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Graphic Trends: What is Flat Design?

What is Flat Design?

Posted by: Matt | Categories:  Design

Sometimes it's hard to make the distinction between a style that will become a classic or a passing trend.

Not long ago I really enjoyed my abundance of glossy buttons, drop-shadows, gradients and textures. Now, that's all been turned off and is for a large part, "flat".

Pros and Cons of Flat Design

The good is that it forces designers to really look at the content and how it should be presented. Get to the point quicker and more simply, but look good while doing it.

The bad is when you go beyond moderation. As with many, many things, moderation is the key. When you go to the extremes of flat design, it becomes hard to tell what is a button, a link, important info, not important, etc. This just goes against good design. No landmarks or clues to guide you.

My two favorite parts of flat design are bringing more attention to the colors and typography on the web.

Being a print designer at heart, this really speaks to me. We're breaking out of the tired and overused web colors and experimenting with new shades to add some uniqueness to engage customers.

Now that the design has been stripped and simplified, the typography really has to pull its weight. This is a good thing.

This makes designers stop and think and spend a little more time on the type. When type is designed well, it elevates the message of the whole site, and possibly entire brand.

This doesn't cover everything about this style, but I just wanted to throw a few ideas out there. "Flat Design" in many ways is getting back to the bare essentials of good design - getting rid of the fluff and communicating your message using elements that are simple, and minimal. 

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