In the end of the XX century and through the evolution of Digital Design , we have started to leave flat design behind, giving place to a more three-dimensional and realistic aesthetic that increasingly started to lead to lifelike designs.
But, this year, 2021, Apple announced that they are going to ditch completely this aesthetic and focus their UI design in neumorphism. On the other hand, 2021 is the year where major brands of car manufacturers like BMW are announcing their return to flat design: two-dimensional logos are better to replicate on small screens. But car manufacturers weren’t the only ones that went back in time for a more minimalist look, companies like Hershey and Netflix did the exact same.
So, what does this mean? Did the excessive search for imitating real life lead designers to look on simpler things and focus on more minimalist and timeless logos? Before we answer those questions, let’s take a look at the meaning of flat design:
Flat Design is a simple two dimensional minimalist aesthetic that makes a design look flat. It is known for the absence of textures, gradients and shadows, elements that are actually applied when the goal is to make a design or illustration more realistic. This design style was originally used for responsive design because the lack of visual noise provided users a more optimal user experience.
In this article we are going to show you 5 reasons why you should also go back in time and create (or even do a rebrand) a flat design logo in 2020. Keep in mind that Logo.Bot is up to date with this trend and you can build you own flat design logo with the tool.
1. Solid Colors Are In
Being one of the latest trends in graphic and web design, solid colors are making a strong comeback while the world is slowly getting rid of drop shadows, textures and all those fancy Photoshop effects that for years were being imputed into design. Flat is one of the design styles that uses more colors (compared to the usual color schemes) which are typically more bold and vibrant, giving us a chance of really going hard on this trend. As mentioned previously, Netflix redesigned their brand language and completely dropped the black shadowed lettering, giving place to a more subtle, yet transformative, minimal bold red logo.
2. Direct Typography = More Legibility
As we can see in brands that follow this design style, the typography is simple and direct, tending to be sans serif. The use of more complex fonts or even elements that are used as a part of it, can make a design look overwhelming and even interfere with the customer's perception of the brand visual anarchy, which is definitely what we do not pretend. When "Google" created its original logo in 1997 the chosen typo was really complex, which made it hard to read. In 1998 they opted for a standard font to display the company name, and the logo remained practically the same, with the designers adding just a few touches that helped to upgrade the logo to more a 3 Dimensional and realistic look. It was 2015 when the company relaunched their logo with a new custom typeface, but with really similar colors.
3. Simple Shapes means Simpler to Read
Flat design uses simpler geometric shapes, which results in much cleaner logos. Usually circles and rectangles are the most used, and it is common to see those shapes with round or squared-off edges. We can see this in the last “Paypal” rebranding where the “P” icon has those kinds of edges. We can also see that this icon is based on the two geometric shapes referred above.
4. It’s Easier to Execute
You must have already understood by now that this style of design requires less elements, which are generally easier to create. This gives designers more time to think better about a concept before starting to apply it, making the brainstorming process easier. When deciding if you want to go for a Flat Design Logo, keep in mind that a simpler design does not mean a blander idea. Most of the time, less is more.
Can you still remember the old Instagram Logo? It was the iconic old camera, that by the time the app was created it made total sense: Instagram was initially created with the purpose of editing pictures to look vintage. As the years went by, the concept of the app changed and they decided to take a chance on a simpler flat design that still suits 2020.
5. Minimal works Better on Screens
When talking about the digital world, user experience is always key, either that be in Web or Graphic Design. Being in 2020, we have to assume that it’s very unlikely that your company won’t need the Internet as a way to promote itself, even if it’s not a digital brand. Minimal is based on the idea that anything that is merely ornamental is not necessary.
This means that if you have any element that doesn’t have a functional purpose to it, it is likely that it will steer away the main focus of the design. With that being said, minimal design works a lot better on gadgets screens, due to his lack of visual noise: Let’s take a look at the “Msn” old logo. It used to be a four colored, overlapping translucent butterfly and now was replaced by a flat minimal looking one. This re-work made the brand look more sharp and clean, giving it a classy look that fits in with the Microsoft rebranding project.
So did the extreme search for life-like art lead designers to look for minimalist and timeless logos? We believe it did: those 3D complex logos did not look that good when on a screen.
After reading all these reasons it became obvious that in 2020 having a logo that is not “gadget proof” is a major mistake. Brands should provide functionality for all users no matter what platforms or devices they use, so going Flat is the best idea.
Does this mean this style will be here forever? Maybe yes, maybe not, but we are sure that isn’t going away anytime soon. It will probably continue to progress towards new iterations as a trend, while still maintaining the simplicity and clarity that made it good in the first place.
On our website you can find several flat designs that will make your logo look modern and sharp. But if you want to go for a more classic vibe, here’s an article on the Top 20 Best Handwriting Fonts you should take a look.