Tutorial: How to Create a Flat Logo

Those working in marketing understand that a company logo plays a key role in the success of a brand and it is therefore imperative thats its design is done with care, patience and expertise. There is more to a logo than just making sure that it is “pretty”. When you think of a logo it is generally because it successfully follows five key principles of being simple, relatable (appropriate), versatile, memorable and timeless. The same goes for flat design logos. Flat design has been the current go-to trend as of late as it not only allows designers to create more simplified and cleaner looks but they are also a lot more pleasing on the eye compared to overly designed logos that are carried by gradients and 3D elements. Of course when it comes to flat design you have the option of designing either “truly” flat or “almost” flat.

When you are designing your flat logo there are many things that you want to take in consideration during the first few steps of designing. Color, composition and size are three big factors but that alone won’t necessarily yield you a cool design. Remember that flat logos are purely visual so you must be creative when it comes to your graphics.Today we are going to do just that by creating a mock logo for the fictional design studio PocketArt. We will design a clever logo based off of the design studio’s name alone while utilizing flat design right in Photoshop so pull up your program and let’s get start designing our logo.

Step 1 New File

If you don’t have Photoshop already opened now is the time to do so. Once the program is up and running you will want to create a new file by going to File > New or simply pressing Ctrl + N and give your canvas the dimensions of 600px by 400px. Press OK.

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Step 2 Background Color

We will want to go ahead and already add color to our background so that we see our logo better. Create a new layer and name it “bkg”. Fill the layer with the color #316479.
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Step 3 Gradient

To add more depth and dynamic to our background we will add a gradient effect. Set your background color to #ffffff and leave the foreground color as is. Now double click on the “bkg” layer to open up the Blending Options dialogue menu. Select the Gradient Overlay box and change the color in the Gradient Editor box to reflect your chosen colors. Check the reverse box; change your gradient mode to Multiply and the gradient style to Radial.
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Press OK for the changes to take effect.
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Step 4 Logo Body

Make a new layer and name this “logo body”. Chang your foreground color to #ffca29 and with the Rectangular Marquee Tool create a tall rectangle in the middle of your canvas. Fill it in with the selected color.
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Step 5 Pocket Body

We need to start turning our rectangle into a pocket shape. To do this you first need to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool and select a triangle section from the bottom left corner of your rectangle.
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With your selection in the right area you will want to press delete to remove the selected piece.
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Now that you have one side done, do the same to the other so that your shape looks like this.
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Step 6 Pocket Flap

Using the Polygonal Lasso tool again you want to create a typical pocket flap shape on the upper half off your rectangle.
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Once you are happy with the shape press (V) on the keyboard and move your selection upwards so that you now have two distinct shapes.
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Step 7 Metal

Traditional No.2 pencils tend to have a metal guard to keep the eraser in place. We will be creating one as well. Make a new layer called “metal” and with the Rectangular Marquee Tool create a rectangle that is the same width of the pencil then fill it in with #b6b6b6.

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Step 8 Eraser

Change your foreground color to #e59496 and make a new layer named “eraser”. Just like you did with the metal guard piece you will want to use the Rectangular Marque Tool to make your eraser.
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Step 9 Pencil Tip

Now we need to create our pencil tip. To do this you first need to change your foreground color to #000000. Next click on the Polygon Tool. Go to your tool bar at the top and indicate that you want your shape to have 3 sides.
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Next click the down arrow for the Polygon Option and change the radius to match the width of the flat portion of the bottom half of your pocket.
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Once that is done you can create your triangle.
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Step 10 Grooves

We want to add grooves where the lead meets the wood of the pencil,, to do this we must first create a zigzag type pattern on the bottom half of our pocket with the Polygonal Lasso Tool like this.
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When you have your design selected, simply delete it so that you are left with the image below.
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Now move the pencil tip layer up and resize it so that it fits the width of the newly created grooves.
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Step 11 Button

Use the Circular Marquee Tool and make an ellipse on the pocket flap where a button would typically go.
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Instead of filling the selection in we are going to delete it like so.
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Step 12 Pencil Highlights

Now we can add dynamic to our pencil body by adding highlights. In order to do this you need to use the Polygonal Lasso Tool. On your “pencil body” layer you want to create a random shape like I have done.
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Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and change the Lightness to +33 and press OK.
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Create another shape making sure to leave space between your highlights.
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When you are finished you should have something that looks like this.
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Step 13 Pencil Tip Highlight

Click on the “pencil tip” layer and use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to create a long shape on the right side.
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Open up the Hue/Saturation box and change the Lightness to +7 and press OK.
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This is what your image should look like.
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Step 14 Metal Highlights

Just like before go to the layer you want to add highlights to, in this case “metal” layer and create a shape.
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Open up the Hue/Saturation box and change the Lightness to +16 and press Ok.
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Continue doing this until you are finished.
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Step 15

Change your foreground color to black so that you can write your main logo text and connect it to the pencil tip. In this case I am using the font Zepplin 2 in 9pt font.
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Finish up your design by adding anymore desired text and aligning it just under the main text and there you have it, a flat styled logo.
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