How to Create Flat Designs

Thanks to stylistic website design trends, we are now being exposed to a new era of graphics — one with a strong influence from the past. Flat design is the art of removing extra elements such as bevels, drop shadows, gradients and textures to produce a somewhat flat interface.

Embellishments and glamour are out, 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. Image titled Colour_1_Flat
    Use color selectively.
    • Try to commit to a palette with only two or three colours. 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.
  2. Image titled Type_1_Flat
    Choose your fonts and use of text carefully.
    • 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 (Pictured), Archivo Narrow, Hammersmith One and Open Sans are excellent typefaces to use for this kind of design. An added bonus being that these families come in varied weights so you can stick to one font, playing with the styles as you wish.
  3. Image titled Icons_1_Flat
    Stick to simple icons and shapes.
    • 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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Categories: Architecture and Design Occupations