I opened my inbox this morning. 68 emails. Not terrible, I thought as I started to sift through them. Suddenly an obvious theme was appearing… the diagonal line.
I’ve noticed this design element ever since I started reading Fast Company in design school and noticed they were using it on all their sites and email newsletter design. But I haven’t really noticed a ton of other sites following suit. Until around last year.
Fast Co. is a forward thinking, design centric website that publishes articles about business, creatives and in general the cool stuff in the world. There are lots of design elements that I love about there site, and I’m excited to see this trend trickling through my little view of the internet.
Let me show you what I mean:
Here’s Fast Co’s homepage: (screenshot, 7/29/16, 9:13am)
This diagonal line is a theme on their site. I would say it’s part of their brand. It’s a cropping that has been used before online, but it’s definitely not the norm out there.
Now here’s another site I just noticed is using the diagonal line: Spoon University.
What’s interesting is that the diagonal is closer to the bottom of the “fold” or where my browser cuts off the homepage. If I remember correctly, the diagonal line is a new part of their web site, and perhaps it’s placed below the main content to de-emphasize it a little from their other, stronger brand elements, like their signature circle.
Why use a diagonal line?
Diagonal lines create a sense of movement and excitement in your design, they break up the space in an unusual way and bring a modern feel to the screen. They also make you want to keep scrolling down when instead of a break of horizontal white space, you start to see the beginning of a new image. Makes you want to see more, right!?
So you want to try out a diagonal line, but you can’t do a whole website redesign? Try an email newsletter design for a special sale or event, like Hedley & Bennett, who’s sale email also arrived in my inbox today:
Email designs are much more temporary then a website or print, so if you want to try out a new brand element, like a diagonal line or maybe an illustration style, email marketing is a great place to start playing and see if that will work for your brand long term.
Something even more temporary? Social media images. If you want to gauge the response of a new brand element, and you have a healthy social media account, usually more likes means that your image is working. So through up a graphic on twitter with something that pushes your brand just a little… it’s a great way to test the waters.
Hungry for more? Check out this article by Design Shack.