I can’t emphasize this enough: graphic designers shouldn’t use gradients in a design just because it’s trending. Only use gradients if they’re a part of your brand.
If you wish to include gradients in your brand, consider a brand refresh session to make sure your key messaging and visuals are in alignment and communicate the right message to your target audience.
To use a gradient without purpose brings no value to a brand.
What is a gradient?
While graphic designers probably know what a gradient is, I’m here to cover all the angles. Simply put, it is a transition in color. Another meaning of gradients is a gradual blend from one color to another color or colors.
I’ll expand on three types of gradients below.
The Different Types of Gradients
The two standard types of gradients are directional and radial (circular). The complex type of gradient is the freeform, which typically involves three or more colors.
The freeform brings a little more customization to a design and has grown to be popular in recent years.
Why would I want to use a gradient in my brand?
Only use gradients if they’re a part of your brand, which should be solidified in your brand discovery session when assembling the overall brand elements. Here are some pros and cons of using gradients in your brand:
When used consistently within your brand, gradients can help grow brand recognition better than single-color use.
Gradients can add a sense of depth and/or movement to your design.
Gradients display a sense of fun and high energy.
They can be a washed or dated design element.
They can be more costly to print.
Some color blends may appear muddy or unappealing.
Using too many gradients can dull the design.
Where and when should I use gradients?
Where you use gradients depends on your brand’s identity system. This document should outline the how-tos and restrictions on all things visual for your brand. Hypothetically, you could use gradients anywhere as defined in your guide.
Gradients can be applied to backgrounds, content, CTA buttons, filters, etc. Are you thinking it’s time to start your brand on the right foot, or do you need a brand refresh? Looking for some samples of branding? Check out our branding services, and contact our graphic design agency here.