Is a watercolour logo a good idea?

A client of mine is pretty sure he wants a logo that is in watercolour. My sense is that it’s probably not going to be possible to do it in vector and hence there will be scalability issues. Am I right or is there any way that it can be done without any major issues?

It’s a matter of placement. Can be done but I think it will get complicated soon. If the Logo will always printed in full colour you could do it. But sooner or later the client will want to make a window sticker with the logo or something else requiring a single color alternative and then you’re screwed.

I’d definitely try to talk them out of this. But as they are paying the bills last word is always on the client. But you should thell them that some things like the example made above will be impossible to do.

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Tell your friend that he should have 2 versions.
It’s perfectly fine to have a raster logo for some things and a solid one for others. Just be sure that watercolor is scanned to as high a resolution you can get, in case it has to go large. You don’t say what your friend does for a business, but a raster logo is always problematic when it wants to go on a banner or a boothback.

You can make 2 sided window stickers with a raster logo. They’re more expensive than a vector stock vinyl logo. Single-sided ones, printed, are no issue either.

Just remember, the raster elements will need a bleed so you may do well to account for that in your lockup file by masking the watercolor element to have 1/4" bleed under the mask available for die cut print purposes. Or use a vector outline around the watercolor elements that can be bled for die cutting.


The problem with a watercolour effect is, that it will only look ‘real’ if it has some kind of transparency in it. That’s what I meant with the window sticker example. Sure you can print it on opaque vinyl but the edges will look too smooth. And if you print on transparent foil you won’t see much of it when there are no lights behind.


Ah, I see. You mean if the watercolor feathers out and isn’t cut to a hard edge to fill a shape.
Yeah, that might be bad.
Though I still might be able to do it, depending on the art, by printing on a glass clear material like Lintec and underspotting white with a similar fade to the watercolor. Tricky but do-able. Up to a point. There will be a moment when the color drops off the white and will be pretty translucent. Add $$$ (yes low 3 figures) in system time and including two strike offs to check the fade.


As i think it depends upon the corporation or company name.

But overall a logo with watercolor feathers is not be liked.


@PrintDriver Cool to see that someone knowing his area of expertise is around :smiley:


Thanks for the feedback. I have to admit that I don’t understand a lot of what both PD and maschina said, but I do get that printing a watercolour logo is complicated and difficult proposition and only a printer who really knows their job will be able to pull off printing it well. I think I’m going to discourage my client for getting one. Then I guess it’s up to him.

It’s generally not advised to make a logo with low scalability, but if you have to do it, definitely make the logo in different sizes, and include one with a humongous resolution, just in case someone wants to print it on a truck. That’s really the only workaround I can think of, apart from making a separate version of logo that’s not watercolor for scalable use.

I’m not even sure that would look good unless the original watercolor painting was also the size of a truck. Otherwise, the fibers in the paper at that size would look as big as match sticks.

Today I’ll print whatever you send me.
Big fibers? Sure!
Staircased jaggies? Sure!
Halftone dots the size of snowballs? Sure!
If that’s what you want, I’ll do it.

(I just got sent a gigawad psB-formated .tif file. We’re talking close to 8gigs here. The designer placed it as a low rez jpg in their layout cuz they “couldn’t get the tif to place,” called the jpg an FPO and told me to fix it. Yeah…my job is safe.)

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@Just-B You’re right. I assumed the watercolor was self drawn on Photoshop and available at any size as long as it was prepared in that size to begin with. But if it’s a scanned image, then it can’t be helped.

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