Anyone can advise on the following?

I’m not a professional designer, but I’m helping my friend to develop a logo. She would like a gold gradient for the logo instead of a solid color. I have two methods of going about doing it and I feel that each has its problem, so I’m not sure which way is better for logo that will cause lesser complications in the future. What kind of complications exactly for each? And also what is the industry practice?

1. Using clipping mask I have the vector logo and a gradient image which I then used a clipping mask to create the gradient effect on the logo. I’m not sure if this is a good way for logo. Can someone tell me the complications for this? The current problem I know is that the eps file is too big when I embed the gradient image, which makes it difficult to transfer through email for corporate uses? I feel that usually the file size for logo is quite small.

2. Using in build gradient tool For this method, I realized that it will not be a smooth gradient, meaning that there will be banding for the gradient. It is even more obvious when zooming in. I have tested it by printing on regular printing paper, the banding is not obvious, but I’m not sure if this will be a problem if the logo is printed in larger sizes. Is there any way in which I can solve this? Anyway, the eps file size is much smaller for this method. gradient banding

Thank you!

2 Answers 2


The banding depends on how the rendering engine implements the rasterisation*. Since printed documents use rasters to produce halfway color which works like dithering anyway to the image which hides the banding. However doing this with explicit bands makes it harder for the renderer to do this which means that any RIP that is more intelligent rasterisation will in fact accentuate the banding.

* no application actually needs to implement gradients with 8 bit interpolation without dithering like illustrator does. So no the gradient itself has no banding, just different engines choose to interpolate differently.

  • Thank you for your explanation, so in this case, which method is better for the logo? For normal printing and displaying marketing collaterals, will the banding be a problem? or printing will actually hides the banding like you have mentioned.
    – Sijia L.
    Jun 9, 2017 at 8:17
  • @SijiaL. Printing is not a catch all thing, different printers have different hardware and software therefore have different results. Different devices have different mileage different programs react differently (also some moniteors have less than 8 bit displays so they would ban regardless). One way to reduce baning is to taint the color a teeny amount i a different channel.
    – joojaa
    Jun 9, 2017 at 8:19
  • yes, I totally agree to that. Based on your knowledge, which method should I use in this case to create logo? I'm not sure which will be a better final work to send to my friend, that actually cause lesser problems in the future.
    – Sijia L.
    Jun 9, 2017 at 8:21
  • @SijiaL. since you can not predict the future, you choose the one that is less work and simpler, therefore easier to deal with should the need arise.
    – joojaa
    Jun 9, 2017 at 8:23
  • Thank you for the advice. :) I will consider about it again. So actually creating logos with clipping mask is actually fine and not a wrong way of making logos right? (ignoring the file size problem)
    – Sijia L.
    Jun 9, 2017 at 8:26

My preference is... if you can avoid a mask in a piece of vector artwork.. do so for client delivery, but retain a mask if it helps make your editing easier. In other words, I have a 2-file workflow. One file I edit and change, then I take that file and flatten it, remove masks, merge shapes, etc and that simplified file is the final logotype the client receives. I retain the "live" file. The client gets the flat file.

There's nothing inherently wrong with using masks, especially clipping mask in Illustrator. Opacity masks, if raster based, can present issues for a logotype. It is raster after all. And if the clipping mask is masking raster content... again, raster in a logotype is generally not a good idea. But if the clipping mask is masking vector objects, or if the Opacity mask is vector based and is masking vector objects, there's really no harm there.

I avoid masks when possible for the simple reason that I want to deliver the least complex, most trouble free, error-proof, file possible. While vector masks for vector content aren't an issue, it is one step above "basic" so it does add a slight level of complexity to the file for each mask being used.

The banding within the gradient Joojaa has addressed. So I won't repeat my thoughts there.

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