New “Out of This World” Trend in Web Design

While browsing a variety of CSS web design galleries, I started to notice a recurring theme in several website designs. The theme I noticed was out of this world! All the sites had a space theme, where you could see planets, stars and or nebula type effects. Its not like we haven’t see spaced themed websites before, people have been doing them for a while, but whats interesting is when there is a sudden resurgence of an old theme or new theme.

The last theme I noticed a lot of designers implementing was a wood grain theme, where the background would be some sort of wood texture and often you would see the text over rectangles with lowered opacity. This theme is still all over the place, but now I’m starting to see a lot of websites with this space theme.

Two Reasons Themes Spread Like Wildfire

1. Sites like StumbleUpon.com, Behance, Corofolot and Design:Related allow designers to view other portfolio websites very quickly and easily. Designers then absorb everything they see such as a cool themes or design elements and introduce the theme or element to their own work or site.

2. A lot of designers follow tutorial sites like PSD Tuts which sometimes have tutorials such as “Create Spectacular Concept Art in Photoshop” and “Fiery Photoshop Space Explosion Tutorial“, which inspire designers to implement what they just learned into their own website.

Below are a bunch of websites with space themes that were submitted to recent CSS gallery websites such as CSS Mania and CSS Remix. Anyone else notice a sudden resurgence of space themed website or any other themes?

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34 comments on “New “Out of This World” Trend in Web Design”

  1. Brian Reply

    This is definitely an interesting trend – no doubt about that. I wonder if this will turn out to be as big as wood backgrounds…who knows.

    Good find though and some really great sites that you featured – great job.

  2. Andrew Reply

    I’ve noticed the exact same trend over the past couple of months! Everytime I browse a CSS gallery it seems there’s a new website out there rocking a space theme. I think the concept is cool, but some sites are taking it a bit too far.

  3. Roweena Reply

    Yes! And I just realise that I have inadvertently used this theme in a client website, without even realising it to be a trend, just goes to show how much we absorb visually.
    Guess it’s a change from the usual web 2.0 look.

  4. Daniel Vice Reply

    I don’t think that it is a coincidence that the new OSX has a space theme. I think things like that seep into our sub-conscience, especially when it is used in a product/brand that we see as high quality or admire. Then when we are making design decisions we sometimes have an emotionally positive bias toward a certain look even though we may not know why.

  5. Fabio Sasso Reply

    Thanks for listing my site, actually the name of my site means abducted in portuguese, however I think apple’s Leaopard with the Time Machine interface has contributed to that trend..

  6. Angel G. Reply

    Just to add to the list: anywhere.fm an amazing website for music, and the whole background is space!

  7. Andy Blount Reply

    Thanks for including our site in the list. You are spot on with our inspiration when coming up with the look for Sitemakers. A little of it came from Leopard (which the director is fanatical about), a little came from a PSDtuts article and a little of it was based on our corporate branding and colour scheme.

  8. Scott Reply

    Was going to make a comment but I see several people beat me to it.

    Apple setting a trend. Not the first time that’s happened huh?

  9. J S Reply

    Space theme is an easy step from a dark desktop theme (Vista,newer Mac). So just following the color trends.

  10. Romeo Reply

    Definitely out of this world. I like the designs with floating content, definitely thinking outside the box there. Watching some of these designs emerge is a great way to get ideas of your own. There are only so many ways to make a website.

  11. Eivind Reply

    I discovered this myself just a week ago… Interesting to see the same observation popping up. Though, you’ve managed to dig up more sites than I did :)

    I definitely like the style, though… And I also think, as others mentioned, that the release of Leopard helped to spark the trend.

    And don’t forget ttthings.com … Awesome site, with a well-executed space theme :)

  12. Chad Miller Reply

    Let’s not forget http://www.2advanced.com They ‘Eric Jordan and Co.’ is an early design with this Trend in mind, almost a little more intense and detailed than the sites listed above, but none the less a space sci-fi type design. It was done quite a few years ago though.

  13. Ypsy Reply

    Great trend. Think i’ll implement something like that in my blog too. What about copyrights of the famous pictures of stardusts from the NASA etc. Are they very strict or could you use one of them?

  14. David Sparks Reply

    My site has this same effect going on too. I hate it though and I’m currently in the redesign process. but I too did this look a few months ago.

    already over it however.

  15. Josh Franco Reply

    Wow, what a strange and interesting feel this new outer space thing has – I gravitate towards it :)… Good point btw of the folks who mentioned that Apple may have a hand in making this new thing popular, who knows!

    It’s kind of refreshing to see something new like this emerging! I’m wondering how people are going to incorporate this theme into clients’ websites, like the grunge or worn look… hehe

    I for one like this stuff cheers!

  16. David Reply

    Yep, I too have fell the urge to design space related content.

    It is just so vast when it comes to ideas and color that I feel more free. ;)

  17. web designer Reply

    I am totally surprised to see there “is” such a trend in web design.. planetary view and cosmic theme.. yesterday I have also seen boagsworld at http://headscape.co.uk/holding/index.html and it was also the same..

    Interestingly, my personal site had another similar fashion regardless of them:
    http://www.kunterilalan.com/_index.php

    don’t mind if the code is not even semi-accessible since it was at his pre-historic development phase in that sample, where an AJAX controller checks the last status of the globe and updates it .. which was disabled at that sample again….

    anyway .. may be a cosmic creative spark influences us :) God you’re the only one

    best regards;
    kunter ilalan

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