Many graphics applications provide more than enough features to make a great logo, but they typically start with a blank canvas. There is a long way from that point to a finished logo. Logo Design Studio Pro gives you a running start. With hundreds of good looking logo ideas you can tweak, Logo Design Studio Pro will get you miles ahead of where you would have been after staring at a blank canvas for a few days.
To get started select a sample template that appeals to you, and tweak away. Add textures, slogans, taglines, and design elements. Configure special effects like shadows, blurs, frames and embossing. Save all the good ideas and then polish the best one for presentation.
My initial experience with Logo Design Studio Pro was lukewarm at best, but the more I used it the better I liked it. By the time I finished the review, I rated it a four star performer.
…. note… Summitsoft Corporation contacted me in Sept 2010 and generously provided a copy of the newest Logo Design Studio Pro Vector Edition to help me respond to user comments about this article. The article was written with the earlier version of the app running on XP and Vista systems, and the new version is on a Windows 7 laptop….
Price to Value (4 out of 5)
Considering the features and performance Logo Design Studio Pro offers, the price is low to moderate.
Like a lot of software today, the starter kit may not be enough. You’ll want more ideas and those will cost you.
Installation & Setup (3 out of 5)
There is a demo version of the Logo Design Studio available for download, but it’s not the Pro package.
The download of the Pro version is 650 MB, large enough to recommend the boxed version as the website does. Those many hundreds of extra starter ideas make for the large size.
System requirements are modest and the website says the application runs on Windows 2000, XP, and Vista.
I started by downloading the 38-1/2 MB demo version which installed and ran well on my XP system, but didn’t run on Vista. The website says the full application will run on Vista ergo I figured the trial might also. Since it didn’t my initial testing was limited to my XP system.
The purchased version intalled easily and well on both operating systems, and in time to support my review schedule.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
Logo Design Studio Pro opens with a view of template categories and samples within them. Selecting a logo that aligns with your ideas is a great way to get a jump start on the design.
If you have a real artistic flair, start with a blank canvas. Most of us don’t have sufficient talent and the templates are very much appreciated.
Once opened, the user interface is pretty intuitive. Click or double click on items. Copy/paste design elements from one logo design to another. Re-size and move items or move forwards or backwards in the layer level. Add drop shadows and textures.
For the most part the interface is easy and intuitive… with minor exceptions such as:
- When using the text dialogue box to revise, you apply the revised text by pressing the upper right x. The x we all use to close an item without applying the changes. Since It doesn’t have an OK button use the x to serve that function. It just feels a bit awkward.
- Shadow settings include sliders for vertical and horizontal positions which work fine but I think the terms are interchanged. Adusting the vertical position moves the shadow left and right. As it’s a dynamically linked process, you can see immediately what’s happeningcuasing no difficulties. Ignore the words if you think like me, the engineer. On the other hand, my wife the artist happens to agree with SummitSoft’s terminology.
For good measure, save your work often. Like most Windows applications, it can crash or hang.
Product Features (4 out of 5)
The library of templates and sample logos in Logo Design Studio Pro have much to get you up and running quickly.
Like with any art, the end product could be anything from crude and tacky to something worthy of printing on canvas and hanging in a gallery. Logo Design Studio Pro can give you the tools to do them but the creativity is up to you.
Modern graphics software takes you beyond basic design elements and color selections into the features of 3D, gradients, lighting effects, and shadows.
Other than not seeing any 3D, the many features such as gradients, frames, rotation, opacity, transparency, and numerous extra fonts are sufficient to design great logos.
Exporting to a .png file with transparency is an especially important feature to make custom title overlays for use on websites, in emails, and in movie projects.
You can have multiple logo design canvases open, and copy/paste selected design items from one to the other. It’s a nice touch.
The templates wouldn’t win any art competition, but they are sufficiently good to use as a solid base,
Performance (3 out of 5)
For me the most important part of performance is stability. I found Logo Design Studio Pro extremely stable on both my XP and Vista systems. Sometimes things were a bit slow or non-functional, but I never lost a working session due to it hanging or crashing.
The SummitSoft website says "Logo Design Studio Pro works flawlessly on Windows Vista." I found this statement fallacious. The trial version doesn’t work at all, and neither does the help features of the full version.
After the failure of the trial version to run on my Vista Home Basic laptop, I installed it on a Vista Ultimate desktop running a fresh SP1 system. It had the same problem as the laptop; the install completed but the application wouldn’t run.
I consider the trial version of Logo Design Studio as an XP application, not a Vista one.
The Undo feature goes backwards one step at a time, but for some reason doesn’t undo the step of hiding or unhiding an object.
Sometimes the app performs a bit on the slow side, or things are flaky. For example:
- Opting for a new project sometimes opens the same library selection window you get when you first start up, but not always. When it didn’t I had to restart the application to get to the templates.
- The opening window with a templates view and My Logo Projects displays the templates but not my custom saved projects. Using the icon to My Logo Projects in the same menu window shows them.
Help & Support (2 out of 5)
Ignore the first page of the built in help file when opening it from the menu in XP. It says the program cannot display the webpage. What webpage? I’m simply looking to read the help file.
Ignore it by moving off the first page to another one, and then back to the first page. It’s really a pretty good help file. Use it.
When the trial version wouldn’t run on my Vista system, I took out an account at the Cerberus Helpdesk, searched the online knowledge base to not find the issue, and then tried to open a support ‘ticket’. The website page said to ‘Choose Destination’ for the ticket, but didn’t offer anything to fill in or select.
The website’s FAQ page is all about marketing other products. In addition to two items about Logo Design Studio, how to update it, and where to find more info. If you need more, it says to email the SummitSoft support team with your question. I like to test customer support, so I did.
The menu > Help > Online Tutorials isn’t a functioning link, at the same time the product registration page and the main SummitSoft website work alright. I wrote their tech support about it, and asked for a good link to the tutorials.
When starting the application on my Vista Home Basic system I get a message saying ‘HTML Help is not installed on this PC’. Clicking OK to the message is followed by Logo Design Studio Pro opening and working. Pressing the standard F1 key for help doesn’t work. Neither does pressing the question mark in the main menu and selecting Help Topics. This is another item I asked tech support about.
I completed the review over four days after sending the support request and hadn’t received a response yet beyond the automated system thanking you for email.
Resolve the error message about HTML Help that you get when opening the application in Vista. Have the Help file launch with the F1 key and the main menu. Until then, Vista users can open the help file from the Windows start menu.
Logo Design Studio Pro’s reasonable price, easy user interface, and abundant features outweigh the annoyances and problems in other areas. I give it an overall four star rating.
I think highly of software that has a good specific purpose and following through by doing it well. Logo Design Studio Pro falls in that category.
Freelance Graphics, Microsoft Publisher, Quark, Corel, Adobe