2021 Design Trends for Your Chapter Website

Updated: Mar. 8, 2021  |  Categories: Website  

2021 Design Trends for Your Chapter Website

You updated your association chapter website just a few years ago, so you should be ok for a while, right?

Your site may be clean and simple, with what you think is just the right amount of white space, and it points visitors easily to what they need to find. But after a few years, is your design still engaging association chapter members and guests the way they want?

The pandemic-related stay-at-home reality of this past year has altered how we want to view information digitally. As a result, your site might be ready for a bit of fine-tuning.   

Web designers have stepped up to the challenge and have chosen a number of ways to provide web visitors what they need in our new environment, including changes to typography (the font you use), color and shapes. Could implementing a few of these on your chapter website increase your association member engagement, while making it even easier for visitors to find what they want and stay on your site a little longer?

Here are a few website design trends that are seen as best practices for web creation in 2021.


Designers have always loved sans serif fonts — fonts without markings at the end of the letters — for their simplicity and legibility. And the use of those fonts hasn’t changed much, till now; those are the fonts you’ll find on most websites.

However, the larger screens and higher resolutions of today’s digital devices make serif fonts appear less cluttered and more readable than on the smaller, lower resolution screens of the 1980s. Consider using serif fonts like Garamond, Georgia, and Times on your chapter web site. Get a little creative with the fonts you choose, to express the personality of your organization and give visitors to your association chapter website something different and a bit more interesting to focus on.

Light Colors

In print, light colors tend to appear dull, cloudy and murky. But, when used on a website, they often have the opposite effect. Web visitors are beginning to prefer light colors over dark, bold ones, which, due to the sharpness and clarity of today’s screens can sometimes be overbearing and stressful on the eyes. Think about how you feel when you look at a screen with a black background and red letters.

Designers are moving toward softer color palettes, like soft greens, pastel blues, warm browns and light pinks, colors typically found in nature and palettes that easily blend together. Using these together can naturally induce calm and relaxation in individuals that could be experiencing a good bit of stress right now. A great example is the current Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) website, with its use of light colors.

Simple Shapes

The funky, artistic shapes of the 1990s are making a comeback in web design, in the form of simple, two-dimensional illustrations. Buttons or stickers in solid colors, without depth or texture, can be used to drive visitors to a specific area like a callout box or promotion. Think about using organic or fluid shapes that don’t necessarily involve straight lines. They’re a great way to break up sections of a website without harsh lines or angles.

If you’re happy with the overall look and feel of your current association chapter website, there’s no need to go overboard with changes just to make them. Think about changes you could make to better serve the needs and moods of your audience and which trends could support the goals of your site. Avoid adding distractions and you’ll continue to make interactions with your website easier and more comfortable for visitors and improve their connection to your site and your chapter.  

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