You might have seen this type of design everywhere from websites to brand names on your favorite products. There’s a reason why it still remains a favorite among designers, advertisers and marketers worldwide. Let’s get acquainted with it, shall we?
So What Is “Flat Design”?
Flat design has been an ongoing trend for years now, and it’s easy to see why it exchanges complexity for pure simplicity. It’s a completely minimalist modern style that ditches any detail that is deemed unnecessary. So no more detailed shadows, highlights, busy textures or gradients.
Flat design was the rebel answer to the trend of “skeuomorphism”, which is the design concept of making items resemble their real-world counterparts. Flat design is the exact opposite, focusing more on the content and a quick user experience.
The Good and Bad of a Flat Style
With all design styles, there are pro and cons! Let’s weigh it out:
Content is king with flat design. Since flat design is so simple, all of the attention will be focused on what your design is leading to or presenting.
It Stands Out
Color and contrast is a key component in flat design, making everything bright, vivid and often colorful. Though even black and white will pop and create a bold look with flat design.
It’s the Current Trend
Flat design gives off a current feeling of modernism. It’s attractive to people who value aesthetics, and the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon!
Its trendiness is also a downfall. Given its popularity, the impact and boldness of flat design are lessened. When everyone is doing the same thing, and that thing is simple by nature, it can be hard to stand out.
What is clickable and what is purely design can become foggy making it harder for user to know exactly what to click and where that button will lead them.
If done correctly though all the cons of flat design can be avoided!
Simplicity Makes It Pop
Simplicity is the keyword being used over and over again! You will want to keep it 2-d and almost cartoon-like. Things like gradients, textures, highlights, and shadows should be used sparingly, if at all. The sharp clean edges are what make flat design so appealing and clean thus keeping away clutter. We are removing depth and any 3-d elements, so everything becomes visually simple
What you see is what you get with flat design. Using basic shapes like circles, squares and rectangles will give the user a clear picture of what button does what.
Pay Attention To Color Schemes
Your color will make or break your design! This is a steadfast rule in any design style. If your colors are muddy and unpleasing, or too bright and garish you will scare your users away.
The common color schemes for flat design are bright, but slightly desaturated, “candy” or “cartoon” colors. These types of colors scream “Look at me!” without burning the eyes. They offer high contrast and offer a high variety of different colors that complement each other. The site flatuicolors.com gives a great base color scheme for flat design.
Keep Track Of Current Trends
You can never run away from being trendy when it comes to flat designs. Here are some common traits within the various trend you might notice today.
Clean Sharp Edges
As mentioned above, clean sharp edges are what give flat design a clean and polished look. Make everything perfect. Since you are working with a small amount of detail perfection is key.
Shadows tend to be the one detail that flat design allows. Specifically, a trend called “long shadows”. It became a way to add some flare to flat design without ruining the simplicity. A 45-degree angle and large size are the typical characteristics of the “long shadow” trend.
Once again, one of the most specific features of flat design is the use of bright, bold color.
You will want to keep to your basic shapes. Circles, squares, triangles, and rectangles. While it’s fine to use other custom shapes, keeping to the basics will help you keep the simplicity!
Typography is King
Typography plays a big role in any design. With flat design, your type becomes the main element that gets pushed into the spotlight. As with every element of flat design, simplicity is key! Using simple large fonts will complement the sharp and clean edges of the flat design
Flat Design In the Future
As time goes on flat design changes, largely due to its need to constantly acquire new visual elements so it doesn’t get stale. As time goes on its rules become less strict. For instance, gradients are showing up more and more to add extra visual enhancement.
Adding slight detail without it being overbearing is the key. This is how flat design stays relevant, by being flexible!