Update: Scroll to the bottom for a before-and-after.

I'm designing something for my school in Photoshop, and our mascot is a knight. This is the current design:

Las Lomas Knights

Yeah, I know. It's in desperate need of a redesign. I want to do flat design, but I'm just starting out with it so I'm still trying to learn the tricks. So, how should I go about turning that into a flat and minimal graphic? (If you don't know what flat graphic design is, here's an article on it.

To make a long story short, I'm trying to turn a complex flat design with complicated shapes and lines into a simple, minimal "Bootstrap Style" graphic with simpler shapes and lines.

Before | After (Version Two)

Before After

  • 2
    Why do you feel it's not flat now? Seems pretty flat to me.
    – Scott
    Apr 30 '14 at 19:51
  • @Scott I should probably rephrase this. The whole idea behind flat design is that it's minimal, and this isn't very minimal. Some people refer to it as "Bootstrap Style" Apr 30 '14 at 19:53
  • 3
    This is reading more like a specific request to help with a specific project. Not really on topic here. Things need to be a bit more general and valid for any future users. Perhaps edit a bit more?
    – Scott
    Apr 30 '14 at 20:02
  • 1
    For starters, don't use photoshop. Use a vector tool like Illustrator or Inkscape or...even better...pen and tracing paper. That way you can iterate quickly until you are happy. As for 'how' to actually draw it, there's no one 'trick'. It just takes practice and an ability to figure out which details are important and which are not.
    – DA01
    Apr 30 '14 at 20:19
  • 1
    @dubstaphone Bootstrap refers to a webdesign framework. Its completely irrelevant in the context of what you're doing. Then as DA01 mentioned its better to use Illustrator or Inkscape for digital tools on this type of project. Beyond that you have two options as far as Questions on here goes: 1. Create something and then seek a critique -- meta.graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/672/… --- or work on until you get stuck and then ask us a specific question about the part you get stuck on.
    – Ryan
    Apr 30 '14 at 20:21

The main point of any minimal design is to use the least possible shapes, paths, etc. to convey the message/image.

For something like an icon or profile, start broad and work inward. Create the basic shapes, then add definition where needed. You have a decent start already with the based shapes, although minimal doesn't have to mean strictly angular, rounding is okay. :)

You could feasibly pull off that image with one color and 3, maybe 4, shapes - the plume, the head, the visor, and possible the ridge on the top of the head.

If it were me... I'd grab a sheet of vellum paper, place it over the image, then start tracing/drawing the shapes I think I need. Keeping in mind I want the least amount of lines as possible.

enter image description here

  • I took your advice and I came up with this imgur.com/gfbwvut It's still a WIP, but it'll get there. Thanks a lot :) May 1 '14 at 19:36
  • Is there a reason why you want a very flat look to this logo? Because to be honest, I don't see the value that an extremely flat look is going to bring to this. School tends to have heritage and history, both of which is traditionally reflected by a style that is a little more ornate than the contemporary web UI look. I think you lose something in the "simplifying" of shape than you gain. If I were you, I would try to limit how I'd go about simplifying the logo. Try with a more minimal revamp. Remove details that don't contribute. Keep details that doesn't detach the concept from a rich past.
    – jmk2142
    May 7 '14 at 1:53

If I were you, I would do this in vector, and I would simplify to a barebone line drawing. Then you have a basis to build on, to alter and to play with. It is by far the most sustainable place to start: strip down as much as possible, then add carefully.

Here is sort of where I would start. The strongest shapes are the visor and the plumage. Everything else is basically not needed. enter image description here


For a minimalistic design you can go for line drawing (like the below one) and then use some monotone coloring. It'll do great for a logo. enter image description here

  • This image is quite far from minimalist
    – Scott
    Apr 30 '14 at 20:43
  • I said line drawing (like the below one). Just an idea for line drawing. Drawing a minimalistic figure is upto @dubstaphone.
    – pxm
    Apr 30 '14 at 20:46
  • I hope you don't mind by I edited your answer slightly. I think you meant 'monotone' rather than 'monotonous'.
    – DA01
    May 1 '14 at 20:46
  • Yeah sure. Cheers!
    – pxm
    May 1 '14 at 21:04

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