Flat Design: Its Background, Advantages, and Current Use

Art is not about seeing, but about making other people see, as the famous artist Edgar Degas put it. What you make other people see often tells them what to do, what to pay attention to, and helps to solve some problems; this flow goes even further in graphic design, which could be described as art solving the particular task. Subtle shifts in color, shape, letter spacing, and overall composition can convey a powerful message in graphic design. This field’s trends are worth keeping an eye on since they shape consumer preferences and impact the decision-making and problem-solving capabilities of contemporary products. One of the most prominent current trends in graphic design, flat design is what we’ll be discussing today.

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“Flat design” explained

“Flat design” is now a catchall word for visually similar designs used for a wide variety of projects. Famous for its minimalist and succinct use of visual expressive means, flat design found its diverse expression on digital art. The term is now commonly used to describe an approach to design that is inverse to “rich design” because it is based on harmonic simplicity. Applying flat, two-dimensional visual details in contrast to extremely realistic and detailed skeuomorphic images is the most notable feature that actually inspired the name of this direction. Over the past few years, flat design has expanded into more and more areas of graphic design, but it has found its most widespread and varied use in digital design for user interfaces on the web and mobile devices. According to research, this style of design is the most effective in making user interfaces more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing.

The roots of minimalist design

Clearly, flat design is not a recent phenomenon. According to design historians, it can be traced back to the Swiss style, which is often considered its cradle. The Swiss style, which emerged in the 1920s and received its fair share of criticism, eventually found its shining moment in Swiss graphic design in the 1940s and 1950s, laying a solid foundation for mid-century graphic design around the world. This style is also known as the International Typographic Style or simply International Style. Josef Müller-Brockmann, who represented the Zurich School of Arts and Krafts, and Armin Hofmann, who represented the Basel School of Design, were the heads of this creative movement. In a nutshell, this style is characterized by the following, according to the Design Is History website: Simplicity, legibility, and objectivity were favored by the style. The two schools’ numerous innovations included sans-serif typefaces, grids, and asymmetrical layouts. The integration of photography and typography as visual languages was also emphasized. Posters were considered to be the most effective form of communication, so they were created as the principal influential works.

Real world examples: areas where graphic flat design is being applied

Given the wide range of current and future design directions, flat design has managed to carve out a niche for itself as an adaptable and creative method. Here are a number of examples created by designers at Tubik Studio to help you understand how to apply the principles of spheres.

A Wireframe for the User Experience

In the early stages of planning, the principles of flat design are already getting a chance to serve as the basis for the overall layout, logic, and transitions. During this critical stage, designers utilize digital tools and software to present the team and clients with a unified, simply executed scheme of all the screens or web pages in the app or website. Even at this basic level, the performance already possesses critical visualization traits typical of flat design. At this stage, the straightforward monochrome scheme is perfect for the efficient and rapid perception of navigation- and key-element-based design solutions.

Designing User Interfaces

The user interface is undeniably a fertile ground for flat design flourishes. A number of unique interfaces, mascots, icons, and illustrations served as inspiration for its development, in addition to more general ideas about user interaction.

Thematic images

Digital products often benefit from these illustrations, which are more detailed and meet the aesthetic demands of users while immediately establishing a connection to a specific theme.

Visual representation in print

Even though modern flat design has its origins in the design of printed items like posters and book covers, its popularity in digital products for everyday use and its adaptability to a wide range of uses have had an impact on other areas of design.

Create a brand

These days, the branding design sphere also makes good use of flat design principles, thanks to their adaptability and the fact that many products are showcased on devices or receive digital support through the web, applications, or advertisements. Logos and mascots are common examples of flat design in branding.

Despite everything said about flat design’s merits, it has not yet succeeded where other methods have failed. The upsides and downsides of any design style or direction are subjective. Flat design did, however, usher in fresh ideas, particularly in the realm of user-centered design solutions that strike a nice balance between form and function.

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