Design your own wedding logo — no design experience necessary! #Invitation DIY#invitations#tutorial#wedding logo January 20 | Guest post by Whitney Lee We're excited to bring you the first post from our new DIY editor, Whitney Lee. In her first DIY post, Whitney makes logo designing accessible to those of us without a background in graphic design. Check it out… A wedding logo is a snazzy way to spice up your wedding day. Once you have a great one designed you can use it in, like, a bah-zillion ways: on your return address labels, your wedding cake, your programs, t-shirts for your wedding party… anything! Plus your logo doesn't have to live and die only on the day, it can live for decades as a symbol that succinctly represents your coupledom (think: The Artist Formerly Known As Prince). Step 1: Choose your font Your computer may have some cool fonts pre-installed, but I recommend you download a font. There are piles and piles of free fonts available online. Some are so cool that you'll simply be able to just type your names and you'll have a great looking logo! I recommend that you check out dafont.com. Take your time in choosing your font — get one that suits your personalities. Also, make sure to click on the font name to see a chart of what characters are available in your font. Some fonts may only have uppercase letters, or some fonts may have cool features that you might not otherwise know about. For example, a font called "Velocette" has this cool swirl-y underline but you have to consult the chart to know to use the "æ" character to make the underline appear. Step 2: Design your logo Once your font is installed on your computer (here's how to do it!) it should be accessible in any program. You can use anything from Adobe Photoshop to Microsoft Word. First try just typing out your names to see how that looks. I used the "Velocette" font and mine looks awesome already… Related Post How to make your own lino block rubber stamps for all your wedding needs My future wife and I wanted to DIY our invites from scratch. So, I found these cute print-yourself blank invites and we're adding our Minnesota... Read more How about if I just use our initials and an ampersand, and one of those cool swirly underlines?… Looks pretty great but, on second thought, this font is too smooth and perfect to represent Chico and me. We need something more loose, maybe handwritten. So I experiment with more ideas… After a few more tries, I've come up with "Heartland" as my favorite font and this logo… Logo-designing tips: Choose whether to spell your names out or use just your initials. If you are going to share a last name, maybe just that name would be appropriate! Instead of the word "and," you can use a heart or a plus sign or many other symbols to represent your commitment to each other. How about an infinity sign? A lightning bolt? There are thousands of dingbats out there in font-land, with a little digging you can find the right symbol for you! Experiment using uppercase letters vs. lower case. Also experiment with spacing. Font size is your friend! Like the look of the lowercase letter for your initial but the uppercase letter for your partner's? Don't despair, just make yours a bigger size! You don't have to use all the same font. If you have a more complex font for your initials maybe just a simple "+" in a plain font is best so your logo doesn't look too crazy. My logo uses the "Impact" for the "+" because the "Heartland" font was just too busy. Simple and bold is best. The best logos have clean lines and can be understood from far away. If you make your logo one inch wide, is it still legible? This is a good test. Step 3: Embellish Would your logo look good with color? How about a circle around it, or a heart? Now is the time to apply the final touches using image editing software. If you do add color, remember to save a black-and-white copy too. Step 4: Size Matters Where will you ultimately use your logo? If your logo is simply for your wedding website then it doesn't have to be big. But make sure it is at least three inches wide, just to be safe. If you expect to use your logo on a t-shirt someday, then make it as large as you can before you save it. Remember: you can always make an image smaller later, but you cannot take a small image and make it bigger. Other helpful resources: Not sure how to install a font? Dafont has information about how to install your font here. Looking for free image editing software? Paint.NET is a nice freebie for PCs. How to find the special characters on your computer. Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Whitney Lee We all know Whitney Lee as a fabulous wedding photographer, but in her former life she was an indie craft superstar. Her crafty artwork has been featured in documentaries, international art shows, tv shows, magazines, and books. Whitney lives in Austin, TX with her son Peyton, her boyfriend Chico, and two cats. Whitney also sings and plays keyboards in a rock band called Black Cock. http://www.whitneyleephotography.com/ PREVIOUS My retro-futuristic chuppah NEXT Paula & Nicholas's elegant, gothic, country club wedding Show/Hide comments [ 31 ] How weird, I was just thinking a 'wedding logo' would make designing our website easier! Asthetically I've always built sites from the header image outwards so even using a site builder I was feeling kinda lost (we don't even have wedding colours to use). Maybe now I can make a cool logo for the header and go from there. 😀 1 agrees Reply Excellent advice! I'd also like to add that if you want to go beyond fonts flickr is a great place to find images with a creative commons license, which means that you can use photographers or designers creativity without guilt (whilst attributing them where appropriate and letting them know that you're doing so – I bet they'd be chuffed someone liked their work enough to use it in their wedding!) : http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ If you want to focus on more graphic images and can spend a couple of dollars I'd also recommend stock image websites. I bought one graphic of a black and white tree covered in swirls which I used heavily in our wedding stationery. Originally I just used it for the invite (http://www.flickr.com/photos/vondage/5373105385/) but once I found that image it gave me the inspiration to create a motif of swirls and branches that I used everywhere, coloured in masses of colour of course! Order of the day: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vondage/4279359464/ Place names: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vondage/4278622395/ Seating plan: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vondage/5039888481/ One swirl, copied, pasted, rotated, coloured in different colours, and our stationery had a theme! So if you want further decoration ideas but can't create them yourself, don't let that stop you! 2 agree Reply Oh actually, if I'm talking finding random graphics I should also mention freeware graphics that are all over the internet! If you want a symbol style graphic of something that you can't find in wing or webdings then it's well worth googling, as there are pages of them online that are free to use and they're usually vector graphics, which means they will be able to be made bigger or smaller without any loss in quality. Designing in vector graphics is worth bearing in mind if you want to create images for printing on t-shirts, mugs or anything as it gives you a cleaner line and sites like spreadshirts require images in that format. It's not all that complicated, I don't know much about it but again a quick google found me a open source free program to convert my image in and a friendly step by step guide to doing it! Doing that I managed to make another logo for our wedding, this time for the pre-wedding get-together. We didn't want it to be gendered as a hen or stag do as is traditional, so we went for a hag do and made ourselves a logo to go along with it! I just found freeware images of a hen and a deer and combined them to create… a hag: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vondage/5373123015/ We and out friends now have them printed on t-shirts in a variety of colours, sizes and designs thanks to spreadshirts and it's a great little memory of the pre-wedding fun too! Sorry, possible overload of information but as before, I really loved the graphic design that went along with our wedding planning, can you tell?! 😀 1 agrees Reply Love the swirls and the hag! The hag cracks me up, thanks for sharing! The extra info about the stock images, freeware graphics, and vector images is super helpful too… you rock. 1 agrees Reply Very cool first post! I may need to do this if the dude doesn't come up with something drawn. Reply I was just getting started on a logo for our wedding today too! We are using giant ball jars on our tables, with all kinds of other jars, and so I want to make a lable like logo for our invatations. I also found a ball jar rubber stamp! So much fun. I cannot wait to get stamping and logoing. Reply I love that you shared this DIY with your readers! Sometimes the smallest touches can make your big day so much more special and intimate. Check out the logo I designed for our vow renewal last December using this same process, here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=168325046521348&set=a.106823659338154.11135.105883062765547 It was simply 2 A's, connected them and then used photoshop to erase any extra lines that were too distracting. I loved it! Reply Ooh, I love that! What is the name of the font you used? Reply I love this font too! We needed something dark with a bit of edge. 🙂 It's called Jellyka Castle's Queen Reply Great logo! I love it too! Reply Aww! Thanks! 🙂 Reply I've been designing our logo in my head for years, and love how this article helps center my ideas. 1 agrees Reply Also I'm glad I'm not the only one who wants a wedding logo. The idea first popped into my head when I was working on backstage pass style place cards and thinking it's easy with bands because you have a logo to put in the background, so maybe our wedding needed a logo. Then I worried I was taking the idea too far and people would think I was nuts if our wedding had a 'logo'. But it really does make designing stuff easier. Reply If you're interested in having your logo printed on goods for the wedding, you may want to consult (even briefly!) with a friend who is a bit experienced with graphics stuff. What looks fine on your monitor may not necessarily be what you get. No need to feel intimidated, though! Mock up something you like and send it 'round to a friend who's willing to give it a peek. The people printing your goods will usually be happy to let you know if there's something that needs tweaking. Super intimidated by the logo thing? Ask a professional to do it for you! I've found that there are tons of people who are great at this and they might even be able to give you some pointers to polish the look up just a bit. http://www.etsy.com/alchemy/?ref=fp_nav_alchemy Reply That is a good point! I don't mean to undermine the profession of graphic design, of course. Those folks can be brilliant! This article is just skimming the tippy top of the surface of what a graphic designer can do for you. Also I like the idea that these tips can help you create a "mock-up" that you can use to show a professional your tastes and ideas. 1 agrees Reply I don't think this undermines graphic design work at all. I can speak as a graphic designer here… people tend to ask pros to do stuff that they can easily do on their own! For a text logo–especially a simple monogram–paying a graphic designer to do the work is usually pretty silly. I agree with you on the point about mocking it up… it's SO helpful to get an idea already laid out to go on when designing for a client. For getting an item printed, it can be EXTREMELY helpful to send the font file along to the printer, as well. Just in case the completed version you do isn't big enough. Reply I love this – what an easy way to tie everything together. That rope monogram is simply darling – and it says a lot more about an event than just two names! Reply Thanks for your support, everyone! I'll admit, I was a bit nervous about my first post. Thanks for being smart and enthusiastic and friendly! 😀 Reply Ms. Lee, I am always in awe of your abilities and talent. 🙂 Reply Thanks for the post… after reading it my FH and I put our heads together and came up with one. (I can't get the link to work on this comment. 🙁 ). This helps me SO much to have a center that will tie together all the off beat things we are doing for our wedding next year. Reply Hey gals – if anyone comes across a fab infinity symbol "dingbat", please share! I'm still on the lookout – trying to figure out the best way to incorporate this symbolism into our logo. Thanks! Reply You should be able to find an infinity on your computer already. On a mac you have a "character palette" and on a pc it is called a "character map". Here is a link to help you find it: http://www.ascendercorp.com/support/input/ Also here is an infinity symbol, perhaps you can just cut-and-paste this one: âˆž Good luck! And please share your finished logo- I'd love to see! 😀 Reply OMG I f***ing love you! This website is exactly what I have been looking for. Thank you SOOOOOOO much. Reply I want to love this article, but reading, "You can use Microsoft Word" made me twitch. MS Word will not give you the flexibility & freedom to truly break out and be creative, and it is the source of endless frustration when you come to printing at different sizes. I'm not opposed to DIY graphic design, but I think this article could have taken it a few steps further. Things like: 1. You don't just need to use the font as-is! Unless it is Helvetica, few typefaces are used as logos straight out. Bring your font into an image-based program (Not MSWord, but there are open source alternative to pricier Adobe programs). Then start playing with the shape of the letters themselves — just a tweak here and there will personalize it. 2. Branding is not just about a font or logo, but about you use it with other elements. Play with different stationary shapes, colors, and design elements, to see how they will all mesh together as a whole. 3. Make sure to have a vector version of your final design, if you want to scale it large or small for various products. Vector file formats include: .svg, .eps, .ai. If you cannot make this happen, then at least save one large source image in a high-resolution raster (photo) format like: 300 dpi at 8" x 10", in a .psd, .tiff, .png, or .jpg file. Jpgs are the least accurate, while an .eps is the most flexible file type. 4. Font tips: Serif (Times) and Script fonts are more formal. Sans-serif (Helvetica) fonts are considered more modern or casual. All lowercase or hand-written fonts are super-casual. You can even scan your own handwriting to create a logo from! This is a great way to personalize things! 3 agree Reply i was curious what was the name of the font that has the heart in the w and a heart between the letters in your examples? thanks! 1 agrees Reply Another great website for hundreds of free fonts is Acid Fonts at http://www.acidfonts.com/ Reply Which font does the knot ampersand? I just love it and want to use it for a save the date idea! 1 agrees Reply where would you get an image like that orange knot? 1 agrees Reply hi to all at offbeatbride.com i thought i had sent this newyears eve but it didnt send so i have sent it again all the best for new year to you all – matt-gent Reply Making a personal is quite easy. but of course, the more you want it to be creative requires the use of software such as adobe photoshop, which for me is not that easy to operate. I've been using it for my digital scrapbooking and I must say I spent quite some time to learn how to use it. But of course, there are other programs that are easier to operate but may produce less creative results. Reply Hello! I also want that "rope knot" as an "and" sign in our monogram. How did you do that? Is there specific software to download to get that? Please email me your response at email@example.com. I am working on our DIY wedding. Thank you very much. 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