Gradient is working its way back into the design-o-sphere. If you can recall, gradient was a popular 3-D effect in the early-to-mid 2000s, when every brand on the planet was trying to position themselves as “futuristic.” The late 00’s affinity for clean yet bohemian, hand-drawn flat design is submerging, as millennial designers combine the best of all brand personalities to form new brand identities that predict the future we want to have. As design is used to underline larger issues, one must wonder: how is gradient being used now, and what does gradient mean for your design purposes?
1. The Pantone Color of the Year is a gradient
The muted hues of this year’s dual color—Rose Quartz and Serenity—are a sign of the times, not just socially, but in the design world as well. For the first time in recent memory, Pantone has presented a gradient as the combo color of 2016. This presents many design challenges for designers, as we attempt to juggle the usage of the two distinct pastels within a single concept. Both colors are considered unisex, and their merging represents the fluidity of gender-color associations in modern times. As the gender-identity fluidity scale becomes the standard means by which to describe individuals, the Pantone color combo allows designers to play with this limitless color expression. The duality of gradient, and non-gender specific colors, is the new it-trend, and it is an exciting playspace for design, where target markets don’t have to be restricted by “colors for boys” and “colors for girls,” but rather, “colors for all.”
2. The CSS “linear-gradient” code is revitalizing gradients in web design
Gradients permit the use of many colors at the same time. The new addition of the CSS property, linear-gradient, is revolutionizing site use of gradients by implementing color spectrums directly into the code, making it quicker and easier than the previous method of gradient image creation via Photoshop. This gradient revolution makes use of color spectrums in backgrounds, headers and overlays a norm.
3. Gradient backgrounds offer more color with less clutter
One of the most popular ways to use gradients right now is by setting them as colorful background images. Selecting a bright background that fades from one hue to another is a subdued way to use color without cluttering the page. By contrast, a colorful background requires utilities in the foreground to be muted. This can be achieved by using white or black text, monochrome buttons, and dark-shaded banners. Gradient backgrounds look great on mobile devices, the aesthetic of which imitates a phone’s wallpaper. With simple, logical, and subdued navigation, the gradient is a fun, youthful option for vertically-scrolling sites that require UX/UI design.
Staying ahead of the curve is important to us. As trends fluctuate from one design hue to the next, our Juicers are strategizing ways to reach the target market, whatever gender, occupation, age or disposition they may be. Like gradients, we are each a distinct shade, within a spectrum of color.