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How to make an awesome logo
First before you start, be sure to check out my design course that shows you exactly how to create awesome logos and websites in photoshop and illustrator! I also just finished writing a new tutorial on how to make a website located here.
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Back when I began my ventures on computers in 98 on AOL, I was one of the many mesmerized by the world of AOL "proggies". I began to code my own with VB and I remember one of the things I loved to focus on personally, was the whole intro art. I saw a few, I can't remember the names now, but their amazing fire effects with their lightening bolts blew my mind away. Thus began my journey of design. I've designed for approximately 9 years now and I've learned a lot. It has also helped me make money online. From mainstream corporate professional design, to fun gaming design, to adult design. The accumulative experience of all these avenues have really helped further my abilities when I confront each new project. In this tutorial, I will start and finish a logo while documenting the entire process. I encourage you to open up photoshop and follow every step, it will help you learn a lot more than just reading it. I've used the technique I will be teaching to develop a lot of logos. Here are just a few:
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“I've known Gary for about 7 years now I think, maybe longer. He is one of the best designers I know of.” Jon @ WickedFire.com “Wow..this guy kicks ass. Seriously. I gave him complete creative control over the design with just a little input and it came out better than I could have imagined.” Jason “I ordered two logos from Gary and he had them done the same day and they looked amazing. If you are considering a logo design, have him do it.” Nalbach
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it needs to stick in your head.How to design an awesome logo http://www. More people have used photoshop than Illustrator. What are you trying to convey through the logo?: 5.net along with the slogan is the actual logo. the first place us humans look is the upper left hand corner of a site. 2 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . Any other specifics: BlueLaguna. For a logo to be effective. 1. it has to "brand" an image. now we know what we have to work with. So let's take a look at the current logo: (Note: The image above isn't a logo. Generally for most projects. and he has wanted a new logo for some time. And for some reason or another. When a user visits a web site. Any slogans to use?: 3. Besides.) One of the most important things this logo lacks is readability. Get crackin' Pretty straight forward. There's also nothing exciting with this logo. You don't have to use the current header design. Name of the service/product: 2. Then specify the name of the logo. but I believe for the purposes of making a tutorial.net. The actual name bluelaguna. so I agreed to do it for this tutorial. I thought it would be a good idea to show the entire header though to see how it reacts with the overall design. All this logo is is times new roman on caps lock. it'd be best to use photoshop as it will cater to a wider audience. or visits any medium in which a logo is displayed. I only need to ask the client 5 questions: 1. Let's Start : The Project A buddy of mine runs a gaming website.garysimon.Net "Your #1 Source for RPG Media" Match the current design Serious game-related site. Setting up your Document in Photoshop Once you have photoshop open. so take what you will. Many swear by illustrator.net/logotutorial/ I will be using Adobe Photoshop CS2 to design this logo. go to File -> New. Now that we've gone over why their current logo is not suitable. Any specific color schemes in mind?: 4. The current logo is placed in the middle of the header and the small font and the dark blue in "BLUE" is hard to read. Gathering Information It's important to always know the specifics of what you or the client is looking for before you start. I've created 95% of all my logos in Photoshop. the first thing that hits them should be the logo. and a width of 600 and a height of 500. it's an entire header. let's begin with the actual tutorial. Then click "OK" (Refer to the screenshot below). bluelaguna.
net/logotutorial/ After you click "OK" Your setup should look like this: (I'm on a 1600x1200 resolution. Having yourself an arsenal of fonts is very important. and the Characters in view.How to design an awesome logo http://www.) 2. I have the layers view. a serious font selection might be the best bet. Since for bluelaguna we're trying to focus on a serious yet gamer'ish feel. I have several thousand myself.) For the menus on the left. 3 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . You have to develop an eye for what font will or will not work.garysimon. with the specifics of the project in mind. I always experiment with a font that I think will work well with the logo. Experiment with Font Selections As a starting point.
net/logotutorial/ Select the Text Tool on the left menu: (As shown on the image to the right) Adjust the settings on the Text Properties at the top to match these settings: In the character window to the right. I don't know why :) Type "BLUE LAGUNA" in the document space (First. you can use the fill tool for this. I like starting out with this setting. With the type tool selected. .garysimon. . be sure that the background is white. set AV to -60 as shown below: (This simply shortens the space between each separate character. And I've decided to go with all caps to start out with. and layer 1 selected.Hit the Down Arrow of the Font List to see the list of available fonts with a tiny preview of the 4 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . since all caps is generally deemed more serious).Hit the "Down" arrow to change the font view of "BLUE LAGUNA".How to design an awesome logo http://www. select the font list menu (where it says Arial): You can do this next section in either three ways.
This way. Good and Bad Font Selections Since our goal with this particular logo is to be serious. Once you come across a font that looks like it could work. Our goal here is to find fonts that might work with the logo. and you have a new layer to find more fonts from): 3.How to design an awesome logo http://www. although I sometimes use a font viewing program. .Download a font viewing program. you've saved that font selection (the hidden layer). I personally just use the first method.garysimon. and then hide the previous layer (The layer you right clicked and selected "Duplicate" from.net/logotutorial/ font. 5 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . we need serious looking fonts. It simply takes time to develop an eye for what is serious and what isn't. you should Duplicate the layer in the Layers Window to the right.
net/logotutorial/ bad font selections for this project: Here are a few examples of The first logo (the top). Logo 4 still appears "serious" even though it is significantly different from the rest. 2. Since this particular project has two words. which keeps a consistent feel but also allows for separation of the two words. but changing the color. With logos that have more than one word. This is what I've come up with: Although I didn't use one of the 6 fonts I selected initially for the word "blue". The second logo is simply "goofy" looking. you further analyze them and see which works. I chose this just in case I want to experiment with piecing together fonts for the word "Blue" and "Laguna". has a very laid back. especially ones with weird "drops" coming from them. Remember. So I'm going to experiment with the 6 good font selections above. The last logo you can hardly even read. Finalizing a Font Selection Once you have some possible font selections. a logo should be easily readable. we're going to want to separate them by possibly choosing two different fonts. Logo 6 is a very bold / italicized logo that says nothing but serious. 4.How to design an awesome logo http://www. 6 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . "Blue" and "Laguna". fun / unprofessional tone to it. 3 & 5 are all very simplistic and serious in appearance. good font selections for this project: Here are a few examples of All of these logos with the exception of 4 and 6 are pretty much similar. The third logo is way too "ragged" with its frills all over the place. I simply used an unboldened version of "LAGUNA". Calligraphy logos are generally outdated. most of the time it is good to separate the appearance of the words from each other. and it's generally always bad to select a logo that has an inherent shadow. definitely a no go. You can also separate words from each other by keeping the same font. #1.garysimon. each in their own layer.
BlueLaguna. So let's start with the first font selection from above: Now here is where having an eye for design and experience is a really big help.How to design an awesome logo http://www. Therefore. we have two things to work with: RPG and Media. the first thing I do is just sit there and stare at the font selection and think of what exactly the product/service/site is all about. We can choose one or the other if we want. I mean any part of the logo which isn't actual text. So let's do some research on Role Playing Games. I think it'd be most logical to focus on the whole RPG aspect.net/logotutorial/ 5. more specifically speaking.garysimon. When I say "symbol". Well. let 7 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . perhaps that has something to do with RPG? Well. Adding in a symbol Sometimes logos work well with only the use of fonts. What exactly can we associate with both RPG and Media? Well. we don't necessarily have to convey both RPG and Media through the logo (if you try to get too complex. as you can find media all over the place and it isn't an entirely unique concept. We need to begin contemplating ideas of what exactly we can add to this logo to make it awesome. We need to figure out a symbol which can really represent RPG. The current BlueLaguna. it's a site that offers RPG media (Role Playing Game) media. but most times adding in a relevant symbol of some sort will really make a logo stand out. the logo will become cluttered). So.Net is about gaming.Net features a 3d female.
and then integrate it along with the font selection in some unique way.How to design an awesome logo http://www. Rectangular Marquee Tool). The results turn back a few different female characters. So for the sake of making the biggest impact on this tutorial. and go back to your main logo document and CTRL-V.com to find the image and pay for it. you can cut off the bottom half of her body. CTRL-C to select it and copy it.net/logotutorial/ me do a search on images.com and found a picture which I think is suitable. It also seems that weaponry / mystical environments are associated with RPG as well.) It's always good to draw your logo by hand without copying over a picture (vector tracing). Vector Tracing 8 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . it should be the pen tool. Your screen should look something like this by now (You can hide the text layers behind it). select the bottom half of her body and hit the delete key. Now you've imported this picture into your logo document. seem to suggest that depicting a female in the logo might be the best bet. I will teach you all an awesome technique for creating great looking symbols for you logos. If there is one tool to thoroughly understand. save it to your hard drive. I can come up with some possible ideas for a symbol. So once you've found the picture you want to trace (if not the same one). I got the idea that I can vector trace over her face and hair to create what I want.google.google. here it is: When I came across this picture. Hmm! The first few results.net.com for "RPG". CTRL-A. The Pen Tool is your Friend The most important tool when it comes to logo design is the pen tool. This way you won't be using copyrighted images to trace over. I always suggest using a site like istockphoto. I think maybe featuring a face of one of these RPG'ish females with maybe a hint of mysticism. but if you aren't very talented and don't have much experience. Unfortunately though. open it up in photoshop. it might be your only option.garysimon. Now that I know what I can associate with RPG. Finding a suitable picture If you're going to trace. Or taking your own picture to trace over. (Select the first tool in the upper left corner of the tools menu. with her layer selected. Once you've imported it. istockphoto has nothing with RPG or "anime". keeping in mind the 3d female character on the current header of bluelaguna. So I just went on images. and maintain vector format (which is very important if you ever want to size your logo up n' down (for professional print or whatever. The pen tool allows you to create any shape(s) you want.
but it's very easy once you get the hang of it. it will look like this zoomed up to about 400%: Now select the pen tool in the tools menu: Make sure that the foreground color (the black square at the bottom of the pic to the upper right ---^) is the same dark blue color of the text we specified. with the new layer selected. yours should look similar to 9 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . and then click to make another point somewhere on the hairline where the line will begin to form.net/logotutorial/ Now select the magnifying glass in the tools menu and select around the girl. And with the pen tool selected. After plotting points of an entire section of hair. select the little round circular > icon on the upper right corner of the window. change the Opacity to 0%. Hit "OK" and then in the layers window.garysimon. You can hold down and "direction" the angle of the line to create a certain type of curve. We do this because once we start tracing over the image. and click on "Create New Layer" in the window that comes up. we don't want the dark blue color hiding the picture of the girl below. click a point somewhere on the outline of the hair (at the top). It takes awhile to get the hang of. In the layers window to the right.How to design an awesome logo http://www.
the bottom portion of each eye.. Now I'm simply going to continue creating more shapes. It's somewhat of a tedious process to do hair shading simply because there's a lot of strands of hair! But you have to just condense them and get the general idea of the shading and it will work out well. and the ear. but for now it's a good start. Then I did some light shading work on the face and the neck.. So let us continue and add some shading. you will want to select the very last to the very first vector layer that you created (you'll have a couple 10 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . and the small glare.net/logotutorial/ this: (Note: I've lightened the opacity of the girl to illustrate what your lines should look like so far) (opacity 100%) It's not perfect. here is what I have come up with: As you can see. Now I consider the actual draft of the symbol complete. After about 20 more minutes of shading.How to design an awesome logo http://www. I specified a different color for the face (light blue). this is what I've come up with: There are a total of 3 different layers for the hair. like the facial features. Let's make our initial text layer visible and see what we can do to integrate the symbol with the text. After 15-20 minutes or so of creating the different facial features and the face itself. And by now I have around 15 different layers.garysimon. There's a separate layer for the top portion of each eye. There's also a layer for the face background. the middle. First.
garysimon. hold down the shift so you can select them all. into one easily manageable layer group.How to design an awesome logo http://www. So we will want to scale down the head. Then in the layers window click the little circular round button and select "New Group From Layers". in and of itself.net/logotutorial/ dozen or more). This way. Now this actually doesn't look too bad. and adding the slogan + the ". This will put all of the layers of the girl. This is what it looks like: 11 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . you can move around the one group and it will keep all of their positions together so it won't break up her face. Let's try moving it over to the left.net" text. But the proportion of the anime head is too big. in relation to BLUELAGUNA.
net/logotutorial/ Now it looks pretty damn good eh? The only other thing I did. So I'm going to change the colors of the logo to fit a background of an appropriate header for the site.net has. I added a white shape over the "B" in "BLUE" so that the face doesn't collide with the B. 12 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM .garysimon.How to design an awesome logo http://www. Unfortunately I messed up and didn't design this over the dark blue'ish background that the bluelaguna. was with the pen tool.
net/logotutorial/ As you can see. simply changing colors around can really change the look and feel of a logo.com! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Need a logo designed? Check out my portfolio I have over 8 years of logo design experience. I'd consider this logo a winner. It takes some time and patience to really get the hang of it. Receive your logo within 24 hours! 13 of 13 9/23/2010 2:47 PM . 6. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CHECK OUT MY DESIGN COURSE! Learn how to design full websites and logos with my newly launched designcourse. It's all about getting a little creative and working at it for awhile. Conclusion I can pretty much guarantee you that if you're a first time user of the pen tool or photoshop for that matter.How to design an awesome logo http://www.garysimon. it won't turn out so pretty like mine did.
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