We make a complete line of Custom Designed Flags, Banners & Pennants.
l 100% Nylon Flags and Banners
l Any size
l Small or large quantities
l Screen printed, embroidered, or appliqued
(These principles were published by the North American Vexilloglogical Association)
The purpose of a flag is to identify a place, organization, business or a person, usually in a rectangular shape, to be seen from a distance, often moving. We can reproduce any design to make a flag. We can make as little as one or reproduce in large quantities and in various sizes.
The 5 principles of good flag design will lead to a successful flag that accomplishes that purpose.
Keep It Simple...
The flag should be so simple that a child can draw it from memory. Flags flap. Flags drape. Flags must be seen from a distance. Under these circumstances, only simple designs make effective flags. Furthermore, complicated flags cost more to make, which often can limit how widely they are used.
Most poor designs have the element of a great flag in them - simplify them by focusing on a single symbol, a few colors, large shapes and no lettering. Avoid the temptation to include a symbol for everybody. Ideally, the design will be reversible or at least recognizable from either side.
Use Meaningful Symbolism...
The flag's images, colors or patterns should relate to what it symbolizes.
Symbolism can be in the from of the "charge" or main graphic element, in the colors used, or sometimes even in the shapes or layout of the parts of the flag.
Usually a single primary symbol is best - avoid those that are less likely to be representative or unique. Colors often identify.
Use 2 - 3 Basic Colors...
Limit the number of colors on the flag to three, which contrast well and come from the standard color set.
The basic flag colors are red, blue, green, black, yellow and white. They can range from dark to light. Occasionally other colors are also used, such as purple, gray and orange, but they are seldom needed in a good design.
Separate dark colors with a light color, and light colors with a dark color to help them create effective contrast. A good flag should also reproduce well in "gray-scale", that is, in black and white shades.
More than four colors are hard to distinguish and make the flag unnecessarily complicated and expensive.
No lettering or seals...
Try to avoid use writing of any kind or an organization's seal unless it is simple. Words defeat the purpose: Why not just write USA on a flag? A flag is a graphic symbol. Lettering is nearly impossible to read from a distance and hard to sew. Words are not reversible and this forces double or triple thickness fabric. Heavy flags do not fly as well nor do they last as long.
Don't confuse a flag with a banner, such as what is carried in front of a marching band in a parade, or draped behind a speaker's platform - such banners don't flap, they are seen from only one side, and they're usually seen closer-up.
Seals were designed for placement on paper to be read at close range. Very few are effective on flags - too detailed. Better to use some element from the seal as a symbol. Some logos work; most don't.
Be Distinctive or be Related...
Avoid duplicating other flags, but use similarities to show connections.
This is perhaps the most difficult principle, but it is very important. Sometimes the good designs are already "taken". However, a flag's symbols, colors, and shapes can recall other flags - a powerful way to show heritage, solidarity, or connectedness. This requires knowledge of other flags.
Often, the best way to start the design process can be looking to one's "roots" in flags - by country, tribe or religion.
A rectangle is the standard flag shape. Keep the width-to-length proportions between 1:1.15 and 1:1.67. Square flags are unusual in North America.
Flags wear. By retaining a rectangular shape and avoiding symbols at the fly end, a flag can be hemmed repeatedly and given a longer life.
The point of honor is the "canton" area - the upper left hand corner. This corresponds to the part of the flag that is seen when it hangs limp from a flagpole. The center or left of center position is the most visible spot for a symbol when the flag is flying.
Consider the fabrication methods. Curved lines add to the cost of the sewn flags. Holes or "negative space" hurt a flag's fly-ability and wear-ability. "Swallow-tail" shapes fray more easily.
All rules have exception. Colorado's "C" is a stunning graphic element. Maryland's complicated heraldic quarters produce a memorable and distinctive flag. But depart from these five principles only with caution and purpose.
Suggestion: Don't allow a committee to design a flag. Instead, empower individuals to design flags, and use a committee to select among them.
Call, write or fax for a prompt quotation on ANY custom flag, banner or related item. Please click here to use quote form for obtaining accurate prices on custom flags.