As you know, I make my living designing brands for businesses of all sizes and this is what I have been doing for over 2 decades.
The first thing that your clients will notice is not just the services or the products you offer, it's your branding. Your logo is the starting point of building your brand and should be unique to your business, helping you gain recognition and get attention, resulting in increased business. And increased business means more money! Yay!
Recently, however, I have come across several startups who simply don't have the budget to pay a professional designer to create their logo. And as much as it pains my fellow designers and me to realise, it's something we must accept. Several times I've been tagged in a Facebook post in a business group that has been started by someone looking for free or cheap logo design, which I simply cannot help with. Exposure doesn't pay the bills!
Designers are highly skilled and that skill comes at a cost, just like the qualifications held by accountants, lawyers, plumbers, electricians, etc. Would you ask any of those professions to work for free or cheap? Believe it or not, running a design company is a costly exercise in itself when you consider the hardware and software we need in order to do the job.
Anyway, I digress. Enough ranting from me today!
If you're a startup you have a lot of initial costs and I get that paying for a professionally designed brand is not at the top of your list right now. Maybe further down the line when you have nailed your target audience, built a following and need to look like you mean business.
There are lots of free tools out there that can help you create your own logo for free or for very little cost and I have to say that a lot of them suck. Really they do.
But the lovely people at Canva.com have got this covered.
Professional designers do use Canva, not to create logos for clients, but to create social media graphics mostly, thanks to the quick and easy resizing feature that will allow us to create a design for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc without spending hours doing so.
Canva is a free tool but if you're going to use it a lot and you want to load your brand colours in and your logo there is a small monthly cost so consider upgrading to Canva For Work.
First off, go to canva.com and click on 'logo' in the menu.
You'll see this lovely blank canvas for you to start creating your logo on.
Choose from the menu on the left which design you like best, I'm going to choose this one as it's kinda nice.
Yellow is a lovely colour but it's not part of my brand colour's palette so I'm going to change the colour of the background block, alter its size and change the text size and colour. Because I have already loaded in my brand colours they are saved for me to quickly do this. But there is an easily accessible menu at the top of the screen for you to change colours and fonts.
You can add elements to your design, for me I'm going to use a shape. As the heart shape is part of my branding I'm going to choose that and drag it onto my design.
As you can see it's far too big and the wrong colour so that's easy enough, there are handles on everything for you to resize things.
There, that's better. As I have already loaded in my brand fonts of Montserrat Light and Playfair Display, the fonts are perfect but you can choose from a wide range of fonts already available in Canva.
When you are happy with your design (and you could be on this all day!) then choose 'download' from the right hand top menu. This allows you to choose the file format for your logo.
I recommend downloading a PNG for your website and a PDF for anything you want to be printed. A PDF can be opened in Adobe Illustrator (if you have that or have access to that) and you'll then have a vector of your logo.
I hope this has been helpful to you in creating your own logo. Remember that creating logos like this is limiting and you won't have something truly unique but it's a start. And I believe in starts.
And, once you're ready to uplevel your brand and get something professionally designed just for you, just let me know!