Create Your Own Logo: How to make a free business logo without a designer
Use our recommended logo design software, DesignEvo
I can begin this blog post about business logos with Accenture’s mind-bogglingly expensive redesign (valued at $100 million). I can kick this off with the legendary story of Pepsi’s logo design. Or the plain ingenuity of FedEx’s current logo.
But I won’t.
Let me start off with this instead: I think business logos are overrated.
O.K., hear me out here. I think logos are a fun subject to talk about and, as I’ve learned after designing all my logos myself, an even more fun thing to execute. But what I want to get at is that we, as entrepreneurs, put so much time and attention are putting into it more than how much we should.
Nike’s immortal swoosh was designed by a graphics design student for a measly $35. Think about that for a sec. One of the most recognizable pieces of branding cost its company the price of about a dozen trips to Starbucks.
This is why I think we are getting ourselves (and our businesses) in a rut when we overthink logos.
It’s even truer for first logos. The prospect of spending so much money on your first logo when your business will obviously have to go through pivots and other changes over time. The same idea applies to when I think about web design.
MVP, folks. Minimum Viable Product. That’s all you need to launch. Rather than pay for thousands of dollars to an agency or a seasoned logo designer, why not take a crack at it yourself?
There are many resources for business owners like you to try out, including free logo design software that lets you create a business logo for free.
On this post, I’m going to walk you through how to create a free business logo from scratch even without the help of a professional designer or branding specialist.
When you should hire a designer
Before I move any further with this guide, I hope to make one thing clear: logo designers are awesome. They do amazing work that can do wonders to your brand’s message.
I still think hiring a designer at the very start-point of your launch is not the best idea.
I’m obviously speaking in terms of launches here and directly to our audience here at Leaders Who Launch—solo-preneurs who want to build a business as a side hustle or serial entrepreneurs who churn out successful businesses as a career. For these people, time (and money!) is of the essence. They are laser-focused in building a profitable business with as little time, money, and energy investment as possible.
You see, working with a designer is going to take time, money, and energy. Only if you have a surplus of these is when I would recommend you work with a designer.
For the rest of us, what’s up ahead will have to do.
Strive for MVP, not perfection
Look. In the battle between done and perfect, the “good” should always.
This is a realization I’ve wrestled with for years being a perfectionist myself. It’s very difficult to settle for “good enough” when you know you can pump out more.
But what often happens is that we get stuck because of perfectionism. Just because something isn’t good enough for us doesn’t mean that it isn’t already great for others.
Striving for perfection is a very inward way of thinking. Our obsessive drive to put out perfect work is sometimes no longer predicated by our desire to satisfy our customers’ needs, but the desire to satisfy our own. It’s time we flipped the script and started thinking more about our customers.
By throwing our egoistic standards out of the window, we are empowering ourselves to create more and serve our audience better.
As it happens, one of the earlier speed bumps creative entrepreneurs and makers face is logo design. By abandoning our obsession over creating this generation’s perfect logo (like Coca-Cola has been for decades), we can turn our attention towards more important things, like actually running the business.
For self-starters like yourself, using a logo design software (or logo maker) is an ideal solution, because:
It’s less expensive
It circumvents the need for hiring a designer
It offers an easier alternative to learning design yourself
Now that you know the value of striving for “done” rather than “perfect”, it’s time we start making logos. Ready? Cool. Here goes.
How to create a free business logo from scratch (without the help of a designer)
Contrary to what other entrepreneurs tell you, logo-making is fun. It shouldn’t be a stressful process that involves a lot of back-and-forths with an agency or a designer.
Below is a comprehensive guide of how to create a business logo from scratch, even if you don’t have a designer or agency helping you.
1. Know your brand (even just a bit)
I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but you’ll hear it from me too.
“This step is very important, yet many skip it.”
However, unlike others, I won’t lecture you about knowing exactly what your brand is. Because frankly, who the hell knows what it is? Especially if you’re a first-time entrepreneur at this early into business development, you won’t know for sure what your brand is supposed to be like.
So if you’re unsure about what your branding should be, take a deep breath, and know that it’s okay. As I’ve mentioned, you will make many changes and pivots along the way anyway. What’s important right now is for you to nail down at least a rough idea of what your brand is going to be.
To give you a more illustrative example, I did the branding for Leaders Who Launch. My rough idea for it goes something to the effect of: “a practical resource community where entrepreneurs can swap stories, insights, and trade secrets about building an online business.”
From this, I knew I wanted to build a brand that offers value but doesn’t overwhelm. It informed a lot of decisions in terms of web design (we opted for a very clean look), but logo-wise, here’s what we came up with:
That logo came from a rougher draft, however: which is a very simple icon-based logo that shows a rocket ship blasting to space.
You’ll see what this looks like later (spoiler: I made it using a free logo design software!)
2. Think about your ideal customer
Here’s an even more important internalization: who is your ideal customer?
I won’t let you off the cuff, this time. If you don’t know who you’re serving, you should ask yourself why you are in business in the first place.
For us here at Leaders Who Launch, we knew we wanted to serve first-time launchers (entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small businesses).
From this, we determined which colors, typefaces, and design languages to use. We chose red for passion (that’s the fuel we all run on, don’t we?), Proxima Nova for easy readability, and a caret (^) indicating growth and scalability.
But here’s the thing: you don’t have to overthink your ideal customer, either. I’m sure you can name about a handful of websites and companies that speak/sell directly to the same audience or target customer.
Nailing down your ideal customer can sometimes be as easy as emulating already successful companies. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
3. Use a free logo design software
There are a lot of great logo design software and they are awesome. They have become so good that here I am officially recommending them to businesses.
This solution is practical for first-time entrepreneurs, blog logos, podcast cover art, and more.
I recommend three different logo design tools. Trust me when I say I’ve scoured the internet for what I think is the best one, and I’ve ended up with these awesome companies. They are:
DesignEvo – DesignEvo is a logo design software that lets users create logos using their intuitive web-based logo maker. There’s a great library of icons, fonts, and designs to choose from.
Logo Maker by Wix – Wix.com might be known for its robust web builder, but true to the company’s mission to help entrepreneurs, they also created this logo maker which lets you customize pre-designed templates to fit your business.
PlaceIt Logo Maker – PlaceIt is a popular mockup generation service. They also have a Logo Maker, which works similarly to the examples above.
To show you how awesome some of the designs you can come up using these tools.
For this guide, however, we’ll be sticking with DesignEvo to walk you through the entire process.
First, sign up for a free account. DesignEvo will ask you a few standard questions. Your answers to these questions will then be used to make initial design recommendations.
If you don’t like any of its recos, you can simply do a quick search for design templates. For Leaders Who Launch, I chose to go with an icon of a rocket ship. So I searched for “rocket”.
When you find a design you like, click it and start tweaking the design. This is what I came up with:
Hit the Download button to finish.
4. Apply your logo in various placements
Now that you’re done creating your logo, you can place it anywhere you need it. Use your new logo on your website, in your socials, business cards, and more.
Note that as a free user you can only download a low-res version of the file and you’ll need to credit DesignEvo for your use of the design.
If you want to overtake these restrictions, I suggest you pick up one of their plans, which gets you a whole branding package, including high-res files, vectors, and most importantly, copyright ownership.
The last one is absolutely essential, especially if your business is incorporated. You don’t want to be in hot legal waters, don’t ‘ya?
There you have it! You now have a sweet, awesome-looking business logo.
I hope that with this little win, you start to feel unstuck and start building your business. If you’ve built your logos using DesignEvo or any of the logo design software I mentioned above, I’d love to see it in the comments or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.