We’ve all been there in a meeting with a potential new client and they say something like: “I want my website to be kind of, you know, cute.” While most of us want to make a website that is cool, cutting edge or outside of the box, sometimes a company or brand demands an overall “cute” appeal. It could be a clothing line for kids or a makeup line targeting teens, either way, adorable is not usually the preferred go-to for us web designers.
What is cute anyway? Yes, it is a fairly subjective adjective, but It’s pretty universally accepted that is adorable, charming, sweet fun design. It is a website that would make you smile and feel a little warm and fuzzy on the inside. What elements make up a cute website? This is also subjective; however, there are a few commonalities or similar threads you can follow through the most successful cutesy webpages.
This one is pretty simple, the strategic use of visuals can turn any website from “meh” to “awwwwww” in no time. Yeah, it’s a pretty simple strategy that feels like it is almost cheating. Yes, it may be easy, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work. Unless the brand is over-the-top cutesy, like Hello Kitty proportions, you won’t need 110 adorable images, a few well-placed and on-brand pictures can cute-ify your website real quick.
It’s not simply photography that can instantly create a charming website, illustrations have the amazing ability to be anything you want them to be. You can elicit any number of emotions from a viewer by creating your own illustrations. Plus, the cartoony aspect really can evoke a child-like wonder.
A well-chosen colour palette can really help. Of course, your web design is going to be grounded in the colours that were chosen by the brand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use an accent colour or a cool neon graphic to bring a sense of whimsy to your design.
It’s not all baby pinks and blues though, soothing pastels and vibrant primary colours are commonly considered cute throughout many different cultures. Generally speaking, richer and brighter tones are what is going to attract kiddos, but if the demographic is in the adult category, the lighter pastel colours are less stressful for us.
The content is where it becomes a little more tricky. Adorable is not all in baby talk and using the words “cute” or “sweet” over and over again. Cute is not only a visual concept, but it is also an emotional one. You know something is really very cute when it makes you want to punch yourself in the face, the images, the colours, and the content should all work together to elicit strong nurturing instincts. It doesn’t need to be giant pages of prose, cute can come from microcopy, easily.
It is not just “cute” that clients want. Sometimes it is a “vintage” aesthetic or a “professional” feel. There is always a different business requiring a website that interprets their industry and brand. Don’t get lost developing a branded website, give us a call and see how we can help interpret your needs!