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Okay, so you’ve got your online business idea figured out. After hours of word-crunching, you’ve got a pretty rad name, you’ve bought the domain name and maybe you’ve even started to build your WordPress website.
But in the back of your mind, that little spot in the top left corner of the page bugs you; there’s supposed to be a logo there. How the heck do I make a logo?
Oh and since you’re just starting the process of building your business, you definitely don’t have the resources to hire a designer to make one for you.
No worries friends, we’ve got your back.
In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to whip up a logo for your online business. For free. In 5 minutes.
Because you’ve got a lot of great ideas to get out there and one heck of a business to build!
Table of Contents
- What is a Logo?
- Types of Logos
- Best Free Logo Makers
- How to Make a Logo for Free with LogoMakr
- Logo Design Tips
What is a Logo?
A logo works a lot like your name (your personal name, not your business’).
When you were born your parents gave you a name and over time, you brought a ton of personality to that noise people make with their mouths to identify you.
So when people hear your name, they think of you with a few heart eyes emojis.
Logos work in the same vein as a symbolic representation of your business, giving people something they can easily recognize and come to feel something (hopefully good) about your business.
And more than most people names (sorry “John”), they can also share information about what your business is all about and how you rock the world.
A good logo:
- Helps you stand out from the competition.
- Shares key information about your business.
- And builds brand recognition for your business.
To do that can take a lot of work. And you already have a lot of work to do getting your business off the ground.
Thankfully, we have some words of wisdom to help you stay calm: your first logo doesn’t really matter that much.
That’s right. We said it.
Yes, it’s important to have a logo that says something about your company, and it shouldn’t look like complete crap.
But the reality of online business is that what really matters is the content you put out there and the value you provide for your audience and (eventually) customers.
Great content can make a “good” logo great, too.
And making a good logo isn’t that hard or expensive, as we’ll show you a little further on.
First, let’s go over the different types of logo you can create.
Types of Logos
When it comes down to logos for online businesses, really there are three basic types:
- Text: A lot of people think logos have to have some sort of image and many do, but they don’t have to. Some really famous logos are just words (Hershey’s) and yours could be too.
- Symbolic: In contrast, some logos are just an image that taps into the power of people’s image recognition system to build a connection and make the logo memorable (Apple. Enough said.)
- Combined: Naturally, our third type of logo is a combination of words and text (Adidas). We find these work well for online businesses because you can connect with people visually, explain what your business is about with your name/words, and you can always make image or text only versions off of the main logo later.
Within those three main types of logo, there are a few elements you can play with to make something really awesome and unique.
This is just a fancy way of saying “font.” If your logo uses words, you’ll have a ton of font options to choose from to match your style and let people know what kind of business you are.
Naturally, if your logo includes non-word pieces, there are nearly an infinite amount of “pictures” you can create and use. These could include symbols, icons, abstract geometric shapes, decorations like boxes or lines, shapes – whatever you think is best to help your logo look good, tell people what you do, and stand out from the competition.
Whether you just use words, just imagery, or both you’ll always have options when it comes to color. Simple black and white can work for a more refined feel, a few variations of one color to really drive one feel home, or a multicolored palate that catches attention and lets people know you’re business is a ton of fun (just please make sure the colors look good together; Adobe’s color palette tool can help with that).
Whatever kind of logo you decide to make, it’s really important to not overcomplicate it.
Simple colors and shapes without a ton of little details not only makes it easier for you to create, but will make it easy to use your logo all over your website, social media, t-shirts, posters, etc without losing details or ending up with a jumbled mess when your logo scales to different sizes.
If you fancy yourself an especially creative person, you can learn even more about the types of logos in this awesome post over at 99designs.
Best Free Logo Makers
Cool, so you’ve got an idea of what kind of logo you want to create, but we hooked you on the idea that making your logo would be free and fast.
We’ve still got you on that. Tutorial’s coming up in a second but first, here are 3 of our favorite online logo makers.
Canva is an amazing free design tool with a beginner friendly interface and tons of free templates for creating anything from social media images, flyers, invitations, business cards and, of course, logos.
They make creating a logo easy by letting you start with one of their free templates, then you can use their super simple drag and drop editor to change fonts, colors, add a bit of visual flair, and even upload your own custom graphics if you have any (thank you graphic designer friends who will work for free coffee and lots of gratitude!).
Shopify’s Logo Maker (Hatchful)
Shopify’s had a logo maker for a while now but it was so wildly popular that they recently gave it a real name, Hatchful. All grown up, #soproud.
And while Shopify’s badass ecommerce platform does cost a pretty penny, Hatchful is just as badass and you can save the penny (it’s free)!
Again, it’s super easy to use – just type in your business name, choose an icon, edit colors, sizes, etc. to your heart’s content, then get that bad boy sent to your email in seconds.
LogoMakr might just be the easiest to use of the bunch. They keep it so simple and to the point – there’s not even a home page to their website! Just hit up logomakr.com and you’re sent right to their free online logo maker and off to the races in seconds.
And of course, they offer tons of drag and drop shapes and icons with all the text, color, sizing, and position changing goodness you need to create a logo that just works.
LogoMakr’s our favorite for sure, so that’s what we’ll be using to show you how easy it is to make a good logo for your online business.
How to Make a Logo for Free with LogoMakr
Alright, the main course, let’s make a logo!
The first thing you’re gonna want to do is head over to logomakr.com. Go ahead and skip the tutorial (because ours is better) and you’ll see their very simple interface that gives you everything you need but isn’t daunting to look at.
From there you can browse all their logo images/icons or search for something specific. So if you wanted something to do with a tree you can type in “tree” and it’ll give you a ton of options.
Or you can search by categories if there’s not one “thing” you know you’re looking for.
For this tutorial let’s head back to the canvas and make a logo for a game company.
We’ll start by inputting some text using the little “T” on the left. Let’s call it “Oldskool Games” (yes, we know that’s not how you spell “school” but this way is way cooler).
Next, let’s go in and get a game related image by typing “game” into the search bar.
Boom, we’ve got all these game controllers to choose from, let’s go with the colorful one (because it’s poppin’).
When making a quick and easy logo like this there are two main things we should customize and that’s the font and color.
First up, focusing on the font, a gaming company should be really fun. LogMakr has a ton of font categories to choose from but for this logo Fun and Funky is the obvious choice.
Then we can go through and select one of the Fun and Funky fonts, Luckiest Guy is definitely the move here.
And that, friends, is a logo right there.
If we wanted to play with it some more, we could move the text off to the side to create a longer logo.
We can also make the image and text smaller by just dragging and resizing.
And to change the colors we can select any color on the wheel in the top right corner and adjust things like saturation and brightness.
And to be sure your colors are consistent throughout all of your branding be sure to copy the color code, in this case, “ff8d00,” and save it somewhere so you can use that exact color for other things like buttons on your website.
LogoMakr also lets you add shapes like circles, triangles, and squares.
And if you need to remove something (this blue circle was definitely a mistake), just select it and hit the trash can in the bottom right.
They also let you do lines so if you want to underline something you can. Plus you can adjust the line width depending on whether you want something super subtle or nice and phat (also not how you spell “fat”).
And if you want to have shapes/text/images overlap you can switch the order they appear in to put one thing on top of the other using the layer’s button down at the bottom. Just open that up and drag the piece to whatever level you want it at.
So let’s just say we were right the first time but, you know, we wanted to play with it to really be sure. So now we’re really done. For real for real.
To export our new logo we just go up to the Save icon at the top right and click it.
That will bring up a pop up that gives you the option to buy which you totally can, it’s only $20 and you’ll get vector files which will let you scale this logo to any size without it getting all blurry.
But option two is free and all you have to do is credit LogoMakr.
Oh and before you click one of those be sure to save your logo’s URL there on the bottom so you can come back and make changes later if you need to.
Alright guys, that’s it for our text-based LogoMakr tutorial but in the video we covered a few more logo designs so if you want to get some ideas or just see more of the action, check them out here:
Logo Design Tips
Before we head off, we’ll leave you with a few logo design tips. Really, for your first logo there’s no need to overcomplicate things. Whatever you make will probably be fine and if your business takes off but you don’t love the logo you can always change it later.
But we also know us saying that might not be enough to help you just get after it, so here are a few things you can keep in mind to let your inner concern troll relax a bit.
Research Your Target Audience
Your logo needs to look good, sure, but it also needs to communicate effectively with your target audience.
Think about who they are, what they like, and if you know anyone who your business could help talk to them about your business and what they think and feel about businesses like yours for ideas on what your logo should “say” about it.
Research Ideas and Competitors
From looking at and talking to your target audience, along with ideas you already have, online research can be really helpful for finding inspiration too.
Look for competitor’s logos, look up keywords associated with your business, and see if you can find your target audience on Reddit or other places to get more leads on ideas and competitors.
You want to make sure your logo is unique and clearly recognizable, but starting a business is hard enough without trying to reinvent the wheel too. Find some things that work, put your own spin on them, logo = done.
Create a Mind Maps and/or Mood Board
Mind maps are a great way to get ideas out of your head for your logo or for your online research to find inspiration for your logo. Just write your business name or a word that describes it in the middle of a piece of paper, circle it, then draw out other things that come to mind to find logo idea gold.
Mood boards are another idea creation/inspiration finding technique that super fancy designers use to create logos.
You and I would call it a “collage.”
Basically, you find a bunch of images (logos, pictures, graphics, etc) that you think are interesting and related to your business, paste them all up on a poster board or a free online collage maker and keep it handy when you’re working on your logo ideas.
Keep. It. Simple.
Again, we can’t stress enough how much your first logo doesn’t need to be perfect.
But in addition to your peace of mind (that thing you’ll get when you finally just make the flipping thing), simplicity is also a really important part of good logos to make them easy to remember, recognizable, and useable everywhere. Think Nike or Apple.
Mirror Your Business’ Personality
You might come up with a logo that looks great but is totally wrong for your business. An example would be using rainbow colors and Comic Sans for a law firm. That lawyer isn’t getting you out of sh*t.
If your business is fun, use crazier fonts and colors (but don’t overdo it). If your business is health-focused, stick to blues and greens and browns. If you’re building a fashion advice blog, fit the style of your logo to the style of fashion you like talking about the most.
That’s all we have for you today folks, time to jump to it! And yes, we know that’s not the right spelling of “wrap.”
Hopefully we’ve helped you get unstuck with this whole logo making thing; it’s important, but not worth stressing about. Really if you just fire up the free logo maker, play with a few ideas for a few minutes, you’ll probably come up with something awesome.
Then you can get back to the website building stuff.
Oh, you didn’t get started with that yet?
We’ve got you fam, check out our guide and get going with that in less than 30 minutes!