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is this a problem if I use blend tool to create a shape with a structure and gradient I want in a logo - if I expand, it doesn't look how I want it to look.

I was wondering if there are technical problems with blend tool shapes in logo design. Or "vector is vector" and I shouldn't worry? I don't mean problems like, how to do monochromatic or inversed version - more like if the number of steps used in bled option matter and stuff like that, more connected to the complexity of a shape itself and then printing it/putting it on web.

Right one is a mountain made with blend tool, and on the left is the one I expanded. Would you guys recommend to recreate the "rough edges" and those gradients myself without using the bled tool then?

enter image description here Thanks!

  • I would be more worried about why it does not expand. Since that is indeed weird, and does indicate you have a problem. OTOH it may be just a effect on group thing. – joojaa Dec 10 '18 at 19:30
  • I agree with @joojaa -- I'd worry that expanding it changes the appearance. Because, upon output, it will be flattened and generally expanded. – Scott Dec 10 '18 at 20:34
  • the issue Is that thanks to blend tool I got a nice texture to the object and this is something I am not sure I will be able to replicate without it - but thanks for your tips, It seems that due to technical reasons I will need to. – Jago Ratajczak Dec 11 '18 at 17:37
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The primary issue you will face by leaving a blend "live" will be output and compatibility. While it is always fine within Illustrator itself. Logo use doesn't stay strictly within Illustrator.

For a logo, there are typically hundreds of different uses. Upon output a blend is essentially expanded and flattened. So, if you are seeing an appearance change when you expand the blend, that's not a good thing. That change could possibly happen anywhere the logo is output. Imagine embroidery, or signage, or engraving... typically requiring legacy file formats. Sometimes flat legacy formats (AI8).... those will expand and flatten blends.

A better alternative would be to expand the blend then adjust appearance if necessary. I find for logos delivering the simplest form of the artwork is best in order to ensure there are no output problems for myriad uses.

  • good thing is I know how the logo will be used mostly: web + some small print forms eg. business cards + jobs. As I export it as .png/.jpg I see no issues, it looks great. Though when I use "Expand Appearance" option in Illustrator, everything goes super flat. – Jago Ratajczak Dec 11 '18 at 18:27
  • errr.. just because a logo is used today on a website and stationary, that does not mean next year they won't want signs, caps, mugs, tote bags, pens, etc.. :) For a logo, it's kind of short-sighted to not think about long-term usage. -- I don't know what "super flat" means so I can't really help with that. If you were to edit your question and add a couple images, before and after, there may be a solution. Clearly a png/jpg is a poor format for most logo usage - again, it may solve a problem today, but it won't help 3 or 6 months from now when they want other items. – Scott Dec 11 '18 at 19:43
  • sure, I get it. I was just encouraged when I saw some tutorials for logos designed with blend tool, but no one there actually spoke about exporting it for further uses, so I was quite reckless not to check it before I started creating. I'll add a screenshot in a moment. – Jago Ratajczak Dec 12 '18 at 15:26
  • Scott, are those images of any help? – Jago Ratajczak Dec 14 '18 at 15:17
  • The only real difference I see is the very rough edge of the blend. Is that what you are trying to retain? – Scott Dec 14 '18 at 19:44

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