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By now you’re probably aware of the flat design trend. If not, feel free to read about it here. The latest trend on the scene is called long shadow trend. Personally I don’t really find anything special about this trend. You can argue that it will be the next big trend, but the reality is that it will fade out in a few months or so.
When a new trend arrives, designers allow their emotions take control. Sure this cool new “trend” might be “hot,” however thinking about things in long term is the smarter thing to do. Just because all the cool kids are doing it, doesn’t mean you should. The same goes for The Darwin Awards. Always remember two important lessons in life:
- Just because others are doing it, doesn’t mean you should.
- Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should.
I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, my goal is to help people think logically about the decisions they make instead of falling for the shiny new toy syndrome. This syndrome happens to almost every geek, techie, or gadget freak. As soon as a new gadget comes out (smartphone, laptop, car, gadget, tv, etc.) they all freak out about it. Am I guilty of this? Yes. However I’ve taught myself not to fall for it.
As you will see below, the shadow effect gives a sense of depth to the icon, graphic, or text. Just like milk & cereal, long shadow and flat design seem to fit together perfectly. However I find it ironic how designers are technically going backwards. Wasn’t flat design supposed to be simple, minimal, clean, provide zero to no distractions, be easier for developers to code, etc?
So why in the world are designers adding complexity, when they propagate simplicity? I find this very hypocritical.
Companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all-embracing flat design. Even thou flat design isn’t ‘new,’ I guess you can say that it has finally gone mainstream. Designers worldwide are hopping on the flat design bandwagon, and they’re pretty smart for doing it. If multi-billion dollar corporations are going all in on something, I think it’s a good sign you should too*.
As you can clearly tell from reading this, I’m not a big fan of this trend. However, don’t let my opinion discourage you. Flat shadows are pretty sexy, but I think this trend isn’t going to stick.
Here are twenty examples of the long shadow trend. The first two examples are actually useful tools you can use to create long shadows for your personal or professional projects. I hope you found this article useful, enjoy!