Industrial designs have an intense, modern look that translates well for manufacturing and industries looking to make a bold statement. Traditionally, industrial companies used a range of masculine colors, such as charcoal gray, black and brown. Today, they can use a full rainbow of colors to get their point across and set their company apart from competitors.
According to IBISWorld, there are approximately 565,537 businesses in the U.S. just in the manufacturing sector. With more and more brands creating an online presence, finding ways to stand out from the crowd has become more vital than ever.
The best way to figure out how to create a gorgeous, industrial look for your website is by studying what other companies do well. We’ve sorted through dozens of manufacturing websites and found a handful we think stand out from the others as excellent examples of beautiful design.
Many of the smaller industrial companies in the United States sell directly to consumers. Meeting the needs of multiple audience types requires a bit of creativity in how they present their website. They must offer an online store alongside an explanation of how they make their products and any services they provide other business owners.
Using unique color combinations is one way in which business-to-many (B2M) companies can stand out. Pops of color grab the eye of anyone landing on the page. They also have to separate their site into sections that make sense to multiple buyer personas.
Fox River combines both e-commerce and an explanation of how they’ve made apparel for over 100 years. The overall design is relatively minimalistic, putting the focus on the product. However, they add a pop of bright orange here and there to draw attention to different elements on each page. The logo and tagline of being “American-made since 1900” appear at the top of every page and reinforces the message of quality and patriotism.
Those who work in industrial businesses have specialized knowledge keeping them and their coworkers safe and productive. Without training, running special equipment or knowing the best way to knock down a building is dangerous at best. One way to embrace the concept of strength and experience in your design is by showing people working with the equipment the manufacturer designs or uses in the factory.
Thompson Tractor uses a bold hero image for the background of their page. You see a worker in a hard hat tucked behind transparent boxes on the right. In the foreground on the left is a worker with gloves and a large sledgehammer. The site uses a traditional yellow for accents, a color often utilized in the construction industry. The use of classic colors shows the user clearly what the company offers.
If you want to give off the appearance of strength, stick with straight, thick lines throughout your design. Current web design trends lean more toward asymmetry, but when it comes to highlighting machines or manufacturing processes, a grid-style layout works best.
The clean look of a grid keeps the design uncluttered. Eye-tracking studies have shown that readers who naturally read from left to right follow a “Z” pattern when looking at a website. This means you can put the most critical information along the top and then shift down the page and repeat it across the bottom of the fold.
Maysteel uses strong lines to create a look of fortitude. Note the combination of simple lines and dark colors with a single accent of dark red. By lining things up evenly, users have an image of a reliable and predictable company, which is an essential consideration for manufacturing.
Another approach for industrial design looks at the finished products and the advantages to customers. Traditionally, manufacturing focused on machines, workers or raw materials for their website images. However, by showing the finished product, the attention shifts to what the company brings to the table and how their products stand out from competitors.
Founded in 1959, Koetter Woodworking has a rich history in the Southern Indiana area of manufacturing beautiful wood products for homes all over the country. Their design focuses on the finished wood items and their benefits, while a slider showcases different finished homes with beautiful woodwork. Superimposed over each image is a tagline, such as “on time” and “the right product.”
While people expect serious-minded colors such as deep blues, black and gray, there are times when choosing a color people wouldn’t expect grabs user attention. Keep in mind that various colors tap into different emotions. Think through the pain points driving customers to visit your site. What problem are they trying to solve?
Once you have an idea of the pain point, it’s easier to figure out the feelings driving users. You can then utilize a color that counteracts fear, boredom or worry. For example, red can create excitement and blue suggests serenity.