Whether you’re a solo freelancer or a huge corporation, a company logo is an essential part of making your company recognizable and legitimate. Used on your website header, online profiles, business cards, stationery and any other marketing presence, your logo unites your various profiles.
What Exactly Is a Logo?
Whether it’s simply a typographic name (e.g. the classic Coco-Cola logo) or a graphic representation of your brand (e.g. the iconographic Mercedes-Benz 3-point star), logos can become immediately recognizable visual cues that transcend font or color choice. When we think of logos, we often think of complex illustrations but often the best logos are extremely simple. To help inspire you, here’s a roundup of some of the most recognizable logos of our time:
It’s worth noting that logos can evolve with a brand. Even the most recognizable logos of our times have undergone changes, some subtle and some dramatic. The key is that the logo has held on to something of its original essence over time. Check out the evolution of the Coca-Cola logo below (source).
The point is that a logo can change over time. Don’t feel like this is a one-and-done decision you have to make: You can definitely update your logo as your business grows and – in fact – such changes are a good way to signal important milestones on your business journey. So… don’t overthink it. Start by choosing something you love and grow from there!
But Isn’t Logo Design Expensive?
Getting a professional design can definitely be expensive. Most freelancers and small business owners simply don’t have the budget to bring on a graphic designer. When you’re starting out it’s easy to conclude that a logo is just a fluffy extra: That time and money is better spent honing your trade, marketing your business and completing client work.
Fortunately, there has been a rise in free logo creators that allow you to make a logo on the spot – no software downloads or design education are needed. So there’s really no excuse for not creating a consistent logo for your business cards, invoices, website and social media profiles. The following creator tools will let you develop a professional logo that legitimizes your business.
1. Squarespace Logo
Squarespace Logo is a free logo maker by the same people who make the Squarespace CMS platform. Their logo designer is simple:
- You start by entering your name or business name
- On the next screen, you will get the option to add a tagline and icon. You can click on the text to change the font style, size, and color, or position. You can click on the icon to change the size, color (fill and border), and position.
- When you save your logo, you will get to choose from a free, 400×400 low-resolution logo with a watermark or a 5000×5000 high-resolution logo with no watermark for $10. If you’re a Squarespace user, the logo is free.
- Overall, it’s a simple tool to use and gets the job done in a minimalistic way. If you’re looking for more customization options, then you might want to look elsewhere, but for clean and simple, this logo maker is for you.
- It takes less than five minutes to design your logo.
- The final design is a PNG file with a transparent background, which means you can place it on any other background without having a white square / rectangular background to modify later.
- You can preview your logo on a white business card or black computer screen while working on your logo.
- You have to search using the right keywords to find additional icons beyond the default ones displayed.
- If you want the high-resolution version with no watermark and don’t have a Squarespace account, it’s not free.
- You can’t save your logo design to work on later – once you’ve downloaded it and left the site, you would have to start the design over again if you wanted to change it in any way.
LogoGarden is a free logo creator, founded in 2011 and used by over 1,765,002 entrepreneurs. You can browse through hundreds of samples by industry, from accounting to transportation, or jump right into their logo designer. To get started:
- You can click on the orange Create my FREE logo button anywhere on the website.
- You will then use the wizard to choose your industry. Choose your symbol.
- And finally, choose your color & type. Here, you will add your business name and optional tagline. You can also add effects to your text and your symbol, shape the text, and choose from several other customization options.
- Once finished, save your logo. You will be prompted to create an account. Once you have verified the account, you will get the option to download a free, low-resolution version of your logo or purchase the high-resolution version for $12.95, along with the ability to make unlimited revisions and get a version with a clear background.
- You can also right-click on the version displayed on the LogoGarden website (above where it wants you to purchase the high-resolution version) and get a slightly better version than the one you downloaded.
- The download is 200×67 jpg with a white background, whereas the one you snag off the website is 500×168 PNG with a transparent background and less distortion.
- More options to choose from in terms of fonts, effects, and especially symbols.
- You can preview your logo on a business card, t-shirt, coffee mug, sign, and smartphone case, all of which you can design and purchase through the same website.
- The free version you can download is pretty bad in terms of size, format, and pixilation. The one you can snag off the website is better, but this is something you may not be able to do down the road.
- You can’t edit your logo later without making a purchase, even if you sign up for an account.
- If you do choose to buy your logo, you will have to give them your contact information, including phone number. In the fine print, it gives LogoGarden and its affiliates the right to use “automatic telephone dialing system or pre-recorded call” to contact you about more services they offer. It says you don’t have to give consent to this, but there’s also no opt-out option on the purchase form. You have to opt-out later.
Overall, there are a lot of great features in this tool for non-designers to create a more unique logo.
GraphicSprings is a logo maker that allows you to create professional looking logos. Something to note about this site: it is a free logo maker as in the use of the software is free, but they do not provide you with a free logo. You can look at a batch of logos created in random industries for inspiration prior to designing your own. To get started:
- Click the Start Logo or Get Started buttons anywhere on the website. You will use the wizard to input your business name.
- Then, select your image category
- Choose your logo graphic
- Now, you will be able to do a variety of tasks to customize your logo including editing the text and logo graphic.
- Once you’re finished, you can click the Save Logo button. As mentioned earlier, you can’t get the logo for free. So at this point, you will be presented with a preview of your logo itself (with lots of copyright watermarks) and a preview of your logo on a variety of products. To get a high-resolution version of your logo and the right to use it for your business, you must pay $39.99.
- The logo graphics are much more professional than earlier reviewed services, and the logo itself is of higher quality overall.
- You have the option to buy the logo graphic that you used with your logo to ensure you will be the last person to use it.
- There’s no way to actually get a free logo from this service. You only get to design your logo for free.
- As mentioned in the Likes section, you have the option to buy the logo graphic to ensure you’ll be the last person to use it, but since anyone could have used it before, it may not be worth the $99.99 upsell.
- Overall, this is a great service to use if you want to create a logo yourself, and you don’t mind paying $39.99 to get something with a bit higher quality.
Don’t Forget: Upload Your Logo to Your FreshBooks Account
Using a logo creator tool is a great way to produce your first logo at an affordable cost. As you grow your business and develop your brand, a professional designer can create the next generation of your logo and brand identity. Once you’ve created your logo, make sure to upload it to your FreshBooks profile. Click here to learn how.
Things to Keep In Mind
Having a great logo is awesome, but it’s important to stay within legal and ethical boundaries. You need to be mindful of these few things:
- Trademark Violations: Steer clear of logo creators that make logos using fonts from other brands (e.g. Facebook, Disney, Coca-Cola, etc). Ripping off another company’s design – especially Fortune 500 brands – can land you in legal trouble due to trademark violations.
- Limit Collateral Investment: In addition, if you do not plan to use your new logo long term, you shouldn’t invest in thousands of business cards, brochures and other forms of physical collateral. It’s easy to change a logo on your website or Facebook. Only purchase quantities of physical collateral that you’ll be able to use during the lifespan of that logo.
Additional Resources: Even More Logo Makers!
If you don’t find what you’re looking for in the three tools tested above, here’s a longer list of additional logo makers for you to explore:
- LogoYes – Allows you to design a logo for free and download a high-resolution version for $0.99. Also signs you up for their website building services, which are free for the first year, and $9.95 per month thereafter. You can cancel before the year is up to avoid additional charges.
- LogoMaker – Allows you to design a logo and use it on your website for free using their HTML code. Logos for use on business cards and other materials are $49 each.
- DesignMantic – Allows you to design a logo for free and download a high-resolution version for $29.
- LogoTypeMaker – Allows you to design a logo for free and download a high-resolution version for $25.
- VistaPrint Logo Maker – Allows you to design a free logo to use with their business products.
- Tweak.com – Allows you to design a logo for free and download different resolutions starting at €4.95.
- Zillion Designs – Allows you to design a logo for free and download EPS, JPG, and PNG for free in exchange for mentioning Zillion Designs on your blog or website.
- 99Designs – Get a custom logo from a professional designer. It’s a contest site for designers, meaning you’ll have dozens of logos to choose from for just $299.
- Logo Genie – A simple tool dedicated to make logo designing as simple as possible.
- Online Logo Maker – They claim to be the coolest logo maker available. A lightweight, functional tool with a clean interface.
- Free Logo Services – Design a logo in minutes, then download the file for $39.95. But you only have to pay if you like the outcome.
- YouiDraw – If you know a bit about design, you can use their app to build a high-quality vector without investing in expensive software.
- Logaster – A freemium logo maker. You get a small logo for free, with the option to download a large file for just $9.99.
- Hipster Logo Generator – A fun little generator for businesses wanting to stay hip.
- Logo Factory Web – Simple logo creator tool that is 100% free to use.
- LogoEase – You get the option to download their software or use their custom logo design services, whichever works best for your budget.
- TextCraft – Create an 8-bit logo for your business.
- G Logo Design – They have 10,000 designers at their disposal. You’ll get access to numerous designs, and then choose the one you like best. Starts at $100
- WithOomph – Get a great looking logo starting at $30. Also has the option to purchase full social media branding.
- LogoWorks – A service from the tech giant HP. A strong option if you have a couple hundred dollars to invest.