I'm an aspiring logo designer so I'm doing some research.

Apple's logo, according to all the "evolution of the Apple logo" photos, shows their current logo as being a 3d type Grey gradient logo. So that's their official one, but where do they actually use that at? In everything I see from their website to ads they are either using solid grey or monochrome. I heard that its OK to use gradients in logos now as long as they are relatively simple.

Looking at the Skype design document it says use the gradient logo for screen use and the solid color logo for print use. Is this standard practice for logos with gradients?

  • I edited the "side question" out. Please check other threads and then if you can't find an answer go ahead and ask it as its own question. It will make it easier for people to answer, and to find it later.
    – Ryan
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 17:54
  • 2
    It's standard for logos to have variations for use in different context.
    – DA01
    Commented Mar 12, 2014 at 18:41

1 Answer 1


In the most basic creative sense, it is always "OK" to use gradients (ignoring the inevitable "what is beauty?" philosophical arguments).

However, the advice to avoid gradients in print is more a technical and flexibility concern. The design for a logo which is used in the real-world needs to be useful in both slick marketing ad budgets and in low-cost, single-color corrugated box printing.

The latter option is usually halftoned with a low lpi and as the halftone screens get coarser, the finer details fall through the holes and you can no longer make decent gradients without well-tailored art for the purpose. If you have low lpi screening and multiple colors (or even CMYK), the angles and the coarse screens will even start to spot and have a "foxed" appearance.

Rather than harp on the reasons for the advice, brand documents (and designers who work with them) just put down the simpler requirement: no gradient. They usually work up several versions that all coordinate but are suitable for the context.

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