The visual language of brutalist web design

El lenguaje visual del diseño web brutalista

doxa.comunicación | 28, pp. 111-131 | 111

January-June of 2019

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

How to cite this article:

Suárez-Carballo, F. (2019). The visual language of brutalist web design. Doxa Comunicación, 28, pp. 111-131.

https://doi.org/10.31921/doxacom.n28a06

Fernando Suárez-Carballo obtained a PhD from the Pontifical University of Salamanca in 2005 and is a perma-nent lecturer in Art Direction in the Faculty of Communication Studies at this university, where he has taught a range of subjects related to visual communication since the year 2000. He is a member of the research group Business Innovation and Creativity and the author of several articles and chapters of books on graphic design, the field that is his main line of research. His management responsibilities have included coordinating the degree course Advertising and Public Relations and his appointment as Associate Dean for students at the Faculty of Communication. He currently heads the Office for the Transfer of Research Results (Oficina de Transferencia de Resultados de Investigación, OTRI).

Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain

fsuarezca@upsa.es

ORCID: 0000-0001-7498-6595

Abstract:

Many authors agree on the current relevance of brutalist web design, a trend inspired by the popular architectural style which, in turn, is distinguished by the rawness of its materials, the geometric shapes or the absence of decoration. This study uses Content Analysis to discover whether it is possible to interpret web-brutalism as a movement with distinctive features and, if this is found to be the case, to make a description of the term based on visual communication techniques as the main variable. After evaluating 50 websites from the catalogue of Brutalist Websites, the study concludes that the most recent meaning refers to a highly heterogeneous movement whose works, based mainly on visual tension, only share the attributes of provocation and creative freedom, which brings it closer to other contemporary trends in postmodern graphic design, such as New Ugly.

Keywords:

Brutalism, graphic design, web design, New Ugly, aesthetics, postmodernism.

Resumen:

Un gran número de autores coincide en señalar el protagonismo ac-tual del diseño web brutalista, una corriente inspirada en el popular estilo arquitectónico que, a su vez, se distingue por la desnudez de sus materiales, las formas geométricas o la ausencia de ornamento. Este estudio recurre al Análisis de Contenido para averiguar si es po-sible interpretar el brutalismo web como un movimiento con rasgos diferenciados y, en tal caso, realizar una descripción del término a partir de las técnicas de comunicación visual como variable funda-mental. Mediante la evaluación de 50 sitios procedentes del catálo-go de la plataforma Brutalist Websites, el estudio concluye que su significado más reciente apunta a un movimiento sumamente he-terogéneo cuyas obras, principalmente basadas en la tensión visual, solo comparten la provocación y la libertad creativa, atributos que lo aproximan a otras tendencias contemporáneas del diseño gráfico posmoderno, como el New Ugly.

Palabras clave:

Brutalismo, diseño gráfico, diseño web, New Ugly, estética, posmodernismo.

Received: 15/11/2018 - Accepted: 19/03/2019

Recibido: 15/11/2018 - Aceptado: 19/03/2019