How It’s Made: Anatomy of Scandinavian Design with Live Examples and Free Themes

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Scandinavian web design hits the mainstream. Today, when the web comes brimming with minimalist aesthetics, and the principle “less is more” runs things, Scandinavian design with its simplicity, elegance and functionality as the key characteristics wins friends and influences people. By the way, it’s the second coming of this style on the web, the first wave of popularity was spotted in 2011. I offer you to find out how it’s made, learn a bit more about it and see wonderful designs collected from the web. At the end of the post you’ll find free WordPress themes in Scandinavian style that are ready-made solutions for your works.

Scandinavian Design Origins

As first, let’s define the notion “Scandinavian design”. Its native lands are Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland – first world countries that are known to be advanced in the field of graphic and web design. It’s no wonder that their design movement has become so popular on the web. Scandinavian design perfectly reflects the place it was founded and is greatly influenced by nature and weather conditions: long winters lacking sunlight, boundless landscapes. You can easily notice it among others due to its cold colors and austere tone. What’s the Scandinavian design philosophy? It’s based on:

  • functionality;
  • timeless aesthetics;
  • fair minimalism.

Scandinavian Aesthetics

Websites in this style please the eye with clean look, simple forms. Such layouts are always uncluttered, with a lot of negative space. They are effective without any heavy graphic elements. Scandinavian aesthetics denies anything that is “extra” and “over”, it is focused on laconic interpretation of the world. Highly functional, combining innovative and classic ideas, Scandinavian design is always in trend.
You can argue and say that it’s so easy to get tired of dull hazy layouts, but there are enough arguments to over-persuade you. It’s much more likely that designs with gaudy coloration will make you feel dizzy. Too bright colors are much more annoying than the calm ones. Scandinavian color palettes look clean and refined, welcoming more and more people in. Always fresh and stylish, they are pleasant to look at. Their classical minimalism is ageless, ‘cause it will never go out of vogue.
The anatomy of Scandinavian design will show you how it’s made. Scroll down to see the list of its characteristic features with ever nice examples of websites.

Anatomy of Scandinavian Design

Color Schemes

Light neutral palette is traditional for Scandinavian designs. Most used colors are the following: white, blue, gray, green. Such layouts remind delicate wet paintings in faded colors. Distinctly Scandinavian designs will never glow with colorful and playful elements. Only slight accents are possible to bring contrasting look. Mentioned above traditional Scandinavian colors are applied to the background of the site, thus setting up the tone. See it in examples below.

Blue

The Lifecycle Adventure

The Lifecycle Adventure

Meet a Pet

Meet a Pet

Hello Monday

Hello Monday

Gray

Everyday Needs

Everyday Needs

Cereal Magazine

Cereal Magazine

Visuelle

Visuelle

Green

Simone Capano

Simone Capano

Umbruch

Umbruch is a typical scandinavian design

Beige

Aga Martin

Aga Martin is a beige color scandinavian design

Clementine Daily

Clementine Daily

WorkOf

WorkOf is a minimalist scandinavian web design

Typography

Simple, clean forms are basic for Scandinavian design and all its elements, including typography that sounds distinctly and clearly in them. Practice of keeping it simple is a must-have here. You can use large fonts, put emphasis on them, place in the center of the header (logo or motto of the site), but never choose overdecorated types. Effective legible typography is one more secret of visually-refined look of Scandinavian designs.

Maud

Maud is a wonderful scandinavian website design example

Sydney Copywriter

Sydney Copywriter is a scandinavian portfolio website

Broken Twill

Broken Twill

Logos

I can mention at least one zest that enlivens Scandinavian designs. Thought, the law of simplicity is currently important here, notice how creative they can be. Based on geometrical forms (circles, rectangles), with nice typography and effective graphic elements inside, they look extremely modern and can be even called hipster logos. Being original and compound of several elements, they don’t contradict the ideas of Scandinavian designs.
My favorite example is cool bear logo from Fear the Grizzly site. And what’s yours?

Eone

Eone is a typography based scandinavian design

Colin Grist

Colin Grist

25fiftysix

25fiftysix

Longton

Longton

Fear the Grizzly

Fear the Grizzly is a scandinavian design website

Textures

Scandinavian designs please the eyes with a lot of white space, but it doesn’t mean that there are any textures or some patterns there. Nice textures in delicate colors can gently decorate these layouts, set the right tone and make design non-trivial. You can notice natural textures, geometrical, watercolor, etc among them. Being created in mild tones, they underline overall simplicity of the site.

The Quintessential Magazine

The Quintessential Magazine

Kollektiv Sud

Kollektiv Sud

The Exquisite Forest

The Exquisite Forest is a wonderful website design

Vintage Elements

What can add a vintage look to a Scandinavian design? The effect of a retro touch is achieved with textures, combination of colors, carefully chosen typography. The main principle here is “enough is enough”. If you use vintage elements in Scandinavian websites, remember that they should not compromise on overall minimalist approach to such designs.

Rueda Film

Rueda Film

Reverse Buro

Reverse Buro

We Are Fictitious

We Are Fictitious

I hope that all these wonderful examples of websites in Scandinavian style will inspire you to create your own. If you don’t have enough time or just looking for ready-made design solutions for starting such an effective site, here are 5 free WordPress themes featuring clean modern Scandinavian layouts. Check out their live demos to see them in action and press “download” button to get the ones you like.

Free Themes in Scandinavian Style

Oxygen

Whatever blog you want to set up, here is a perfect solution that will help you perform it quickly and cost-effectively. Check out this fully-responsive feature-rich WordPress theme that is completely free.

DemoDownload

Oxygen Free WordPress Theme

Origin

Consider this professional well-coded responsive theme as a starting point of your site. While working with it, you’ll certainly enjoy easy customization and development.

DemoDownload

Origin Free WordPress Theme

Custom Community

This stylish WordPress theme is a ready-made solution for blog, portfolio site, magazine, social network or a shop.

DemoDownload

Free WordPress Theme Custom Community

Preference

If you’re going to set up a site with trendy elegant design for effective promotion of business, consider this fully-responsive easy-customizable theme with great WordPress gallery, gorgeous typography, a pack of widgets and much more.

DemoDownload

Preference Free WordPress Theme

Sundance

Try this professionally-crafted theme with clean design, video post format support, widgets, custom background, header, menus, etc. Follow the link below to get a whole list of its features.

DemoDownload

Sundance Free WordPress Theme

This is it – chic, bold and modern Scandinavian style that has gripped an audience and not only the web one. Fashion, home design, architecture – the Scandinavian aesthetics is widely popular everywhere. It inspires people from all over the globe for beautiful elegant creations, noticeable for their laconic refined style.

Oxygen Free WordPress Theme

create free website wix below post

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