Creating a memorable logo to catch the eye of onlookers and burn your brand onto their optic nerve can be difficult, especially if you don’t have the right tools to hand.
Over the past few years, it has become increasingly important to have an eye-catching logo to accompany your website, band, book, YouTube channel, or social networking brand. Therefore, if you want to succeed, you’ll need to get the logo just right.
Fortunately, several options are open to you, from free logo generators to learning the skills necessary to create a logo in an art package, or even paying someone. (We did say almost nothing.) Let’s take a look.
Before You Start: Have an Idea
Don’t go rushing into logo creation with no clue as to what you’re looking for. Spend some time developing ideas with a mind map or jotting down notes, perhaps focusing on keywords related to the website, band, or whatever it is you’re creating the logo for.
Is it modern? Is it whimsical? Or is it provocative? Perhaps it’s for a business dealing in timber, or maybe an after school club. These keywords should inform your choice of graphics, fonts, and shape (although they don’t necessarily have to be present as elements).
If you’re particularly artistic, you might spend a few moments roughly sketching some logo ideas to find out what works and what doesn’t. When you’re happy and you have a good idea of what you want from your logo, it’s time to start looking at the various tools available to create your eye-catching logo for as little cash as you can!
Create a Logo with a Striking Font
One simple way to create a logo for your website or business is to just use text. We’re not suggesting that you open a word processor app, type the words that will appear in your logo, and leave it like that (although this is always worth a try).
Instead, use one of the many font repositories on the web and try out the fonts that suit your needs. These sites usually have a field for typing in some text to preview what the font looks like, and this is a good way of gauging the suitability of a particular typeface.
Once you’re happy, check to see if you need to buy the font for commercial use (if you’re using it for business purposes or if you intend to profit from it). Some fonts, like those on Google Web Fonts, are free to use either way.
This is a trouble-free route to creating a logo, but is without the more elaborate elements such as accompanying graphics.
Find and Use a Free Logo Generator
Various online tools are available for designing a logo from right inside your browser.
These range from the simplistic CoolText, where you can easily select from a range of pre-designed logo themes and change the font, color, alignment, opacity, and such, to Hipster Logo Generator [Broken URL Removed] which provides you with the tools to make a modern, monochromatic logo (with optional color) that looks quite stylish.
While YouiDraw offers a browser-based logo creation tool, for the best results we recommend that you use their Chrome extension, which offers a greater degree of control over the elements included and the finished product. Indeed, the features available are the most comprehensive of the browser-based logo creators.
Google Sign-In is required to use YouiDraw.
If you’re finding these tools useful but are looking for that missing “X-Factor” to get your logo just right, these 10 inspirational sites can help.
Mobile & Desktop Apps Ideal for Creating Logos
Various mobile apps are available whose sole aim is to create a striking, memorable logo for you to use. Need a logo at the drop of a hat? Create it on your phone – anywhere!
Logos by Tweak [No longer available] is free for iPhone and iPad. Creating a logo with this app is simplicity itself: all you need to do is enter the text for your brand and choose a suitable theme (which includes the font), tweak the color, and start using the image.
InstaLogo Logo Creator, meanwhile, is a premium option at $9.99 (currently on offer at $4.99) but offers another means of creating a logo with a large choice of fonts and graphics. The finished logo is saved as a high quality, transparent PNG that you can share to other devices.
Logo Maker & Graphics Creator is just $2.99 and includes over 30 templates that can be modified, royalty free images and the ability to import new graphics from your camera of phone gallery. The results are polished, if a little cartoony.
Also available is LogoFactoryApp – Logo Maker which offers fonts, graphics and other elements that can be rearranged as needed. Note that the finished product, while impressive, can only be saved as a PNG and therefore cannot be viewed in some Android browsers.
Mac OS X
We’ve recently taken a look at Logo Design Studio, a logo creation tool for Mac OS X, and like the mobile tools above this comes with a collection of logo templates that can be used to develop your own personalised branding.
DIY Logos with Photoshop & Other Paint Packages
For those who have experience with Photoshop or its various competitors, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t embrace those tools. If, on the other hand, you don’t have the necessary skills, you should consider learning at least one of them.
YouTube has a collection of videos on creating logos in different paint packages.
For more help with Adobe Illustrator, see our excellent beginners guide.
The new desktop version of Pixlr is certainly worth downloading if you’re not already using it, and does much more than create logos!
Paint.NET has attracted a lot of users over the past few years as a functional replacement for Microsoft Paint.
Microsoft Paint (No, Really!)
Paint isn’t really good for much, but not only is it useful for editing and enhancing screenshots, it can come in handy when creating a logo.
These tutorials all feature useful tips for logo creation, so even if you don’t have the corresponding paint package, it is worth spending a few minutes watching each video. Our tips for creating a social media-friendly logo are also worth reading.
Find a Low-Cost Designer
Outsourcing design work is an option if you’re unable to create the logo that works for you, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Websites like Fiverr and 99Designs connect you with graphic designers who can create the personalized logo that works for you.
On Fiverr, everything costs just $5, which means you can get a logo for a ridiculously low price. There can be a trade-off with quality, however, so make sure you choose a provider with a good track record (each provider has a rating, and you can view their profiles to check average turnaround, language, etc).
As for 99Designs, as the name suggests, the creation of artwork with this service will cost you $99, with personalization applied to the chosen graphic within 24 hours.
Also, don’t forget to take a look at other low-cost logo creation options, which Dann has already summarized for you.
We’ve shown you five ways to create an eye-catching logo for next to nothing. Have you tried any of these methods? Perhaps you have a different idea? Tell us in the comments.
Image Credits: graphic designer Via Shutterstock