Hi everyone, in this article I want to share with you a bit about my journey  related to gradients in logo design, are they worth it? When and how should you use them?

Short Intro

The world is changing and it’s happening fast and along with it so does the web and products that relate to it. And from this point there is a line that seprates the print and offline environment from the online one which is growing at enormously high speed. 

While print is all about limitations and most of the time it’s all about what you can’t do, rather than what you can do, there are lots of requirements and rules to work by, color matches to keep in mind and outlines to consider. 

Wither by Nick Kumbari

Wether you like it or not, gradients are more widely used across digital media for a couple of reasons:

— They make everything look full of life and have the ability to make objects look like they belong into this digitized media habitat.

— They give depth and volume to artwork as opposed to being flat.

— By playing with highlights and shadows you can achieve great visual effects and achieve that pseudo 3D effect.

For the past years I have been experimenting with gradients in lots of my logo designs and noticed that this tends to attract a great amount of attention.

Some of the most common questions I noticed people are asking:

— How will this work in black and white or single color?

— How will those colors behave in print?

B for Books by Kakhadzen
Lookin’ Back

Back in 2017 when I was just starting on experimenting with gradients in logo design I asked myself those questions and would address them to fellow designers with whom I was interacting at that time. I thought that when it came to logo design you should stick to black and white shapes and the most you could afford to do is add color or an extremely subtle two toned gradient applied over a shape.

And don’t get me wrong I still work by these rules, I always like to sketch and think form and once I find something that works I would take it to the computer and uncover it’s true potential and beauty. 

Apple Event Graphics using Gradients Example

However!  I bet you were expecting that word didn’t you? 

Along with refining great shapes I like working with gradients and this is one of my favourite parts. I love experimenting and manipulating color so I can achieve something that is really visually pleasing and has a good aesthetic feel.

To answer the above questions I would say that ideally you want to create and work on a logo while keeping in mind that it needs to work as a shape and in black and white, while having color applied to it and maybe even some gradients.

If you however create a logo that is made out of pure gradients ensure you create variations for it that will allow the logo to be used in single color.

Cube Logo for Cube Apps with single color variation
Cube Logo made as a sign

My friendly and professional advice is to clarify things with the client in the discovery call, where you ask where will the logo be used mostly? Print? You might want to go easy with the gradients and keep it simple. Web? Feel free to experiment with brighter colors and maybe even adding some depth effects to make it stand out a bit. If you do however plan on using gradients in print there are techniques you can use that can make it work. 

Thank you for reading.

Soon I will post an article related to tips and tricks on how to work with gradients and how to manipulate them visually in order to achieve effects such as depth, gloss with a modern approach,

Mihai.

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