You can find dozens of free logo design apps with a quick Google search, but some are not what they appear to be. From a lack of creative symbols to hidden fees and charges for saving and downloading (versus making) your logo, there are a variety of ways a DIY logo tool can come up short.
In this post, we review and compare 7 of the best free logo design tools to help you discover which are worth your time: LogoMix, LogoGarden, Designimo, Withoomph, Logosnap, LogoYes, and GraphicSprings. Glancing over the awesome strengths and sometimes-maddening weaknesses of these sites will give you important clues for judging the value of any DIY logo-making website.
But which should you choose? It depends on several factors.
- Can you quickly browse and find a graphic symbol that suits your needs?
- How easily can a non-designer create a good-looking logo?
- Can you get creative with your logo design?
- How much latitude do you have? (As you’ll see, more freedom isn’t always a good thing)
- What files are provided?
- Is there a cost, and if so, how much?
In some respects, all DIY logo sites work the same way because they’re all designed to do the same job: Help you quickly brand your startup business with a professional-looking logo at no cost or low cost. Yet some DIY logo sites differ in important details. These key differences will affect your user experience and perhaps your satisfaction with the result.
Here are our reviews of the top 7 DIY logo tools. Jump to any review by clicking below. Let’s get started!
Jump to any review:
Summary: LogoMix offers a lot of eye-candy graphic designs — pretty, but perhaps pretty useless because they ignore best practices for logo design, inviting problems down the road. Depending on the design you choose and the way you use it, you could end up wasting your money on LogoMix. For this reason plus a consumer-hostile purchase policy, you may want to consider other DIY logo websites instead. Not recommended.
Full review of LogoMix.com
LogoMix.com says it offers “Multiple versions of your logo — a variety of sizes, full color and black & white, vector source files, Facebook and Twitter sizes, and many more.” Things to keep in mind:
Black and white. It’s positive that LogoMix renders your logo design both in color and black & white. Not all sites do. A monochrome (black and white) version of an otherwise colorful logo can be useful, especially for printing.
Vector files. It’s good that LogoMix provides vector files as part of the package you purchase, but it’s unfortunate that you can’t buy a cheaper package without vector files. (For instance LogoGarden.com offers a similar package without vector files for one-third the cost.) This could be important if a low budget forces you to pinch pennies, and you don’t need vector files.
Social sizes. We like that LogoMix provides digital files in “Facebook and Twitter sizes” — but merely providing these sizes may not give you results you need for social media. Here’s why: Think of the small “profile” image on Facebook and Twitter (and other social media.) Your reduced-size logo simply may not look good in the small space these social media platforms provide. It all depends on your logo design. If your design doesn’t work well in a profile space (for instance because it’s too wide, too tall, or too detailed), simply having the right image size won’t be helpful. Click over to our tips on making your logo fit the social media image size guidelines here.
LogoMix’s navigation for browsing logos is a bit clunky. You can click on any of 10 pages as well as Previous or Next, but there’s no way to make larger jumps. The biggest omission: There’s no way to jump back to page 1. You can’t jump to the last page, either, or to the next step.
In the logo (symbol) browsing page, there’s a button for Edit Logo Text, a convenient touch. So, for instance, you could add or delete Inc. or LLC to see how the resulting name looks. Or you could visualize entirely different business names.
LogoMix lets you search by keyword (dog, tree, house, etc) but there’s no searching/filtering by industry, at least in the Safari browser. In Firefox, only the industry filter appears (showing 22 industries), not the keyword search (car, tree, etc).
LogoMix symbols pretty much throw design rules out the window. Options shown range from monochromatic to 4 colors. Many use gradients (variations of a color from a light tint to a dark shade) that may not reproduce well. Many also use fine lines that will not reduce well (i.e., for social media).
Most LogoMix designs look nice. They’re eye candy. But for real-world business use, they could be a waste of your money. Proceed with caution. Look for the simpler designs, preferably in 1 or 2 colors. Avoid gradients and fine lines. LogoMix does you no favors by serving up lots of pretty designs that may turn out to be pretty useless.
Making a logo
LogoMix.com lets you begin your logo process on the homepage by typing your business name. Then you click the “Design a Logo” button. Next you see a popup asking “Which styles do you prefer? (Select up to 3)” There are four boxes. Each explains a choice and depicts an example.
- Initial – Emphasizes a single letter in your name
- Icon – Iconic graphic related to your business
- Badge – All logo text housed in a badge element
- Text – Font style defines your brand
If you close the popup without making a selection, LogoMix shows you all styles by default. However, by clicking your browser’s Back button, you can still filter the logo styles. This gives you freedom to experiment without making any irrevocable decisions as you go.
When you click “Next”, you get another popup: “Which font styles do you prefer? (Select up to 3)” Again you see four boxes, each explaining a choice and depicting an example.
- Sans-serif – Modern fonts with straight lines (no “feet” on the ends of letters)
- Serif – Traditional fonts with “feet” or lines on the ends of letters
- Script – Handwritten style with connected characters
- Display – Fonts with distinctive personality
Click “Next” and you get another popup: “Which logo layout styles do you prefer? (Select up to 3).” Each depicts an example.
- Icon Above
- Text Arc
- Icon Left
- Icon Right
If you close the popup without making a selection, LogoMix shows you “Icon Above” layout styles by default, with a sprinkling of other styles. This approach is good for brainstorming your logo, showing you a variety of ways the logo might look.
In the logo-making screen, when working on an imagined auto detailing business, we couldn’t get the whole “car” logo to change color, only one part at a time (body, windows), and were not able to consistently select what element to would change color. In this respect, LogoMix was out of control.
In another test run, we chose a layer-cake graphic. It contained fine lines reversed out of a color (i.e., white on a colored background) – very difficult to print well. Attempts change the cake from light blue to a different color didn’t work. Clicking on the cake only allowed change color details in a couple of cake layers, but not the cake as a whole.
Saving and downloading
After finishing the automotive logo and clicking to save, LogoMix issued a notice to make sure the logo was “centered.” But LogoMix gave no obvious way to move the entire layout to the center! It would have to be done piece by piece, ruining the careful arrangement of parts (symbol, headline, tagline) that we’d already spent some time getting just right.
Clicking to save the logo brought us through a couple of promotional screens to a purchase screen. Here we learned about a few unpleasant surprises.
Cost and extras
- The price for buying this logo would be $39.95.
- Included in this package: “Free” high-resolution digital image files, “free” vector files, “free” multiple logo sizes (specifying small and large, that’s two sizes total), “free” black and white version (potentially useful), and a “free” domain name we could register and use for a website whether it’s needed or not (and annual renewals would be $14.95).
- Unpleasant surprise: Apparently LogoMix would trash the design after 5 days unless we forked over the cash. Compare this strong-arm tactic to DIY logo sites that say they will save your logo for you indefinitely and let you make unlimited changes.
Summary: LogoGarden is a mixed bag of solid features and excellent customer policies combined with one of the worst symbol-browsing experiences (an important shortcoming). Yet the symbols themselves are well designed. LogoGarden constrains your use of color, but we consider that a plus – exercising this design restraint will typically help you make a more professional-looking logo. But it won’t appeal to people whose aesthetic embraces multiple colors in a logo symbol. LogoGarden’s pricing is competitive; terms are liberal. Worth a visit if you can get past the lousy browsing.
Full review of LogoGarden.com
To start designing your logo at LogoGarden.com, you click the homepage button: “Make Your Logo Now.”
Unlike some other DIY logo makers, clicking this button takes you straight to the logo maker page. You don’t first choose an industry or browse through logo symbols.
Instead, a globe symbol is pre-selected for you. To the left is a window that shows a half dozen symbols including the globe. You can scroll to browse other symbols depicting a range of objects, but can only view a half dozen at a time. To scroll further, you have to wait until LogoGarden loads more symbols into the display. These constant delays create a distracting, disjointed browsing experience.
The default display of symbols includes a tree, cat, house, car, hammer, airplane, medical symbol, and other common objects, plus a few abstract symbols. You can see only six at a time and cannot expand this display to see more symbols at a time. That’s a serious shortcoming.
Above these symbols, there’s a small, easy-to-overlook search field, where you can type a keyword. There’s also a drop-down menu, “Select a Category” — the fairly standard selection of 30-or-so industries (business categories), from “Accounting + Finance” to “Travel + Leisure.”
To its credit, you can also select “Alphabet” or “Shape,” making it easy to see symbols that do not represent an identifiable object or industry.
Now for the bad news. We typed the keyword “dog” and got no hits at all. We then broadened our search by typing “pets.” Not a single hit, even though the default selection of symbols included a cat. “Paw?” Nothing. So there’s not much value here for our mock-business name, Paws Pet Grooming. To confirm that the search function was working at all, we typed “house” and did get hits.
The patchy implementation of keywords plus the cramped display of symbols — just a few at a time — is terrible for brainstorming, but that’s not all. When we clicked on “hand,” we weren’t given a selection of hands in various renderings as we expected. Instead, it just placed the selected hand in the logo maker display. Browsing experience: Dismal.
When brainstorming, you should be able to scan your eye across at least a dozen symbols at a time (preferably many more), then quickly flip through page after page of these potential symbol choices. That’s what gets your creative juices flowing. You get ideas, then rapidly search more symbols to see where those ideas take you. That’s the opposite of the LogoGarden experience. Regrettably, LogoGarden’s user interface hinders rather than helps the creative process.
LogoGarden used to be great for brainstorming and symbol browsing. Now they’ve diminished this important part of the DIY logo design process, largely eliminating its value.
That said, after we selected a symbol for testing and started creating a logo with it, something strange happened: The terrible symbol-browsing window at left vanished and was replaced by a row of symbol choices at the top of my screen, this time controlled by a slider with no loading delays. Using this horizontal slider, we zipped from end to end of this single-row symbol collection in the blink of an eye. It contained about 150 symbols.
That’s an improvement, but still a small fraction of the number of symbols displayed at a time as other sites. With this smooth and rapid slider we were able to quickly spot a symbol better suited to our needs, and placed it in the design panel with a click. However, for browsing and brainstorming, we still prefer the conventional full-page display of many symbol choices at once.
LogoGarden displays its symbols in black and white, which is a plus: It lets you focus on basic design without distraction. The overall quality of symbols is quite good. These symbols adhere to basic best practices, such as using simple shapes and avoiding excessively thin lines that can cause problems when displaying your logo in small spaces (social media profile pictures) or printing your logo.
Making a logo
Once you’ve gone through this process and selected a symbol, you can finally start making your logo. LogoGarden offers a useful array of graphics tools. You can add your business name and, if you want, a tagline or slogan to help characterize your brand. By dragging, you can stretch or squeeze the symbol and your lettering. You can enlarge or reduce the symbol by dragging its corners. You do the same with lettering by selecting a different point size. You can easily rotate and reposition your symbol and lettering.
However, you have to put up with some quirks. Because we added lettering after selecting a symbol, the lettering was automatically layered over the symbol. There was no way to switch layers, such as “send to back” or “bring to front.” Because the lettering box completely overlaid the symbol, we had no way to tweak the symbol’s position — say, rotate it a few degrees — without messing up the position of the lettering by moving it out of the way entirely. We had to shift the lettering, tweak the symbol, then move the lettering back in place and again fine-tune its position. Not the end of the world, but an annoyance and time-waster.
Back on the plus side, LogoGarden lets you add several special effects:
- Stylized shield
For better or worse, LogoGarden limits you to one color for the symbol and one color for each line of lettering. For example, you could choose three colors: One for the symbol, one for your business name, and one for the tagline. (Not recommended, unless you were selecting colors that made sense together, such as dark blue for the name and a slightly lighter blue for the tagline.)
You can’t have a multicolor symbol, as some other DIY sites let you have. This is positive – simplicity can help ensure a professional-looking design, and LogoGarden does well on this score.
Some DIY sites offer limited font choices, but lettering is such an important part of your brand’s personality. LogoGarden gives us a creative plus: It offers about 120 fonts, so you can fine-tune your logo’s visual character by finding just the right lettering style.
Saving and downloading
When you’re satisfied with your logo design, you simply click to save it. LogoGarden asks you for an email address, and presto, you’re saved. LogoGarden’s user experience at this point is exemplary. You can go back and edit your logo as often as you want for as long as you want.
With some DIY logo sites, after you download your logo, you can’t go back and make changes (though some allow edits for a few days afterward). LogoGarden’s purchase policy is much more liberal. Even after purchasing, you can go back and make unlimited changes for an indefinite period of time. This is a feature we really liked.
Cost and extras
- There’s no free low-resolution version.
- You get both low-resolution and high-resolution digital files for $12.50.
- We didn’t see any option to order vector files, which can be important for some uses.
Summary: Designimo offers a reasonably good symbol browsing experience. Many of the symbol designs are overly complex and colorful to the point of distraction – not well suited for online use or the printing budget of many startup entrepreneurs. To create your logo, Designimo graphics tools are skimpy and don’t allow changes (such as changing color) within the symbol. Typography tools are also limited. Designimo lacks basic controls such as italics and boldfacing. Pricing is $29.95 for all file types in a single package. There’s no free low-resolution download. While we wouldn’t rule out Designimo, if you really want to create your own logo you may find Designimo’s constraints too limiting. And beware complex designs that can cause problems later.
Full review of Designimo.com
This DIY logo site differs from many others. You can’t move elements around to get really creative. You choose among pre-designed templates. After choosing a template, the site gives you choices to customize that template and thus make it your own.
You can’t change the template itself, so what you see is what you get. That’s both the bad news and the good news. Bad, because you can’t create more freely to make a look that you had in mind or get inspired to try experimenting. But this constraint is also good because you always get a professional-looking result.
Inside Designimo.com, here’s what the do-it-yourself process looks like.
Sample logos. Designimo sample logos include 2- to 4-color logo examples — no monochromatic logos, although this is often the best choice for both startup entrepreneurs and established businesses. Famous logos like Nike and IBM look terrific in 1 color. If you are old enough, you may remember Apple used to display its apple logo in colored stripes, but long ago moved to monochrome. So while Designimo sample logos look nice, they may or may not suit your real-world branding needs.
Some Designimo logo samples have very thin lines which may not look their best on smartphones and in small social media profile picture spaces. They could potentially cause problems when printing small formats like business cards or printing on relatively rough surfaces like t-shirts.
Pricing. Some sites do not reveal specific pricing on their homepage. To its credit, Designimo does. Its homepage says: “Try Our Logo Maker For FREE and pay $29.95 only if you need high resolution files.”
Well, that’s almost clear. For context: Most DIY logo sites distinguish between making your logo, saving it online, and downloading it for use:
- Making your logo is always free.
- Saving it online is usually (but not always) free.
- Downloading low resolution digital files for displaying and printing your new logo is sometimes free, but not always.
- Downloading high resolution files — needed for displaying at larger sizes without blurring or pixelating, plus for higher quality printing — always costs money. The cost is typically modest, around $19 – $29.
Some of the best free logo design tools aren’t truly “free” – it’s just free to create and view your logo. We say Designimo’s pricing promise is “almost” clear because it doesn’t explicitly state that you can download a low-resolution logo version for free. It simply doesn’t mention low-res. However, Designimo does let you download lo-res files (not high-res) for free. We think it would be nice if they said so on the homepage.
Starting the DIY process. Designimo starts by asking your business name. You type that in directly on the homepage and click the “Create Logo Designs for Me” button.
Other features. While American English is Designimo’s default language, at upper right on the homepage you can also select German, Spanish, French or Chinese.
Next step on Designimo: the symbol search.
Since Designimo now knows your business name, it displays logo symbols along with the business name. It uses the simplest, most basic format: Symbol above, name below. Designimo shows you a dozen symbols per page – currently 177 pages displaying more than 2,000 symbols and lettermark variations. (A lettermark is a logo that consists of all lettering, no symbol.)
The default selections you see are random. You could spend hours clicking through 177 pages, but Designimo (like all logo sites) gives you shortcuts.
- Keywords. There’s space at the top for typing in a keyword such as dog, tree, house, whatever.
- Categories. You can select a business category. A drop-down menu offers 30 categories, from “Animals & Pets” to “Travel & Hotel.”
- Initials. Not interested in a symbol? You can click a letter of the alphabet to see stylized initial letters.
There’s a fourth shortcut type that Designimo does not offer: A search button or command to search for abstractsymbols that you cannot find by keyword because abstract symbols don’t represent anything specific to search for.
Because of this, you can’t search for abstract symbols in Designimo. Even if you type the word “abstract” into the keyword search, it still doesn’t find any. That’s not a fatal flaw, just a limitation to keep in mind if you decide to try Designimo.
Symbol-search shortcuts let you quickly brainstorm logo ideas and zero in on a design that either gives you what you want or at least points you in the right direction. Virtually all DIY logo sites offer quick-search tools to help you choose a symbol.
We typed “cake” in the keyword search. Designimo served up a half dozen cake symbols. Most of these graphics were overly elaborate and used multiple colors – meaning they won’t look their best on smartphones and mobile devices. We chose a yummy-looking pie that could have done nicely as a two-color image, but Designimo added two pointless accent lines, each in a different color, making this a more-costly 4-color logo to print.
Making a logo
We entered a mockup business name, Yummy Bakery, then selected a color for the lettering. There was no apparent color control for the pie and its accents. We could not curve the lettering as we’ve been able to do on other DIY logo sites. Oddly, there were almost no typography controls — not even a way to italicize!
However, you can squeeze, stretch, and resize the symbol and do the same for lettering. Designimo lets you change the order of these graphics layers, making the layout easier to manipulate.
Saving and downloading
We couldn’t locate information on how long the site saves your work. It appears you have to purchase and download your design to ensure it isn’t lost.
Cost and extras
- Designimo offers a single all-in-one package for $29.95. You get high-resolution .JPG and .PNG files, plus .EPS vector files (which stay sharp at any resolution).
- The purchase page does not offer any other information about files (do you also get low-resolution 72 dots-per-inch files for use on the web?).
Summary: Withoomph is a study in contrasts. It offers some of the best symbol designs and color choices, but has nonexistent layout tools plus other tools that are generally lacking. For many entrepreneurs, the complete lack of layout tools will make Withoomph a nonstarter. Among other issues, you may end up with a default choice that’s too wide for effective use on social media. However, f you just want a quick, clean solution at a decent price with very limited design choices, then you might consider Withoomph.com.
Full review of Withoomph.com
Withoomph.com says up front: Logos designed instantly from only $20. There’s a pricing link right up at the top. Also near the top, a horizontal bar shows three steps to the process:
- Select your logo.
- Edit your logo.
- Purchase your logo.
Farther down, but still above the fold, you can type in a business name and as many keywords as you want, separated by commas. Then press the “Design” button. It’s a simple way to get started.
Altogether, the site offered about 500 symbols, logotypes and shields. Once we provided keywords, there was no easy way to change keyword choices while browsing symbols, as on other logo sites. So for instance if you’re on the 7th page of logos and decide you want to add a keyword, you’d have to click the “back” button seven times to get back to Withoomph’s homepage — the only place showing the keyword search bar. Not good for smooth and easy brainstorming.
When you scroll over any symbol, three buttons appear under it, letting you save, edit, or buy it on the spot, as-is.
For the business name, we entered Paws Pet Grooming. For keywords, we entered dog, cat, pet, and grooming. Withoomph displayed an initial 56 choices consisting of clean, simple iconic symbols, each rendered in one color (from a design standpoint, very good) with the business name beneath it; lettermarks (that is, the business name rendered in some characteristic lettering, without a symbol); and, interestingly, “shield” graphics that each framed the initials PPG, with Paws Pet Grooming spelled out beneath the shield — a clever use of graphics automation that can be helpful for brainstorming.
We selected a logo that was two-color — an olive-colored symbol with complementary dark brown lettering. Then the “Edit your logo” screen appears.
Making a logo
Most logo-making user interfaces have the same general look and feel. This one was a bit different. It was “skeuomorphic,” a fancy word meaning it looked like something physical, mostly for effect and not as a functional necessity – it gave the impression of what a graphic designer’s desk might look like.
Our logo selection appeared at right, inside what sort-of looked like a physical frame, resembling a digital tablet’s frame. On the ‘desk’ at right, was what looked like a drink coaster and another item, what looked like a plastic case of some sort. Each item displayed our logo selection to give a sense of how it might look when printed on (say) promotional items.
Completing the illusion, this ‘desktop’ contained a scattering of paper clips, a couple of binder clips, a pencil and ballpoint pen. Was this decoration useful from a logo design standpoint, i.e. the reason for being here? Not really. But it wasn’t distracting or disruptive, either. Just unnecessary.
At top, an “Edit tools” control bar offered two choices: Colour and Typography.
Colour was the default. In this mode, buttons at top let us keep the two-color scheme or opt for one-color. A drop-down “Palettes” menu enables you to choose among 42 complementary color combinations. Clicking “One colour” gave us 42 color choices — unusually tasteful and subtle colors, given the usual default color choices on other sites.
You could also use the “Colour picker” at upper right, this obviously being a site originating someplace where they speak the King’s English. The picker lets you choose any color in the full spectrum, including all the garish choices Withoomph quietly nudged you to avoid.
Clicking “Typography” changed the tool choices. Now at upper left was a “Fonts” drop-down offering 42 lettering styles. (What is it with these people and 42? Maybe it was inspired by Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in which the answer to “life, the universe and everything” was… 42.)
Next to Fonts is a tool that enables you to switch between upper and lower case or choose initial caps (standard upper-and-lower). A third drop-down lets you change the letter spacing: Normal, “wide” (expanded) or “narrow” (condensed). There’s also a choice called “original casing”. We didn’t test it, but suspect that it allowed for odd spellings in the business name (i.e., if you named your venture “SaaS Solutions,” original casing could handle that).
As to layout tools, your choices are ruthlessly simple: There aren’t any. What you see is what you get. It’s a bit like Henry Ford saying, “You can have any color, as long as it’s black.” Only in this case it’s not about color, but the overall look and layout of your logo.
This omission will render Withoomph without any oomph at all for many entrepreneurs. It’s genuinely a pity, because the symbol designs are outstanding and the default color choices, admirable. But getting stuck with one standard layout? Most entrepreneurs can’t imagine being satisfied with this wild constraint. But if you happen to like it, you’ll be golden with Withoomph.
Some of these other controls, like the letter spacing tool, are rudimentary. You can’t fine-tune. Withoomph could be perfectly fine for breezing your way through a quick-and-dirty logo-making design process. But if you want to get creative, then get used to frustration.
Saving and downloading
Withoomph doesn’t say so, but appears to let you save as many logos as you want. You can also save symbols to a “Favourites” file and — as long as you’ve created an account with your name and a password — review them anytime.
Once you’ve purchased a logo, can you have second thoughts? Go back and make changes? Withoomph doesn’t say, so we’ll have to assume the answer is no.
However, it also appears that once you’ve actually purchased and downloaded a logo, it still lives in your account, so you can go back and download it again anytime you need to.
Cost and extras
- If you just need your logo for basic digital purposes (website, email signatures, etc.), you can download the basic low-resolution 72 dpi (dots per inch) digital file of your logo for $20 in .JPG and .PNG formats.
- Need high resolution for larger digital display or printing? You’ll need the .EPS vector format that stays sharp at any size, plus .PDF, for $45.
- Withoomph also offers “An extensive range of retina-ready social media profile logos and banner designs specially designed for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and a Favicon” for $20 more.
The social option over-promises and under-delivers – and that’s putting it mildly. It’s essential to have a logo version that is built for the small space of social media profile pictures, but this option doesn’t offer the solution. Why? Look at Withoomph’s logo exemplifying its social media package. It features an imagined business name “Born & Bread” with a slice-of-bread symbol. However, the name is displayed on a single line, so the overall logo is much wider than it is tall. This layout is worse than useless as a social media profile picture, one of the main ways you’re likely to use your logo in business social.
In a profile picture space, a long horizontal (or, for that matter, a tall vertical) will be chopped off, or the logo will be distorted, or the social site will shrink it down so small, your business name won’t even be readable. That’s what you’ll be buying from Withoomph for an extra $20.
Withoomph also offers a couple of combo packages.
- You can get the $20 low-res files for online use plus the $20 social option for $37. That will save you… well, half a fancy coffee at Starbucks!
- Or go whole-hog for $70 and get all of the above, for a saving of about 20%.
Summary: Logosnap offers some well designed logo-making tools. However, their symbol browsing lacks convenience features and the symbol designs are among the worst because they break the rules of clean logo design — rules that exist for practical reasons, not just aesthetics. Further, Logosnap offers no Undo function and sometimes blindsides you with an action that can ruin your work. That’s not all. Logosnap’s policies are so anti-consumer, it’s almost insulting. All this is unfortunate given the creative strength of some Logosnap logo-making tools. A basic logo download, all that’s offered, is $27 — which Logosnap keeps secret till after you’ve made your logo.
Full review of Logosnap.com
To help judge whether Logosnap.com is right for you, we’ll give you a feel for what it’s like to actually make a logo in Logosnap.
Logosnap.com starts you right off on the homepage by displaying a random selection of 20 symbols, each with “Company name” (in capital letters) beneath it as a placeholder. At the very top, you can type your business name. It will immediately appear beneath each of the 20 symbols. At upper left, you can focus your search by selecting an industry from a long drop-down menu. At upper right, you can enter one or more keywords. We’re off to a fast start!
That’s the good news. Now the bad news: Most Logosnap symbols are among the worst we’ve seen. Some look amateurish. Further, these symbols break virtually every rule of clean logo design. Such rules are not arbitrary or purely aesthetic. They’re there for practical reasons.
Among the most common sins you’ll find at Logosnap.com: Graphics with way too much detail. Why is this bad? Because when you shrink the graphic or display it on a small mobile screen, it will look a mess — not a great visual ambassador for your brand.
That’s not all. Many Logosnap graphics feature one or more of these problems: Thin lines or tiny spots; too many colors in a single image; complex color gradients; two dark colors bordering each other; and thin “serif” lettering reversed out of a black background, which is extremely difficult to print well.
Logosnap does offer a relative handful of simple, even elegant logo designs. But sadly, just a few are worth looking at. Many more Logosnap symbols are flat-out cringeworthy.
Logosnap’s symbol browsing process has a few shortcomings in navigation – not deal-killers, just annoying constraints. A navigation bar at bottom lets you jump to any of five pages, plus there are the usual forward and back arrows. However, there’s no way to make large jumps among pages.
For instance, if you want to view logos on page 14, then you’ve got to click the forward button about a half dozen times. That’s because the nav bar shifts the range of pages only a couple of pages at a time (e.g., if the nav shows pages 3-4-5-6-7 and you click the forward arrow, you’ll see 5-6-7-8-9. and so forth). There are nav features on other logo sites that give you a smoother, more efficient browsing experience.
Taken together, Logosnap’s incomplete navigation controls provide an inefficient, distracting browsing experience. This isn’t a deal-killer. You can still browse a lot of symbols. But Logosnap could make your browsing go faster and give you a more satisfying and productive experience.
We clicked and clicked and just couldn’t find the end, so we’re unclear as to how many total symbols Logosnap offers. If you’ve got time to burn, click till you reach the end and let us know.
For our imagined business, Paws Pet Grooming, we typed “dog” in the keyword search, getting 19 symbols to choose from. When we typed “paw”, there were only 5 hits. Only one showed a clean silhouette of a paw — and, further, that one looked more like a bear paw. For our test, we grabbed the bearish paw because the other ‘paw’ choices were not just “less pleasing” but unacceptable. Your own judgment, of course, may differ.
Making a logo
Once you select a symbol, Logosnap displays it in the logo-making screen. The site offers an especially robust logo-making experience. At top, you can
- Choose new logo (i.e. select a different graphic symbol)
- Add more shapes
- Apply shield
- Add text field
- Preview your design
- Reset to original settings
Logosnap also provides a row of logo creation tools that’s context-sensitive. This means when you click a graphic object, like your symbol, you get one set of tools. Click to select text, such as your business name, and a different tools appear.
The tool set for graphic objects consists of Color, plus special effects such as:
- Drop shadow
Shine, Gloss, and Drop Shadow are off-on toggle switches. (The default position is off.) Drop Shadow also has a slider to let you control how big a shadow you want the shadow to be.
You can also Flip a graphic object (vertical, horizontal) and Align it with your business name or other text (left, right, top, bottom).
When you click a graphic object such as your symbol, ‘control handles’ appear, enabling you to enlarge or reduce the size of your symbol (for instance), or distort it by squeezing or stretching. You can similarly shrink or enlarge the size of your text. And, if you want, you can even distort your text by squeezing or expanding it, either vertically or horizontally. That’s a lot of control.
When you click a word or phrase, an Edit Text box also appears, so you can add, delete or change it. You can also click the Add Textfield up at the top, enabling you to add a new word or line of text. These controls let us delete “Grooming” from the phrase “Paws Pet Grooming” and add the word “Grooming” as a new text line, so the business name appeared on two lines — a vital control, because logos often work better when they are not too wide or too tall. This is especially important when placing your logo in social media , where too-wide or too-tall logos may be automatically chopped off or distorted by the social site.
Clicking Add More Shapes provides a whole new range of flexibility. A drop-down menu offers:
- Basic shapes
- Clip art
We explored these choices after completing the sample Paws Pet Grooming logo, but here (under Animals) we managed to find a simple dog-paw silhouette that could be used – if we wanted to go back and change everything we’d done so far.
On average, the 23 Animal-themed “Shapes” were better designed than the site’s logo symbols. The 30 “Clipart” shapes were similarly better suited as logo symbols than the main symbol gallery. Lesson learned: If you try Logosnap, explore the “Shapes” choices before settling on symbol. You might, just might, find a choice that’s better aligned with the rules of clean logo design. Note: In the Shapes section, “Symbols” refers to functional symbols like copyright and trademark symbols, not branding graphics.
The “Apply Shield” control at top works a bit differently from the “Badges” choices under Add More Shapes. If you select a Badge, it adds it to your workspace like any other graphic object. But if you select a Shield from Apply Shields, it rips your logo symbol out of your design and plunks it in the middle of a black shield. Yechhh. It’s frustrating when software changes your entire design without fair warning.
Worse, at this moment we discovered Logosnap’s biggest logo-making weakness: There’s no undo button!
Yes, there’s a little trash-can icon for removing objects or text you’ve placed. But to get rid of the ugly paw-in-a-shield creation we’d unintentionally conjured up, we couldn’t restore the original logo design. We used the trashcan delete in an effort to undo the mistake. This removed the shield but left the paw sitting off to the side, and back to its original size, not positioned and sized where it had been. We were eventually able to restore the design manually, but shouldn’t have had to. There is no excuse for Logosnap omitting an undo function.
Back to describing Logosnap’s useful controls. When you click the Color control at top, you get a pop-up box that shows a continuous spectrum of color in a vertical column, with a rectangle showing a continuous range of shades for the currently selected color. It also displays the selected color’s unique binary “hex” code (consisting of six numbers/letters) and an Add to Favorites button. Beneath, a display of colored dots shows Logo Default colors and Recently Used colors. You can click any of these dots to invoke the previously seen color. There’s also space for displaying any Favorites you may have identified. These are all good features.
While still within the Color pop-up, you can click to select Gradient mode. This tool lets you select two colors, and Logosnap will apply a gradient, i.e., gradually fade from one color to the other within the graphic object (typically symbol) you’re working on.
“Fonts” offers a variety of custom controls:
We’ll comment on just a couple which weren’t found in any other logo-making site we reviewed.
First, when you select a piece of text, “Stroke” gives you a slider control that changes the thickness of strokes in a continuous range, from normal to very bold. There’s also an off-on toggle, so it’s easy to undo your experimentation for this and an a few other features that offer the toggle.
Second, the option to “Flip” (horizontal, vertical) does the same for text as for graphic objects. Click Horizontal and it gives you a mirror image of your text. Flipping vertical makes your lettering appear upside down. So, for instance, you could make a duplicate of your business name, flip the duplicate upside down vertically, butt it up against your right-reading version, then use Opacity and perhaps other controls to dim-out the flipped copy.
For all the nice features, Logosnap committed another unforgivable sin. After spending considerable time tweaking our logo design, we decided to explore a bit more. We clicked “How It Works” at the very top, got a once-over explanation of how the site works, then clicked the back button to return to our design. Surprise! Without warning, all the previous work was gone. The logo-making space showed only the original default paw symbol and default lettering. Beware leaving your place to explore the site!
Saving and downloading
More bad news here. Logosnap does not appear to keep a copy of your logo in an online account. Instead of a “Save” button, there’s just “Download.” You still create an account by providing an email address and password. Do that, and you’ll be taken to an Order Summary page.
Cost and extras
- The Order Summary page shows an image of your logo, options to Edit or Remove, and a note with what you would get in the $27 download: .PDF, .JPG, and .PNG files.
- Not a word about low- or high-resolution or any other file options.
- Logosnap’s FAQ page (link at bottom of their screen) is similarly unhelpful. Under “How much does it cost?”, they vaguely say it’s a “nominal price.” Under refunds, they keep it simple: “All logo designs are non-refundable.”
Given Logosnap’s vague and borderline-unfair customer policies, we’d bypass this site no matter how good some of its logo-making tools may be. The gotchas and the terrible symbols are just not worth it.
Summary: LogoYes provides a robust symbol browsing experience with thousands of well designed logo symbols whose quality ranges from good to excellent. The logo-making experience is fairly good. However, don’t breeze through the purchase process without reading the fine print and perhaps opting out of a couple of default choices: Giving the company “and its affiliates” the right to essentially spam you by phone, text and email; and a recurring annual subscription to something called a “webcard.” If you pick your way through this potential minefield, you could end up with a good-looking and quite useful low-resolution logo for just 99 cents — assuming you skirt the gotchas.
Full review of LogoYes.com
The LogoYes.com homepage promotes two things above the fold: DIY logos, and an optional product, a Webcard: “Place your logo on a Webcard: a mobile business card you can use to drive leads” — essentially your logo and contact information formatted as a single unit to display on smartphones.
On the homepage, you can browse sample completed logos, six at a time, displayed on a single sliding line with forward and back arrows. It’s not the ideal way to quickly scan bunch of samples.
Then it says: “Create a Logo for Just .99 Cents! No registration or credit card required until you’re 100% satisfied.” The rest of the homepage is long running promotional text.
Above all this, at top, are three navigation choices: Home, Logo Creator, and FAQ.
When you click the “Build A Logo Now” button, you get a screen titled “Select Image Category.” You see 18-19 logo symbols, each rendered in black and white. All of these “image categories” begin with A: Abacus, Abstract, Ace, Acorn, Airplane, Alarm, Alligator, and so forth alphabetically. Under each category name it says “View All.”
Click on any category and you get a new screen displaying variations on that theme. For instance, click Acorn and you get 27 well-designed acorn symbol renderings in different styles. These appear under a tab labeled Select Image.
But suppose you want to browse other categories instead? How do you go back? At first, you may be stumped. There’s no in-screen back button, the obvious and intuitive choice. Don’t click your browser’s back button. It throws away any browsing you’ve done and returns you to the homepage. This is terrible user design. You may be deep into the browsing process, gradually formulating ideas about the logo you want to create, getting bits of inspiration from the symbols you see along the way.
So how do you go back without losing your place? For one thing, the Select Image tab has an almost microscopic “X” in the tab’s upper right corner. Clicking it will close this tab. Or you can click the “Images” tab, which is where you started with the categories.
So much for categories beginning with “A”. What about the rest of the alphabet? There’s a row at bottom displaying the alphabet. Click any letter to see more categories. We randomly clicked “R” and got 28 categories, each with a sample symbol and “View All” for that symbol. It started with Rabbit, Raccoon, Race Car, Race Flag, Rake, and Ram, and went all the way to Roof, Rose, Rug, and Runner. Clicking “Rose” gave us 24 different renderings of symbols representing roses. “Roaches”, on the other hand, gave only 3 renderings, likely for exterminator-type businesses. Rocking Chair also served up 3 images, but Roman Column displayed 16 versions.
All told, there’s likely thousands of discrete renderings in the LogoYes.com symbol library. In addition to searching images alphabetically, you can type a keyword, or select one of 30 “industries” from a drop-down menu.
A search function like this one is only as good as the keywords assigned to individual images in the symbol library. LogoYes does a good job here, ascribing keyword-meanings that are sometimes obvious and sometimes subtle — a strong advantage for brainstorming.
For instance, clicking the “Construction” industry brings forth 124 image categories. Obvious ones include hard hat, nail, hammer, toolbox, and bulldozer. Less obvious but still pertinent: Boot (think work-boots), fountain, barn, clipboard, and skyline. We’d rate this brainstorming tool as excellent. As always, LogoYes offers multiple renderings for each image category.
Getting down to business, we typed the keyword “dog” for our Paws Pet Grooming imaginary business, and got 81 symbol renderings including 7 renderings of blossoms from a dogwood tree, 3 depicting Cerberus, the three-headed hell-hound of Greek mythology guarding Hades, plus 29 dogs, 10 dog bones, 9 paw prints, 3 kennels, 4 wolves and…17 sheep. Go figure. We selected a paw print.
Before we move on to the actual logo-making process, we want to note that there’s a separate tab in the symbol browsing screen for “Text”. In this context, it means a letter of the alphabet or a numeral rendered as a logo symbol. There are 26 “image categories” for letters and 10 for the numerals 0-9. Each letter has about 30 different renderings, and the same for each numeral. Do the math: That’s about a thousand different symbols, just for alphanumerics.
Most of the designs adhere to clean logo-design principles, such as avoiding overly thin lines and overly detailed graphics, which won’t reproduce well in print or at small sizes online. Bottom line, LogoYes.com symbol browsing is very robust and, from a design standpoint, the quality of symbols is generally good with some qualifying as excellent.
Making a logo
After selecting a symbol, you click “Next” at lower right to start creating your logo. Your symbol appears in a logo-making workspace on top of a light-colored grid of lines. This grid helps you align the elements of your logo — your symbol and words.
At left are five controls:
Redo/Undo gives you multiple levels of Undo. We’re unsure of the limit, but were able to undo about a half dozen actions just by repeatedly clicking Undo. Very effective.
Rotate has two icons, for rotating right or left. You first select your symbol or text you want to rotate. The standard “rotate” handle lets you free-rotate. On the other hand, the two rotate icons let you nudge-rotate by increments.
Similarly, you can enlarge or reduce a selected element by grabbing a corner and either pulling outward or pushing inward. (Using side handles, you can squeeze or stretch. This works for either your graphic symbol or the selected text.) As with rotating, the two “size” icons at left will enlarge or reduce by a set increment, with each click – be careful, as the increments are large and can make big changes with each click.
The two icons for “Flip” will do a horizontal or vertical flip, respectively. It works on both your symbol and selected text. The “Position” icons did not appear to work. LogoYes does pop up hints and tips for some other logo-making functions, but none appeared here.
At upper right you can type words, such as your business name or slogan. You can place multiple words or phrases this way. LogoYes lets you choose from about 30 lettering styles (fonts) from a scrolling list at right. Simply select a text element to apply or change a font choice.
Also at right, you select colors for your graphic and text elements, unless you want them to remain black-and-white, the default. LogoYes provides a palette of 72 color choices that will fit most coloring needs.
For each color there’s also a shading gradient, so you can fine-tune your color choices if desired. Clicking a “More…” link in the color area brings forth a popup with controls for doing extremely fine-grained color control. There’s a continuous color spectrum in a vertical column, plus a space for typing a binary hex code for specific colors, plus spaces for typing-in specific percentages of red, green and blue, and related controls to nail the color with ultimate precision. But as noted, for many of us mortals the 72 colored “chiclets” (small rectangles) will do just fine.
For better or worse (some would say better), LogoYes skips the fancy stuff. It doesn’t offer any special effects or other additions or controls.
Saving and downloading
When you’re satisfied with the logo you have created in the logo-making screen, you click the Next button and land on a screen that shows your finished logo by itself and as if displayed on a smartphone screen — representing LogoYes’s “Webcard” view.
From this screen you have three choices:
- Go back and edit your logo some more.
- “Continue” (big orange button). The fine print beneath the button reads: To get your logo FREE with purchase of a Webcard just 99 cents!* See that asterisk? There’s no footnote or other explanatory text, so you don’t know what you’re really buying. Hint: It’s a gotcha. Buyer beware.
- Buy your logo only, without the Webcard gotcha. But it doesn’t quite say this. The option appears in teeny-tiny text as a link underneath that big beautiful orange button and its non-explanatory explanation. The optional tiny text reads: Proceed to checkout with logo only. You kinda get the feeling they don’t want you to opt for this choice — meaning it’s probably the one that’s best for you.
So, what is that missing asterisked footnote all about? To find out, we did what you probably should not do and clicked that big, inviting, orange button.
Cost and extras
A LogoYes checkout screen appeared. There were blanks for entering the information we wanted to display (along with the new logo) on our Webcard. Then, blanks for standard billing information (identity stuff like name, street address, and phone). Then came email and password to create a LogoYes account. Finally, blanks for providing credit/debit card info.
Still on the same webpage, next came the more-or-less standard joke line: By clicking the “Submit My Order” button, you acknowledge you have read and agree to the Web.com Services Agreement. We checked out the terms.
The “Agreement” ran 19 solid pages of small print. This is what you’re supposed to have read before making what looks like a 99-cent purchase — except it’s not. Read on.
Beneath the joke line is the big orange Submit My Order button, and beneath that big orange button are two asterisked footnotes. In very small print. Most customers likely ignore them. Our advice: Don’t. You’re looking at the gotchas.
The first (single) asterisk reads: The LogoYes logo is free with the purchase of an annual subscription of a Webcard. Click the orange button and you are committing to an annual subscription. A year from now, long after this purchase is no more than a vague memory, they will hit your credit card or bank card again. And again. And again.
In other words, by making this (supposedly) 99-cent purchase you are legally consenting to an almost unlimited number of robo-calls, spam emails, and even spam text messages. A text link, “Click here to remove your consent,” brings up an opt-out checkbox. Will the checkbox really work? Will the company remember to honor it? If they don’t, will you remember having checked this box and perhaps even remembered making this purchase? If you do remember, will you be able to prove you did so? We weren’t going to risk finding out.
If you choose to opt-out, you will still be liable for a recurring annual charge on your Webcard subscription. Over on the right is your Shopping Cart. It shows your logo (helpfully labeled “Your Logo”), then the following:
- LogoYes Logo … FREE*
- Webcard … $0.99 / 1 yr
- Today’s Total … $0.99
Next to the “Webcard … $0.99 / 1 yr” is a “?” icon. Click it (likely most people don’t bother) and a somewhat lengthy popup appears. It says, in small print (of course):
“The Webcard costs $.99 for a 1 year term. At the end of the first year, it will automatically renew for another 1 year term at $.99 per year and every year thereafter, unless canceled. Right to the Webcard are relinquished upon cancellation, unless otherwise purchased. Customer may cancel at any time by calling 800-940-LOGO. This offer is available for new purchases of a logo and a Webcard through LogoYes. Please see our Service Agreement and any applicable supplemental service agreements for additional terms and conditions.”
One more pertinent and cautionary note: In 2014-15, a number of people who said they were LogoYes.com customers reported serious trouble with unwanted recurring charges that came a year after making what they thought was just a logo purchase. They had opted for a free trial of a website service — not free for 14 days or 30 days, but free for a full year. After a year, of course, many people had totally forgotten about this.
As a result, they had charges hitting their credit/debit card for months, even years after the end of that “trial” period, often without realizing it. To them, it felt like a total scam, and they said so. Some people also said once they figured out what was going on, they had trouble getting the company to stop the charges. Some said they resorted to canceling the card that was being repeatedly charged.
We didn’t find any such complaints more recent than 2015 or so. It’s likely the company cleaned up its act. But seeing an annual recurring “subscription” for using a webcard, backed by two dozen or more pages of legalese, buried in footnotes beneath a big orange button doesn’t look promising.
Along with that “?” icon with the popup linking to all the contractual stuff, there’s also a “Remove” text link, as in, remove the $0.99 Webcard annual subscription and just purchase the logo for $0.99. Assuming the company honors that “Remove,” then a LogoYes.com logo for a flat 99 cents (low resolution only, suitable for emails, websites, and desktop laser/inkjet printing) would be a bargain.
Overall, we believe the unique subscription-driven Web.com/LogoYes business model places customers at too much of a potential disadvantage. However, if this model doesn’t concern you, then you’ve found an excellent candidate for a place to make your logo.
Summary: GraphicSprings is a strong contender for best DIY logo site. It offers a reasonably good symbol browsing experience, exceptionally clean symbol designs, plus very good logo-making creative tools. You can download a high-resolution .JPG digital file of your self-customized logo for $20. Three other purchase increments — starting at $40 and featuring other digital file formats — let you come back and edit your logo at any time after your purchase, a valuable privilege if only for peace of mind. GraphicSprings also offers a 100% money back guarantee, apparently with “No questions asked.”
Full review of GraphicSprings.com
GraphicSprings.com offers an unusual logo-making user interface and a somewhat atypical process. The online look-and-feel is so clean, it’s almost austere. The homepage says, “Create your logo for free online. It’s a super simple solution …Once you’re ready, just pay $19.99 to download the files.” A black-and-white button is labeled (in small, tasteful, capital letters): “Create a logo in 1 min or less.” Clicking this button takes you straight to the logo-making workspace.
A popup prompts you to type your business name – we choose Yummy Bakery. Oddly, the popup also contains three paragraphs of promotional blah-blah totaling over a hundred words. If you stop to read the promotional stuff, you’ll never complete your logo in the advertised 1 minute! Click the Next button.
A new popup prompts us to select an Image Category and points to a list at left. It includes Abstract, Letter Based, Staff Favourites, and 37 industries, from Accounting and Financial to Wedding Services.
For Yummy Bakery, we chose Food & Drink. A new popup prompted us to “Pick your logo,” explaining, “Browse through our logos and pick your favorite, then tweak it to your heart’s content with our logo editor! Tip: You can change your logo at any time from the Images tab in the left navigation.”
GraphicSprings displays the first of 11 pages of Food & Drink logo symbols, with 20 per page — unfortunately we didn’t spot any cakes or even a loaf of bread for our faux-bakery logo, but did grab a nicely rendered cupcake design.
GraphicSprings lets you reposition and resize your symbol, but not squeeze or stretch it. Given how easy it is to mess up a good design, this constraint could be viewed as a blessing. “What you can’t change, you can’t screw up” — an old saying we just invented.
We liked the symbols contained here – many of them were cleanly designed, even elegant. Purely for creative inspiration, GraphicSprings.com is worth a browse. A few do violate basic rules of logo graphics, such as having too-thin lines. But these are far outnumbered by bold, graceful, logo-worthy designs.
Making a logo
While the cupcake symbol was selected, a small cogwheel icon floated near it, offering more controls. Mousing over the cogwheel brought forth a list of four actions: Bring to Front, Send to Back, Duplicate, and Remove. GraphicSprings also displayed controls at top of screen. Because the symbol was selected, some of these controls were specific to working with graphic elements. In other words, they were context-sensitive.
At upper left were redo/undo icons. Next, a dropper and a sample of binary hex code, “#FFFFFF”, indicated the place to work with color. (#FFFFFF happens to be the code for pure white, a subtle way of saying you’ve got a blank canvas to work with.) Mousing over this code, a color control area popped up. At top, a toggle let you select “solid color” or “gradient.”
GraphicSprings enabled us to more fully customize the symbol by separately clicking and coloring different areas within it. We clicked the icing on the cupcake, toggled to Gradient, and selected two colors. The icing then gradually faded from blue to white.
GraphicSprings also allowed us to color the bottom part of the cupcake, and each of the symbol’s two decorative elements (separately), one on each side. GraphicSprings gives you fairly standard color-spectrum and color-shade controls, and “color history” colored dots showing colors you have used to help speed your process.
At top of screen, there were also three “FX” or special effects controls:
Each had its own popup on-off toggle and control panel; the controls were well designed. Stroke, for instance, placed a line around the element you selected. For instance, with the icing selected, an outline appeared around the icing. Controls within Stroke let us change the color and thickness of the outline by point sizes. Shadow let us control the shadow’s angle and extent (or “distance”). Glow offered a single control, for the glow’s “thickness.”
Moving on to text. We wanted to make a more compact logo – not too wide. This meant stacking the words Yummy and Bakery instead of stringing them on one line. There was no control for adding a new text element, but — typical of GraphicSprings’ well thought out design — it wasn’t needed. We simply selected the text line “Yummy Bakery” and used the cogwheel control to duplicate it, then deleted one word from each text. Voila: We had Yummy and Bakery on separate lines.
Along the way, GraphicSprings did throw a curveball. We looked around multiple times for a way to edit selected text. Could not find any, until we noticed at left, there was an icon named “Identity.” Mousing over it invoked a popup: “Edit your texts.” Naming this control “Identity” wasn’t the best choice.
Further, the text editing function, once we reached it, was clunky, distracting, and a bit hard to figure out. It took a couple of minutes to get the hang of. This learning curve should not have been necessary. There are plenty of examples of simple, intuitive, easy to use text editing interfaces — like LogoYes’s, as just one example. Text editing is GraphicSprings’ weakest feature, but once you figure it out, at least it does work.
Like Logosnap, GraphicSprings provides a “Shapes” section containing a wealth of elements with which you can further customize your logo design. That’s where the difference ends. GraphicSprings’ added graphic elements are mostly clean, simple, and — typical of this site — very well designed. That’s compared with Logosnap’s graphic elements, which by comparison look like the work of amateurs. GraphicSprings shows us what professional graphic design can look like.
In GraphicSprings, “Shapes” offers these menu items at left:
- Clip art
- Symbols (copyright, trademark, etc.)
Having finished our sample logo, we wanted to save it. Unfortunately GraphicSprings does not let you save your logo design without first buying it. When you click the “Download my logo” button at lower right, you get a screen that seems gratingly out of tune with GraphicSprings’ clean, elegant approach to almost everything. It’s a hustle to get you to hurry up and buy. The page title: Secure your logo now. It might not be available in 5 mins! And under that: 3 other users are currently looking at your graphic…
Why the focus on who’s looking at the graphic we selected? GraphicSprings offers an option to actually purchase the symbol, not just the resulting design. If we had made the purchase and chosen this option, for instance, they would have permanently removed this particular cupcake rendering from their symbol library, stopping anyone currently playing around with that symbol from completing their logo and making a purchase. They would likely replace it with something quite similar, but not exactly the same.
This is GraphicSprings’ logic for its somewhat heavy-handed hurry-up-and-buy promotion when you click to download your logo. Technically, someone else could opt to do a buyout on this one particular rendering, and you’d be out of luck. After all that work — a lot more than the promised “1 min” — you’d have to start over with a different symbol rendering. The chances are extremely small, but yes, it could theoretically happen.
Cost and extras
Here are the four purchase options GraphicSprings offers you (rounded to the nearest dollar):
- Basic, $20. You get a high-resolution .JPG file (Assuming this means 300 dots per inch or dpi, the commonly understood value for “high resolution”). Apparently you can’t go back and edit after purchase because this privilege isn’t mentioned.
- Standard, $40. You get high-res files in .JPG, .PDF, and .PNG file formats. The advantage of .PNG is that ‘white’ areas are actually transparent. They’ll show as white against a white background, but also will let any other background color show through — ideal for printing on colored t-shirts and the like. Editing privileges: You can go back to your GraphicSprings account and edit your logo anytime in the future. Also features “Custom Size Download:” You can download your logo in any specific size you want.
- Pro, $100. All of the above, plus vector files, graphic protection, stationary design, and social media covers. You can download a “vector” file in .SVG format. Vector lets your logo stay razor-sharp at any size, even billboard size. “Graphic Protection” means GraphicSprings removes your particular symbol rendering from its symbol library. “Stationery Design” means you get digital files for matching business card, letterhead and envelope displaying your new logo. Finally, “Social Media Covers” means you get digital files for Facebook and Twitter cover graphics.
- Platinum, $200. All of the above, plus the vector file in the more-flexible .EPS file format, the Ai file (digital file format for Adobe Illustrator, a widely used industry-standard professional graphics application), the PSD digital format (standard file format for PhotoShop and for watermarking). So for instance, using PhotoShop, you could use your logo as a watermark superimposed on photographs and artwork. You also get a “Branded Presentation Template” in PowerPoint file format (.PPTX).
Further, GraphicSprings says they promise you a “100% money back guarantee” — a far cry from certain DIY logo sites that seem tight-fisted by comparison, with far less friendly customer policies.
Best free logo design tool: GraphicSprings
All factors considered, GraphicSprings appears to offer the most value out of the free logo design tools we’ve compared. With simple, quality symbols, extensive file download availability, and transparent pricing and policies, it isn’t “free” to download your high-res logo here, but creating one to brainstorm and visualize ideas won’t cost you a penny.
That’s our wrap-up from delving deep into the seven best free logo design websites. Keep in mind that our evaluation statements reflect subjective views and opinions, but are based on years of experience in the DIY logo industry and decades in the commercial graphic design industry.