Make a Logo

Day 2 of our Build Your Brand in 7 Days series

Make a Logo
March 28, 2017 PicMonkey

Now that you have step 1 in your Build Your Brand project complete and your moodboard has anchored your ideas about how you want your brand to look and feel, you can start taking the next step by creating a logo. A logo by itself is not your entire brand, but this handy little brand asset is a great place to start solidifying your identity. A good logo will help increase your brand recognition and introduce people to who you are as a company.

Logos make you legitness and it’s not that hard to make them yourself (wahooo!). Plus, once you have your logo, it’s easy to use it as a watermark and stick it on all your pictures and put it on a grocery bag, on a pen, or on a big honkin’ poster.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Logos can be used in spaces as small as a business card and as large as a billboard. Make sure that your logo looks just as good big as it does tiny. (And vice versa.)
  • Start by making a logo that looks good in black and white. Once you’ve mastered that you can start bring in some ~branded colors~.
  • The logos that we’re gonna show you how to make today all use text in some form or another. Have your branded fonts handy and play along at home!

Now that you have these basics in mind, we’re gonna walk you through four different ways to make a logo, starting with so-easy-your-grandpa-could-do-it and getting progressively more advanced. We’ll use our faux succulents company, Prickles & Pots as an example. We’ll make these logos by:

  • Using templates
  • Arranging simple text
  • Arranging text with shape graphics
  • Creating your own shape and text

The easy-peasiest way: Templates

Easy logo made with PicMonkey templates.

Templates are artist-created designs that you can totally make your own. They’re great because you get all the benefit of design expertise without having to shell out big bucks for a designer. We wanted to try an initials-based logo for Prickles & Pots, so we chose the Personal Brand template, which has a great logo as part of its overall business card design. We customized the logo from this template and then cropped out the rest.

To use Templates in PicMonkey:

  1. From the homepage, hover over Design and click TemplatesBrowse around for a design you like, or just type “Logo” into the search bar. To open a template in the Editor, click Preview, then click Customize. For this example, we the used Personal Brand template.logo-level-1-animation
  2. Open the Layers palette (click the icon that’s two stacked squares in the bottom toolbar) so you can select individual elements in the design and change them. To get the reverse P in this logo, right-click the P and select Duplicate text. Then click the reverse button (horizontal double arrow) in the Text palette.
    logo-level-1-6
  3. Crop out unnecessary parts of the template (anything that’s not the logo) by using the Crop tool in the Basic Edits tab in the far left column.
  4. In Basic Edits, Click Canvas Color, then click the Transparent canvas button to make your canvas transparent.
  5. Click Save in the top menu to save your new logo as a .png (this file format preserves transparency) on your computer, or better yet, click Add to Hub so you can re-edit text or graphics later.
  6. Repeat most of these steps to make a version of the same logo that’s 100% white—you’ll need it for placing over darker backgrounds or brand color backgrounds.

The slightly harder way: Arranging text

Text logo using fonts in an interesting way.

Dip your toes in the graphic design pool by creating your own logo using text. Feel free to use our PicMonkey fonts, but don’t feel limited by them! You can access any of your own fonts in PicMonkey by clicking the Yours tab atop the menu in the Text tool.

logo-level-2-animation

To get started:

  1. From the PicMonkey homepage, hover over the design button and click Custom size. Click the Make it! button next to the default dimensions (the size doesn’t really matter) and click Apply.
  2. Click the Text tab (upper- and lowercase T icon in the far left column) and then select your branded font from the font list. Click the Add text button atop the text menu. Type your company name and/or initials in the text box that appears over your image.
    logo-level-2-6
  3. To colorize your text, click your text. In the Text palette, you can either select a color from the color spectrum or click the 6-digit code in the upper right corner and enter the hex code of your brand color.
  4. In Basic Edits, Click Canvas Color, then click the Transparent canvas button to make your canvas transparent.
  5. Click Save in the top menu to save your new logo as a .png (this file format preserves transparency) on your computer, or better yet, click Add to Hub so you can re-edit text or graphics later.
  6. Repeat most of these steps to make a version of the same logo that’s 100% white—you’ll need it for placing over darker backgrounds or brand color backgrounds.

Getting more advanced: Arrange text and shape graphics

Logo created using shape graphics and typography.

Once you’ve figured out how to design with text blocks, throwing down a shape or two is a natural progression. Give it a shot!

To arrange graphics with your branded text:

logo-level-3-animation

  1. From the PicMonkey homepage, hover over the design button and click Custom size. Click the Make it! button next to the default dimensions (the size doesn’t really matter) and click Apply.
  2. Follow the steps from the “Arranging text” steps above to place your brand name text onto your design.  Click the Graphic tab (the butterfly icon) on the far left side of your screen and scroll down and click Geometric. Here you’ll find your basic shapes. Click the shape you want to use and it’ll appear on your image.
  3. Drag the graphic to change its placement on your image and drag the corner handles or the bars between the corner handles to change its size. For this design, we dragged the sides of a rectangle to elongate them until they became lines.
    logo-level-3-4
  4. In Basic Edits, Click Canvas Color, then click the Transparent canvas button to make your background (canvas) transparent.
  5. Click Save in the top menu to save your new logo as a .png (this file format preserves transparency) on your computer, or better yet, click Add to Hub so you can re-edit text or graphics later.
  6. Repeat most of these steps to make a version of the same logo that’s 100% white—you’ll need it for placing over darker backgrounds or brand color backgrounds.

If you don’t want to preserve the aspect ratio of an graphic when you resize it, just hold the Shift key on your keyboard while you drag one of the sides of the graphic. If you place your shape over your text and you want it to appear behind your text, click the Layers palette button in the bottom toolbar and then, in the palette, select your shape layer and click the Send backward down arrow move it.

Master level: Arranging text and graphics that make a shape

Logo designed with geometric shapes in PicMonkey.

If you aspire to emulate the great logos of our time (we’re looking at you, FedEx!) and use empty space to create messaging and/or just have something that looks more visually engaging than just one shape, you can build that in PicMonkey.

Here’s how to get going:

logo-level-4-animation

  1. From the PicMonkey homepage, hover over the design button and click Custom size. Click the Make it! button next to the default dimensions (the size doesn’t really matter).
  2. Browse the PicMonkey graphics and find ones that you want to use with your design. Click the graphic to place it on the canvas.
  3. Use controls in the Graphic palette to change the color, size, and fade of your graphic, and add your words  For the simple lines that make up the cactus pot in this design, we’ve used the rectangle in Geometric, and then dragged the bars between the corner handles to make them into skinny lines. We skinnied up a triangle shape to get the pointy ends of each spike.logo-level-4-tutorial-last-step  
  4. In Basic Edits, Click Canvas Color, then click the Transparent canvas button to make your background (canvas) transparent.
  5. Click Save in the top menu to save your new logo as a .png (this file format preserves transparency) on your computer, or better yet, click Add to Hub so you can re-edit text or graphics later.
  6. Repeat most of these steps to make a version of the same logo that’s 100% white—you’ll need it for placing over darker backgrounds or brand color backgrounds.

For Prickles and Pots, we liked this last logo the best, because our simple shape is evocative of the product itself and lends itself to ancillary brand assets, such as a favicon, as well.

With your logo in hand, you’re ready to learn how to put it on a business card and learn how to make business cards (win win!), in the next Build Your Brand in 7 Days project.

 

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This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make good pictures and take over the world.