How to create a gothic website

ShadowReach Marketing, a website with a gothic aesthetic
Creating a website with a dark, Victorian aesthetic and modern functionality

We’ve been tasked with creating a usable, modern-looking website with a spooky, dark Victorian theme for our sister company, ShadowReach marketing.

The challenge:

Keep the site up-to-date with contemporary design trends while maintaining a dark, 19th-century aesthetic

The solution:

The skin of a usable website with subtle, gothic design motifs sprinkled throughout. Add subtle ghostly animation with bizarre imagery.

The website:

Home page: desktop view

Every website should appear great on both computer screens and mobile devices such as tablets and phones. Which is why we put a lot of attention into ensuring that mobile views of the site maintained the same look and functionality as desktop views.

Blog landing page: mobile view
Services page, mobile view

The imagery

We put a lot of research and thought into the imagery that would define the look of the website. Ultimately. we decided on a mixture of Victorian patterns, black and white vector drawings, and heavily edited photos.

Victorian patterns

The Victorian era loved wallpaper, and vintage “looks” often incorporate aged papers and torn edges. Therefore, we sourced and modified these sorts of images to use as backgrounds for the site.

Subtle skull torn edge wallpaper
Gothic ornamentation added to large blocks of text

Black and white vector drawings

One of The Concept Spot’s signature additions to much of our work is our use of pen-and-ink drawings. The ShadowReach aesthetic lends itself nicely to these types of illustrations, especially when animated. Due to the nature of ShadowReach’s business, we could allow ourselves to get a little bit campy with these animated GIFs.

Edited photographs

One of the best ways to create spooky, unsettling imagery is to mix two disparate things together. Using our team’s advanced Photoshop skills, we were able to modify regular photographs to create the following monstrosities:

Woman with octopus tentacles
Haunted manor painting
Zombified Edwardian lady showcasing the size of the U.S. Halloween industry

Final website

Overall, we consider the finalized website to be user-friendly and informative, as well as adhering to ShadowReach’s unique aesthetic. To see the final result, please visit

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