In this blog post I want to tackle the ever-growing argument surrounding ‘Flat Design’. But not the ever-repeating debate between its relationships with it’s archenemy ‘Skeuomorphic Design’ and which outlook holds the most purpose within the digital design world. Throughout the numerous blog-posts this debate has caused continuous headaches and created inconclusive forum arguments the world over. For an in-depth explanation of both flat design and Skeuomorphic Design you can visit UXMag here, but I’m presuming most creative’s will have a basic knowledge of the two styles by now: minimal vs realistic.
As a designer I have seen the digital world flourish over the years and at present I feel it is an exciting world to be involved in. With technology and design constantly evolving, I am not convinced that flat design should be looked upon as a fundamental design approach within this ever-changing digital landscape but it should be considered a stylistic approach if appropriate for a project.
Organisations such as Microsoft have invested heavily in flat design as a creative approach. Utilising flat design to pretty much rebrand themselves across all platforms since the launch of Windows 8, which seems to have set trends with its relatively brave approach to cross-platform brand identity and heavy-weight marketing campaigns.
Flat design changed the behaviour of the Microsoft brand as it fitted very well with their new design principles whilst Windows 8 was being created. These principles revolved around ‘fast and fluid’ design. As a company they have been applying these new principles that have worked extremely well alongside flat design for over 5 years now. Helping prove that flat design is not an overnight trend but a design approach, a style some might say. The mammoth project was headed by the likes of Todd Simons, Executive Creative Director of Wolff Olins, who worked closely with Albert Schum at Windows’ Phone Design Studio, to create a better future for Microsoft which includes the full use of flat design.
Microsoft utilised flat design because it fitted with their design principles, not because they wanted to fit in. At Fiasco Design we treat every brief differently because at the end of the day, every client is different and each job presents it’s own set of obstacles within any brief we accept. Flat design should not become a trend or a mandatory design process within digital design, instead it should be an approach used when appropriate.
Do you feel digital designers are relying on flat design to become a fundamental design approach? We’d like to hear your thoughts.