How to use watercolour well.
While watercolour logos are visually appealing, they don’t work in all graphic design contexts. Logos have to work in grayscale, black and white and colour. When you design a watercolour company logo, make sure it is still legible without the watercolour element. Business cards, stationery and some merchandise might not be able to show off the watercolour elements of your logo, but you still need a logo that works for those things.
That means that the non-watercolour elements of a business logo still need to work as a logo. The typography and other visual elements need to communicate a brand identity, even without the splash of watercolour in the background. “The most significant piece is the type and the icon that goes with the type,” says Ooyevaar. “The background is secondary.” While a watercolour background might be the most attention-grabbing part of a logo, it also has to be removable or changeable.
Create versions of your logo both with and without the watercolour elements. This often means the watercolour shape is treated as a more traditional graphic element. “When the watercolour is used correctly, it’s just treated as a colour,” says Lippard. “You have a shape that you would normally just have as a solid colour, but you want more depth to that colour. That’s where watercolour works really well.”
“If you’re going to do watercolour, treat it as a colour or a texture in the logo,” says Lippard. “Not as the logo.” An essential part of using a watercolour logo, then, is identifying when to use it. In situations where you can use a larger, more high-resolution logo, like on a website or in a shop window, watercolour is fair game.