The Incredible Secrets Behind Flat Design

The Incredible Secrets Behind Flat Design

Unless you’ve been living under a particularly lonely rock for the last few years you’ll know that flat design is a huge deal.

Thanks to the rise in mobile devices we’re confronted by the wonders of flat design on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

But do we really understand what goes into achieving the flat design aesthetic?

If you’re thinking “Well, it’s, uh, it’s kinda flat and it’s on my phone and, uh…” then perhaps it’s time you had a look through our guide pronto!

Back to Basics

Several years ago the concept of ‘rich design’ was all the rage and this involved packing websites full of all sorts of ornate and intricate designs. This was a refreshing break from the early days of the internet where a couple of jpegs and a dancing baby was considered highly technical.

However, designers soon began to find that rich design was a bit too OTT and detracted from the content of websites. What people wanted to do – in this furiously busy age – was log on, grab their content and get the hell out of there.

And the best way to achieve this was to strip out all the unnecessary clutter and get down to the bare basics of what was required in a design by getting to the point and being incredibly intuitive.

Keep Elements Simple

As the digital landscape has become more and more mobile, the need for simplicity has grown and grown.

I mean, for example, say you’re rushing down the street, need to check your emails and cross a busy road all at the same time. Do you really want your email app to be a highly complicated design? No, you wanna be reading your emails with just a few simple taps of the screen.

This is why flat design favours simple elements in its user interface such as crisp, bold images which are large and feature bright colours that you just wanna hit to find out more.

Frankly, if an element doesn’t scream out “TAP ME!” then people aren’t going to tap it!

Eliminate Depth

There needs to be a distinction between the real world and the digital world, so this is where the ‘flat’ in flat design comes from.

You see, a two dimensional world is most definitely not real.

So, the best way to create a two dimensional world is to get rid of that pesky construct known as depth.

Maybe you’re redesigning a website, so how do you get rid of depth? Well, the simplest way to start is by eliminating all shadowing, gradients and bevels. You’d be surprised just how far along the line this can move a rich design project to becoming flat design.

Use Pure Colours

The most popular colours to use in flat design are primary and secondary colours, but you have to make sure you aim for the deepest colours available. There’s no room in the world of flat design for curious shades or zany tints, it’s got to be the purest blue or the boldest red.

And flat design doesn’t like to stick to only a couple of colours in its colour scheme. No, flat design loves to gather together up to 8 of these pure colours to provide a visual array of vibrancy and eyecatching elements.

Match Fonts

The typefaces you choose in flat design should reflect the simple, bold approach of the aesthetic.

Because, you know, that wonderfully simplistic set of elements would look pretty awful when paired with a calligraphy font.

This is why it’s essential that graphic designers stick to no-nonsense fonts such as Gotham, Helvetica and Proxima Nova.

These fonts allow you to get written information across as quickly as possible to help aid users in achieving their needs as quickly as possible.

At this point in time it would be pretty damn foolish not to get a handle on flat design, so take heed of my points and get engaged with the world of flat design!


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