This week The Magpie Blog has been continuing a lot of things I started last week and today’s column is no different. Last week on Biz Tips and Branding for Artists, we talked about logo basics. It was a brief overview of what logos are and what they can do for your company.

This week we’re going to look at some free resources you can use to create a logo simply and easily. Do-it-yourself logos are often the best way to get a great look on a budget.

If you’re on your own with making your logo and you don’t have access to a design specific program, then you’re probably best to stick with a text based logo (also known as a logotype or wordmark.)

In this case all you need is access to free font-ware and a word processing program (like Microsoft Word).

The best and easiest place to find free fonts is Google Fonts. They have a current library of 573 fonts (and growing every day).

So let’s say you have a band called The Evil Queen and Jack.

Go to Google Fonts and type in your band’s name. Scroll down until you find a font you like and then follow the steps to download it.

Go to your word processor and open a new document. Start playing around with text and fonts (if you’re using Microsoft Word, you’ll want to check out this page on how to use text boxes).

You might come up with something that looks like this:

In this case you will notice that the font has done most of the work for you. It has an interesting visual look, evokes a slightly majestic feeling and is, dare I say, a little bit opulent.

Next, add some colour:

Then maybe highlight a portion of the words with a different font, like this:

See? It’s really coming together. Try putting some text into different text boxes and adding levels to the image.

And now you’ve got something you can brand with.

If you’re still a little shy about doing this yourself, there are many free or low-cost online options for logo design, but I strongly recommend talking to a designer first. Many graphic designers can provide you with a customized logo design for not as much as you think.

If you’re looking for a graphic designer, ask around for references and see if anyone you know has had good experiences with anyone they would recommend. The key to good design is always to find someone who understands your work.

Artists are different. You have different branding and visual needs than, say, McDonald’s. Find someone who will treat you that way, even if that person is you.