No matter where you look, it’s gradient and gradient everywhere. After years of flat and minimal style – finally, the gradient has made a comeback. Take a look at any design project and you will see the designers using gradients to create user engagement or just adding visual interest.
If you are a fan of gradients, then, all is good and great, but well, if you are not, then, we are sure that we can convince you to become one by giving you a few reasons to do so.
So, without any further ado, let’s see why you should love gradients and use them in your design projects in the coming months.
Creating an interest in the background
A gradient is said to create visual interest as well as help to move the users through design. Gradients help the eye of the users to land in one area of color and the changes between the hue – light, and dark – helps the eye to shift focus across the screen.
When it comes to design projects, gradients can be highly useful and engaging and can be used as a design tool to add a bit of spark and an element of mystery to design projects. Yes, there are many ways of how you can use gradients, but perhaps, the most popular option is to use it as a background element along with text, images and any other elements layered on top of it.
Combining lettering with gradients
Gradients are known to be quite versatile – and rightfully so. While a gradient can be used in a background, it can also be used as a foreground element.
Have you heard of ‘color gradients’? Color gradients are quite famous due to their versatility – all you need to do is to flip in the usage and viola – you will get the foreground gradient to be used as the fill for the lettering. Put on a plain background so that the gradient is highlighted – note that, it will also bring attention to the words.
Pay close attention to what colors need to be chosen – it will need to match the element of contrast plus readability will also have to be maintained.
Gradients can be created easily
Creating gradients from scratch is perhaps one of the easiest things to do – and adding a gradient to an image is even simple. All you need to do is to pick up two or three colors and then, select a shape for the gradient. Look for that space where you believe the colors could start – stop there and simply, overlap and viola, you have got a gradient on your hand.
In terms of shape, gradients are best directional – they either go from up to down or from left to right or even radial, where color variations are said to spread out from a single point in a circular fashion.
However, to create a gradient, the problem starts with choosing the perfect colors. You don’t want to end up with a nasty hue in your gradient.
Who does, right?
Hence, it is recommended that you should go for those colors which are near to each other in the color wheel as it will result in the most natural and complementary gradients.
That being said, there are also a few tools with which you can generate gradients.
- Gradient Wave Generator
- Web Gradients
- Gradients Buttons, to name a few.
Using color fades in gradients
Have you ever noticed – how nature is not a solid shade of green? Even among green, there are multiple hues of green. The same goes for the gradients too.
Gradients should also contain colors and combinations that should look and feel natural. Go for such colors which when combined will actually fade into each other just like in the natural world.
Gradients help to move the eye
Make a great gradient and you will see that it has the ability to move the user’s eye through the design, which in turn will help to create an intent for the users.
When using gradients, it is suggested that you should go for lighter and darker areas of a gradient color scheme which will help to move the eye from a starting point – say, logo or something, like the main message – leading to the main call of action. That’s because it is found that many users move their eye in an F-shaped pattern, which starts at the top left and then, moves down and across the screen.
The eye will often move to the lightest area of color and then, will move to the darker area, and hence, design and place the gradient color in such a way that it reinforces the movement of the eye.
Gradients can create something rare
With gradients becoming popular with the designers, it remains to be seen as to what color combination is left to use. Each and every color combination of gradients are different from each other, and it is this feature which has made it memorable to the users. Pick the right color combination and add your brand – you will see that people will remember your brand for years to come.
You, as a designer, should create gradients with that intention – helping users to connect with a brand. A good gradient is just like a gem – it becomes a color in itself and the best part is that you can add that gradient to your brand palette in order to establish a visual connection.
Gradients can spark visual interest
Get a good gradient and you will be able to create visual interest. It will also work on visual display when you have very less to work with. All you need is a bright color for your brand and see, how it establishes the very presence of the brand.
Know this that colors can alone change the face of a design element. Before using any color, think about which context you are going to use that color, and then, go for the right gradient so that you, as a designer, will be able to create the right emotion for your users and help them to find the right feeling to associate with the content.
Remember that even a subtle color shift can give a different look to the gradient and can change the total outcome of a design.
Gradients are quite an easy element – and not to mention, highly usable. In fact, they are the right touch to create something trendy without adding that feeling of getting overwhelmed. There are literally many ways on how you could add a gradient to your design project – it all depends on how creative can you be.
And yes, gradients do tend to fall out of favor among the designers, but they also come back in trend even quickly – and it’s because of their universal appeal.