How To Create Band Logo - Maker Tutorial

Every band needs a logo. It should be clear, easy to read (except black metal logos!), сanonical and be a part of the bands’ brand. If you are looking for a guide on how to make band logo by yourself –  we would like to suggest you this article with a full detailed algorithm for creating a band logo in Adobe Illustrator. Pretty quick and simple way of making a typographic logo.

After reading this article you’ll be able to make, create and design such cool looking band logos like this:

For your band, for sell, no matter – you’ll be able to use these knowledge as you wish! All you need – just some time and Adobe Illustrator software.

Some famous typographic logos of metalcore bands you’ve probably seen:

To make a logo for band like "Capture The Crown" or "Memphis May Fire" you will need:

Text (band name) and vector graphic editor. Why we don’t make it in Adobe Photoshop? Because we want to teach you how to work with professional software and to obtain best possible results. Photoshop is an editor for raster graphics, it’s a bit more simple in learning and really better for some other cases. But images after Photoshop can’t be scaled up without losing quality. If you are going to print stage banner or any kind of merchandise for your band – you will need vector logo. And Adobe Illustrator gives such ability. That’s why professional logo designers use this software for making band logotypes. Basically, all you need from AI – are layer functionality and bezier tool.

By the way, we have a little discount for Adobe Creative Suites for students. May be you’ll find it useful.

Let’s take a look at this band’s logo design sample. Basically, it’s a short sentence with decorative elements. So, at first, you’ll need to find a good basic font – sans-serif or grotesque for example. It gives freedom for creative work. I decided to go with Felix Titling serif font.

It’s better to have separate layer for every word. Not a must – just a tip for more comfortable work. Also, here we are changing positions for every layer.
Now it’s time for more detailed approach. Convert typeface into editable. In Adobe Illustrator use ether expand command (Object menu on the top) or create outline. You’ll have 3 groups of path with typeface converted to bezier path.

Let’s focus on the first word. Disable all other layers using a layer manger.
Let’s focus on a B character. You can directly select and modify each character by using “Direct Select Tool” hotkey A.

Select a B character using Direct Select Tool – you’ll see that there are squares on outline, that’s bezir points. You can use either Direct Select Tool or “Pen Tool” to modify the bezier path and anchor points of a B character. On the picture below: 1 points, 2 bezier handles.

Note: not every anchor point have handles.

When you select a point with Direct Select Toll (A) your tool bar will change a look. There are number of tools you’ll find very useful. From left to right:
Convert selected points to corner – removes handles, useful when you want hard edges, angles. Convert selected points to smooth – basically an opposite of the precious tool. Handles Hide/Show – does exactly that.

Remove selected points – removes anchor points.
Connect and cut – useful when you want to connect 2 paths or cut one in two.

Sure, there are much more useful tools in AI, definitely explore them. If you click on a Pen tool on the side bar there will be a drop out menu. They are pretty much self-explanatory, except maybe the Anchor Point Tool, which allows you to convert points from one type to another (by grading your mouse) and allows you to control handles separately.

NOTE: You can control handles separately by using Direct Selection Tool. Select the point. Hold Alt and drag a handler. It’s useful when you want to change transition’s softness and hardness.

So, once you’ve got yourself accustomed to the tools you can modify the B character how you like it. Then, move to the next characters, and once you’ve done with the first world – you’re ready for the next stage.

Here’s a logo design sample which I’ve got (I also tweaked kerning).
Now move on to the next word. My result below (I changed T so it remind of gallows, oh and I used twirl tool on O for that spiral element):

We have a basic shape, so it’s time to add some decorative elements. By using pen tool you can create serif elements or modify existing ones for desired look. I’m talking about this:

Important: when you use Pentool (P) while creating a new point – if you drag your mouse, you’ll get a soft point. If not – you’ll get a corner.

I think that it’s easier to “paint over” elements and then merge them with characters using Path Finder tools, rather than modify already complex path.

You can copy decorative elements that you like and then rotate/reflect them and use on other characters. Just always remember to keep each element in corresponding character layer for convenience.

Note: Don’t forget to keep multiple versions of your logo on your drive if you want to go back.

When you’re satisfied with the look of your logo design it will be a good time to merge your elements with a characters.
Go to Window – Pathfinder. You’ll see pathfinder menu.

Select two intersecting paths ( by using A or Layer manager) and click Unite (that’s fist button in the Shape Modes section) proceed ‘till all of your intersecting paths are united.

Congratulations! Now you’ve got an original vector logo for your band. You can scale it, print it, add textures in Photoshop or Gimp and basically do whatever you want! It may be used for stage banner, album covers, merchandise prints, website design, myspace, youtube, facebook and etc.. Share with us in comments here what you’ve got.