7 Rules of Effective Flag Design for Marketers

With the onset of digital marketing, you can be forgiven for overlooking more traditional means of marketing as still effective. As it turns out, outdoor marketing is still a very popular means of promoting all types of businesses. One of the most common types of outdoor marketing materials is flags.

Aside from being great at catching people’s attention and at increasing foot traffic to your business, they’re also great brand builders. Whenever people look at your flag, they’ll remember what your brand is like, what you do, and where you are. Unlike social media ads and email subscriptions, you can’t turn off or easily ignore flags, or any other forms of outdoor advertising.

So, how can you create your own flag? Here are seven rules that will help you design your own unique and effective flag:

Choose the best shape to fit your message

The most common flag shapes are rectangle and square. They are easily identifiable from a distance and simple to layout your design. If you want something a little different from the rest, go for a triangle flag or even a beach flag with a cool shape.

Tip; When creating a design for a beach flag, it’s best to download and design from a template. There are many sizes and shapes to choose from such as feather flags, teardrop flags, or even sharkfin flags.

Keep it simple

Have you ever noticed how most flag designs, including those for countries and organizations, only have a few elements in their design? The reason for that is that flags are meant to be seen from a distance. Flags with too many details are hard to identify and lose the attention of passers-by in just a few seconds. The best flag designs are simple and straight to the point.

Stay on brand

As you design your own flag design, it is important to stay on brand. While it’s important to use striking colours and images, it’s important that these graphic elements are in line with your brand identity. People will tend to associate certain design elements to your brand. If they see something out of place in your design, it will create confusion. For example, if your brand personality is elegant and minimalist, grunge fonts or neon colours wouldn’t exactly fit that personality.

Limit your colours

As a general design rule, it’s best to use only two to three colours to create an easily distinguishable and balanced design. Your colours should also be eye-catching but still in line with your branding as well. The more colours a flag has, the harder it is to make out the entire design from a distance.

Another thing: use colours that are easily distinguishable from one another. For example, red and white are good flag since their colours are very distinct from a distance. The colours blue and green, on the other hand, can be too similar to each other, especially from a distance.

Show don’t tell

Like all forms of outdoor marketing, it is important that your flag is able to get your message across in a matter of seconds. Use images, graphics, and symbols to get your message across even if your flag design only has a tagline of ten words. The best flag designs can get their message across in less than five seconds.

Include the essential details

It is normally not advisable to use text in your flag design. However, some rules can be broken. If you are to add text to your flag design, keep the text to the bare minimum. Focus on telling people what is being advertised and when and where it can be found. For flags, it’s best to rely on your imagery to express your message. There are other marketing tools such as flyers and posters that are best suited to give in-depth details about the thing being advertised.

One or the other

Make a choice – how do I want to tell my message. If it’s with text – let it be only text – if it’s with a logo or picture, stick to only that. With one purpose your flag will be much more effective at filling its purpose.

Using flags as part of your next marketing campaign can be a very cost-effective way to get a lot of attention. If you really want to make an impact consider ordering multiple flags in the same design – now that is powerful!