So, I was at Office Depot, killing some time before a client was available for a meeting. As I was browsing, I saw a package called Logo Maker 2011. As a designer, my first gut instinct is to start a bonfire and toss in software like this. However, after some deep consideration of my built in prejudices, I decided to see what had been developing.
The last time I checked out ‘plug and play’ design software they were so ridiculously cheesy as to be laughable. However, I recently had to help a friend use Microsoft’s new Paint program to scan… yes TO SCAN… an image.
It put me in mind, especially since today is my 50th blog post, of technology’s fast pace. The newer versions of Word and (my old nemesis) Publisher have templates so customizable I have to begrudgingly call them worthwhile to the small business owner. So what about the very core of a designer’s arsenal: brand development?
Rather than spend $40 to test out the software, I went online and found a free version by Hewlett-Packard called Free Logo Creator. Again, begrudgingly, I played around with it.
The Verdict: So long as you have an eye for design and a clear idea of what you want your business identity to say, this is a pretty good software. It doesn’t look like you can create vector logos (logos that look good no matter how big you make them) but you can order high resolution versions of your logo for $50.
You can pick your logo, change the colors and position of various elements. It’s pretty sophisticated and customizable. It is limited to someone like me who is used to using Adobe Illustrator and having complete control, but for someone just trying to whip something up or play around the program has merits.
Something interesting to note:
Craftily, tucked near the bottom of the website is a suggestion that if you’re not sure how to design your own logo you can hire a professional. This sort of breaks down my whole feeling about the program. You can “make a logo”, but a designer knows how to make a logo that’s more than a logo, make it be a full extension of your mission, your business style and yourself as a owner.
A lot of people don’t get that a logo is more than just some pretty graphics. A good designer won’t just whip up some random images and your company name. They’ll make sure your identity is an identity that means something. They will make sure the subconscious response to your logo is one that you want.
Final Aside: Thanks for reading my blog. 50 posts is a lot for me and I’m still going strong! I’ve never thought of myself as a writer, but I hope that I’m helping someone out there with their troubles and confusion. If you have questions, lamentations, or thoughts please leave comments and I’ll be happy to talk about them in future blog posts!