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Professional graphic designers will scoff.

The Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator expert will knock it down.

Even GIMP will wonder – why not me? I am free. But when you don’t belong to the creative tribe, then you take whatever tools you need to design a logo in an emergency. Microsoft Word isn’t the first choice for drawing eye-catching logos How to Make an Eye-Catching Logo for (Almost) Nothing How to Make an Eye-Catching Logo for (Almost) Nothing Whether for your website, band, book, or social networking brand, if you want to succeed, you need to get the logo just right. Here's how to make one. Read More . It doesn’t have the credentials to merit a place in a lineup of logo design software. But can it gatecrash? Let’s take a risk.

Why Pick Microsoft Word to Design a Logo?

Microsoft Office is a productivity suite and not a creative unit of tools. Microsoft PowerPoint would be my tool of choice if somebody holds a gun to my head. But before we dismiss Microsoft Word outright, consider these five factors in its favor:

  • Is commonplace and easier to learn.
  • Has multifaceted tools that work with both text and images.
  • Allows you to use the document page as a canvas to drag and drop Shapes, SmartArt, and Icons.
  • Can merge text and images and combine everything into one image.
  • Documents can reuse the logo directly in a page or letterhead.

Key Microsoft Word 2016 Features for Logo Design

I won’t go into the details of all the graphic drawing features Microsoft Word 2016 brings to the table. But the brief descriptions and the linked help pages should help you if you get confounded. There is also the helpful Office assistant called “Tell me what you what you want to do” on the Ribbon that works as a pathfinder.

Stay with the basic rules of graphic design 5 Basic Principles Of Graphic Design You Take For Granted Everyday 5 Basic Principles Of Graphic Design You Take For Granted Everyday In the visual age of the Internet it's relatively easy to create your own graphic designs, but they don't have to look homemade. Read More and stretch Microsoft Word to its limits.

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Here are some essential tools you will find on the Ribbon. Do note that some features may be available with the latest updates on an Office 365 subscription.

Shape recognition that converts hand drawing with ink into a perfect shape (only on a touch enabled device with Office 365).

You will find most of the tools and effects on the Drawing Toolbar which is automatically displayed with any drawing object in the document.

Let’s Draw a Simple Logo

This is a simple logo we are aiming for. I borrowed this simple graphic from Shutterstock. Most of the objects in the vector graphic below can be duplicated in Microsoft Word. Maybe, not exactly…but close enough to demonstrate the Word can try hard enough!

original-logo
Image Credit: George Chairborn via Shutterstock

Open a new document. Go to the View tab, and then check the Gridlines box. With the grids, you can align shapes and other objects in your Word documents. The grids can only be viewed in the Print view. But rest assured – they cannot be printed.

Microsoft Word - Grid

Turn on the Object Snapping option. Click the picture or object. In the Graphic Tools tab, click on Align > Grid Settings. Enable both the highlighted settings below for better alignments of the graphics in the logo.

Snap objects to other objects. Check this box to make a shape or object align with other shapes or objects.

Snap objects to grid when the gridlines are not displayed. Align shapes or objects to the closest intersection of the grid even when the grid is not visible.

Microsoft Word - Grid Settings

You can press the ALT key to override the previous settings temporarily when you drag a shape or object.

The above settings prepare our document for the first shape or object we are about to insert. We are going to use fonts and basic shapes. We are going to use some of the same techniques covered when we made a flowchart in Microsoft Word 2013 How to Create Stunning Flowcharts With Microsoft Word How to Create Stunning Flowcharts With Microsoft Word Used with imagination, flowcharts can simplify both your work or life. Why not try out a few flowcharts with one of the easiest tools on hand – Microsoft Word. Read More by aligning and formatting different shapes. The logo is going to be a bit more artistic to the eye than the business-like flowchart.

1. Insert a shape to use as the background of your logo.

Go to Insert > Shapes and select the Rectangle shape. Hold SHIFT to draw a perfect square on the Word document that is now your canvas.

Change the color of the canvas. Double-click on the shape to display the Drawing Tools > Shape Styles group on the Ribbon. Here, I used a Shape Fill with a choice of a color and set the Shape Outline to “No Outline”.

Microsoft Word - Shape Styles

You can also right-click the shape and choose Format Shape. Now, you have more powerful controls that allow you to fine-tune the look of the shape. For example – if you want to use a gradient instead of a solid fill. For simple logos, a solid fill is preferable to a gradient.

Microsoft Word - Format Shape

You can also leave the background for the last part of the design. This helps you use the grid instead of obscuring it with the colored fill of the background.

2. Use more than one shape to make a compound shape.

In an earlier How to Make an Infographic for Free with PowerPoint How to Make an Infographic for Free with PowerPoint How to Make an Infographic for Free with PowerPoint You can make infographics easily and quickly with PowerPoint. PowerPoint is an undercover infographic design tool that requires very little effort to produce beautiful, high quality graphics. Read More tutorial, we had seen how to combine simple shapes to create more complex shapes. We use the same methods here to create the outer hexagonal graphic and the anchor in the middle. Shapes are limited in their scope but the imagination isn’t – so you can create a lot of different shapes with the basic line, circle, and rectangle.

Let’s try with the available Triangle and Rectangle shapes.

Select and drag a rectangle shape on the background square of the logo. If you have to draw a square, you can hold down the SHIFT key to make all the four sides equal. Then draw a triangle to construct the top two and bottom two sides of the hexagon.

Make a copy of the first triangle and drag it into position on the opposite side. Snap each object to the other. Tweak each shape with the help the handles to get the desired shape.

Set Shape Outline to No Outline for all three shapes.

Microsoft Word - Simple Shape

Select the three different objects and select Group from the right-click menu. And then, set Shape Fill to white. You can also select Group from the Drawing Tools. It’s on the extreme right.

Microsoft Word - Group Shapes

The next step is a bit tricky. Unlike PowerPoint, Microsoft Word does not have the facility to merge and combine shapes. We have to rely on creatively using another shape of a smaller size (and different color) to create a hollow hexagon with a thick outline. Of course, you can always create a multi-sided box with the Line shape and give it a specific thickness too.

Create a copy of the original hexagon and set the shape fill to the background color. Position it over the original hexagon. Instead of dragging the handles, I find it easier to use the more precise Size fields in the Drawing toolbar.

The Size field helps you make minute tweaks to any object and is always a better option to dragging the corner handles.

Microsoft Word - Set Size for Shapes

Use Other Shapes for The Other Graphics

Follow the same method to add the anchor. The line above the company name, and the two stars. We will deal with the bird shapes in a little while.

The anchor is a combination of an oval drawn as a circle, a thick line, and a block arc. See the individual elements in the screenshot below.

Microsoft Word - Use Other Shapes

Try the Character Map

The Windows Character Map 10 Simple But Useful Ways To Use The Character Map & Your Lesser-Used Fonts 10 Simple But Useful Ways To Use The Character Map & Your Lesser-Used Fonts Read More is also a rich source of symbols you can use in your logos. The Webdings and Wingdings fonts are installed by default and they can supply you with some creative escape routes in case you aren’t getting the right shape to use.

In this case, I could have combined two arc shapes to create the “seagulls” in the logo. But the Bird character in Webdings looks neater instead of my hack.

So, set your document’s font to Webdings. Open the Character Map — type map in the search box on the taskbar, and choose Character Map from the result. Copy the symbol for the bird from the character set. Set the document’s font to Webdings. Insert a text box in the right location and past the bird in the text box. Like any other font, you can give it a color – white in this case.

Microsoft Word - Use The Character Map for Logos

The second bird on the right is a mirror image of the first symbol. See this Microsoft Word support article to see how to reverse a text box and create its mirror image.

Now, the major part of the logo has taken shape.

Half-finished logo in Microsoft Word

3. Add text and text effects.

This is the easy part and self-improvement-explanatory. Use Text Boxes to insert each word so that you can position each word precisely and style them individually.

Microsoft Word - Add text and text effects

Font pairing is an art. I won’t be able to go into it in detail here, but there are websites like Font Pair, I Font You, and Typ.io that can help you out. You also don’t have to feel forced by the fonts you have on your computer. There’s an ocean of free fonts you can download Want Gorgeous Free Fonts? Here's 25+ Sites Where You'll Find Them Want Gorgeous Free Fonts? Here's 25+ Sites Where You'll Find Them Rather than wade through hundreds of fonts, here are a few sites that'll help you keep up with all the new fonts you'll want to use in your next design. Read More with a click.

4. Group the text and image together.

Select each individual object in the logo (press the SHIFT key when you select). Stick them together with the Group command in the right-click menu or on the Ribbon.

5. Save Your Logo as a Picture

You must save the logo as a picture file before you can use it. Microsoft Word does not have a direct way to save this as a JPEG or a PNG file. But it does have a tool which you can use.

Take a Screen Clipping. You can use any screenshot tool to do the job for you. But for effortless utility, open a new Word document. Go to Insert > Screenshot. Select Screen Clipping and select the logo from the Word document. The logo is pasted as a screenshot in the second Word document you just opened.

Microsoft Word - Screen Clipping Tool

Still confused? This Microsoft Support page explains the screen clipping steps in more detail.

Right-click on the logo and choose Save as Picture to save your logo in the popular image formats given in the dialog box.Microsoft Word - Screen Clipping

Use the Windows Snipping Tool. This lesser known tool in the Windows 10 toolbox can be launched from search bar. Type Clipping Tool to make it appear. It works like a simple screen capture utility.

Microsoft Word - Windows Snipping Tool

To take a screenshot, select New. Select the part of the screen that you want to capture. Choose Rectangular by pulling down the arrow on the New button.

Other Microsoft Word Assets You Can Use for A Logo

Icons. If you have an updated version of Microsoft Word through the Office 365 subscription, then you can spot the new Icons library on the Insert menu. Choose from categories like people, technology, or business. Click the icon that you think can be creatively used in a logo.

Microsoft Word - Icon Library

WordArt. The old favorite. WordArt is one of the quickest ways to create text logos that look stylish. You can combine WordArt with Shapes and Icons to enhance your creative options. The Microsoft Support page should help as a primer.

I would try to avoid WordArt and keep things simple by using a creative combination of artistic fonts. And then, enhancing with subtle text effects How to Style Fonts in Microsoft Word to Make Your Text Stand Out How to Style Fonts in Microsoft Word to Make Your Text Stand Out A well formatted text can grab your reader's attention and help them flow through your document. We show you how to add that final touch in Microsoft Word. Read More .

Microsoft Word Isn’t for Graphic Design. But…

With your first logo in Microsoft Word, you will realize that the software isn’t meant to be a graphics editor. It is not even recommended as a page layout program. Microsoft Word is good for typing words and making professional documents. Then what is the purpose of this tutorial?

  1. You can explore your creative chops quickly.
  2. Brainstorm an idea and make a quick mock-up.
  3. Use the logo design process to understand Word’s limitations (and design features).

I have drawn a few logos on Word for my personal blog and just for fun or practice. It has been an exercise in using constraints. Good logo design is always about keeping things simple (the KISS principle). Using the right pair of fonts can stretch your imagination all on its own.

How effortless did you find the process? Do you find the graphic and text effect features in Microsoft Word 2016 good enough for basic design? And, don’t forget to tell us about your logo design stories.

Image Credit: Rawpixel.com via Shutterstock.com

Originally written by Mark O’Neill on 12th August 2009

  1. Kishia
    April 1, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    thank you so much this worked out completely great

  2. tracyanne
    September 12, 2009 at 3:03 am

    I don't have access to MS Word, I don't have MS Word. On the other hand I always have access to the GIMP, it came with my computer, it was ther in the menu when I first started my computer. I could always use Open Office.org, I suppose, it was already there on my computer as well.

  3. Titanium Pen
    August 26, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Lol, why not simply use MS paint?

  4. Monty
    August 25, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Excellent article. Any chance you can show us how to do this is OpenOffice Writer or Draw?

  5. pceasies
    August 23, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I call that a banner by the way. There's a free site either Lifehacker or Makeuseof of mentioned a while back to make banners.
    http://www.simwebsol.com/ImageTool/Default.aspx
    http://www.bannerfans.com/banner_maker.php
    http://onlinebannergenerator.com/

    From simplest to biggest feature set. Some of them don't include an image.

  6. mojo
    August 17, 2009 at 8:21 am

    Where's the logo?

  7. zizo
    August 16, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Mark: cool tip
    Sameep: really nice site

  8. Aibek
    August 14, 2009 at 7:48 am

    We have profiled a couple of online logo making apps as well.
    More options and just as easy.

    http://www.makeuseof.com/dir/tag/logo/

  9. drcypher
    August 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

    If I have no access to photoshop or gimp, I just use Paint.NET

    Freeware and I use it when I'm in a rush and I don't need to fuss much about with images...

    Also could pretty handy to create a logo :)

    link:

  10. madz
    August 13, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Thanks for sharing. :)

  11. Chicaro
    August 13, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Very good. The very basic knowledge to use MS Word.

  12. Akhilesh Sabharwal
    August 13, 2009 at 4:14 am

    The whole point is to create a logo when you dont have access to Photoshop and Gimp,
    Logo or header

    BTW i created my own site header/logo using powerpoint 2008

    • Iomizmmo
      September 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm

      I use PowerPoint too. I think is a little bit easier than Word. And with PowerPoint you can make 3D objects to combine with almost everything.

      "Saludos" from Puerto Rico

  13. drcypher
    August 13, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Sorry I forgot to put in a link: (getpaint.net/)

  14. hardc0l2e
    August 12, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Yeah... it doesn't resolved anything. Quick tour on GIMP and you can done better in few hours of both learning and creating logo.

    And yes, its a Website header.. not logo.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 13, 2009 at 5:54 am

      I believe in my second paragraph, I said :

      "don’t have the time, patience or money for Photoshop or Gimp"

      Gimp is not all that easy to use for some people. The way I've shown is much easier (in my opinion).

  15. Dnyanesh
    August 12, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    This can't be called a logo. The proper phrase should be header.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 13, 2009 at 5:56 am

      OK. I call it a logo. Doesn't really matter does it?

  16. Sameep
    August 13, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Supa Logo is quicker and easier.
    supalogo.com/

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 13, 2009 at 5:57 am

      That's quite a good site! Bookmarked.

  17. Doc
    August 12, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Use The Gimp instead. It allows you to fine-tune the placement of the layers, exports into .XCF (or .PSD for PhotoShop) format (preserving the layers), and has lots of tools to let you fine-tune your image.

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