Innovation is at its peak now. Every year we get to see new trends in all the industries. New grows old, and old is new again. In graphic design, nowadays, designers are using gradients to create bold designs and channel user emotions, helping both companies and audiences to connect with a product or idea.
Colors have a distinctive way of grabbing the attention of the audience. In the 20th century, when computers started controlling humans’ work, the designers of that period used to increase their color scheme by adding peculiar elements in website design.
In the 21st century, designers use gradients to create bold designs. Nowadays, gradients, especially in logos, are becoming widely popular. People are appreciating gradient logos. Gradients are helping designers in creating something new and unique.
Looking at the current situation, we thought of coming up with a guide, especially for beginners, where we will get into the deep of gradient logo design. Let’s get started!
What is a gradient?
A gradient, also known as color transition, is a gradual blending of one color into another across typography, shapes, images, and other elements. It helps designers in creating a new color. Gradients make objects stand out by adding new dimensions to the design and adding realism to the object. In simple terms, it adds depth to a design. There are several types of gradients. All engage a central point where the colors start and gradually blend into other colors. This results in a certain pattern, depending on the type of gradient. The specific gradient style, area size and shape will affect the finished look.
There are five main types of gradients when using Photoshop. You can use these to create backgrounds and add special effects in your artwork.
- Radial: In radial gradient, the colors move in a different circular direction from a single point. This type of gradient is mostly used in app icons.
- Diamond: Just like a name, this type of gradient creates the shape of a diamond from the starting point.
- Linear: In linear gradient, the colors move in a straight line.
- Reflected: Just think of a mirror, and you will understand how a reflected gradient works. In this type, the gradient is reflected based on the stroke.
- Angle: The angle gradient moves anticlockwise. The line between the start and end points defines the angle.
Why Are gradients back again?
Gradients are so attention-grabbing and eye-catching that the trend has again taken the lead in the design scene. A lot of designers got surprised when brands like Instagram used gradients in their new logo design. Initially, they thought that taking the gradient route would be too much of a throwback because nostalgia is one thing, and it would not be easy to connect with the trend they have seen before. But they achieved success. Everybody loved the design.
Trends are like a cycle that keeps changing constantly. And design trends are mostly controlled by generations and rulers of that generation. In the design world, things keep changing, and we feel like we are going in a nasty circle. But actually, it’s more than that. For instance, trends in the fashion industry changes continuously in a rotation. During the 70s, bell-bottoms ruled the industry, but the trend again came up in the 90s with some twist to it.
Design trends keep evolving. A decade back, using gradients in a design, for example, was like a criminal offence. Everything was flat – colors, UI, icons, etc. Apple and Google, the thought leaders, became commandments for designers to follow the flat design. But today, things have changed. If you look at trends, especially in UI, you will find that designers are adding some fun in their designs.
When to use a gradient logo?
Gradients give logos a 3D effect, which can make a design pop out of the screen. As compared to solid colored, gradient logos are easy to remember and catchier. You should not use a gradient logo just because it’s trendy, or you want to make a design stand out. It should match with the brand identity, and most importantly, it should resonate with the potential audience.
For instance, if you are creating a logo for a legal firm, using a gradient would not be a good idea as when it comes to legal or law firm logos, people are habitual of seeing plain or traditional designs. Contrarily, if, for instance, you create a logo for a gaming business, you can use gradients. Here, you have more freedom to play with colors and styles. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios where you can use gradients:
- When the business is online: As compared to print, gradients look much better on screen. It is because it consists of various colors. If you think that business will be promoted mainly through print materials like business cards, brochures, pamphlets, etc. you should consider using a non-gradient (flat) logo design.
- When it’s relevant to business identity: While designing a logo, it is crucial to think about what kind of vibe you want to exude. Gradient design has its own vibes that reflect – innovation, creativity, imagination, etc. All these things are great to have, but these do not match with every brand personality. For example, a law firm may not want to have these traits in its logo design.
- When the logo includes a monogram/symbol: Companies can have a wordmark logo. In such a case, using gradients may not be the right choice, as it is crucial to keep the logo design simple and readable. Gradients are usually applied in symbols or monogram elements in a logo.
Dos and don’ts of using gradients in logo design:
- Use subtle gradients to enhance the design.design
- Use intense gradients, especially in the smaller and detailed parts of a logo.
- Before adding gradients, create an effective solid version of the logo.
- Add gradients to a logo that makes it difficult to read.
- Add gradients to a logo that looks professional and well-executed.
- Use gradients in a logo that gives the impression that they have been used without any thought.
Logos are one of the most important identities for businesses. A wrong design can make or break the business. Therefore, if you choose to use gradients in a logo, it is advisable to use them wisely.