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The art of making a logo


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Sometimes it frusttrates my when i see awesome work around here. I dont have photshop or anything.I know that i am a good artist, i had paitings from me up around my school. im just wondering because i cant design a logo for the life off me. is it the program or is it the person that seems to be the question each time. im good with jerseys and stuff and i find them fun. but logo's are so friggen hard. im purchasing photshop soon. and hope i can start my logo's, i know i can do it , and i know i can make logo's as good as half of you but i dont have the proper software. But the big question once again is it the software or the artist. this question seems to stump me. anyways i started trying to learn how to do it in paint. im not to sure if its possible though??

anyways here is what i came up with, i need some help big time guys


well if u can tell its me re doing or trying to do a steveo logo

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the main programs used for logo creation would be vector-based drawing programs like Illustrator, Freehand, and even Flash. vector artwork is much better than pixel-based programs (like paint or photoshop) because the final files allow for unlimited scaling without losing any picture quality or resolution. until you get one of these, or photoshop, you might want to pm steve-o to get some pointers on drawing in Paint to start. some of those techniques will be helpful when working in Photoshop too.

as far as concepts, go, I'm kind of in the same boat. I never seem to be able to come up with dynamic but simple logos like a lot of the other members here, but I would say the best way to start the process is to practice drawing them out on paper first. getting frustrated with the drawing tools in programs can hinder the creative process. try coming up with some sketches and ideas on paper first. then scan them in (or cheat and take a digital photo of your drawing). then, once you get photoshop or illustrator, use your drawing as a template and redraw the logo on a new layer on top of the template

"you gotta learn how to draw with your hands before you can draw with the mouse"

sorry for mostly lowercase..i'm using a substitute keyboard at a strange angle

Back-to-Back Fatal Forty Champion 2015 & 2016

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Just relax a bit guy.

You're freaking yourself out.

First of all, using a mouse, and holding a pencil/brush and drawing/painting are two very different sensations. One is tactile, one removed. Its all in the practice and technique. If you think we just sit down and whip it out in 20 minutes.......well maybe some of us can, but I don't.

I sketch ideas out first, scan them, and trace them in my vector software.....Illustrator if its final, Flash if its just conceptual.

Photoshop is great, but dont bother....its not what you need right now. PHotoshop is for.........doctoring photos or making photorealistic effects....neither of which are particularly useful in logos. I mean, get it...it rules. But dont get it for this. Not if you only have enough to get one.

Lastly, "making" a logo.......there is no science to it per say. But if you look closely at most I think you'll agree that they deal with line and tone. Fields of tone, not tiny variances or nuances like paint. They say......this entire shape is in shadow and although there are tens of thousands of shades within the shadow, I'm going to simplify it and make this shape grey or silver or whatevertheheck.

I like to sometimes squint to see the bigger tonal fields. YOu can also practice drawing on grey paper with white and black charcoal and attempt to limit the subject matter to only those three tones.

It all boils down to the fact that you must develop your own visual shorthand........to simplify and make something complex iconic.

And also, you can never leave the ideas of balance, symmetry, asymmetry, contrast out of the equation either.

Practice makes perfect. See the whole thing in your mind, don't get narrowed in on one lousy area of detail. See the whole thing, and then let it take over and surprise you.

The Official Cheese-Filled Snack of NASCAR

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Well said, Sterling. It is very nice to hear affirmation and recomendation from one fo the premier designers.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

And habs... here is a review:


and here is a link with academic pricing ($94?? really??)


NCFA Sunset Beach Tech - Octopi




Going to college gets you closer to the real world, kind of like climbing a tree gets you closer to the moon.

"...a nice illustration of what you get when skill, talent, and precedent are deducted from 'creativity.' " - James Howard Kunstler

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awesome points sterling. Another thing I think that you can do to better yourself is look at logos that have been done. You're here so obviously you like sports logos. Seeing how other people have simplified complex objects and put things together helps. Just keep at it, nobody got good overnight!

good luck!


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Beginners to Illustrator and/or Photoshop need to realize that those of us that have been working with the programs for the last 10 years still have things we learn from these programs. I hate to tell anyone to get either of those programs without letting them know that they are difficult to "master" and that it takes a lot of practice to get comfortable with using such tools as the pen tool. I am not saying you can't do it, but be prepared for a learning curve. I don't want to discourage anyone, but I also don't want someone to think they can buy the program and create the things that are in their mind.

I for one think that anyone with a creative mind can be a designer. Just because you don't know the program to implement the idea does not mean it isn't a good one. Don't get frustrated when your final product doesn't turn out like someone who does this for a living. I think the idea is much more important than what is shown. You can always get someone to create your idea, but you can't always find someone who can come up with the ideas.

Get Illustrator, buy a tutorial book, and put those good ideas down on "paper".

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