designing-your-own-logoWhen you’re starting your own business, you don’t always have the funds to splash out on things like logos and fancy websites. However, money shouldn’t be a barrier to creating a strong brand for your business. In fact, you can do it! All it requires is a bit of thought, some inspiration, a bit of creativity, and perseverance.

Whenever I sit down with a client to design a logo, I always like to brainstorm some words, phrases and analogies that relate to their business. I find that doing this creates a palate of words to work from, making my job as the designer a lot easier.  So the first thing I would recommend doing is grabbing some A3 paper, thinking about what your business will do and the outcome for your customers, and scribbling down any words that come to your head.

Next, what you can do is turn to the internet and take a look at some ‘logo inspiration’ (some good sites are logofaves, dribbble and logopond); the key here is not to get too bogged down in the detail. Simply look at what you like. For example: it may be a slim font, a particular color or just the way a logo is set out. Choose a few of your favorite logos and pick at them, noting down elements you like. Don’t copy anything; you want to be especially sure that your logo doesn’t end up looking too much like another!

Once you’ve got your inspiration, draw out some rough ideas. Don’t worry about it being scruffy, at this stage we’re just trying to see what does and doesn’t work. Once you have an idea you do like you can spend a little more time developing it and making it neat.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Hint: Simple logos consisting of only one or two colors are the most modern looking. Try your logo in one solid color: it may look more contemporary! Also, when it comes to design, less is more – don’t go overboard![/box]

Once you’ve got your final draft logo, it’s time to once again visit the computer! The secret to creating a super-hot logo is in partly down to using the right tools. Many graphic / website designers (like me) use paid tools like Photoshop and Illustrator.  However, you can get a 30-day trail of both of these programs from the Adobe website. The benefit of getting the trial versions is that they’re free and fully-functional. You can create your logo and then, after your 30-day trial is over, you can remove the software.

So, once you’ve installed either Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, it’s then time to take to Google and look for a tutorial that most matches what you want to do with you logo. For example you may search for: ‘easy Photoshop tutorial’ or ‘Photoshop logo design tutorial’. Next, all you have to do is follow a tutorial and just tweak a couple of the steps to match your requirements (e.g. shape, colour, font, gradient). Create several variations and then ask your friends, family, and clients which they prefer.

There you go! Creating your own logo for free is a fabulous alternative to commissioning a design company to do it for you, especially if you’re low on funds.

[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” ]Alternative: If you don’t have the time or creative / technical ability to create a logo, why not ask a local freelance designer? In most cases, self-employed graphic designers will charge less because they don’t have the overheads that come with having staff or professional business premises.[/box]