In most cases, a company’s logo is its first chance to make an impression. They’re the first images that come to mind when you think of the most successful brands in the world. But if you’re reading this, you probably know that creating a great logo is a daunting task. 

For many people, what makes the task even more intimidating is the thought of building it in a powerhouse like Adobe Illustrator. So to help you get started, we’ve put together a step-by-step tutorial that will help you create a logo in Illustrator. 

5 Steps to Making a Logo in Illustrator

Step 1: Set Up Your Document

When you sit down to create a logo in Illustrator, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the tools at your disposal. So before we do anything that even resembles design work, let’s take a look at the basics of setting up a document. 

First things first: Get started with Adobe Illustrator.
First things first: Get started with Adobe Illustrator.

To get started, click the “Create new” button on the left-hand side of your screen. Then, select the Letter presets. Most of the presets will work perfectly for a basic logo, but quickly double check that your presets are the following: 

  • Orientation: Portrait mode
  • Color Mode: CMYK Color
  • Raster Effects: High

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s go ahead and click the blue “Create” button and get started.

Step 2: Set Up Your Workspace

There’s a recurring theme you’ll find in Illustrator: Sometimes the first step towards figuring out how to make a logo is choosing the right settings.

But when you think about how to make a logo in Illustrator, we’ll keep things simple and use the Painting workspace. To do this, click the Workspaces icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and select Painting. 

Get familiar with all the tools Adobe Illustrator has to offer.
Get familiar with all the tools Adobe Illustrator has to offer.

There are a few things to note once you’ve switched Workspaces. On the right-hand side of your screen, you’ll have easy access to Adobe Illustrator’s built-in color swatches, brushes, strokes, and symbols—among a lot of other tools. We’ll use them later on in this walkthrough, but make a note of it here. 

More importantly for now, let’s take a look at the main toolbar on the left-hand side of the screen. This is where you’ll find the most critical tools for designing your logo.

Oh yeah, your logo. Let’s do some actual drawing.

Step 3: Get Started With Shapes

When you search for tips on how to create a logo in Illustrator, you’ll find some pretty advanced (and overwhelming) answers. But for this exercise, we’re going to keep things simple. And we think you’ll find that even some simple shapes can help you create a standout logo. 

Check out the screenshot below. You’ll see that we’re starting with a simple shape, which you can find by clicking the fourth icon from the top that’s shaped like a rectangle. Long-click on the icon to view all of your options, which include a Rectangle Tool, Ellipse Tool, Polygon Tool, Star Tool, and Line Segment Tool.

The Ellipse Tool in Illustrator has several options to choose from. 
The Ellipse Tool in Illustrator has several options to choose from. 

Let’s use the Rectangle Tool right now. Rectangles aren’t super exciting, but Illustrator makes it pretty easy to manipulate one in a variety of ways. Check out the GIF below to see how to create a logo using this tool.

This is an example of a Live Shape in Illustrator, which you can manipulate using corner radius widgets.
This is an example of a Live Shape in Illustrator, which you can manipulate using corner radius widgets.

To do this, select the Direct Selection Tool and drag it over the corners you’d like to edit. Once you’ve done that, you’ll notice a corner radius widget in each corner. Drag them towards the center of the rectangle to change the angle and size of the entire shape. 

Of course, this is just the beginning of what (we hope) will become a more usable logo. Now that we have a shape to work with, we’ll start adding lines, text, and other elements to make our logo stand out.

Step 4: Add Lines, Color, and Additional Objects

White is a great color—and when you’re thinking about how to make a logo, it might be the right color. But let’s play around with a few other colors using Swatches. 

To add more color to our shape below, click on the Selection Tool at the top of your Main Menu. Then click into the middle of your shape. To add a color, choose one from the Swatches menu. Feeling lost? Don’t worry: We made you a GIF.

Choosing between the available Swatches in Adobe Illustrator
Choosing between the available Swatches in Adobe Illustrator

Now let’s add some lines, for which we’ll need to create a new layer. To create a new layer, head on over to the Layers menu and click the + icon. This will put your new layer at the top of the menu, which is what we’re after.

Most logos you see online were built using multiple layers in Illustrator.
Most logos you see online were built using multiple layers in Illustrator.

Now that we have our layers, click the empty box next to the icon that looks like an eyeball next to Layer 1. This will lock that layer and help us avoid making any further changes to that layer while we add our lines to Layer 2. 

To add a line, select the Pen Tool in the Main Menu. Then, hover over the center of the image until you see the word “center” appear in small purple text. Once you find the center of the icon, hold the Shift key and then click. To create a line, simply choose an edge of the icon that you’ll like to draw towards and click the edge of the icon. When you’ve drawn your line, hit V to finish. Repeat this as many times as you’d like.

Drawing lines in Adobe Illustrator is easier than it seems.
Drawing lines in Adobe Illustrator is easier than it seems.

You’ll see that we have a line to work with, but that it doesn’t really add much to our logo. To change how that line looks, head on over to the Appearance menu on the right-hand side of your screen. You’ll see in the screenshots below that we’ve changed the line to 12pt, which makes a huge difference. 

Give your lines more definition in the Appearance menu.
Give your lines more definition in the Appearance menu.
Give your lines more definition in the Appearance menu.
Give your lines more definition in the Appearance menu.

Believe it or not, this actually gives you a decent foundation to start exploring how to create a logo in Illustrator.  In the screenshot below, you’ll see that we’ve done just that—with only the steps we’ve reviewed here so far. (Note: We thought the original color in Layer 1 looked strange, so we changed it to a solid orange color).

Here’s an example of a logo built using Adobe Illustrator
Here’s an example of a logo built using Adobe Illustrator

Step 5: Add Text

So, we’ve added some lines and shapes in our logo. That’s a great start, but is that the end of our tutorial on how to create a logo? Nope—it’s time to add some text. 

To start, select the Type Tool in the Main Menu. Then drag it across a section of your document to reveal the editor. 

Adding text to a logo in Adobe Illustrator is a deceptively tricky task.
Adding text to a logo in Adobe Illustrator is a deceptively tricky task.

Of course, we’d never actually use the standard lorem ipsum text that Illustrator generates. In the box you just created, enter the text you’d like to include on your logo. Then select a font and font size in the Character menu at the top of your screen. 

Here’s an example of how we might change fonts and sizes in Illustrator.
Here’s an example of how we might change fonts and sizes in Illustrator.

Now, let’s add our text to the icon. Use the Selection Tool to drag it onto the image.

Adding text to a logo is a drag-and-drop task.
Adding text to a logo is a drag-and-drop task.

Since we’ve used a solid color for most of our image, we’ll also make the text white. To do so, highlight the text and head back on over to the Appearance menu. Now change the Stroke and Fill colors to White.

Use the Appearance menu to change the color of your text.
Use the Appearance menu to change the color of your text.

It’s important to note that we’ve covered just a few basics and have only scratched the surface of how to make a logo in Illustrator. But as you can see, mastering the fundamentals is the first step. From there? See where your creativity takes you.

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