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5 simple logo design software alternatives

When it comes to logo design, let's not beat around the bush: the vast majority of professionals will be using Illustrator CC. Its powerful, precise tools are well-equipped for the task, plus if you have a Creative Cloud subscription, it's something of a no-brainer.

There are plenty of other pro logo design tools on the market, however – Affinity Designer, for instance, packs a powerful punch with an intuitive interface and a cheaper, one-off fee compared to Illustrator's monthly subscription. 

If your budget still won't stretch, free graphic design software such as Gravit Designer or Inkscape provide many of Illustrator's key features. Or you could see our pick of the best free logo designer software. In short, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to full-service logo design software packages.

But you might not need so much functionality at your fingertips. Perhaps you're a relative beginner, and want to ease your way in gently. You might not be a designer by trade, but need a simple logo design tool to brand your fledgling business before you can afford the services of a professional.

So if you're on the hunt for a way to take the hassle out of the logo design process, but still yield a decent result, read on to discover five tools that make logo design more accessible to all...

01. Canva

Canva for iPad

Available as an iPad app, Canva is a versatile graphic design tool that comes with plenty of useful logo templates

An intuitive drag-and-drop interface, simple but effective design functionality, and an extensive range of high-quality templates make browser-based tool Canva a leading choice for non-designers and time-poor professionals alike.

While Canva is not exclusively geared up for logo design – in fact, it's a particularly useful tool for creating social graphics – there are over a hundred logo design templates to get you started.

If your budget is tight, you can make use of Canva's free elements, or upgrade to its higher-quality options. If you prefer, you can import your own straight into the tool, or use premium assets from your favourite stock library.

02. Squarespace logo maker

Squarespace logo maker

Squarespace's logo design tool is clean, simple and graphic, combining basic icons and text

If you're designing and hosting your portfolio through Squarespace, it could be worth checking out its accompanying logo creation tool if you need a personal brand to adorn it. This tool's extremely basic functionality could be ideal if your time, logo design skills, or both are limited – or you just want to take advantage of the latest design trends and create something very minimal and graphic.

Using a simple drag-and-drop editor, Squarespace's logo maker enables you to arrange text and icons in various configurations, and customise their colour, shape and style. Low-res, watermarked versions are free to download, or high-res versions cost $10 – although they're free if you're already a Squarespace user.

03. Logojoy

LogoJoy app

Feed it your aesthetic preferences, and LogoJoy will auto-generate logo designs for your consideration

Whether you choose to be terrified that Artificial Intelligence will ultimately swallow up all our jobs, or prefer to embrace it as an invaluable supplementary tool for designers, is entirely up to you. The people behind LogoJoy clearly advocate the latter, as the logo design tool uses AI to aid your creative process.

By providing information about your business, as well as the types of logos, colours and other design features you admire, LogoJoy will auto-generate design ideas for your consideration. While it's very unlikely that professional designers will ever dabble in, or endorse, such dark arts, there seems to be a market there for non-designers with minimal budgets.

It costs just $130 for high-res, downloadable files that have never been touched by human hands, or for a bit extra, LogoJoy's in-house designer will spend an hour giving it a polish. There's another suggested use, though: for $20 you get a low-resolution logo file, which could be used as a reference point for a moodboard, for instance.

04. Hatchful

Hatchful by Shopify

Mobile-based tool Hatchful enables you to design quick, simple logos on the move

From the makers of Shopify, Hatchful is another logo design tool that dabbles in some basic AI – it uses machine learning to suggest appropriate brand assets for your business, drawing on hundreds of icons and colour combinations as a starting point. There are various free templates on offer, or you can upgrade to premium templates for up to $8.99 each.

Optimised for mobile devices, this completely free tool is a great way to sketch ideas and play with different graphic combinations while you're on the move – and it could also be ideal for quick, last-minute, relatively low-profile logo design projects, such as temporary graphics for social activity.

05. TailorBrands

TailorBrands app

Subscription-based tool TailorBrands designs a logo based on your questionnaire responses

Another AI-based tool, TailorBrands promises to design you a unique, customised logo based on a series of questionnaire responses. Unlike LogoJoy's pay-per-project approach, however, it is available on a subscription basis – ranging from $2.99 to $10.99 per month (on an annual basis).

Besides the hi-res logo assets themselves, the top-end premium package includes everything from social analytics to supplementary tools to create business cards, presentations, social ads and more.

It's an interesting model that controversially takes much of the creative process out of the hands of professional designers, offering a range of services to cater to those with no design skills. Businesses considering a tool such as TailorBrands are unlikely to be making a direct comparison with hiring an agency, but as AI becomes increasingly sophisticated, it may well keep the industry on its toes.

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Nick Carson
Nick Carson is a content strategist and copywriter, and former editor of Computer Arts. He is also chair of judges for the Brand Impact Awards.