Web Brutalism



Blagers.co is a little side project I began three years ago with a couple of friends…

…a web service that combines the most attractive features of a blog and magazine, complete with unique and unprecedented functionality. I wanted to create something different – mainly graphically different. We did add a few cool features like BLAGchallenge which is a place you can challenge any Blager (editor on Blagers.co) to do something – whether stupid or more serious – like organizing a charity event etc. But my main focus was designing something fun, loose and inspiring.



“What distinguishes this project from other sites, is giving users access to original functionality while being visually outstanding. “



Not only was the design energetic and different, the sheer amount of options and writers made the whole thing a bit chaotic. Aside from it being really fun – I think people in Poland were just not ready for such a “brutal” project.


My main inspiration was Toiletpapermagazine, a good example of web brutalism:


Toiletpaper magazine


Pascal Deville’s, website – brutalistwebsites  showcases a selection of websites that have a Brutalist aesthetic, that is, marked by a “ruggedness and lack of concern to look comfortable or easy”. The Brutality is not only in the design – it goes much deeper:

  • Raw Code – no optimisation, simple markup
  • System fonts – Going back to Arial, Times New Roman and Courier
  • Harsh Colours – Lot’s of Red, purest green, contrasts – limited to the 216 browser safe colours. If you want depth – bevels.
  • Images – Going back to the days before Instagram filters – raw, natural and photoshop-free
  • Brutal Language – don’t be scared of using “the ‘F’ word”. Content is crude, straightforward and short. Who has time to read anyway?

Has flat design finally met its end? Or is this just a reaction to minimalism which has plagued the internet these past years. Maybe it’s just a way of being eccentric? Is “best practise” passe?


Below you have a few other examples I’ve found:

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LEAP Dialogues new publication


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IAM – Internet Age Media website -> definitely have a look at their newsletter – my favourite part is the “random” button.


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WPP Network


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