Singers, TV series, IT programmes, businesses, applications, drinks, shops…at some point they have all jumped onto the bandwagon regarding flat design. In short, flat design is a silhouette, a recognisable image that can often have a much more impactful meaning than a well-thought slogan.
New technologies have caused visual design to have much greater weight in communications than the written word. Our brains can remember imagery much easier than any information that we have read, which is why we coined phrase ‘A picture speaks louder than words’. Something as absurd as emoticons can make us choose to use one form of communication over the other.
We can prove this point regarding the power of good graphic design and brand recognition using the case of the TV Series “Breaking Bad”, which can be easily recognised by the silhouette of the lead character Walter White and that, although it is a very simple design, it portrays Mr White’s personality perfectly, as being serious, dangerous, enigmatic, an antihero that is truly loved by all the fans of the series.
We can find this ‘unofficial’ logo on T-shirts, posters, stickers, and all kinds of other merchandise, which generates free marketing and publicity for the series. Therefore brand image is very important, because if the image is well designed it can become fashionable and then the marketing comes into its own.
This style of logo is know as flat design and is currently in trend. Flat designs use few colours and variations in saturation of the same colour, are not over-complicated by using Photoshop to create shine or shadow effects and use simple outlines. This does not mean that they are simple to create. The design of any logo is always very complex and although this is about flat design in a single colour, there is much more work behind the scenes, such as competitor research and the development of an idea that can be captured in a basic image, easy to recognise after a single look, hours spend creating mock-ups, the right colour choice, print testing…. In the article published by ‘colorlib.’, various examples of flat logos are shown that may serve well as the source of inspiration of designers. Flat design can also be seen as part of the latest marketing campaign for McDonald’s, which has also got on board with this exploding trend.
“Adapt or Die”, that has been philosophy of McDonald’s
Don’t think that a logo design is for life, as that is absolutely not the case! Over the years, many brands have updated their corporate image as well as their logo design, which may seem a rather risky strategy, for fear of deeming the brand unrecognisable.
Sometimes this brand revitalisation is done subtly and gradually, and on the other hand some brands have undergone a major revamp with a completely different design and style. A good example of this is the browser Firefox, which has changed its logo a few times, both quite radically, with a complete redesign, as well as subtle changes to simplify the design (making it more flat!) along with the current trend.
Whatever the case may be, it is a fact that even the most famous brands change their image every one in a while. We have gone from complicated and multidimensional designs, to more futuristic ones, then back again to elaborate designs highlighted with shadows, bevels and embossing, and now, finally the trend is reverting back to much cleaner and simpler styling, with more minimal colour palettes, which can be much more impactful. Trends come and go, but that is just evolution!
We will leave you with a fun website that emphasises the continual fight between these two design trends: Flatvsrealism.