Does logo design seem mysterious and out of your reach? Maybe if I share the tools I use for logo design with you, it won’t seem so mysterious. Granted, one of the tools I use has a steep learning curve, and is a bit on the expensive side. But there are always alternatives to explore (I’ll share some of them later), if you want to try your hand at logo design. For the most part, the tools I use are readily available to everyone.
First, and most important, are communication tools. I ask questions and listen to what my clients are saying. Whether in person, over the phone, via Skype or email, communication is critical to successful logo design. You need to ask the right questions to understand the logo design goals and the client’s ideal audience.
Second, and the most basic, are my sketching tools: pencil, eraser, ruler, and sketchbook. Good logo designs start with brainstorming and lots of sketches, before you ever get to the computer.
Next, there are a few research tools that come in handy. Usually I use Google Images and Pinterest, my collection of logo design books, plus charts for color theory and shape meanings. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and learning how to use search terms is a huge help when researching the client’s industry and competitors.
Finally, for creating computer vector graphics, my preferred tool is Adobe Illustrator. Having a good computer program that you are comfortable with allows the creativity to flow while creating logo designs. I’ve included a definition of vector graphics and a list of alternative applications for creating vector graphics below, in no particular order.
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Vector graphics are basically line art files, as compared to raster files (like photographs). Vector files are created mathematically from lines, points, curves, and shapes, even all the shading options, and the resulting images can be scaled up or down indefinitely, never losing quality. Vector is the preferred format for creating logo designs. For a more complete definition, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vector_graphics.
Adobe Illustrator is the graphic design industry standard application for vector graphic design and illustration. There is a 30-day FREE trail available, then a subscription option for $19.95 per month. http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator
CorelDRAW X7 is a comprehensive vector graphics and illustration application with a home and student edition for $129.99, with a 30-day FREE trail. http://www.coreldraw.com/us/product/home-student/
SVG Editor is a FREE browser-based vector creation and editing tool from Google. https://boxy-svg.com/main.html
Inkscape is for illustrators, designers, or someone who just wants to create a single logo. This is a powerful, FREE vector design tool. https://inkscape.org/en/
Sketch 3 is a vector graphic design application for Mac, available for download or from the Mac App Store for $99.00: http://bohemiancoding.com/sketch/
Affinity Designer is a Mac-only vector graphics and illustration application from Serif.com. It’s available on the Mac App Store for $49.99 one-time fee, no subscription needed. https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/
iDraw 2.5 is a full featured illustration and vector graphics application for Mac OSX and iPad. It’s available on the Mac App Store for $24.99. http://www.indeeo.com/idraw/mac.html
DRAWPlus is another application from Serif.com. Create logos, illustrations, technical drawings, animations and more. This is called a Starter Edition, and is available totally FREE to download. There is also a full version for $199.00. http://www.serif.com/free-graphic-design-software/?MC=FSSDRAWPLUS