Flags are useful for many different things. When you’re making a custom flag, you have to keep in mind what the flag will be used for. Its purpose influences the way it should be designed. Flags are often used for advertising or as the symbol of a sports team or other group.
If you’re using a flag as a symbol of a group, you should probably stick to the classic rectangle. Stranger, more eye-catching shapes are better for advertising flags. This is also because these shapes work better with the other design elements of the flags.
Text is a must for advertising flags and a must not for other flags. Advertising flags are meant to convey information quickly and simply from a short distance. This makes text a necessity. Flags representing groups are often meant to be seen at a distance, usually from the top of a flagpole. From that far away, small details like text are almost impossible to see. It’s better to not include a detail at all than a detail no one will ever see.
Pictures are the opposite. There’s not enough room on an advertising flag to put the text you need and a picture. Group flags, on the other hand, are supposed to always have some sort of picture or logo. Look at the flags of countries or sports teams. The well-designed ones feature simple illustrations and no text.
The most difficult part of designing a custom flag is choosing the colors you want to use. You need colors that will contrast enough that all elements of the flag are clearly visible. You also don’t want to hurt people’s eyes by making the flag too busy. No matter which kind of flag you’re making, limit yourself to just a few colors. While there are well-designed flags that feature more than a few colors, this kind of design is hard to pull off. If your business or team already has a well-designed logo, you can use the colors from it to create your color scheme. If you’re creating an advertising flag, make sure the colors pop enough that the flag will be noticeable. On a group flag, try to think symbolically when choosing colors. What do certain colors tend to mean? Keep this and contrast in mind and you’ll end up with a great color scheme.
A custom flag can be incredibly hard to design, especially if you’ve never designed something before. No matter what kind of flag you’re designing, trust your eyes. They know a bad flag when they see one.