Add a splash of colour with watercolour logo design.

A simple paint splatter can give your watercolour design a light, organic look. Follow these tips to apply this effect in your next logo design and create something unique and eye-catching.

A watercolour logo design on a paper bag

What is a watercolour logo?

A watercolour logo usually includes a splash of colour in the background, with typography or graphic elements placed over the brush strokes or watercolour shapes. These designs can quickly convey a particular brand identity. “Watercolour is going to fit a certain type of business. It’s not going to fit a tyre company, for example,” says graphic designer Ashley Lippard. “Watercolour works for something more romantic, soft or lifestyle-orientated.” A small, local boutique is one kind of business whose identity could work well when paired with watercolours.

A person creating watercolour logo designs in Adobe Fresco

Watercolour, brand identity and contrast.

Watercolour splashes need to work harmoniously with other visual elements in the logo. “If you have a graphic on a watercolour background, you don’t want it to blend into the background,” says designer Lenore Ooyevaar. “That won’t read well.” Logos need to be instantly recognisable and comprehensible, so make sure your other logo elements pop when arranged in front of a watercolour background.


It can be tempting to combine watercolour splashes with similar graphic design elements like cursive typography or watercolour flowers, but those elements can often hit the same brand identity notes. Contrast can be key for a memorable and effective logo and watercolour can stand out when paired with something thematically different. “Watercolour is especially successful when you mix it with the hardness of modernism,” says Lippard.


A modern-looking serif font positioned in front of softer watercolour textures can look arresting and dramatic. It can also suggest that a business is versatileand many-sided. Every logo tells a story and when you combine soft brush strokes with more solid elements, your logo can convey a sense of depth and dimensionality.

A watercolour logo design for a business

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.

Watercolour brushes in Adobe Fresco

Paint with watercolours in Adobe Fresco.

Adobe Fresco lets you create logos, paintings and more with digital watercolours. Explore the variety of live brushes, paints and techniques Fresco has to offer and learn to create a watercolour painting of your own, without the mess of physical materials.


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Blending watercolour in Fresco.

Watercolour means that pigments blend, flow and sometimes drip into each other. Discover how Fresco’s digital watercolours stay wet, interact with digital brushes and surfaces and achieve that classic watercolour look. When you have a watercolour effect you like, it’s easy to pull it into Adobe Illustrator or other Creative Cloud apps.


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