If you have a website, blog or business then you definitely need a logo.
Not sure where to start though? How the hell do you get a logo? Can I do it myself? Do I hire someone?
You can make something basic yourself to get started. Eventually, you’re going to want a professionally designed logo that’s going to stand out and effectively tell people who you are and help you become more recognizable.
So I have a nice list of options here for you to help you to get started, so you can find someone to design your logo exactly how you like it.
So I put together this video, or you can scroll past to read the written post!
Stop for a second.
This is important… What is a logo… really?
I recently redesigned the logo for this website and spoke about it here. I want to say that if you’re wanting to create a logo or even a name for your brand, then do not rush it.
A logo is a simple identifiable emblem or icon that is unique to the entity (or business) it represents, even if that emblem is pure text. Using certain visual elements, a logo creates an image that can be branded onto promotional material and clearly marks a promotion or product visually.
It’s more than just a simple identifier. A good logo that is designed well will give the viewer some idea or feel for it who the company is, what they do and the just how professional and reliable they are.
A clean-cut but smart looking logo says to a person that this company offers a good service or product in a professional manner – while a cluttered and poorly designed logo reeks of “this company is cheap and nasty“. So proper logo design can make or break that ‘first impression’ we’re all out there trying to nail.
You want it to be effective.
So keep it simple, iconic and avoid complicated designs or fonts. It should be easy to read and flexible enough to be used in multiple areas regardless of shape and color limitations. It may be worth googling some logos and getting a collection of logos you like for reference.
So test your logo in black and white to see if it works, show a few key people and make sure it’s likable and relevant.
But, let’s move onto how to make this happen!
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Make your Own Online
This is the budget solution for most people. Maybe you love the idea or challenge of doing it yourself, maybe you’re a good designer and are fully capable of creating a logo.
Maybe you just can’t afford it and this your best option.
So there are a few options you can try to create your own logo, and there are varying levels to this whole idea. But first, you can create a logo from scratch using a design or photo editing program. You can then export the file in a PNG for use on your website – or a vector PDF, AI or EPS for commercial printing.
Below are some programs perfect for the job
- Adobe Illustrator (part of Creative Cloud)
- Adobe Photoshop (part of Creative Cloud) – basic text logo tutorial here!
Those above programs will require the most expertise and a bit of knowledge with a computer. But there are also Websites out there that do the job. But if you’re handy with programs like these, they could be a good way to get your initial logo designed.
Otherwise, here are a few other options for you!
Brand Crowd is a simple logo creation website with a basic process. Simply hop on, find a design you like and then customize it. You’ll then be given some options on color, icons, and elements to make your logo in a nice visual interface.
They also have the option to ‘buy out’ the design if you really like it, so no one else can use that emblem in their future designs. This means your logo can be more uniquely for you.
You can then modify things like the text, layout and add shapes to your design to further customize it. You can also save these and come back later. So you can take your time when creating your logo.
You pay a small fee (last I checked it was $20) to download the logo once it’s finished. Or you can sign up for more options via their membership which can be great if you want to do more than just one variation.
Brand Crowd is a simple logo creation website with a simple process – type in your business name and pick some logos you like. Looka will then generate a number of options for you!
This is a nice process for creating a logo but I found mixed results. Sometimes you got good designs, other times they were pretty ordinary. The process is also a little longer than Brand Crowd but you may prefer it, so it depends on your taste.
Look also has its own customizer and you pay usually $20 or more for your final logo.
Canva is a bit more advanced but a fun editor for those not willing to move to the complexity of Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.
Canva can be used to create not just logos, but social media graphics, posts, PDF’s and a whole bunch of other options. I think Canva allows the most freedom is perhaps the biggest of the design tools out of the 3 just mentioned.
Most importantly, they have a logo creator.
You can start from scratch, drawing shapes and adding test to create your logo or find something pre-existing in the templates and customize it.
Buy a Premade Logo
The following options allow you to find a logo you like, purchase it and get your name added to it. One of the reasons these websites are worth the money is the logo you buy is for sale only once, no one else will buy that logo after you (or before, or you wouldn’t be able to buy it!)
So the following are some resources you can try:
A simple website with clean, professional logos. Explore a category that matches your business and go from there!
Logo Mood is definitely a place for the higher-end designs and quite often, higher price tags to match.
Again, once you buy a logo here you hold all of the rights and it’s yours! Another high-end marketplace with very well crafter logos and designs.
There’s some really cool stuff at Logo Ground and it offers a vastly different style of designs than Logo Mood.
Same as above, buy a logo and get it, customize the text to your needs and receive high-resolution bitmap images and commercial ready vector files for your use.
This a nice, simple website and tends to be a bit cheaper than the above options. Quality varies but there are plenty to choose from.
Find a local or online graphic designer
This option will most likely be the easiest but one of the most expensive options out there. If you’re truly serious, you will most likely go this route for your logo design.
It’s simple, search google for a Graphic Designer in your area (so search for ‘Graphic designer Rome’ or whatever area you live in). If you have trouble, try asking friends on Facebook / Instagram. Facebook business groups are a great place to do this.
You do need to do a little leg work, but you will most likely find someone who is better at communicating with you as they’re from your area and speak your language.
They will talk to you about what you like and are looking for, it may be good to send them samples of logos you like, or imagery/icons you think will do a good job.
Skill level can vary though, so try to look at previous examples first.
Note: at the time of writing this, I am a graphic designer who creates logos. Feel free to check out my design website if you’re curious.)
Start a Contest at 99 Designs
The idea behind 99 designs is simple – you post a job known as a ‘contest’ and a bunch of artists create variations you can choose from.
A good and bad thing is that you choose the price of the logo design and go from there. It’s good because you’re in control of the budget but the bad thing is that if you don’t offer good money, you will most likely get poor results.
The other issue with contests is that a lot of good designers won’t bother working on a project unless they know they’re going to get paid (fair is fair!), so you get a lot of designers who aren’t quite that good. But there still seems to be some talent in the contest pool over at 99 designs.
Because of this, 99 Designs also has designers you can search and work direct with instead of a contest, so you get proper, one on one service for your logo which can land you with a better design.
Check out Design Crowd
Design Crowd is a graphic design focused freelancing website.
It’s an outsourcing and crowdsourcing platform that gives you the option to find a specific designer or enter a design contest, much like 99 designs.
This site has some really talented designers working for them so give it a go!
Find a Freelancer Online
Working one on one with a freelancer may suit you perfectly. You get to deal with one person and get to work on the details over time.
If you’re a picky person or want a logo that is incredibly unique, then you should consider going this way as it will mean the design you have made will be based off your brief/discussion with the designer.
This is better than a generic design bought online or a poor design created by someone who is inexperienced.
Fiverr is a cool place to look for logo designers ranging in price from very cheap to expensive.
Simply head to Fiverr, sign up and search for logo designer and you’ll get a number of options. Each person has a star rating and portfolio so you can check out the quality before committing. You can get very cheap designs if you’re looking for a quick and cheap approach or you can go with something more expensive.
Fiverr is a great platform for just about any design work but the quality is often not top tier. Again, seeking out a local or online professional with a proven track record may produce better quality.
Try some of these other Freelancing Networks
The following sites are Freelancing networks with a vast range of people to work with. I grouped these together as these sites are a little more generic and less focused than the above recommendations, but could be worth looking at if you don’t find what you need above.
Any of the above options should land you a logo!
Remember to take your time and don’t rush the process. A good logo that works well isn’t going to happen in a few days. Give it at least a couple of weeks or more, sit on the designs and make sure you’re happy when you do pick one.
Getting your logo right early in the game is highly valuable and saves you some headaches. if you decide to rebrand, you may need to time things really well or possibly throw out a heap of promotional material that’s designed using an outdated logo.
Get a good logo early. Establish your brand’s visuals and overall look and feel.
So before making a final decision, ask this question…
What is a logo… really?
A logo is a simple identifiable emblem or icon that is unique to the entity (or business) it represents. Using certain visual elements a logo creates an image that can be branded onto promotional material that clearly marks a promotion or product with that entity.
More than just a simple identifier, a good logo that is designed well will give the viewer some idea or ‘feel’ for it who the company is, what they do and the just how professional and reliable they are.
A clean-cut but smart looking logo says to a person that this company offers a good service or product in a professional manner.
While a cluttered and poorly designed logo reeks of “this company is cheap and nasty“. So proper logo design can make or break that ‘first impression’ we’re all out there trying to nail.
The Nike Logo, simple, memorable and highly effective.
What Makes a Good Logo?
You need to understand exactly what works! While you can look at some of the most successful logos in the world (think McDonalds or Nike), you can also look at some of the bad ones – terribly designed messes that are just plain ugly to the human eye – and learn from them.
But if you really want to be certain you’ve got a winner, try to stick to these guidelines:
1. It must be memorable!
If someone were to see a logo a number of times and not recognize it, than the logo is what I like to call a ‘fail‘.
Like a car that doesn’t start, or a shoe without a sole a logo needs to serve it’s main purpose. To create an image that is remembered, so when the logo is viewed again the person who sees it knows exactly who it represents.
This breeds familiarity between the viewer of the logo, the people it represents and what they do – the main purpose of the logo.
2. Aim for Simple and Unique!
Simplicity makes things convenient & easier to process.
An overly detailed logo could take too long to take in, and recognition becomes harder if you have to stop and think about what you’re looking at before making the connection. A complicated logo may be hard to see from a distance or when shrunk while a simple logo that is different from anything else out there is quick and easy to process and differentiates itself from other brands.
To keep your logo unique, try looking at other logos within the same industry – aim not to create something similar to that.
A simple logo that tells a larger story of the company does in a smart way is always memorable!
3. It must have, to some degree, a common ‘theme’ with who it represents.
If you created a logo for a hamburger shop with a shoe icon as your logo – you’d be feel pretty stupid wouldn’t you?
While not all logo’s need an image, the overall look & feel of the logo must match the product or service it represents.
Hot food works with a warm looking logo, just like an ice cream shop is represented well with cooler colors. Make your design appropriate so that when someone sees the logo they have a pretty good idea of what it represents.
4. Make it Flexible.
Logo’s are meant to be put everywhere, that’s how branding works.
But the space in which a logo must go quite often changes; it can be square, rectangular or even round. You need to make a logo which either fits well into most places or can be rearranged to.
On top of that the format can change in terms of color – it may also be printed or engraved. Your logo must work in black and white as well as color since you may not always have the option to include color in your branding – this is aided heavily by simplicity.
If you’ve ever tried to fit a square logo in a long horizontal banner, you’d be familiar with this need! You can’t waste the space and you can’t stretch the logo out of proportion (please don’t stretch it!), so make the logo more flexible.
What types of Logos are there?
Massive brands like McDonalds, Coca Cola and Nike are the best in the world at using their iconic branding to spread awareness of their business without a symbolic representation of their product or service actualy is (some being text only and relying on their well known name) – but will it work for you?
These 3 businesses all use logos that represent nothing to do with their service, but that’s because they are established.
An established business can slowly evolve their logo into something that is unique and doesn’t even really relate to what they do because of their reputation or alternative method in which they market their services.
A logo without a ‘theme’ can be used effectively with the words contained in the logo (eg. Monster Print – would obviously have something to do with printing), or the clever use of the logo on themed branding which tells the reader what the business is all about. For example, if you saw a picture of a 3D Television with the Sony logo clearly branded on it – you’d pretty quickly make the connection that Sony are selling 3D TVs.
There is usually some external method (outside of the logo) of expressing what the business does.
It may also be handy to consider an alternative – something iconic that represents what the business does. You can use an actual symbol or an object, or you can arrange the wording in a clever way that allows for something to be added or modified in a clever way to get the point across. It can be something like changing a letter or adding an object between words.
Remember the following
Do yourself and the world a big favor – create your logo in Vector!
Avoid bitmaps, avoid clip art, and create it entirely from scratch to be certain it is unique.
Vector is a scalable format and will make your logo easy to use for just about any format or media, and it’s incredibly easy to apply changes to – if you’re working with a client there’s a big chance they’ll ask for a lot of changes.
Work with CMYK colors, or if you’re only using 2 or 3 colors – pick Pantone equivalents so there’s a color standard that the logo can be matched to when it is being reproduced.
Work in programs like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW to create your logo in vector format & in the right color space.
Also try to keep your use of text neat and legible – no more than 3 fonts! Keep it clean and tidy and don’t use the over-done ‘crazy’ looking fonts or fonts that are too thin that no-one will be able to read. Keep it simple and professional.
As you can see creating the actual logo is a very small part of the whole process!
When you’re done, the next step depends on your situation. If the logo is for you then stop when you’re happy. If it’s for a client you may want to show a few variations (3 or 4 at most – too many will just confuse them), and get ready for changes. Once they’re happy, you’ve finished the design process!
Handing over the logo
A good designer will offer a style guide or a basic information sheet with colors and fonts that match the logo, so it may be worth creating a style guide for the logo. This is handy as a client will more than likely try to use the logo in ways that are just visually horrible, having a guide for spacing and general usage MAY help to avoid such ‘logo abuse’ (I hate seeing my proud logo designs being used in an ugly way!).
Otherwise you can export the logo to different file formats and supply them to the your client (or yourself) with all text converted to curves. For professional usage a PDF & EPS file is a must (possibly an AI file may be handy too), but many clients also require something simple (to put into their evil word documents!) – so save a jpeg also.
These files can be emailed, uploaded to DropBox or popped onto a USB. Whatever suits your situation and relationship with your client.
Kick back, take it easy for about 5 seconds and move onto the next job!
This process only covers the basic guidelines and not actual program usage. Good design does take some experience so practice makes perfect!
If you’re not a designer or not looking to become one – then hire a professional to design a logo for you – otherwise you’ll probably end up with a substandard logo that represents your image as that of a sub-standard business. It may cost a decent chunk of money, but it’ll be worth it with a good designer.
Remember, making the logo is the easy part, understanding what you want for the logo, and what will work is where the real skill comes in. So knowing what makes a good logo is essential.
Thank you for reading this post, I hope you found it useful. Also, leave a comment below if you have a logo you’d like to share. otherwise, I’ll talk to you next time!