animated storytelling in web design. Usually, it looks like an animated video about the brand set at a website background. It may serve as the introduction of the team, products, the brand’s core values or mission. It can also look like a funny story deploying around the brand or its products. This trend has limitless potential for the brand’s self-expression and an emotional connection with the website visitor.

Animated videos have become a central component of many famous websites. They are a medium for communicating the brand’s culture and mission through adventurous animated scenes, funny heroes, and interesting environments in the imaginative worlds.

Alt TextExample here: Travel Page Animation by CRI$$ for Fireart Studio

Cartoon Illustrations: The Journey from TV to the Web

Don’t you love cartoons? Admit, you do. They remind us of the vibes of sweet childhood and take us to places we couldn’t even be dreaming about. Cartoon illustrations have been perfectly performing in TV advertising, so their migration into web design has become a logical evolution of this design trend. A cartoony website animation is a powerful tool for audience engagement and loyalty in the digital world.

They can look like a cartoon on a website background or separate UI design decorations incorporated in the overall design. Do you want to immerse the user into a story behind the brand? Make a custom cartoon for your website! This website animation technique may serve you great and even help generate conversions. You may wonder why? Loyal site visitors are more likely to buy from a brand that gives them fun and entertainment besides the quality products or services.

Alt TextExample here: Simple Animation Tutorial In After Effects, Game Design by Gigantic

Lines Everywhere: Line Art Style In Web Animation

Simple, elegant, and minimalist. The line hides a lot of meaning inside. We expect to see line art in web design even more frequently. Moreover, it will appear in the website motion design too. Below, you can see some of the most prominent examples of the line art style in web animation. The line will be creating a story in the image like in example 1 and hypnotize us with its simple beauty and magnetism like in example 2.

Alt TextExample 1 here: Travel website by Małgorzata Kozela for Softnauts

Alt TextExample 2 here: Case Study by Quintin Lodge for Non-Linear

Back to the Future: Retro Web Animations

People love retro because it takes us back to the past and some pleasant yet almost forgotten experiences. The trend of retro web animation is going to rise this year. The retro-futuristic landscapes and illustrations, kinetic retro-typography, old-fashioned fonts, neon palette, and objects from the reality of the ‘90s - all this will become the manifestation of retro in website animation 2021. Below, you can enjoy several impressive examples of works created Blacklead Studio and Jaromir Kavan.

Alt TextExample 1 here: Product Page Animation by blacklead studio

Alt TextExample 2 here: Paralax retrowave portfolio (r4ms3s) by Jaromir Kavan

Designing Life inside Web Design

Are you ready to design life, dynamics, and movement inside of your website layouts? What’s stopping you? I hope that these designs have brought some inspiration for you. Of course, these aren’t all motion design trends that 2021 has prepared for us, but just a few of them. Do you have more ideas for animation in website design? We all would love to hear from you! Please share your tips, insights, and thoughts in the comments below!

Discussion (2)

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Jeff Chavez


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Dana Kachan Author

Thank you, Jeff!