Why Flat Design is Popular

Are you interested in learning to make a flat design and have been searching for a flat design tutorial online to guide you with your illustration? While some people feel that this type of layout is too flat or boring, others prefer to use this design because of its simplicity and minimalist look. 

In this article, you will learn the basics of flat design and discover a flat design tutorial online course at the end of the article.

What is flat design?

Flat design is a design style that uses simple yet aesthetically pleasing two-dimensional elements and vivid colors. Unlike 3D designs, flat designs do not use shading, glare, or highlights. 

Simplicity is the reason why it is popular with many designers. The minimalist design emphasizes the usability and responsiveness or purpose of the design. It ensures that responsive designs work well and load fast on any device, e.g., desktop or smartphone. It creates an optimal user experience by reducing visual noise because of the additional design elements such as shadows and textures.

Characteristics of flat design


Flat design does not add decorative elements such as drop shadows and gradients or avoiding the 3D effect approach.


More content-focused and not distracting because it uses simple shapes such as square, rectangle, or circle and allows each form that stands alone.


Uses a two-dimensional approach to ensure that responsive designs and enhance the user experience.

Bold and clear typography

Simple and bold typography matched the overall design scheme.

Bright colors

Although flat design works with every color palette, designers opt to use bright and bold colors because they work on both light and dark backgrounds to create a distinct feel.

Benefits of a flat design

Improves readability

Flat design allows users to read and understand the website content with ease. Using this type of design in creating icons also helps users to grasp any concept easily.

Provides clean and clear visual

Flat design eliminates visual noises that don’t provide value to users. As a result, the user’s attention does not divert off the website content or the application’s function.

Improves website’s or application’s speed

Flat design loads faster because of its minimalist design and absence of heavy elements. A simple design that uses a few elements has a smaller file size that helps a website or application to load faster. It also helps websites with search engine rankings.

Aesthetically pleasing and functional on big and small screens

Flat design works well when adapted from desktops to laptops to tablets to mobile phones. This is because the flat design uses large clear icons and incorporates a lot of white space. 

Quicker execution for developers

Since flat design embraces simplicity, it is less time-consuming to create. You do not need to add textures and tons of details to your design. 

Modern look

According to research, it takes about 50 milliseconds (ms) for a website to make a good impression before a user forms an opinion about the website, and that will determine whether they’ll stay or leave. The modern look of flat design influences the users positively.


Flat Designs Examples

An example of a flat design of a mobile application or mobile app UI as you can see in the below image:


The mobile user interface (mobile UI) is a touch-sensitive display that allows users to interact with an application. Designers use a flat design style for these icons and even in the whole application to ensure usability, readability, and consistency.

Most websites also use flat design, such as Microsoft and Apple. 


One of the most popular flat designs is the Microsoft webpage. With its modern UI, Microsoft showcases a colorful, purely flat, and utilitarian interface. Microsoft uses big images, large text, and takes advantage of the whole browser width.


Apple uses flat icons and simple images to direct the user towards valuable content and help the users navigate through the page easily. It also focuses more on clarity and depth, and this is by using more vibrant colors.


Top 5 Tips on Creating Flat Design

Here are 5 helpful tips for everyone who wants to know how to draw a flat design.

1. Keep it simple

The absence of noise and three-dimensional elements or effects is the number one characteristic of a flat design, which is its beauty. To do this, you must take note o the following:

  • Eliminate or do not incorporate gradients, textures, highlights, overtones, and shadows into your design.
  • Don’t over-complicate the design with unnecessary details.

2. Use white space

To create balance and emphasize the elements, one of the methods you can use is adding white space. Despite the name, white space does not need to be white. It can be any color. White space means the area between or within the design elements. It helps make your image look cleaner and minimal.

3. Use geometric shapes

If you want to achieve a precise and clean flat design, just remember that flat designs are made from just three simple shapes: rectangle, rounded rectangle, and ellipse. Adobe Illustrator can be a very handy instrument for flat design.

4. Don’t be afraid to use bold colors

What makes a flat design unique is that it uses bright, bold, vibrant, saturated colors. You can also use pastel colors since this palette is popular nowadays. You can choose any color scheme, tints, and shades as long as the color palette is right. To help you make up your own palette, you can use Coolors palette generator.

5. Use the right fonts

Choosing the right font is important in flat design. Simple typefaces are usually used in flat design. This helps make the overall design clean and legible. Oftentimes, flat design uses uppercase lettering and in contrast color. The most commonly used fonts include:

  • Open Sans
  • RaleWay
  • Lato 
  • Montserrat
  • Quicksand
  • Source Sans Pro
  • Corbert
  • Sofia Pro
  • Museo Sans
  • Sina Nova

Suggested flat design tutorial online course

Create Flat Design Spaceships In Adobe Illustrator

This is a flat design tutorial online course will provide you with a hands-on lesson on using Adobe Illustrator to do flat design. You will learn how to draw three different spaceships for use in games, apps, and other digital media of your choice. Rather than going through a long course for a long amount of time, this course gives you a visible accomplishment and new skill in a matter of hours.  

Ready to learn flat design online? Click here to get started.

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