How to design the best flag [Free PDF Guide]

We’ve made flag design easy. See our guide below or download the PDF to read later.

Table of content

– Introduction
– How to create the perfect flag design
– Use of text
– Use of colour
– Use of logos
– Things to avoid on your flag designs
– Single sided flags
– Double sided flags
– Flag examples we love
– Summary


So, you’ve decided on using an advertising flag to promote your marketing messages.

But what flag size is right for you? Which shape best fits your logo and text? What are the best designs to use on a flag?

Whether you have a flag design created already, or you’re looking for handy tips to create one, our comprehensive guide covers it all.

How to create the perfect flag design

Before choosing a flag shape, you need to make sure your flag design has that wow factor.

If your flag is going to be placed in a busy environment, a striking design is needed to draw the attention of passers-by.

Try not to overthink your designs – it’s not rocket science!

For a truly great flag design, you can’t go wrong following these 3 key pointers:

  1. Keep your design simple… less is more!
  2. Use no more than 3 or 4 main colours.
  3. Pick a flag shape that fits your logo.

Use of text

Think about where your flags are being displayed, and that will give a good indication as to how people will see your flags.

Once you know how people will see your flags, knowing what text to display becomes that much easier.

For instance, a road side flag will only be viewed by passing traffic. There are only a few seconds maximum where your flag will be noticed. Ask yourself:

What key points do you want a visitor to take away from that split second?

Whatever comes to mind when you answer this question should help build the copy you use on the flag.

Spend no more than 2 seconds looking at the examples below:

Were you thinking:

  • There is an area with a putting green?
  • Voting for student elections is in process?

These are really good examples of using text effectively, because the flag told us exactly what we needed to know within those few seconds.

Use of colour

As a general rule of thumb, use no more than 3 or 4 main colours on your flag designs.

Different shades of the same colour are okay to use – but don’t go all Picasso on it!

There are some exceptions… For example, your logo may have multiple colours – but this is fine.

You just need to make sure the background of the flag is plain so your logo and messages stay at the forefront of your designs.

Check out page 16 for a good example of this.

Canva have 3 super useful (and free) tools to help you with everything colour related:

  1. Colour Wheel: create your own colour combinations using this handy tool.
  2. Colour Palettes: choose from an extensive range of pre-made colour palettes.
  3. Colour Palette Generator: upload an image and Canva will recommend colours for you.

Try experimenting and see which colours complement your brand best. The colour palette generator gave us 4 nice colours based on this image we uploaded:

Use of logos

Different logos will naturally fit different flag shapes better than others.

Use the diagram below to find out which flag best fits your logo shape.

Things to avoid on your flag designs

We’ve briefly mentioned a few things to avoid on your flag designs already. But it’s important to make sure you know why to avoid these points:

Overly crowded designs

Overly crowded designs distracts from the message you want to convey.

In the few seconds people will look at your flag, important information may be missed.

Using too much colour

Key messages disappear when using too much colour. Just look on page 12 to see what we mean.

Messages might disappear all-together! Too much colour can result in the text ‘blending’ with the background.

Let’s take a look at some examples…

Single sided flags

If you choose single sided print, this means we print in full colour on one side of the fabric.

The polyester flag knit material is slightly opaque which means that your artwork will be seen slightly faded on the reverse (around 70% of the actual print side).

Did you know… we use a dye-sublimation print process? This means the ink is pressed into the fabric. High quality stuff!

Double sided flags

Double sided flags are produced in a slightly different way.

Instead of printing on both sides of the same piece of fabric, we print on two different pieces of fabric. The two pieces are then stitched together with a lining in-between.

Did you know… you can cool wash and iron our fabric graphics?!

Flag examples we love

Example A:

  • Simple colour palette
  • Clear and concise text
  • Social details added at the bottom

There are no distractions on this flag design. The messages are simple, clear and easy to read for passers-by.

The neat white outline on the logo of the sports team really makes the design stand out.

Example B:

  • Big bold text on ‘VOTE’
  • Minimal design, maximum impact

Nothing has been overthought in this design, which makes an effective and eye-catching flag design.

Just one simple word: ‘VOTE’ tells us all we need to know about where this flag is being displayed – and it took us less than one second to figure this out.

This is a great example of using multiple colours. If used sparingly with a clean white background your messages can really stand out.

Example C:

  • Simple design for double-sided use
  • Bold text for instant name recognition
  • Full use of graphic area

Nearly all of the graphic area is in use with large bold letters, telling us exactly who the company is, and what they do in just a couple of seconds.

Let’s not forget this is a double sided flag for twice the exposure.


If you’re one to scroll through quickly and only read the last paragraph, you’re in luck…

Take away these points and you’ll be on the right track to creating a truly awesome outdoor flag design:

  • Keep your designs as simple as possible
  • Make sure text font and style is bold and easy to read
  • Fill out as much of the graphic area as possible
  • Use a maximum of 4 colours (shades of the same colour is fine)
  • Do you need your message to read on both sides? Go double-sided!