Using the power of OpenType, Flagsmith transforms words into a variety shapes and patterns that can be mixed and layered to create unique flag compositions. The result remains editable, scalable and has some fail-proof features built into it so it can be used in many of your favorite design applications.
Choose your favorite flag layers and then type each word separated by a +. A complete list of options can be found in our dictionary.
Turn on standard ligatures to preview the layer separation. Color your flag as desired.
Activate the discretionary ligatures to snap the flag into place.
The key to a good flag is to start with a solid base, then make it more expressive by adding flag elements and emblems. For example, ‘base + element(s) + emblem = one fine flag’.
The base is the first layer and the framework of the flag, it consists of the pole and the main flag background, which is split into three parts (top, fold, bottom) that can be individually colored:
The field is the second layer of the flag, the pattern base that sits on top of the base colors.
Elements are the third layer, the larger shapes that divide or intersect the flag.
Emblems are the smaller elements that sit on top of the elements. Emblems are automatically aligned and sized according to the preceding field or element.
For variety, some components have alternative options built into the font. These variations can be accessed by adding a hyphen. For example, stripes have three line density options, which can be accessed by using stripes, stripes-a, stripes-b, or stripes-c.
To fit together nicely with the previous layers, some flag components will re-align themselves or swap out a more appropriately drawn glyph. This maintains integrity of the flag’s overall design and ensures a fail-proof flag building process. The best part is you don’t have to do a thing.
If your application of choice isn’t on this list, it may still work. We just can’t vouch for it and don’t provide support for it. Give the trial a whirl. If that works correctly, all should be good.
Nothing happens when I turn on ligatures.
Make sure the letterspacing/tracking is set to zero, and words are spelled as they appear in the dictionary. Also check to see if your application is in the list of supported applications above.
I see the layer separation pieces, but they don’t snap together when I activate discretionary ligatures.
Ensure that the default kerning is enabled for the text selection. InDesign should be set to "Metrics", and "Auto" for Illustrator. Make sure both standard and discretionary ligatures are activated. Also make sure that there are no spaces in your string, and that keywords are separated only by a +.
Do I always have to follow the base+field+element+symbol formula?
Nope. Go crazy! You can get some fun and unexpected results by layering things, playing with orders and breaking the rules.
The shapes are slightly misaligned when I zoom in.
Live text gets rendered differently than vector objects and shapes, with a much coarser pixel grid. Alignment issues related to this should resolve themselves when printing, saving as a raster image, or converting the text to outlines.
Will there be a web version?
Currently, there are no plans due to buggy browser support of OpenType features. Additionally, there would be no easy way to color shapes that have multiple layers, since coloring is done on the glyph level rather than the whole word.
Are the keywords case sensitive?
No, when ligatures are activated, uppercase letters are automatically converted to lowercase to help prevent mistakes.
Capital letters aren’t showing up when setting normal text.
Turn off ligatures and you should be able to type as normal. See previous answer for further explanation.
My string breaks to a new line at the hyphens, even when I have hyphenation turned off.
Use non-breaking hyphens instead. There’s no easy way to type it, but in Adobe products you can easily find/replace with the special characters option.
Disclaimer/Apology to Vexillologists.
Flagsmith was born of a love and admiration of flag design. Much research and concern went into the design and wording of the elements in the typeface, but for the sake of simplicity and ease of use we edited and re-appropriated some of the terminology to work in a way that would be easily understood by users. We mean no disrespect to the history of the field, and hope that Flagsmith will inspire a curiosity in flag design that will encourage folks to delve deeper into the world of Vexillology.
If you want to take a closer look before purchasing a license, here’s a stripped down version of Flagsmith. Only the following vocabulary will work.
Base Chevrons Chevrons-a Chevrons-b Chevrons-c Canton *