This is a backdated April Fools post

In its ruggedness and lack of concern to look comfortable or easy, Brutalism can be seen as a reaction by a younger generation to the lightness, optimism, and frivolity of today’s webdesign.
BrutalistWebsites.com

Brutalism on my blog
Brutalism on my blog

Brutalist design is an umbrella term for websites that evoke a ruggedness and seemingly “old” and “ugly” quality that still makes some kind of a statement.

Craigslist is simple and plain; Bloomberg is strangely unusual. “Old Reddit” was also and web developer Jenn Schiffer has a website that embraces the font Courier as well as bright colours. Not to mention, musician Alex Cameron has a huge stretched photograph of his face as the background of his website.

Websites these days are bloated due to many scripts, imported fonts and other resources that generate a slick, “minimalist” website. Yet performance is a common issue, and a look of “minimalism” takes ten times as long to actually produce. Motherfucking Website is a website that boasts a lightweight design, default Times New Roman font, default blue links – wait, actually, there is no CSS at all – and it’s mobile friendly (surprise, surprise), accessible, and compatible in all browsers.

Brutalism is seemingly a statement against all over-designed websites, and a reminder that more is not always better. An article on boingboing.net puts brutalism quite well:

Brutalism didn’t look like something from 20 years ago until it was 20 years old.

A screenshot of my April Fools look on my blog
An April Fools edition of my blog

With that, this current theme on my blog was intended as a huge joke for April Fools, and I left no sign on it that it was a joke. Nick said to me, “It actually doesn’t look that bad. I mean this font is Comic Sans but this [the footer] looks OK”. When I was looking at it, I actually admired the playful typefaces and the pink and green contrasted really amusingly. I dislike pink, but it works well. And when you hover over the links, I mean, they’re accessible – if you were vision impaired, at least you are able to see the border around the link so you would know exactly where you are clicking.

A couple of people fell for the joke, they liked the colours and the new look. I think that above all, given my OK skills as a part-web-designer, I wonder if some people respect my work so much that even if I designed something deliberately “ugly” it would be considered great. I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I kinda think that although I designed something with such recklessness, it still looks pretty good.

As for whether you can take me seriously because I’ve used a font like Comic Sans, well… 😂 Enjoy the design while it’s up; the regular aqua colour will be back in a day or so.

If you want to see more brutalist websites, have a look at BrutalistWebsites.com.

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Comments on this post

😐 So this whole thing was to make a lesson. Greaaat.

I don’t see Comic Sans when I’m mobile, but I did see the screenshot before it went live. 😉

I am still howling at this April Fools. Absolutely genius, G!

Motherfucking Website is, rightfully, motherfucking genius. Probably the fastest website I’ve ever loaded up!

The colours actually go really well. It’s only the Comic Sans that is making my chest hurt, haha.

this whole theme is gold. i can’t help but to laugh at the marquee. my friends and i like to joke about old “ugly” website design, especially the marquee. we have inside jokes for such things. my boyfriend hates marquee so much – not like hate ~hate~ but like hate in a joking manner, if that makes sense.

i personally think bloomberg isn’t completely garbage though. i mean yeah it doesn’t carry the whole “minimalism is the new black” kind of design but it’s not complete trash. i wasn’t aware the term ‘brutalist design’ before you mentioned it. ah the more you know 😉

motherfucking website is not complete trash too! it’s legible and the design itself doesn’t make me wanna rip my hair out. and this is me speaking from a designer’s perspective, someone who wants to scream if i see a design with horrifying kerning or color selection.

i think it’s because even if you tried to make this theme “ugly”, it will not be complete garbage because you always have eyes for design. it’s more of a funny “ugly” kind of way but not trash. garbage website is something like this – this is the kind of design that makes me wanna rip my hair apart haha

regardless, this was such a genius april fools joke! i can’t help but to laugh a lot when you tweeted about it haha

This brings back so many memories of my first web pages.

But this is a very good design and it was love the statement that it makes. It also made me laugh which is good.

If I weren’t so busy, I probably would’ve put a prank on my own blog. Rick rolling is kind of a thing and I was thinking about replacing one of the links so that it would rick roll someone. Maybe next year.

LOVEEEE THIS. PLEASE KEEP IT.

Just kidding. But I will check out the brutalist websites. It’s an art form. 😛

Seriously love this. Brings back so many memories. I admire you for pulling this one off ♥️

I’ve heard the term “Brutalist” be used in relation to architecture but never websites. But I’m going to start using it from now on haha!

I knew it was an April Fools joke the minute I saw Comic Sans! 😂

This was a funny prank, haha.

I miss the 90s and the early 2000s. . . . but I don’t miss the webdesign from that era. Just, no. What were people thinking back then? The crazy colour scheme, the Comic Sans font, the scrolling text/marquee, the aNnOyInG tYpInG crap, background music — arghhhhh! I do not miss those days at all! And to think I was guilty of some of those, too X_X Just, nooooo. I like the contemporary designs, thanks 😆 Brutalist websites do make a statement, but I can’t say they appeal to me at all, haha!

I love that you did this for April Fool’s Day! Comic Sans is the worst font in the world, and I loved your scrolling text. I M1Ss wr1tin lyk d1s!

It actually looked pretty great considering it was a joke layout. Unbearable font, but I actually didn’t mind everything else!