Flat Design, from Its History to Critics

By Yumnatype on 29th March 2022

If you are a fan of simple designs with elegant looks, the flat design is suitable for you.  

Flat design becomes a popular designs nowadays. It may be one of the most commonly seen types of design, but the design’s name itself is yet unknown. Read the explanations below to know more about it!


flat design


What is Flat Design?

The term “flat design” is widely used as the opposite to the “rich design”, due to harmonic simplicity taken as the basis of this design approach. The design styles are focusing on minimalism and 2 dimensional visual elements. It is characterized with the focus on the typography, bright colors, clean designs without bevels, shadows and textures. However, you can use contrast colors to make your designs more fun.



According to Wikipedia, the flat design is firstly inspired by the International Typographic Styles (commonly known as the Swiss Style), Text User Interface, Modernism and Bauhaus, yet the flat design is much more inspired by the Swiss Style and was introduced in 1950-1960’s. Its main character is the Sans-Serif font, asymmetric and grid shapes. 

Up to this time, it has been well developed and used, for instance the flat designs on Microsoft Windows 8 display and on Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and so forth. 


Basic features of Flat Design includes:

  • Simplicity of shapes and elements
  • Minimalism
  • Functionality
  • Bold and highly readable typography
  • Clear and strict visual hierarchy
  • Close attention to details
  • Thoughtful appliance of bright colors and contrast supporting quick visual perception
  • Avoiding textures, gradients and complex forms
  • Applying the principles of grids, geometric approach and visual balance



A flat design is frequently used in various design needs, such as:

  • Graphic Design
  • UI Design
  • Icon
  • Animation
  • Illustration


Flat Design’s Characters

Flat design has special characters in the use of icons and illustrations. All of the design elements must be simple, minimal texture, simple typography, simple shape and a little detail. 



Its simplicity of design brings in the following advantages:

  • Easily Legible Typography

The typography will be easier to read due to the simple font choice and few use of drop shadow on the picture. 

  • Responsive Design 

Ideally, the design style of the web page should be in line with your mobile app. This is what responsive design means. By using this, the responsive design will be more easily made because it is easy to adjust.



Despite the flat design’s ease and simplicity, there have been critics towards it. The critic argues that the User Interface (UI) gets harder and a bit more useless. Making all of the elements flat can cause difficulties differentiating each function of the element. Research shows that flat designs are more popular to young adults than to the elderlies. 


These days, most people are looking at flat design as its become trends. You can work with a professional designer to create a versatile designs. With the right designer, your flat designs might just jump off the screen.

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