The Logo Creator: A Photographer's Swiss Knife
Starting photography professionally means, also, creating a suitable logo to brand your business. I've found a software that does that and much more: web page titles, business cards, promo materials.
When you decide you need a logo to brand your photography business you've, usually, some choices: pay someone to do it, get it done free (or almost) online, ask a designer friend to do it for free or do it yourself.
In these dire times, people will try to spare as much money as they can, so, for obvious reasons, many will skip hiring a designer. And if they have a friend that promises to do it, they'll be tied to a promise that sometimes takes a long time to fulfill. It's not the best option if you really need to show your name around.
The Logo Creator has 201 templates with hundreds of elements to choose and change as you wish.
Hire a Designer
Let me say this: if you're being successful with your photography and money is not a problem, hire a designer whose work you like, and define with him/her what you need. If you have absolutely no idea of where to start to do your own logo, hire a designer.
Our second option is waiting for you online: there are lots of places/software that will do a logo for free (or almost for free). But you'll soon discover that most of them - the free ones mainly - are very limited and are based on a "cookie-cutter" process that will make your logo very much like your neighbors.
You can choose the type of logo that suits your needs and change it at will.
I've already mentioned what happens when you ask a friend, so the last "normal" option is doing it yourself. If you're a wiz with Photoshop or a graphics program, you'll be able to do your own logos without any problem. But from my experience I know that many photographers needing a logo always hesitate when having to select font types, designs and all other elements, when using Photoshop.
Many people tend to get lost in the middle of so many options Photoshop offers, and having no visual clue about what they want, they end with a strange looking set of letters above a white or much too colorful background. It's then that they/you discover that there's another option: buy a commercial program that helps you along that path.
Do It Yourself
I've tried different ones and I've come to settle on one that gives you more than you think. I've been using it since 2008 and I am very happy with the results. It's called The Logo Creator and as far as I know there's nothing that comes close to it in terms of versatility. I've used it to do everything from business cards to website titles, logos, workshop tutorial pages, promotional mailers and much more.
Now, The Logo Creator, from LaughingBird Software has just been revamped with a new version, the 6th, and owners of The Logo Creator 5 can upgrade for free. This new version is not only more easy to use, but it has more than 200 templates and 300 logo objects to mix, match and modify.
It costs $39,95 and is, in fact, much more than a logo creator for your business. It can be used to create titles, text and images for so many things that I've incorporated The Logo Creator into my regular flow of work. It can take care of your personalized stationery if you can spare the time to create the different images you need. It's some of that experience that I want to share with you in this article.
I've used the software to do not only any logos I need but also for a lot of other things. I still do a lot of small text things in Photoshop, but whenever I need a title that catches the eye, I tend to look for options in The Logo Creator.
And if you invest in the extra packs, that give you more ideas and objects to play with, and can even help you to create a header for your Facebook timeline, you begin to understand that this can be a sound investment.
Creating a Logo
I use the program to create logos for my workshops advertisements. It lets me choose rapidly a solution that fits a particular image. I've used it to create logos for my websites. In fact, I use the program a lot of times not even thinking much about it. Let me show you the process of creating a logo for a photo tour announcement. I recently made one similar, but in Portuguese, for a series of photo tours I am leading from June on.
Once you select the template that you want to use, it shows on the canvas area.
Start by choosing (see image above) a logo that fits your idea. Remember you can always change color, shape, format, font, shadow, blur and many other aspects. You can also add graphic elements. Or simply take them all away.
The first thing to do is to resize the canvas according to your monitor, so you have a big working area.
After choosing the lettering I liked, I changed the text using the menus on the left side, and duplicated the element, to write the words "Photo Tours." I also duplicated the "o" so I could keep the different color element from the original lettering.
To resize the elements, choose each one of them and use the menu on the left. Type the size or simply move the cursor text scale to the right or left.
It is possible to resize the logo to have a bigger starting image that you can save and use it as the base for different needs. For most of the web and printing uses, the files saved from The Logo Creator will be good enough.
To save the logo, open the Export option on the left side menu of the program.
Once you've the logo ready you can save it as a JPG, PNG or Transparent PNG. This last option is probably the most common choice as it will let you place the logo over any other image. If you've chosen a specific background for the logo, then you can save it as PNG or JPG, to keep all the elements together.
To import images into The Logo Creator select File and Import Image from the menu.
It's possible to import images into The Logo Creator, so as to make your final work there, but I prefer to export the logo and use another editor, like Photoshop, as it is more flexible. But being able to import images means that you're free to create logos with other objects than those present in the original program.
That's how the logo made in The Logo Creator looks when you open it in Photoshop.
So now you have your new logo, transparent, ready to be used over any other image. Open it in Photoshop or your preferred editor and you're ready for some fun. My final logo size was 2800x709 pixels, after cropping most of the white area around it.
Because you can resize each element, you can adjust the background photo and the logo easily.
Having imported the chosen background image into Photoshop you can place it on a layer under the logo and choose the best position and size for each element. Now you can define different aspects, even make the logo more transparent or define a shadow, if you want to, and adjust everything to create your final image.
This is how the final image looks like.
For this example, I made a base file with the dimensions of 1800x1450 pixels, more than enough for my needs, to use as a promotional image for the photo tours. I choose that size because I can rescale it to create a regular web banner with 300x250 pixels. And because I can easily resize the original logo PNG file, I can reuse the logo for anything I need.
The canvas in the Logo Creator is a square with 2880x2880 pixels and you're free to define any size within those limits. That means you can create logos or images that have about 24cm side at 300 pip.
Due to the quality of the original PNG, you can resample it to about double its size if you need to. But if you are so happy with your logo that you want or need to have it really big, you can always get it transformed into a vector image (that can be enlarged any size you need), using services from some companies online.
Once you've done a logo in The Logo Creator you can also save it as a template, so you can go back to it and edit things anytime you like. Remember this aspect if you use the program, because it will save you time if you want to change something in your work.