Design trends: How to create flat design

Thanks to stylistic website design trends, we are now being exposed to a new era of graphics: Flat design. Flat design is the art of removing extra elements such as bevels, drop shadows, gradients and textures to produce a somewhat flat interface. If you're wanting to create a flat design for your next project, below are some easy design tips that will help you create a professional-looking graphic. While you've likely seen a plethora of complex designs, one design trend that will never go out of style is simplicity. It's also worth noting that when it comes to creating instructional graphics, or how-to guides, flat designs are a great way to communicate your point without confusing your audience.

How to Create Flat Design

While adding embellishments and bold colors can be tempting, simplicity and structure are in! We've put together a list of powerful pointers to help you create fashion-forward flatness in your own designs.

1. Color

flat design trend

Choose a limited palette and work within its limitations to help create a visual focus.

Try and commit to a palette with only two or three colors. Once you've chosen your colors, set the hues far apart (using the brightness slider), therefore creating a stronger contrast within your shapes and elements. By overloading colors causing a rainbow effect, you will only make your artwork not just hard to understand but less functional.

Having a color palette helps provide cohesion to a design. The Pink Cream Illustration Int'l Women's Day Poster and Brown Illustrated Flat Coffee Poster templates may look busy, but the limited choice of colors harmonizes it all.

2. Type


Sans serif fonts are the best choice for flat designs as it fits its general aesthetic.

There is one little, hyphenated word that acts as the best guide to applying type to flat design: Sans-Serif (read more about picking fonts here). Cleaner, easier to read and on-trend fonts such as Helvetica, Archivo Narrow, Hammersmith One, and Open Sans are excellent typefaces to use for this kind of design. An added bonus is that these families come in varied weights so you can stick to one font, playing with the styles as you wish.

A solid font selection works as well as icons and images to bring together a design. Check out the Colorful Grid Women's Rights Poster and Computer Workshop Poster templates.

3. Icons and shapes

flat design trend

Simple imagery through icons and illustrations help bring interest to a flat design.

The most 'stand-out' aspect of flat design, is the simplicity of the imagery. Vector style, well-crafted graphics without the complexities of effects and additional elements. These are most often one color and clearly, state the function or purpose of the icon.

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