With new tools like Adobe Illustrator’s Gradient mapping tool, and generative asset tools. It’s easy to see why abstract and complex gradients have made a huge comeback in 2022. You might be wondering to yourself, haven’t gradients been popular for the last 10-15 years? And the answer is a resounding yes, BUT we’ve seen a major transition from linear/radial gradients to more complex and “random” looking gradients. These usually feature against a dark background and have an liquid quality to them.
The characteristic differences between a complex and simple gradient are that they typically include a broader spectrum of color and utilize distortion,grain and glows to create a faux 3D look.
Compare that to a simpler gradient and you can see the difference in overall aesthetic. This style of gradient has been popular in mobile app design since around 2008. It’s rise in popularity coincided with the minimalism trends of the late 2000s/early 2010s. Here are some effective uses of complex gradients in web design.
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