Complete Guide to Flat Design: Everything You Need to Know!

By  Zainab Agha

June 22, 2022 11:46 am EST

Flat design, a new user interface (UI) design trend, debuted in the early 2010s. It was sophisticated and minimalist yet modern.

This guide will take a comprehensive look at what flat design is, its characteristics, and examples. 

After this guide, you’ll have a firm understanding of the flat design approach and be able to apply it to your own projects. So, let’s get into it.

What is Flat Design?

It is a minimalistic design approach that emphasizes usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colors, and 2D/vector illustrations. Flat design began as an alternative to the skeuomorphic style popular in the early 2010s. Skeuomorphism is a design approach that incorporates real-world objects and textures into digital interfaces to make them more relatable and user-friendly.

While skeuomorphism was once the norm, it fell out of favor as users became more comfortable with digital devices. The rise of touch screens also made skeuomorphic design elements, like buttons that looked like they were being pressed, less necessary.

Flat design has become the go-to style for many digital products and services. Its popularity can be attributed to its clean and modern aesthetic, which is easy to understand and use.

Characteristics of Flat Design

Several key characteristics define flat design:

Simplicity: Flat design is intentionally simplified. It features basic shapes, colors, and typography.

Grid-based Layouts: Flat design almost always uses a grid-based layout. It helps to create a sense of order and hierarchy.

Open Space: Flat design uses many negative spaces to create a clean and uncluttered look. It assists designers in indicating which section of the page they want users to focus on, making the website more readable.

Crisp Edges: The shapes in flat design have well-defined edges. They are not fuzzy or blurred.

2D/Vector Illustrations: Illustrations are typically created using basic shapes and lines in flat design. They are not realistic or three-dimensional.

Bright Colors: Flat design often uses bright and saturated colors.

Flat Design Examples

Now that we’ve gone over flat design and its key features, let’s look at some examples.

Google Material Design

Google’s Material Design is one of the most well-known examples of flat design. Material Design is a set of guidelines that Google created to help designers create consistent and intuitive user interfaces.

Material Design features a flat, card-based interface with bold colors and ample white space. Shapes are geometric with soft edges. And the illustrations are all 2D/vector graphics.

Fitbit App

The Fitbit app is another great example of flat design. The app uses a minimalistic interface with bold colors and simple graphics. The shapes are all geometric, and the typography is clean and easy to read.

Spotify App

The Spotify app is the third example of how flat design can be used in a minimalistic way. The shapes are all geometric, and the typography is clean. The interface is clean and uncluttered, with bright colors and simple graphics.

As you can see, flat design is a minimalistic approach that emphasizes usability. It features clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colors, and 2D/vector illustrations.

So, if you’re looking for a modern and user-friendly design approach, flat design is a great option.


Zainab Agha

Zainab started her career in advertising as a copywriter; which taught her how valuable moxie was in the boardroom and translates that in her campaigns. Building brands has led her to explore digital marketing, communication concepts, and what it takes to grow an idea from scratch. In her free time (let’s assume she is a badass with balancing work and play) she travels in heels then complains, experiments with innovative creative solutions that sell, and does stand-up comedy.

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