Flags are used to identify and represent the military, government, ships, and citizens. Some of their uses include:

  • Military – To signal during which army a soldier is affiliated.
  • Government – To represent countries and territories.
  • Ships – To indicate what ship they belong to and where it comes from.
  • Citizens – As a symbol of pride in an organization, movement, or city that is represented by the flag.

The custom flag can be made for any purpose that you see fit such as the ones listed above but one thing to keep in mind when designing your custom flag is how successfully you can portray your message through color and symbols.

Here are some tips on how you can design custom flags that will portray your message effectively.

Here are some tips on how you can design custom flags

1. Color is important in custom flag design

An effective custom flag should be made up of colors that are simple, contrasting, and meaningful to the organization, movement, or city it represents. Make sure there aren’t too many colors; otherwise, it won’t make for a good custom flag. A maximum of three colors would suffice but you could even go with two if they contrast well enough with each other.

2. Keep symbols simple and meaningful

The symbols used on custom flags need to represent the message without overshadowing it; this means no complicated graphics.  You can use simple shapes like squares, triangles, circles, or even letterforms for your custom flag. If you’re going to use custom flag letterforms, make sure that they are large enough to be readable from a distance and that the letters have balanced proportions.

3. Make sure custom flag symbolism is meaningful

While custom flags don’t need text to go with them, you can still include words if you feel it will add meaning to your custom flag design.  For example, if you want people to understand what your custom flag represents without knowing the language in which it speaks, words could help them out a great deal.

4. Keep custom flag designs symmetrical or asymmetrical but not a combination of both

When designing custom flags try either going for symmetry or asymmetry but avoid doing both at the same time because it’ll end up looking like a hodgepodge of design elements.

5. Draw custom flag designs to the correct scale

Draw custom flag designs to the correct scale

Before you start custom flag design, double-check to see if your final custom flag illustration is drawn at the correct size. This will ensure that your custom flag design has a consistent and balanced look.  If you’re having trouble with custom flag sizing, take a look at this custom flag guide for help.

6. Make sure custom flags are readable from a distance

Your custom flags should be able to communicate their message from as far away as possible so it’s pretty important that they can be read from a good distance away. Try going up close and squinting your eyes while looking at your custom flag design; only then would you know if the symbol/s used on your custom flags could be read or not.

7. Keep custom flags simple but with custom flag design depth

A custom flag doesn’t necessarily have to be flat; you can always add custom flag design depth by adding a third dimension to your custom flag.  This is pretty simple in custom flag design so it’s highly recommended that you go for this technique when designing custom flags.

8. Avoid using text on custom flags unless necessary

While you can use text on custom flags if the message of your custom flag design needs words to convey its meaning, it would be best to avoid using typefaces on custom flags because letterforms are too small and end up looking like blobs instead of letters; plus trying to read from afar isn’t possible which defeats the whole custom flag purpose.

9. Always simplify your custom flag design

The more complicated your custom flag design is, the less impact it will have on viewers because custom flags are supposed to communicate ideas and messages effectively so you should only use the most important elements in custom flag design to achieve this goal.

10. Custom flags should be easy to recreate

Custom Flags should be easy to recreate

While custom flags don’t necessarily need to be made into clipart or vector graphics like city logos often are, they should still remain as simple as possible; otherwise, people won’t be able to recreate them which defeats the whole custom flag purpose of being an effective visual communication tool.


When custom flag design comes to mind, graphic designers should keep all the custom flag design principles and rules in mind so they know what custom flags are and how custom flag designs should look like. These custom flag design principles will greatly help custom flag designers create custom flags that follow the right custom flag design guidelines.

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