How to Make Logos Using Photoshop

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Adobe Photoshop is a graphics program that gives an artist flexibility to exert creativity, but also provides a stable frame to help the artist along. Contrary to its name, Photoshop is not only used for retouching or reworking photographs. Use Photoshop to create digital illustrations, web page layouts and logos. When creating a logo, there are a few elements to consider. According to The Dwight School of New York, successful logos are distinctive, legible and make a lasting first impression.

Things You'll Need

  • Drawing tablet (optional)
  • Open Photoshop and go to "File" > "New" to create a new document. Set the document size to standard 8 ½ by 11 inches. Adjust the resolution so it is at least 300 dots per inch (dpi) for the cleanest image when printing. Hit "OK."

  • Select the "Paintbrush," "Pen" or "Shape" tool to create the graphic element of the logo. Be sure to choose a tool that appropriately conveys the type of business. (ref 1) For example, a design firm may want a looser graphic created with the fluid "Paintbrush" tool, which allows the user to virtually draw on the computer screen. Use the drawing tablet with the "Paintbrush" tool for the most natural appearance. On the other hand, an accounting firm may want to opt for the straight line graphics created with the "Pen" or "Shape" tool.

  • Select a color from the "Color Swatch" palette or double-click on the "Set Foreground Color" swatch located on the Tools palette. Successful logos should have a simple color palette with complementary colors. Complementary colors are colors that sit directly across from each other on the color wheel. Keep in mind that a successful logo should work in both color and black and white.

  • Draw the design with the selected tool. Change the brush type as desired by clicking on the "Brush Type" dropdown at the top of the screen while using the tool. Although some logos are text-only, a graphic shape or image can make a logo more interesting to the viewer. Keep the graphic classic and distinctive. Classic designs have less chance of becoming dated; a successful logo should last for a long time without having to be changed constantly.

  • Click on the "Create a New Layer" button located at the bottom of the Layers palette. Double-click on the text reading "Layer 2" and rename the layer "Text."

  • Select the "Text" tool and click on the workspace where text is to appear. The text of a logo is usually the business title. Some logos have subtitles underneath the business title with a small description or catch phrase. For example, the business title could be "Mom's Pizza" and the subtitle could read "Pizza, Burgers and More."

  • Choose a font from the "Font" dropdown at the top of the screen. Select a font that is legible, classic and visually appealing. Fussy cursive fonts with thin lines may not always be a good choice, as these are difficult to read from afar. Avoid using too-basic fonts like "Times New Roman" or "Arial." Keep away from overused fonts like "Comic Sans" and "Algerian," as these will take away from the logo's distinctiveness. Select a font that conveys the overall feel of the business and syncs up well with the graphic. Keep in mind that a serious logo does not necessarily mean a "boring" logo.

  • Type in the business name over or next to the graphic. Experiment with different fonts if necessary. Adjust the size of the font in the "Size" drop-down at the top of the screen. Type in a subtitle if desired. The subtitle should be significantly smaller than the business title and be made of up only a few words. The business title can be centered, flush left, flush right or justified over the subtitle. Experiment by clicking on the "Paragraph" buttons at the top right of the screen.

References

  • Photo Credit logo image by haruspex from Fotolia.com company logo image by Ekaterina Lozanova from Fotolia.com color3 image by Jaume Felipe from Fotolia.com logo fitness image by haruspex from Fotolia.com Logo image by Max creative from Fotolia.com logo company image by haruspex from Fotolia.com
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