Logo design considerations

One of the things to consider when designing a logo is how it is likely to be reproduced, as this can have a huge impact on cost further down the road. This article deals with why we advise customers in a particular direction when designing identities.

A solid colour logo

A solid colour logo

Here we have two typical logos – one totally consists of solid colours, and the other is a mix of solids and gradients. Lets look at how these two different approaches will affect the production costs of future projects.

Logo with a gradient

Logo with a gradient

In terms of printing on paper, or card, neither design poses much of an issue. Digital and 4 colour Lithographic printing of these designs presents no problem. However, in almost every other respect, these two designs dictate a number of factors when considering reproduction.

The advantages of solid colours

The first design, with it’s solid colours, could be printed in just two spot colours. Spot colours offer a much broader gamut than 4 colour processes. So, as well as being cheaper to produce, it also gives one the option to use brighter colours that would be impossible to reproduce by using the 4 process colours of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

Imagine that you wanted to use these logos on the side of your company vehicles. Once again, the solid colour logo would be easier to realise either by using cut vinyl shapes, or by simply painting it onto the vehicle. The only way to get the Market Driven logo onto a vehicle would be to print the colour gradient onto white vinyl, and then cut out the shapes and apply them. This is more expensive – not so bad for one car, but if you had a fleet, then the cost mounts up.

Consider other promotional items – like pens, carrier bags or clothing. Again the solid colour logo wins hands down for economy of reproduction. Many promo items are screen printed, and screen printing a colour gradient, although possible, is rarely very accurate. It’s something you might get away with on an art-hause style t-shirt, but your corporate ID?

Clothing presents it’s own set of problem, as stitching machines used to create artwork use individually coloured yarns, so again, the only way to reproduce a logo with a gradient would be to break the gradient down into, say, several colours. The end result is a compromise, and quite expensive due to the number of colours used.

So why have a logo that contains a gradient?

It’s a very good question. Many companies are rarely, if ever, going to come across the problems mentioned above due simply to the way in which they operate. Or, if they do come up against the problems mentioned, then they are either:

a.) doing things on such a small scale that the cost is acceptable or,

b.) they are doing so well that the cost is less of an issue.


So, these are just a few points to consider when you want us to design your logo. Always let us know how you intend to use your logo so we can advise you accordingly.

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