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The gradient design trend

Views: 2     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-07-12      Origin: Site

The gradient design trend: what it looks like and how to use it

A few decades back, gradients were a popular way to add color and depth to designs. They remained a fairly prominent design trend until the late 2000s, when they took a backseat to flat design. But gradients came back in a big way in 2018, and we see them everywhere. They’re a way to enhance flat designs (a design update known as flat 2.0), add color overlay to photos and add texture to backgrounds.

Guess what? The gradient trend is showing no sign of slowing down in 2019.

So how do gradients work? Why are they so hot right now? And how will we continue to see gradients evolve in 2019 and beyond?

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What are gradients?

Gradients, also known as color transitions, are a gradual blending from one color to another color (or, if you’re in a colorful mood, from one color to another color to another color—gradients aren’t limited to two shades).


The gradient trend is extremely versatile. It can be bold or subtle, the focal point of a design or a background element. And because they mix and blend different shades of color, gradients can create new color combinations that feel different and modern, lending a completely unique feel to designs.

Why are gradients so trendy right now?

So, why is the gradient trend having such a moment right now? Because they’re so eye-catching and attention-grabbing. The energy of these stunningly vibrant color transitions makes them stand out and helps to elevate any design.

When gradients came charging back onto the design scene in 2018, a lot of designers were surprised—especially when larger brands (we’re looking at you, Instagram) hopped on board. A lot of people thought going the gradient route was too much of a throwback. Nostalgia was one thing, but would people really connect with a trend we’d seen before?

Turns out, people loved it—particularly because the 2018 gradient trend is not old-fashioned at all. It feels more sophisticated and high-end (from backgrounds to texture to overlays)—and less “Saved by the Bell.” These new gradients use bright, luminous colors and interesting color combinations that make them feel fresh and modern.

And apart from the nostalgia factor, people are going crazy for the gradient trend for a larger purpose. With the sheer amount of content consumers are exposed to on a daily basis, brands need to find a way to break through the clutter and grab their ideal customer's attention. Gradients that add interest and color to a design are the perfect way to do just that.

The key to using gradients as a background element in packaging? Make sure it fits with your brand. If you’re designing packaging for an in-your-face new product targeted towards extreme sports enthusiasts, something bold and daring (like a neon gradient photo overlay or a loud color palette) will hit the mark. If you’re going for a more soft and subtle feel—let’s say, for a new face wash—a single hue gradient or a palette that leverages pastel shades is probably a better bet.


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