How to create a logoEven if you are not a graphic designer
Understanding how to create a logo can be useful in several ways. It certainly is if you are about to start a new business, if you are digitizing a business, or if you want to take care of your branding.
Today, the logo is the symbol that represents the identity of a company or a freelancer. Thanks to the logo, a brand can enter people’s imaginations to the point of being recognized as unique and unmistakable among thousands of competitors.
If a logo strikes the eye and is recognizable, it helps to strengthen the brand identity and differentiate the company in the minds of customers. To create your logo, it is not necessary to spend a fortune; on the contrary, in many cases, you can create a free logo with a professional appearance. We will explain how to do it below.
In summary, on this page, we will explain:
- How to make a custom logo
- What online programs should I use to create a free logo?
- What are the professional programs to create logos?
- the characteristics that a professional logo must have, and much more.
Rules for creating a logo
There are no hard-and-fast rules on how to create a logo. You can choose to create a logo using online tools, a vector logo using professional programs, create logos for social media, or design logos. None of these choices are wrong; you just need to figure out which one is best suited to your business needs. Of course, the goal of a professional logo is to make the company it represents instantly recognizable and distinguishable from its competitors.
Concretely, how is a logo made?
Logo: Constituent Elements
(Meanwhile, let’s shed some light on the etymology: Thee ter “logotype”) derives from the English logotype and is a word made up o a logo (in Greed, speech)hand; e type = in English, letter).
A logo can consist of:
- text only
- symbol only
- text + symbol
- (+ pay off)
Therefore, a company logo can be created simply by writing the brand name, drawing a symbol that communicates the company vision, or combining both elements. Sometimes a slogan can also be added under the logo—a message with a strong impact, also called a payoff.
The graphic element is the figure, the image, or the logo icon. It can be of several types:
- logotype: it is a typographical sequence that shows the company name or an acronym. It is a logo made up of written and pronounceable text, for which the lettering or font chosen is essential. E.g., Barilla, Rocchetta, or Cirio, find an acronym and post the images!
How do you choose the right font for your logo? The golden feature is that it is legible on any support or format in which it will be printed. You can find a huge choice of fonts and writings online on the DaFont website. Here you can download free fonts, or you can choose some by donating to the author.
- pictogram: it is a stylization of a real object that describes the company’s activities. It is characterized by simplicity and communicative immediacy.
- diagram: it is a completely abstract sign, a graphic device that strikes and intrigues consumers.
E.g., the three stripes of Adidas.
When creating a logo, it is often accompanied by a slogan, called a pay-off, which serves to reinforce the message you want to communicate. The logo you choose for your company must not only be beautiful and captivating but also express your corporate vision. A winning choice could be to highlight a keyword that encompasses the area in which your brand operates.
The pay-off helps you in this purpose because it is a message placed under the logo that can become an integral part of it, and if it is artfully constructed, it will stick in the minds of users like a magic formula. Just think of the examples of Nike, Apple, and Red Bull.
For example, breaking down the NIKE logo, the swoosh symbol is the diagram; the word NIKE with that specific font (lettering) is the logo; and the slogan “Just do it” is the payoff. Sometimes it can be found with only the Nike writing, other times with the diagram plus the payoff.
Curiosity: In 1971, the Nike logo was commissioned by Phil Knight for Carolyn Davidson. The famous swoosh was created for $2 an hour, for a total of $35.
Both for the name you would like to give to your company and for the pay-off, you may need the advice of a copywriter who can help you with the naming and will have to make sure that the logo, naming, and pay-off are free from copyright, i.e., that they have already been used by someone else, as well as the domain of your website.
If you want to learn more about the payoff, you can consult the SEMrush blog article on how to write a winning payoff for your company.
In creating a logo, the web content editor plays a vital role. Find out with a quiz if you have the skills for this role!
How to make a logo: workarounds
A logo can be born in different ways:
- drawn down
Hand-draw a logo
If you were to be kidnapped by a surge of inspiration and if at that moment you only had paper, pen, and inkwell available, don’t worry; go ahead and draw and express all your creativity. It is not essential to create a logo on the computer.
How do I draw a logo by hand? This depends on your fantasy. But once you have created your logo in an analog way, you can always digitize it by following three simple steps:
- scan at 300 dpi;
- saving in the.jpeg extension;
- Digitize it with a graphics program that allows you to have a vector version. svg, or.png.
Create a digital logo
If you have basic graphic skills, you can try your hand at a digital design of your logo, choosing one of the programs to create logos among the professional and non-professional ones, which we will see in the following paragraph.
Development of a vector logo
How do I create a vector logo? Some graphics programs allow you to create a logo that has the.svg extensions, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Autocad, and Corel Draw. But what does a vector logo mean? A file with an. svg extension can be adapted to any advertising format you want to create. In fact, unlike raster images, which are the most commonly used, a vector image is described by geometric primitives instead of a pixel grid.
For example, a.jpeg photo is a raster file with a precise resolution that can be extended up to a certain point; otherwise, the quality will be lost. On the other hand, a vector file, due to its intrinsic characteristics, can be infinitely scalable and will always remain in high definition without any loss of image detail. To learn more, check out this page on vector graphics. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get free vector images. What you can do is download free trial versions of professional programs.
How to create a logo for free: programs available online
If at the moment you can’t budget for licensing Adobe programs, don’t despair; there is always an alternative solution. There is software that allows you to create a logo without using Photoshop or Illustrator. You can create a custom logo using free online tools such as:
Creating a free logo with Canva is very intuitive. Canva is a free online program with some paid features. In the free version, this tool has a simple editor and a library of free logos that you can modify according to your tastes and needs. With the editor, you can make all the changes you want, e.g., change colors, sizes, fonts, and add graphic elements.
The downside to these free, ready-made logos is that they are used a lot, so it takes some work to customize them. Once you are satisfied with the logo you have created, you can download it to your computer, choosing between png, jpeg, standard PDF format, or, for printing, GIF (in an experimental phase). The recommended format is png, an extension with higher quality than jpeg that allows you to maintain transparency and opacity and therefore use your logo as a watermark.
Logotype Creator is a tool that allows you to create free logos. To use it, simply register for free or login with your Facebook social profile. With this tool, you can start with a basic icon and modify its colors, dimensions, shadows, and transparencies. The editor of this tool is very easy to use and allows you to intervene on different layers of the image and the text. Also, you can add clipart. In short, you can customize your logo as you like. Once you have finished your work, you can save it on your PC in jpeg or png format.
This tool is also very simple to use. It is an online program with which you can create logos and graphics for free. To use it, simply register for free or login with Facebook.
To create a free logo, four simple steps enough:
- Choose between an abstract image, symbol, or logotype.
- Choose the type of font.
- Choose the base color.
- Enter your company name and product category.
At the end of these steps, you will be offered a variety of solutions, and you will have to go through four more steps:
- Choose the option you like best.
- Choose the color you prefer from four variants.
- Customize the logo: once you have reached this step, a very simple editor will open. Here you can rotate, resize, and add shapes and text.
- Once you have finished your work, by clicking on “Continue,” you can save the logo as a jpeg or png.
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Create a logo using professional programs
There are many programs for creating a logo, but let’s try to navigate to make the right choice. If you have some basic skills in graphics, photography, or design, you can opt for a professional graphics program such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. If, on the other hand, you are a novice, you can use one of the many free programs available online.
How to create a logo with Illustrator
Illustrator is the main program for graphic design. If you don’t have a license, you can download a free trial version on the Adobe site, or you can choose a monthly subscription plan that suits your needs. Using this program isn’t very intuitive; it requires a certain application, but with a little goodwill, you can learn how to use it.
To create your logo, you can start by opening a new artboard with the measurements you prefer. The measurements are not important since you are creating a vector file, i.e., one that is infinitely scalable. The important thing, however, is that it has a resolution of 300 dpi, which corresponds to that of the print. Once you open the Illustrator interface, you will find the palette on the left with all the tools at your disposal.
The tools that might be most useful to you are:
- Rectangle: From here, you can access all the geometric shapes already available in Illustrator.
- Pen: with which you can change the shapes by points to your liking
- Transform: you can resize what you are drawing (to maintain the proportions, click Shift while using it).
To find out how to create a logo with Illustrator, you can study the tutorials made available by Adobe, or you can choose from the numerous videos on Youtube.
How to make a logo in Photoshop
Photoshop is a program used by photo editing professionals, but it also allows you to create vector logos. This program is also not very intuitive for newbies, but with patience, you can learn to use it.
Also for this software, Adobe offers a free trial version; alternatively, you can choose a subscription plan. As with Illustrator, to create a logo with Photoshop, you’ll have to start by creating a new document of the size you prefer; the important thing is that it has a resolution of 300 dpi for the reasons we mentioned earlier. Once your document has been opened, you will find an interface very similar to that of Illustrator: here too, on the left, you will have all the tools at your disposal, while on the right are some adjustment tools and the layers panel.
The tools that will be most useful for you to create a logo are:
If you want to understand how to create a logo with Photoshop, you can start by studying the tutorials made available on the Adobe website, or you can also follow countless videos on YouTube for this software.
Tips for creating an effective logo
There are some strategic aspects to take into consideration when deciding how to create a logo for your company. First of all, always remember that the logo represents the face of your brand and often contributes to the first impression that your potential customers have of your company.
But how do you create an impactful logo? An effective logo is:
- simple to remember.
- stable over time, that is, it must always be current and must require only a few small changes.
- free from copywriting.
- If you choose a logotype, it must have a clear font.
- If you prefer a pictogram, the stylized object should relate to your company’s activities or positioning.
- If you want to use a diagram instead, make it attractive.
Characteristics of an effective logo
It is important to understand how to create a successful logo because this helps to affirm a company’s brand identity but also brand awareness, i.e., the notoriety of a brand among users. At the same time, it is also useful to know that in the process of creating a logo, the creative part cannot be separated from the communicative one, which is why it is essential to learn the correct techniques on how to write photos. Let’s see together the elements that determine the success of a logo.
Have you ever heard of the terms top of mind and evoked set?
- The brand that comes to mind is that which is considered, in the imagination of consumers, the first in its product or service category. Being top of mind makes a brand the leader in its sector.
For example, let’s make some associations: smartphone = iPhone; energy drink = Red Bull; online music = Spotify. Are these names in your memory, even if you are not a customer of these brands? I think yes.
- The evocation set, on the other hand, is the set of 4-5 brands that a consumer has in mind when he develops a need to purchase a product or service. They are usually brands with a strong brand identity and brand awareness.
Let’s try to play the same game as before: if I say ‘pasta,” which brands come to mind? Barilla, De Cecco, Garofalo, Molisana, and Rummo.
What if I say ‘toothpaste’? Mentadent, AZ, Colgate
But what role does the creation of the logo have in all this? The logo, as we have seen, is a brand’s identity card and, together with the slogan, is the first thing consumers come into contact with when they don’t know our company.
Therefore, the logo is how consumers:
- They have the first impact on a brand.
- They remember the company.
- They associate the brand with the category of products it creates or the services it provides.
- recognize a company on supermarket shelves at a glance.
I ask you two simple questions:
- If you had to buy something, would you rely on a completely unknown brand, or would you rather buy from a brand that is familiar to you and inspires trust?
- Or again, would you be more willing to open an email bearing the logo of your favorite brand or that of an unknown brand, whose newsletter you just don’t remember subscribing to?
And speaking of that, have you ever wondered why sub-brands copy the logos of leading companies? Because they exploit the associations that our brain makes between colors, assonances with the top brand, and similarity between logos. Think about how many sub-brands of cola there are, and if you can remember any of them, you’ll realize that their logo is a bad copy of that of the original Coca-Cola.
Understanding how to create a logo that impresses consumers is essential for creating brand awareness. Therefore, by extension, creating a successful logo means making a branding strategy and also digital marketing strategy.
Ideas for an evocative logo: meaning of colors
In addition to the constituent elements we have seen, logo, pictogram (or diagram), and payoff, a fundamental role in the creation of a logo is played by color. Understanding how to create a logo with the right color can contribute to the success of your business. Colors can touch the innermost chords of the human soul, generating emotions that condition consumer behavior in the purchasing process. Furthermore, some colors work almost as a call to action (CTA), as they stimulate users to take action.
There are many marketing psychology studies dedicated to this topic. We must start from the assumption that the human brain has been educated to color since we were children through different visual stimuli. Images, before literacy, are how we know the world, and color is the founding element of the visual code that allows us to understand reality.
For these reasons, marketing studies have shown that thoughtful use of color is imperative in creating a brand that has the potential to succeed. Have you ever noticed how the aisles of a supermarket are organized by color? In reality, they are organized by product category, but given that certain colors are associated with each product category, there is also a chromatic order. For example,
According to the results of a study conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo:
- 92.6% of people consider the visual factor while making purchases.
- 84.7% of the people interviewed think that color is more important than many other factors when choosing products to buy.
Consumers’ purchasing behaviors are influenced by color, and actions are inspired by colors, so we need to understand how to create a company logo that stimulates our consumers to take the actions we would like.
Let’s see how human emotions correspond to each color, attributable to needs to be satisfied. The “trick” is to associate the product category with the color of the need it satisfies, to direct the purchase funnel, online and offline. We can speak of a real chromatic psychology to be studied and taken into consideration when creating a logo. In general, warm colors refer to energy and vitality, while cold colors refer to calm and security. So different colors stimulate different emotions, influencing purchasing behavior.
- White: it is the color of purity, cleanliness, and innocence. This is why it is used a lot by brands that are positioned in the medical field or the childhood sector.
- Yellow is the color of energy, of the sun, and of optimism. It is a color that inspires positive feelings and vitality. It stands out immediately in the eyes of the users. Precisely because of its versatility, it is used in various product categories, such as food and beverage, energy, and household products.
- Orange also falls into the category of warm colors, like yellow. Orange is the color of imagination and new ideas. It is used in various categories of products and services, such as telephony, transport, and clothing.
- Pink is the color that refers to sweetness and is often associated with the female universe. Therefore, it is often used in the creation of logos that are positioned on products for feminine use, such as those for body care and personal hygiene, but also in clothing and cosmetics.
- Red is the color of passion, love, and excitement par excellence. But it is also an adrenaline-pumping color, which pushes us to act and warns us of any dangers. For these reasons, it is often used by companies operating in the food, technology, and automobile sectors.
- Blue is a color that inspires seriousness, stability, and professionalism. The companies that use it want to communicate reliability to their consumers (for example, it is used by Durex!). Blue is used by brands that are positioned in the most varied product categories, including body care, insurance, and technology. Plus, it’s the color of Facebook!
- Azure: like blue, it is a color that inspires confidence. It is used by brands operating in the pharmaceutical, household products, and insurance sectors. Blue is also a social color; in fact, it was chosen by LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Green is the color par excellence associated with calm, freshness, health, eco-sustainability, and purity. It is very often used in the logos of companies that work in the commodity sectors: health, finance, renewable energy, tourism, beverages, and clothing. Such as Levissima, Heineken, and Carlsberg.
- Brown is a color that is linked to the transmission of values of tradition, quality, and experience. It is often used in the creation of logos for companies that make tradition a corporate value, which can be leveraged to build consumer trust. For example, it is used for the logos of Nespresso, Pernigotti, and Perugina.
- Grey: halfway between black and white, it is a color that refers to sobriety, elegance, and luxury. It is very often the color of brands that offer goods such as jewelry and luxury goods in general. It is also used by five-star hotels and resorts.
- Black is the color that, in the collective imagination, is linked to sensations of elegance, strength, and prestige. It is linked to brands of companies positioned in the fields of luxury goods, fashion, and cutting-edge technology.
As we have said so far, the logo is the business card of your company. You should understand how to create a successful logo that allows you to present your business at its best both offline and online. Just as in the offline world, a coordinated image of a company is created, so in the online world, a univocal image must be coordinated on all channels, from the website to the social profiles.
- Offline, you place your logo on business cards, letterheads, brochures, billboards, gadgets, merchandise, and, if you sell products, even on the packaging.
- As for online, you should put your logo on your website, in the favicon, and also on all social channels and emails.
How do you create a logo for social media? Once you have created a logo in digital form, all you need to do is understand what the default dimensions are for each social network into which you want to insert your image. If you have a vector file available, it will be very simple because you just need to scale it to your liking, but even with jpeg and png files, it won’t be difficult to adapt it.
For your company profile, you will need to create a logo for Facebook, one for YouTube, one for Instagram, and so on. The important thing is to provide a coordinated image so that your customers can find you immediately and understand with certainty that they are addressing you and not others.
Case history: successful logos
A good way to understand how to create a successful logo is to draw inspiration from brands that have achieved success.
Let’s see some examples of famous brands that have unmistakable logos:
The history of the birth of this logo is subject to the most varied urban legends. First point: It seems that Steve Jobs had a great passion for apples and that the idea of the icon was born from this.
Apple’s first logo featured Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree and was designed in 1976 by a former associate of Steve Jobs. But, not satisfied, Jobs 1977 commissioned a new logo from the graphic designer Rob Janoff, who designed an apple with a bite. It is not known whether this choice was made to pay homage to Alan Turing, a pioneer of information technology who committed suicide with a poisoned apple, or to pay homage to Apple Records, the Beatles record company of which Steve Jobs was a huge fan. But beyond the myth, there remains a fact: the Apple logo is unmistakable and imprinted in people’s minds, whether they are consumers of the brand or not.
The logo of one of the most widespread and well-known brands in the world was invented way back in 1886. Yet it still seems current, as it has undergone various modernization and restyling interventions over the years, which have not altered its image. The inventor was a company accountant, Frank Mason Robinson, who, starting from a very common font at that time in the United States, the Spencerian Script, made only small changes to the writing.
The sacred monster of search engines has a logo that was not created by a professional graphic designer but by its founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who used GIMP, a free software program. Later, it was modified by graphic designer Ruth Kedar, who used the font Serif Catull. The Google logo is modified when there are special occasions; it becomes relevant to the party and sometimes comes alive in nice doodles.
Curiosity: how to create a logo that is a work of art
When a work of art becomes a logo
How do I draw an “artwork” logo? Very famous is the case of Chupa Chups, a well-known brand of lollipops whose owner asked a painter to design his logo. That painter was a surrealist, Salvador Dali. The story, or legend, has it that he would have drawn it in an hour on a sheet of newspaper while he was in a bar with Enric Bernard, the founder of the company. Obviously, over the years, the logo has been digitized and has undergone some minor restyling and modernization, but the original Dal logo is legendary.
When a logo becomes a work of art
Another case that made history—and also art history—is that of Campbell’s tomato soup, which became very famous thanks to Andy Warhol. The artist, an icon of pop art, has created a work of art from a logo. This tin box has become a symbol of the standardization of American society but without a critical intent on the part of the artist, who indeed saw in this homogenization a positive value to be celebrated. The almost obsessive repetition of this image, in a sort of pattern, seems like a prefiguration of today’s advertising, made up of repetition, memory, and recognition.
Let’s go back to the present: how many images follow one another before our eyes and are printed in our memory? From now on, pay attention to what you see around you and what you put in your shopping cart.
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