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Has flat design finally gone too far?

Chances are, you're familiar with flat design. And even if you haven't heard of it, you've almost certainly seen it. Logos left, right and centre have adopted a minimalist approach in recent years, with many brands opting to flatten their existing designs. But if a recent viral Twitter thread is anything to go by, the trend has begun to fall flat.

Citing the recent Warner Bros. rebrand as an example, one Twitter user has called for a "complete shutdown" of graphic design in response to the trend for minimal rebrands. And judging by the response, it seems many agree that flat design is beginning to outstay its welcome. 

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If the tweet sounds a little dramatic, that'll be because it's an amusing rework of a certain ex-president (and ex-Twitter user)'s more inflammatory tweets. But as the replies show, the shift to simplified logos is becoming a source of serious contention for some people, with many sharing examples (below) of their least favourite minimalist rebrands.

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Of course, there are valid reasons for the flat design movement. Uncomplicated designs are easily scaled for various digital formats, not to mention cheaper to print. And simple designs are often the most striking – many of our best logos of all time are minimal masterpieces.

But the design world often works in cycles, and flat design emerged as response to the abundance of skeuomorphism, a cocktail of faux-realistic textures, drop-shadows and real object characteristics. And the return of skeuomorphism may already be on the cards – from MacOS Big Sur's sort-of-3D icons to Warner Bros's decision to add some shine to its flat logo, it seems designers are picking up on flat design's fall from favour.

Still, flat design is by no means dead. As Burger King's sizzling new rebrand recently proved, there's still nothing quite like a strikingly simple design language. If you're embarking on a logo redesign of your own, you could do a lot worse than checking out our logo design guide for inspiration. 

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).