In a perfect world, every company would hire a designer to create logos. The reality is that although good logo design is an art, sometimes in a pinch you need a “quick" logo for a project. Often a company doesn’t have the budget or inclination to hire a designer, so an unsuspecting employee is tasked with the job.
If you are that unsuspecting employee, first don’t panic. Second, note the logos around you that you remembered and liked. Almost all striking logos have one thing in common: they are extremely simple. For example, almost everyone recognizes the CBS “eye" or the Shell Oil Company’s simple seashell graphic. Another less obvious advantage to a simple logo is that it usually means the image can be reduced down to a small size and still be recognizable. Good logos are versatile. They can be emailed or faxed and remain recognizable.
To create a logo, it’s best to use a vector-based drawing program. (Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, and Freehand are drawing programs.) With a vector-based program, you can draw a logo that can be scaled to any size without losing quality. It’s easiest to start with a simple piece of royalty-free clip art, or even a letter or string of text that graphically expresses something having to do with the business or project. Picture fonts, such as Wingdings have many characters that can act as a great logo starting point.
Import your clip art or type a character into your drawing program. Ungroup the clip art and determine how easy is is to make changes to it. Sometimes complex clip art graphics aren’t worth the effort to try and modify, but simple clip art symbols often are easy to work with. If you use a font character, convert it to curves.
Once you have your starting point, it’s time to get creative. Try using some of the transformation features to convey a feeling. For example, skewing or slanting an image can convey movement. Try repeating a shape or element or reversing it out from a background. Changing colors of part of the logo, rotating, scaling, deleting, or changing the alignment of a particular element also can have a big visual impact.
With a little experimentation, you may find that creating logos isn’t something to fear. You may not be a great designer, but non-artists can have fun playing with graphics too.