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How to Design a Logo in Photoshop

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Daniel P. McGoldrick•updated: 6/22/2011

Learn how to make a simple and professional-looking logo in Adobe Photoshop.

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    Using the Right Kind of Logo

    Having a clean-looking logo is important in the desktop publishing world. A recognizable graphic that can be placed online or on a business card can help both retain customers and acquire new ones. Here we are going to go over some simple steps that you can take to create a memorable logo with the Adboe Photoshop program.

    For more information on other ways you can use Adobe Photoshop, check out Creating Graffiti Art and Text in Adboe Photoshop and How to make an HTML Banner with Adobe Photoshop.

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    Design a Logo in Photoshop

    First thing to do is to open up your Adobe Photoshop program and create a new document. A good size to use when creating a basic logo is 440 by 312. To keep your logo simple and easy to manage over multiple desktop projects fill your logo background in white.

    Now, if you want a logo that includes a graphic open your Custom Shape Tool and scroll through the shapes available. If you are going for a nature-based theme select one of the many silhouetted leaf shapes or you could chose musical notes. Whatever your basic business theme is, choose a graphic that will correspond with both your business title and general business purposes.

    Once you have chosen your graphic from the Custom Shape Tool option, create a new layer to place your graphic in. Set your foreground color to black and draw the shape inside your open document. To do this, just select the Pen Tool and right click anywhere inside your document and click Make Selection. The Make Selection dialogue box will pop up with the default settings of Anti-aliased checked and Operation New Selection checked, so just click the OK button as these are the settings you will want to keep for your graphic. Once your graphic is in place on the new layer, fill the selection with black to finish the silhouette look.

    Next, double click on your layer so that you can be sure it is the selected layer that is being worked on. Under the Drop Shadow selection set your Blend Mode to Multiply with an Opacity of 75% and check mark the Use Global Light option. When you choose these settings for the Drop Shadow the Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow check box will be marked. The end result of this action to your graphic is the layer will give a drop shadow affect to the silhouette you just created.

    The next step is to add some text to your logo graphic. Start by setting the foreground color to white and select the Text Tool. Choose the text that you feel will best highlight your business logo. The best overall choice for coloring on your text is going to be black, as that will ensure the flexibility of your logo for various product placements in the future.

    Created following the photoshop guidelines above, here is an example of what your logo result can be. *image used was created by author in the Adobe Photoshop application.