(Editor’s note: it’s easy to use a template available on Adobe Stock to create a logo for your business as Bryan Esler shows in this article. There is one issue with using Adobe Stock or most any stock for that matter to make your business’s logo, it cannot be trademarked or copyrighted. This is because the creator of the template owns the copyright already. Adobe Stock’s contributing artists retain all copyrights to their images. For more visit: https://helpx.adobe.com/stock/kb/adobe-stock-known-issues.html That said, most small businesses do not trademark thier logo due to the expense. I asked what trade marking a logo would cost from an intellectual property attorney I know. His price here in Atlanta was in the $800.00 to $1000.00 range. So, if you don’t intend to trademark your logo, here is an inexpensive, practical way to make your own.)
All small business owners have the need for a visual brand image. When you look at the most reputable companies out there today, their logos and trademarks are extremely recognizable. As videographers, photographers–as business owners we must have image marks that our local market recognizes.
Before You Get Started
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you want your logo to be a vector graphic. This means that it can be resized to an infinite scale if necessary, and be pixel-perfect. Adobe Illustrator is best for this, allowing you to easily create vector graphics and save them out as native AI or EPS files.
It’s also a good idea to keep in mind how your logo will look on different backgrounds. You may want to create a couple different versions of your logo. For instance, you might have a primary full-color logo with dark grey text, but also a full-color logo with light text for a watermark. You’ll also want to create an all-black version and an all-white version, especially if you do any print advertising or video production.
Selecting a Template
Adobe Stock offers several logo templates to get you started. Simply head over to Adobe Stock, choose “Templates” from the main search dropdown and start searching. It’s super easy, and you can then filter by App, and select “Illustrator.” As of this writing, a search for “logo” in the Illustrator category gives you a whopping 255 results. A lot of these might not seem to apply to you, so think of other keywords you can use, like “camera,” “photography,” or “video.”
In this example, I searched for “camera logo” and found eight results — two of which were available to me at no extra charge as a part of my monthly subscription. I decided to go with a package that provided several different line icons that I could use as a part of my logo, instead of selecting a premium template that would’ve given me a complete logo.
Here’s a little trick too — not happy with just one icon? Feel free to download multiple Illustrator templates that you can then combine to come up with something truly unique!
Creating Your Mark
I downloaded the file, which was saved as an .ait file (which stands for Adobe Illustrator Template). Once I opened that up in Illustrator, I was presented with 25 icons that I could choose from.
Because I’m starting to add video to my services, I decided to select a film icon. I decided to go with a video film icon. I selected this and copied it. Then I created a new Illustrator document.
Any standard size Illustrator document will do here; I usually go with the Letter size under the “Print” category and rotate it horizontally.
Once my new document is created, I paste the icon I had copied and then resize it so it’s larger.
From there, I create a text field and type in my business name. Just like in any word-processing program, I select a font and size. Once I was satisfied, I decided to play around with the kerning (or space) in-between letters. Doing so helps your logo read better and have equalized spacing throughout. On a Mac, you can do this by clicking in-between each letter, holding down the “Alt” key and using your left and right arrow keys to adjust it. On Windows, it’s the same, but with the “Ctrl” key.
Once I was satisfied with my text, I went back to the logo. To me, I wanted something bulkier to fit the heavy text I had selected. To do this, I selected the icon and changed the stroke from 2pt to 6pt. I then decided to stretch the icon out a bit horizontally, so it wouldn’t feel so smushed. I moved over my text accordingly.
I felt like the icon needed a bit more “oomph,” so I decided to rotate it slightly. You can do this by selecting the icon and going to one of the corners until you see a rounded arrow icon appear. Then just hold and drag it to the rotation you desire.
I really liked the dark grey in the icon, so I decided to replicate that in my text. Doing so would create my one-color black logo, which I could then change to white if need be.
From there, I was happy with the mark and wanted to export it. Before I did, I needed to switch my text to be outlined. Doing so will make sure you don’t run into any font issues at third-party printers or with publications, as it’ll be seen as a graphic instead of text. It’ll also allow for easy scalability. To do this on a Mac, use the keyboard shortcut “Command” + “Shift” + “O”. On Windows, use “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “O”.
Keep in mind that once you switch your text to be outlined, there’s no going back and editing its content, kerning or any of the other text properties.
Once I had my one-color black version of my logo completed, I copied it into another new document in order to create a color version. Then I selected my outlined text block and ungrouped it using the keyboard shortcut “Command” + “Shift” + “G”. (Windows: “Ctrl” + “Shift” + “G”.) This made each letter its own element, so I could add coloring to individual letters or words if I so chose.
I decided to color my name blue. This is the opposite of my still photography logo, which kept my name in grey and put “Photo” in blue. I decided that, because this was a different service, I could bring more attention to it by coloring it slightly different. I went for a lighter blue this time, but if you’re looking for color inspiration, check out Adobe Color. It’s an awesome website that will give you complementary color palettes and more.
I started with the film icon the same color as the type. But then I decided to add more black into it, in order to make it darker. Once I was happy with my colors, I dragged my mouse around the entire logo and grouped the elements together by using “Command” + “G” (Windows: “Ctrl”+ “G”.)
Once both logos were ready to go, I saved them as separate EPS files, which could be resized endlessly (vector). I also exported them as JPG and PNG files (pixels which are non-vector), so I would have them ready to go in case anyone requested them. JPG and transparent PNGs are perfect for my website.
Learn more about Bryan at bryanesler.com.