Bringing Nature Into Design

A Look at the Influence of Nature in Modern Design

While a website could be conceived as being just about as far from the natural world as possible, it often can bring in elements of nature through design.

In recent times, there has been an increase in the inclusion of natural elements in design, particularly graphic and web design. This can be attributed to a few things:

Web Design uses elements of nature to convey messages

The key term here is 'convey messages'. You might be looking at a website and you notice they have included some natural elements in their design. This could be something as small as a leaf used as an icon, or as big as a feature image displaying a forest landscape. Although you may not consciously think about why these are included in the design, your subconscious will often draw a message from this. This message could be that the company is down-to-earth, environmentally conscious or even just that they like nature in general. Whatever the message, these design techniques are an incredibly useful communication technique when used correctly.

Nature elevates the spirit

We cannot live without nature. That's a fact that cannot be disputed. In the same way that cities are starting to focus on bringing green spaces back, web design is starting to incorporate nature into websites.

Although we don't actually need these elements of nature on a website to survive, it gives us a sense of comfort to see them included; fulfilling our craving for connection to the natural world. A lot of modern architecture and urban design is bringing this focus on nature to the forefront of their design.

Finding ways to connect us to nature is also a way of lifting our user experience. But that's a topic for another time!

Nature looks great

The last point is that, well, nature can just look really good. Alongside the rise in the popularity of indoor plants recently, we've also seen a rise in the appreciation of these same plants in design.

Take the ever-popular monstera leaf for example. 10 years ago it would have been largely unknown. But today, the humble monstera leaf is commonplace in so many situations. Web design often uses this leaf as it is something that feels familiar to so many people, with the bonus of looking great.

And that touches on two of the main focuses of web design - look and feel.