The first thing you should know about creating your own brand identity, whether on paper or in real life, is that there are several ways to go about this. You can either hire someone else to do it for you (and spend a lot), or you could save some money by doing it yourself with one of many great apps available today.
But which ones work well? Which ones have a good amount of options? Let's find out!
In order to choose the right app to help you create a logo, we'll start with what kind of output you want from them. For example, if you're looking to create an eye-catching new logo, you'd probably be better off using something like Adobe Illustrator rather than something simpler like Canva. However, if all you really care about is having access to hundreds of different colors and fonts, then any basic template creator will get the job done just fine.
Let's take a look at each type of program separately so you can more accurately assess their features. We've included links to where they can be downloaded below every description. If you don't see a link here, it means they aren't currently offering downloads for that particular platform but still serve as useful alternatives.
For Mac users, try Design Space ($9 per month) or Logo Maker Pro ($19.99).
For Windows users, check out Crello (free trial), Brandiose (free trial), or Logaster (free trial).
For iOS users, give Pixelmator Pro ($5.99) or Ulysses+ ($7.99) a shot.
If you're interested in getting started designing graphics online, our guide to learning how to draw might come in handy.
When choosing software to create your own logo, you also need to consider exactly what sort of outcome you want. Do you want a simple black and white icon, or would you prefer a full color version? Or perhaps you're trying to keep things simple so you can focus solely on coming up with ideas -- in which case, you may not even need anything fancy.
You should think carefully about these questions before downloading anything. Don't worry too much about finding "the perfect app" unless you specifically want to. Instead, pick something that has enough features to meet your needs while being easy enough that anyone who comes across your creation won't feel overwhelmed. That way, you can put together a logo that reflects your personality and makes sense when seen next to other brands' products.
Here are some popular templates that provide excellent starting points for beginners. They're great because most of them already include text boxes, shapes, and arrows that let you customize everything to suit whatever message you want to convey about your product or service.
Brands such as Google, Apple, Starbucks, Uber, Facebook...even YouTube have used custom icons made with similar programs. Even though those companies paid millions for custom art, you can likely recreate these designs yourself very simply with one of these tools.
Keep in mind that sometimes, people who create logos for businesses actually end up using their branding images themselves. This happens often with celebrities, politicians, scientists, etc., since it's hard for others to replicate their exact style. So instead of spending hours going through endless templates, you could just use one of these pre-made works as inspiration for your final masterpiece.
Also note that you can purchase some premium services within certain programs that allow you to upload photos into placeholders and add backgrounds, which would definitely speed up the process. But again, you shouldn't obsess over picking the absolute BEST option, especially if you only plan on printing small versions of your finished artwork. As long as you end up with something clean and legible, it doesn't matter if it took 10 minutes or 3 days to produce.
If you're curious to learn more about the world of professional graphic design, check out these sites dedicated entirely to teaching aspiring artists.
Once you've decided what you need from a logo maker, it's time to figure out which specific tool you want to use. While there are tons of free apps on the market designed to streamline the entire production process, they usually lack the advanced customization options found in professional graphic design suites.
Instead of saving time, you could actually waste more of yours trying to navigate around poorly laid out menus and confusing interface elements. Plus, after paying dozens or potentially thousands of dollars for a designer to create a logo for you, why wouldn't you want to show it off properly? It seems silly to pay twice for the same experience.
It goes without saying that hiring a pro isn't always necessary if all you need is a quick logo, but it does offer some advantages. For starters, experienced professionals tend to understand the importance of details like readability, scale, and consistency between multiple iterations. Also, skilled creators often have connections to high quality font libraries, stock image websites, and other resources that can significantly reduce the cost of producing a branded piece.
So if you're serious about wanting a truly unique product, investing extra cash upfront in a graphic designer may be worth it. Just remember that you may not necessarily benefit from higher profits down the road once your business begins expanding beyond its initial stages. In fact, failing to keep costs low in the early years can cause problems later on.
That said, if you're working on a shoestring budget but still want to ensure your project looks as good as possible, there are plenty of free options available to explore. Here are two examples of decent offerings that won't break the bank.
One option is Fotor Logo Creator, which lets you input a desired width and height, along with preferred format choices. The resulting file includes a preview window containing a scaled-down sample of your design. Then, you can tweak everything until you're happy with your results. Once you run out of space, you can click the Download button to grab a PNG, SVG, or GIF.
Another option is Canva, which provides a wide variety of templates ranging from 2D line drawings and pictures to fully colored vector illustrations. When you select a theme, you can adjust the background, change the dimensions, and replace existing imagery with placeholder photo assets. Afterward, you can decide to export the result as a JPEG, PDF, or PNG.
As mentioned earlier, many of these platforms also offer premium upgrades. These typically involve adding additional fonts, changing the layout of buttons, and giving users greater control over the appearance of their creations. Since the price tags vary widely depending on which part of the application you want to buy, we recommend checking out their pricing pages directly.
However, if you're willing to stick to free trials of premium plans, here are a few recommendations based on feedback from readers.
Folks seem to enjoy Pixlr Editor the most among mobile devices. On desktop browsers, both Photoshop Sketch and PaintShop Pro stand out thanks to their ability to import other files.
There's no telling yet whether anyone enjoys Crello the most, although the simplicity of its templates lends itself nicely to everyone from solopreneurs to large enterprises. Its biggest drawback appears to be limited styling capabilities.
Brandish offers a nice balance between ease of use and power. Although it takes some practice to become proficient with the program, it comes with a generous 30-day free trial period during which you can test out almost everything offered. Afterwards, you can subscribe monthly, quarterly, or annually.
After figuring out what you want and narrowing your search field, now it's finally time to turn to the fun stuff. Whether you realize it or not, you've been itching to play around with various concepts and styles for months, maybe even years. Now's your chance!
First, open whichever app you chose to use. Next, tap the plus symbol (+) located under Effects & Filters. From there, scroll down to Customize Text Box & Shape and hit the blue Create New Effect button. You'll notice that lots of cool effects appear. Select the one you want and drag it onto your canvas underneath the relevant box.
Next, move the text inside the shape to wherever you want it to land. Adjusting the size, opacity, transparency, rotation, and position of your object(s) gives you total freedom over how to present it. To finish off, name your item and press Done.
Repeat this step whenever you want to add another element to your design, such as a word bubble, arrow, or gradient fill. Remember to follow the steps above for each separate effect/object combination.
Now that you've created your logo, it's important to share it publicly so other people can view it and enjoy it. Unfortunately, sharing your projects via social media isn't straightforward. Most platforms limit the number of times that you can post updates or screenshots, which often leads to duplicated efforts. Luckily, however, there are quite a few solutions to this problem.
I’m a designer, so when someone asks me what they should use to make their own logo or if it's possible to hire an expert to do this work for them, one of the first things I consider is price tag.
But not all designers are made equal—and anyone who wants to create his or her own custom logo doesn't necessarily have much money either. So how does one go about making their very own professional-looking icon in Photoshop? Or hiring an expensive service like 99designs? There are plenty of options out there, but let’s take a look at some lesser known ways you can get your new logo done for less than $100.
You could always try creating your own logo using any number of tools—Photoshop being the most popular option. This method will allow you to choose colors and fonts as well as play around with different shapes until something looks good enough. But many people find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices available and usually end up settling on boring color schemes and typefaces.
It may be tempting to think that since logos don't require a lot of technical skill, then why bother learning anything beyond basic Illustrator skills? However, even though Adobe has simplified its programs over time, designing from scratch still requires a bit more finesse than simply picking colors and text styles. It also takes experience working with color theory, typography, etc., which means you'll probably want to learn these basics anyway. If you're looking to save yourself some dough, we recommend taking a few classes before diving into logo creation. You can start with our guide to becoming a better designer with no prior training.
Another drawback of going DIY is that once you've created your logo, you won't be able to update it unless you pay another person to redraw everything. Also, depending on where you live, you might need to register your copyright with the government (which costs money).
If you feel confident in your abilities, but aren't ready to shell out hundreds for a freelance gig, here are several places where you can quickly and cheaply pick up high quality vector art files:
Pixabay - A great resource for photographers and designers alike, Pixabay offers royalty-free images for personal and commercial projects. They offer thousands of stock photos from professionals across categories such as architecture, food & drink, fashion, health, nature, pets, technology, vehicles, animals, travel, home decor, and entertainment. The site is ad-supported, meaning if you run ads on your website/blog, you can place links to those sites within your image credits whenever you upload.
Unsplash - Unsplash works similarly to Pixabay, offering beautiful photography for both personal and business purposes. Like Pixabay, Unsplash gives credit to users who post under Creative Commons Zero license upon uploading. Unlike Pixabay, however, Unsplash only supports JPEG, PNG, SVG, WebP, GIF, TIFF, ICO, ARJ, XCF, AI, and EPS file formats.
Vecteezy - Offering designs specifically meant for websites, Vecteasey provides vector icons and graphics perfect for webmasters and developers. Their simple interfaces mean that even non-graphic artists can use the site. In addition to providing vectors, the site also allows for rasterized versions, allowing you to use your favorite photo editor to edit the final product.
Logo Maker Pro - With LogoMakerPro, you can create your logo using your webcam, phone camera, computer screen, or tablet. All you have to do after choosing your preferred background is select your font size and style, and voila! Your brand new logo appears. After you finish, you can download your finished logo OR send it directly to Slack, Discord, Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, YouTube channels, Blogger blogs, Google AdWords Accounts, Microsoft Outlook Account, Amazon S3 Bucket, Dropbox, OneDrive, Evernote, Box, etc., via email.
For those interested in paying a little extra for convenience, you can opt to purchase a monthly subscription for unlimited downloads per month.
Finally, keep in mind that while services like Designhill charge upwards of £400 ($600) for simple logos, other companies provide similar results for significantly cheaper prices. For example, GraphicRiver charges approximately $35 per hour for small businesses and between $50-$150 for large corporations.
While there isn't a definitive "best" way to make a logo, we did come across two resources worth mentioning. First up, VectorPortal, an incredible database filled with tons of logo templates. Simply search through the template gallery for inspiration, and when you see something cool, click on it and you'll receive instant access to the full file. Additionally, the site features tutorials and community forums.
The second source, Freepik, offers premium pre-made clipart packs designed to fit specific needs. Each pack contains multiple elements ranging from social media posts and brochures to flyers and presentations. While the site itself is pretty straightforward, the process of downloading each individual element can sometimes prove challenging due to inconsistent naming conventions.
There are dozens of apps that claim to help you create stunning logos in minutes, but often times, they fall short. We found ourselves frustrated with the overwhelming amounts of information offered and how difficult it was to navigate each step. To combat this problem, we decided to test three of the top logo makers currently available on the market to determine whether they were truly worth recommending.
We compared three major competitors: Brandkit, Venngage, and Iconosquare. Here's what we liked and disliked about each platform:
Pros: Easy interface, intuitive drag-and-drop builder, easy customization, clean lines, responsive layouts, mobile compatibility, useful analytics, free trial
Cons: Limited variety of elements, limited editing capabilities, confusing pricing structure, outdated user interface, poor customer support, slow loading speeds
Pros: Simple drag and drop builder, intuitive controls, minimal effort required, helpful tutorial videos, customizable backgrounds, free trials, fast delivery, premium upgrades available
Cons: Confusing pricing plan options, outdated UI, poor customer support, slow loading speed
Pros: Clean, minimalist interface, quick turnaround, intuitive drag-and-drop builder, advanced customization, helpful tutorials, affordable plans, mobile compatible
Cons: Difficult navigation, frustrating layout changes, poor customer support, slow loading speed
Overall, we ended up giving the highest praise to Iconosqure. Not only did it meet every single one of our expectations, but exceeded them. If you're interested in trying out Iconosqure, here are some tips to ensure maximum efficiency during your project:
Create a separate account for your logo
Click Skip Intro on the homepage
Select Customize Template Gallery
Scroll down to the bottom right corner of the page and hit Create New Project
Hit Continue When Adding Projects
Once you open a project, you'll notice that Iconosqure automatically creates folders for each client based on date range. By default, the app organizes files according to alphabetical order. To customize your organization settings, head back to the main menu and scroll down to Files. From here, you can add additional subfolders. Alternatively, you can switch to the Alphabet view instead. Either way, Iconosqure lets you organize your assets however you'd prefer.
When adding new items, Iconosqure makes it incredibly easy to name your file and select your desired shape. Once selected, you can adjust the width, height, rotation angle, shadow blur, shadow opacity, fill color, stroke color, and line weight. These properties give you near-total control over your logo's appearance.
Lastly, Iconosqure includes a handy feature called Style Sheets. Using this tool, you can apply certain rules to groups of objects to achieve a uniform aesthetic throughout your entire logo portfolio.
If you’re looking for an easy way to create a great-looking, professional-quality business card or letterhead quickly, there are plenty of ways out there—but often they involve paying through the nose for something that is either not very customizable (a template) or requires some kind of "graphic design" background (which will cost more than $20).
But if all you want is something quick and simple with good results, try making it yourself using one of these nine free options. They'll let you customize almost any type of document in minutes, while giving you access to hundreds of logos from around the world to choose from.
There's no reason anyone should have to pay ridiculous prices just to get their own logo printed somewhere. Here's how to do this for free...
Canva has been described as a "Pinterest for designers," so we're going to start our list here by including it because it does work like Pinterest but offers far more customization features. The app lets you upload photos or images, add text, change colors, insert charts and graphs, and much more — all for free!
You don't even necessarily need an account on Canva to get started creating a new logo. Just click New Project at the top right corner of the screen and select Logo Design. This opens up a blank canvas where you can drag elements together and see them layered over each other until you've got what looks like a nice logo. You can also search for templates online, which makes finding something similar really fast. Once you find something you like, simply copy and paste into place.
The biggest downside to Canva is its lack of social media integration. There isn't currently a feature where people who follow you can view your designs. If you plan to post those documents publicly elsewhere, however, then it still might be worth considering.
Pikazo is another webapp for designing anything related to graphics. You can download templates, edit existing ones, and pick from thousands of icons, illustrations, fonts, and backgrounds. Everything is organized neatly under different categories such as Business Cards, Letterheads, T-Shirts & More. When you open a project, your entire workspace is filled with various shapes and ready-to-use assets. It's incredibly convenient and definitely worth checking out.
Visme is a premium website offering everything from premade templates, icon sets, and animations to vector art tools that allow users to draw custom vectors. But if you only want to focus on logo creation, there are lots of pre-made logos available to use. Searching specifically for "business cards" brings up 511 unique designs, while searching for "logo" yields 749 unique designs. If none of those suit your needs, you can always check out the main menu to see if the site hosts what you're looking for.
4. Adobe Spark Post
Adobe Spark Post allows you to build beautiful infographics, posters, presentations, newsletters, eBooks, etc., using nothing but Photoshop CC 2019 and HTML5. What makes this tool stand apart is that you have full control over every aspect of your design, whether that means choosing specific typography styles, changing colors, adding effects, adjusting line thickness, etc. All the changes made appear live once you publish.
One cool thing about Adobe Spark is that it supports exporting files in multiple formats like PDF, JPEG, PNG, SVG, PSD, HTML, EPUB, DOCX, XLSX, and CSV. So if you ever decide that you want to stop working within the platform itself, you won't have to worry about losing any data.
When building a logo, you may want to consider starting off with a simpler design first before moving onto something more complex later. In that case, you could give Adobe Spark a whirl. Not sure where to begin? Try taking advantage of its built-in library to learn more about how to put together projects like flyers and brochures. No experience required!
5. Google Drawings
Google Drawings is a cloud-based service that's completely free to use. With it, you can create diagrams, flowcharts, mind maps, and many more types of visuals. To create a logo, go to Create " Drawing " Freeform " Choose Shape. Then, when drawing your shape, you can hold down Control + Right Click to set the fill color and stroke width. Finally, hit Return/Enter to save the file.
6. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is a word processor that comes packed with tons of useful functions. One of those is the ability to import image files and turn them into thumbnails. Once loaded, you can resize, rotate, flip, recolor, and adjust opacity. For example, say you want to convert a photo into a thumbnail and position it next to your desired font. Simply highlight both objects, go to Format " Pictures " Make Into Icon button. A pop-up window appears allowing you to preview the final product before saving the file.
Illustrator is a powerful yet user-friendly program designed to help artists draw appealing artwork. While most people aren't familiar with this popular program, it's perfect for logo creation since it provides numerous editing capabilities. Whether you're trying to tweak the size of certain letters, or maybe remove part of your design altogether, Illustrator gives you the option to make adjustments to individual parts of your logo separately instead of having to redraw everything from scratch.
8. Paint Shop Pro
Paint Shop Pro was developed in 1987 by Corel Corporation and became one of the industry leaders in digital painting programs. Today, it remains one of the few pieces of software capable of producing high quality 2D artwork that rivals traditional methods. After opening the application, you'll notice several tabs along the bottom of the screen. These include Tools, Windows, Layers, Paths, Gradients, Brushes, Palettes, Filters, and History. Each tab houses dozens of useful functions that can enhance your finished products.
9. Affinity Designer
Affinity Designer is an advanced, non-destructive bitmap editor that works well with layers and transparency groups. Its interface includes two panels side-by-side: one for viewing your chosen layer(s), and the other for selecting brushes, paths, masks, filters, gradients, palettes, etc. From there, you can perform operations like blending, dropping, copying, pasting, undoing, highlighting, deleting, expanding, contracting, etc.
For beginners, the most important aspect of Affinity Designer is learning how to use the UI effectively. It takes time to understand exactly which buttons accomplish what task. That said, its workflow system helps navigate between items like layers and selections. Plus, the community forums provide support whenever needed.
After deciding which method suits your needs, now it's time to actually put pen to paper and create something that resembles a real logo. Before getting too carried away, take note of these essential tips:
Find inspiration wherever you can. Look for examples online, read books, watch YouTube videos, browse magazines, etc. Finding inspiration doesn't require a lot of money. Check Craigslist or eBay listings to catch deals on used materials, look at clipart sites like Stock.xchng, and visit websites like Behance.com for portfolios of completed projects.
Once you come across something you'd like to adapt, ask yourself how it would fit alongside your brand. Does it feel cohesive? Is it aligned with your values? If you end up liking the idea, you can buy the rights to it online. There are countless royalty-free stock image libraries like Unsplash and Pixabay that offer millions of choices. Or perhaps you found a designer whose portfolio matches your style. Either way, buying a license ensures that others can't replicate your concept and potentially harm your reputation.
Make sure it fits your target audience. Take note of what your ideal clients' preferences are and stick to them. Don't forget to factor in things like age demographics, gender, lifestyle interests, hobbies, profession, location, etc. Also remember to think beyond words. Consider incorporating symbols, colors, numbers, textures, patterns, images, animation, sound, motion, etc.
Consider hiring someone else. Many companies hire outside professionals to assist in logo development. Professional marketers know what language to speak to potential customers, while graphic designers are skilled at handling technical aspects. By outsourcing, you'll gain access to skillsets you never had.
Don't obsess over perfection. As long as you're happy with the end result, why spend hours tweaking the details? Your goal shouldn't be to produce the absolute best logo possible. Instead, aim to improve upon whatever you initially came up with.
Take notes. Always keep track of your progress. Write down ideas, thoughts, questions, etc. Use separate notebooks for sketchbook drawings and detailed planning sessions.
In short, you can create an amazing logo design for virtually zero dollars using any of these resources. Now all you have left to do is share your creations with friends and family — and hopefully inspire everyone else reading this article to do the same!
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