Often seen as outdated and unnecessary, gradients in design have been shunned by many in recent years in favour of flat design and solid colours. However, over the last year, it seems that gradients are making a comeback, popping up on even the biggest websites.
From image overlays to website background and interface elements, two or three colour gradients are back and looking far more fresh than the previous time round. Let’s take a look at just what you need to know about the return of the gradient and how you can use it effectively.
A gradient is created by blending two or more colours together to paint one element, allowing designers to create something that acts as a new colour or tone than wouldn’t be there with a solid colour. While this isn’t a new design trend, last year when Instagram re-branded, introducing its current logo to audiences, the one talking point was the introduction of its gradient within the brand.
It’s not just Instagram bringing gradients into focus, Spotify has also utilised duotone into their branding, with two colour overlays and gradients becoming a huge part of their brand. Along with their use of neon colours, their subtle gradients are a great example of how to pull off the trend successfully.
When it comes to gradients there are no rules, they can use multiple colours, radiate from the centre, fall horizontally, be subtle or act as the major visual on a page. What is noticeable is how designers are using gradients in unique ways on plenty of platforms, helping sites and graphics stand out in their own way.
The reality is there aren’t enough unique colours out there to let brands create a unique identity, with hundreds of brands out there competing to get noticed and remembered for one particular colour, such as Facebook’s blue or Youtube’s red. This is where gradients come in, allowing designers and brands to merge multiple colours and tones, adding to a sense of uniqueness to the brand colours and style.
Up until recently, gradients are something we’re not too used to seeing, meaning that when our eyes catch them they see them as something new and exciting, something that can really help your business stay memorable. It’s a given that people are going to remember colours that are unique or unusual, especially in a world full of flat colours and graphics.
Ultimately your audience love colour, in fact, most people love colour, by adding more colours, in a tasteful way to your website, branding or logo, you’re giving people more to look at and more to enjoy. By making the most of colours and making a thought out colour choice you can become more attractive and more fun compared to the likes of flat colour.
While there are still plenty of people out there who will recoil in horror at the idea of gradients making a comeback, this comes as a refreshing change from the flat colours and flat design we’ve seen in recent years, and with brands as huge as Spotify and Instagram embracing the trend, surely it’s a sign that gradients are back and better than ever.