Honing the Fundamentals: How to Make a Logo In Photoshop

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When I say McDonald's, what's the first image that you picture?

When I say Apple, what's the first thing that pops into your head?

Chances are if you're anything like me the first thing you imagine when you think about these brands is their logo.

After all, where would McDonald's be without this world-famous Golden Arches? And where would Nike be without their checkmark?

From intricate details to simple shapes, logos have an enormous power over what we remember and what we buy.

In fact, of the 40 million pictures posted to Instagram daily roughly 10,000 of them are the Starbucks logo.

Clearly, if you want your brand to make an impact you need to create a memorable logo. But where should you start?

When it comes to making a logo there's a lot to learn from basic design principles and color theory to using apps like Photoshop and Illustrator.

Don't worry though we'll help you get started by showing you how to make a logo in photoshop with just a few quick steps.

1. Make a New Document in Photoshop

The first step to making a logo in photoshop is opening a new document.

Open Photoshop and under File select New. You can also use a keyboard shortcut like Ctrl+N.

Next, choose the size and resolution of your canvas. Before you begin you're going to have to estimate how large your canvas should be.

I recommend working with a canvas that is at least 600px height and 1000px width. If you usually like to work small I recommend working between 400px and 800px.

If your Logo is going to be in print your resolution should be at least 300 pixels per inch. And color mode should be set to RBG. Then create a new layer using the Shift+Ctrl+N shortcut.

2. Add a Background and Some Texture

You can choose to work with a plain white background but I've found that adding a background is easier on the eyes and makes it easier to generate ideas.

Now there are a lot of different ways to do this. First, you can add a background by using the Background Contents section of the opening page.

You can also drag it into your document background from another file you have saved.

Your background can be anything from a picture to a color gradient.

Next, use the brush tool to add texture.

First, select a paintbrush icon from the toolbar on the left side of the screen. Next, choose the brush that you want by right clicking on your image and picking an icon from the brush library.

Then reduce the opacity of the brush and create a new layer. Draw on the new layer with your brush to add an embellishment. Then reduce the opacity of the layer and play with blending modes until you feel the design looks good.

3. Add Text

Adding text is the most important part of learning to create a logo in photoshop.

The first step is to select the "T" from the toolbar. This will create a new file that you can add text to.

Next, select the type you will use. Make sure that the type you choose matches the brand or the product that you're representing.

Now you can select a font from the list provided or you can add your own font.

The next step is to right click on the type layer and select the rasterize type. This will allow you to edit the layer. This means that you can add blending modes and change the opacity of the layer.

4. Pick Your File Format

This last step seems obvious but an important part of knowing how to design a logo in photoshop. Your file format effects how much you'll be able to edit the file later.

I'll go over some of the most popular file formats and what they're used for.

PSD or Photoshop format- This is the most commonly used file format. It allows for the most integration into other Adobe products like Indesign and Illustrator. It allows you to go back and edit individual layers after you've saved.

PDF Format- This format allows other people to view your logo without needing an image editing software. This format preserves page layouts and fonts.

JPEG This file format allows you to save space and can be opened in most image editing software. Though this may save space the tradeoff is lossy compression that may affect image quality.

Extra Tips

Now that you know how to create a logo in photoshop lets go over some tips that might make designing a logo easier.

Start with a sketch of what you want your design to look like. Though this photoshop logo design tutorial it might help you to quickly sketch out ideas before opening photoshop. This will help you organize your thoughts and will help your logo look better in the end.

Have an idea board of images color schemes, design ideas to help you visualize what you want your logo to look like.

Save your file as you work. Your computer can crash at any time so it's important to save every five minutes or so using the CTRL+S shortcut.

Logos don't just have to be for brands.

You can create logos for any product you're selling. For example, if you run a restaurant that serves drinks it might help your company to have custom logos for each drink to make each drink more memorable. This site provides some helpful tips on creating such logos.

Now That You Know How to Make a Logo in Photoshop Wanna Learn More?

Logo design can help you make a statement. Companies can spend millions of dollars designing them. And with graphic design careers expected to grow 4% in the next several years, design skills can be very lucrative.

However, knowing how to make a logo in photoshop is only the first step to becoming a great designer. There's always more to learn and we can help you get started. We have a variety of art and design tutorials to help take your design skills to the next level.


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