Being a web designer – no matter if you’re self-employed or working for an agency – is a harsh thing to do these days. You always have to be on a lookout to take advantage of the latest trends and techniques.
That being said, website design services are doing a good job of keeping their employees up to date with the latest developments in the area. Self-employed web designers have to take care of this aspect on their own, but considering the Internet has all the possible information available 24/7, they shouldn’t have a big issue with finding resources.
In 2021, gradients became a prominent factor in web design allowing for a more modern look. Gradients create the illusion of depth as well as a distance by adding substance to a one-dimensional design. Read on to get tips for using gradients in your designing.
One – Apply Gradients the Right Way
For the best results, use gradients as background elements. This might seem obvious as they are often used as fill elements. Because they are generally loud, they need some separation from content that must focus a user’s attention. Gradients should not be used under detailed content but it’s a good idea as a subtle gradient background.
Make sure you place detailed content on a flat, neutral background for greater legibility. On a centered page, which is normally white, try using a gradient on the sides. Hero images, header backgrounds, and splash pages are great places for gradients. Using gradients in overlays can add a modern touch.
Two – Take Advantage of Compelling Color Combos
Gradients work really well with two colors that go together. For instance, purple fading into blue is good, orange fading into red comes across as natural. Keep in mind, not all color combos will work such as green fading into red just looks odd. Even color combinations that work nicely together, in some designs they can come across as unappealing gradients. The transition requires certain colors for the best results.
Three – Use Similar Colors
It’s totally acceptable to use the same color with different saturations. For instance, light blue with a darker blue. Do not think you must use different colors. For the illusion of depth, a gentle gradient can be very pleasing, therefore, don’t just run off to choose different colors if you don’t have to. If you want the colors to look similar, choose colors within 10 degrees of each other in hue.
Four – Don’t Rush Fading Go Slowly
Even if your gradient colors are similar, don’t rush the fading process. The transition should seem smooth and natural, not abrupt and jolting. Centering your gradient’s transition on-screen can help. If you have a basic gradient it might not draw the viewer’s attention. This can be challenging on a smaller screen that does not accommodate physical space for slow fading. As an example, you might have to use a more rushed fade for an app icon. In cases like that, you’d be wise to keep your colors similar to reduce sudden fading.
Five – Your Colors Should Have Different Values
If you are not up on the terms related to color, value describes how bright or dark a color is and how much light a color reflects. In the HSV color scale, the “V” stands for value. Value does not describe the level of color as a hue does but whether the two colors can have the same value or level of brightness.
You should stay away from colors that have the same level of saturation. If you do, the outcome will not be very pleasing to viewers. This is a big problem on small screens where fading can be jolting and abrupt in comparison to the larger screen you are using. Similar colors can wreck the illusion of depth and distance you are trying to create. Over time, it will become tiresome to viewers.
Six – Be Sure To Place Darker Colors Lower On The Page
If your gradient fades in a downward motion, place the lower value color on the bottom. It will secure the design to the bottom of the page, providing weight and stability. It will also keep the brighter colors at the top so they will be more eye-attracting to viewers.
Seven – Break The Rules!
Breaking the rules is common in artistic design. You just need to know how to do it for the best possible results. Several larger companies have used gradients that go completely against all the rules. As an example, Instagram’s latest update to their app’s icon. It has been very unfavorably compared to the Photoshop rainbow gradient but the resemblance is quite obvious. After many harsh criticisms, it now seems to be accepted. They used clashing colors with similar values and a confusing 45-degree tilt.
Only those who know what they are doing should consider breaking the rules. On the other hand, if you don’t know what you are doing, you’d be wiser to stay within the guidelines instead of making a design that will be disliked and kicked out.
As of 2021, the new generation of gradients differs from that of the previous years in style. Today’s gradients can be either loud via vibrant colors or subtle via muted colors. But whatever gradient style you decide to use, it’s quite simple to get around using just one clear light source and one or two colors.
This is why it is essential to consider the tips described above and apply them to your web design projects as needed. Web design is a rather unpredictable area, although most of its constituents seemingly remain the same over long periods of time. But, various small parts change and this is what happens to gradients today. They’re useful and effective, you just have to know how to use them.