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Flag Designing 101 | BestFlag.com

Posted by Reid Belew on

In case you haven’t heard, we’re really big into designing custom flags. Our very own custom flag designer is the most user-friendly flag maker available. We’re big fans of it.

We’re also big fans of you designing your own flag. BestFlag makes it easy to make your own flag.

But when you’re designing your own flag, it helps to have a little advice.

We’ve got some great flag designing tips from the folks over at NAVA (North American Vexillology Association), who are the certifiable flag experts of the United States and Canada. If anyone knows anything about flags (especially custom flags), it’s NAVA. You can find NAVA’s complete write-up here.

We’ll paraphrase the main points from NAVA for you, no worries.

Simplicity Always Wins

Simplicity in the design is highly regarded as a hallmark of quality design. Flags are no different. NAVA suggests that flags should be simple enough that a child could recreate the design if given pen and paper. Not only is simplicity a pillar of quality design, but it also serves a practical purpose.  

Flags are, of course, not rigid. Flags bend, flap, and wave. If you build a flag with a complex design, that design becomes unrecognizable when the flag is not flapping in the wind. A simple design allows the flag to maximize its design “air-time”, so to say. Simplicity is easy on the eyes and offers a more memorable, recognizable flag.

Be Purposeful  

Flags present two things to the general populace. The first is the design, and within that category is the second item: symbolism.  

Embedded within the design of the flag is symbolism. The two must go together, and it is difficult to have one without the other.

Symbolism with your flag must be succinct, efficient, and intentional. NAVA uses the Italian flag as a strong example of purposeful symbolism. The 3 stripes, oriented vertically, were placed in direct opposition to the rest of Europe, which, at the time, sported several horizontally oriented stripes. Italy used vertical stripes to differentiate themselves.  

Less Is More

Keeping with our theme of simplicity, only use 2-3 basic colors in your design. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. Remember, you want your flag to be able to be redrawn by a child from memory. Keep it simple.

Avoid Lettering and Seals

Can you guess why? Yes, because simplicity is key. Lettering and seals, in general, tend to add complexity to design. Lettering and seals tend to be hard to read from far away, as they are primarily smaller elements, or built out of smaller elements.

The main exception to this rule is the flag of California. At this point, the words “California Republic” are about as iconic as any flag.

Be Distinctive

NAVA says this may be the most difficult of all the above principles, and we tend to agree. When opting for simplicity as the guiding factor of your flag design, it becomes difficult to reconcile that principle with the need to be distinctive.  

That’s where creativity comes in. Ultimately, when merging simplicity and distinction, the one thing that will help you most is your innate sense of creativity.  

That’s it! Now you’re all set to build your own unique flag. There’s no better way to do so than using BestFlag’s online flag designer. No flag maker allows you to make your own flag in a more quick and easy way.

Start designing your flag today!


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