How to Develop a Logo for Free

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A logo can speak volumes about your business.
A logo can speak volumes about your business. (Image: logo image by haruspex from Fotolia.com)

A logo can state a lot about a business. It can reflect a business’s professionalism or legitimacy, and ultimately has the ability to make the business memorable. Many logo companies and websites offer clients a large range of logo designs at a price. Developing a logo for a business is not as difficult as it may seem, and will save you time when you either hire a designer to finish your design or create it yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Computer
  • Camera
  • Scanner
  • Illustrator

Logo Development

Gather logos from similar companies by searching the Internet or taking photos of signs. Pick the best of these and use them as inspiration as you create your logo. This process, called benchmarking, allows you to notice what works and what doesn't within the logos of similar businesses, creating a visual standard.

The ability to find out what others have done with logos for similar businesses is a necessary step in logo creation.
The ability to find out what others have done with logos for similar businesses is a necessary step in logo creation. (Image: yellow tape measure image by .shock from Fotolia.com)

Sketch out rough ideas for logos. It is best to sketch out as much as possible. Keep in mind the business's goals and objectives. This will allow you to come up with different ideas that your logo can demonstrate. What is the main product that your company deals with? Can this be incorporated into the text? Keep the design and colors simple and clean. You may have to use this logo in many places. A logo's simplicity in color and form allows it to be versatile and, most important, memorable.

Freeform logo sketches allows the logo designer to come up with a rough idea of the logo.
Freeform logo sketches allows the logo designer to come up with a rough idea of the logo. (Image: notebook image by Victor M. from Fotolia.com)

Pin down your favorite design and add two more. Show them to friends, employees and costumers. Don't take critiques to heart. Use them to improve the logo design. You might not have noticed an aspect of the design. It may be too complicated. Ask whether it is straightforward, interesting, memorable and distinctive. Also find out if it can be done for both large and small print. Now you are ready to hire a graphic designer who won't waste time guessing what logo you want, or you can continue to clean up the logo. The next section will require some experience with an illustrator's pen tool.

Simplicity in design is what you should strive for.
Simplicity in design is what you should strive for. (Image: logo weingut image by sk_design from Fotolia.com)

Final logo

Scan the final logo into your computer. Open this file in Illustrator. Once Illustrator opens, set this image as a template by double clicking the "Layer" in the Layers Panel and selecting "Template."

This could be optometrist's logo or a logo for a coffee company.
This could be optometrist's logo or a logo for a coffee company. (Image: Logo image by Max creative from Fotolia.com)

Make sure the Fill at the bottom of the Tool Bar is selected to None by clicking on the "black box" then clicking on the smaller white box with a large diagonal red line across it. Use the Pen Tool to trace the outline of your logo design. This will allow you to finesse your final logo as you would like.

Select colors that would work with this logo design and employ them. Print the logo design and make any necessary changes. The logo design may go through many changes before it is finally ready.

Simplicity and memorability are keys to good logo design.
Simplicity and memorability are keys to good logo design. (Image: Company logo image by Max creative from Fotolia.com)

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