Flat design and colour associations in Logic Pro X

Arnaud Lamy @arnostronaut
3 min readNov 17, 2017

You probably realised that some changes occurred in logic pro 10.3, right when you first opened your project , something was off. It looked more digital, simple and brutal. What did happen? You guessed it, they adopted a flat design. And as most users are not usually comfortable with change, it might have been counter productive during the first weeks, but rest assured that adapting your sight to flat design will soon pay off! On my side I saw in that move from Apple, the eagerness to follow the clean and simple design path that Steve Jobs endeavoured so much.

As a programer myself fond of UX/UI design, and user of Logic Pro since version 8 (which by the way looked like the dark ages of UI design coming from Pro Tools), I welcomed these changes with open arms. In the following part I am going to explain the nuts and bolts of flat design, and why proper colours becomes critical in order to reach the most effective GUI in Logic Pro 10.3 and further versions(or any DAW basically).

Adding more Logic to Logic = possible!

Whether you are a Logic Pro expert, or coming from another Daw, or just trying to get the best out of LPX, you should praise about flat design, and hope for a colour coding feature in Logic pro 11.

What is flat design?

Flat design removes decoration, henceforth emphasise what’s really important rather than superficial elements that detract from the content. In doing this you synthesise the goals of the program features to the most clear and direct form.

“Simplicity and clarity. Great design is born of those two things”.

Lindon Leader.

Flat design directly inherits Lindon’s mantra.
Stripping ornamentation from design elements not only makes layouts cleaner and more visually appealing, it also increases the interface usability and makes actions more clearly actionable. Users who are not distracted by unnecessary styling are more likely to work faster and maintain higher levels of focus along working hours.

Ableton Live : the flattest of all!

Ableton GUI deesign by Vlad Shagov

Laptops displays using a flat scheme makes the most of the small space you have to work with. Removing effects like drop shadows and bevels may only save a couple of pixels here or there but those pixels can be invaluable when representing a complexity of a DAW’s interface.

Furthermore, flat style in a digital interface can de-clutter a complex project, providing a compelling visual aesthetic that is simple, intuitive, making it a favourite among industry folks and a wise stylistic choice to consider for your working templates.

Basic and prominent features of flat design includes :

  • Simplicity of shapes and elements
  • Minimalism
  • Functionality
  • Bold and highly readable typography
  • Clear and strict visual hierarchy
  • Close attention to details
  • Thoughtful appliance of bright colours and contrasts supporting quick visual perception
  • Avoiding textures, gradients and complex forms
  • Applying the principles of grids, geometric approach and visual balance
Thoughtful appliance of bright colours and contrasts supporting quick visual perception in Logic Pro 10.3

That in a nutshell explain the basics of flat design, and why proper colours associations is fundamental to a clear and logical working environment.

More info on the LPX Colorizer Application here.