It almost seems that this year flat designs have taken over the world of graphic design by force, but especially in the arena of mobile apps with the first industry-shaking flat design being for the iPhone5. Reality is that flat design has been around longer than the emergence of the iPhone5, but of course it was Apple that helped to bring such cross-industry awareness to the design style.
You ask almost anyone who owns an iPhone5 or who has read about the design in the news, and they’ll describe flat designs as, well, flat. In the design world, flat indicates a design style that avoids 3D effects, animation, and other bling-bling. Most flat designs also include lots of illustration, bold use of colors, and fairly minimal layouts. Just as with any style in graphic design, however, most flat designs do not include all of these aspects. A design can be usually agreed upon as flat if it includes more of these minimal aspects and less of the “extras”.
As mentioned beforehand, you can find flat designs in almost every area of graphic design. The list below includes websites, icons, and mobile apps that most would agree fall under the “flat design” category. Most very clearly follow the guidelines, if you will, for flat, but please feel free to share in the comments below if you have found a better example.
The following flat website designs use several flat aspects in a large part of the design scheme. A few do include a bit of animation, but were so minimal that they still fall under the flat design category.