Your logo is often the first thing people see on your product, marketing materials, or website. Its prominent position and presence on all print and digital assets make it a crucial part of your branding process.
Consistent branding increases revenue up to 33%, according to Lucidpress, and your logo conveys that brand. But few small business owners can afford to chalk up hundreds or thousands of dollars for a graphic.
Fortunately, many options exist, from vector editing software to online logo makers. We evaluated more than two dozen types of logo design software based on price and required skill level. We also considered their ease of use, availability of templates, and customization options before deciding the final list.
The 10 Best Logo Design Software of 2021
- Best Overall: Logo Design Studio Pro
- Best for Beginners: Designhill
- Best for Experienced Designers: Adobe Illustrator
- Best for Free: Inkscape
- Best for Original Designs: CorelDRAW
- Most Comprehensive: Gravit Designer
- Best for Instant Branding: Looka
- Best for Mobile: Hatchful
- Best for Collaborating: Canva
- Best for Mac: Affinity Designer
Best Overall: Logo Design Studio Pro
Logo Design Studio Pro is an easy-to-use yet comprehensive vector graphic editing software providing everything a small business owner needs for logo design with an affordable price.
Subscription or download options
Great for basic to intermediate design skills
Can export logo in several formats
Online subscription requires a 90-day commitment
No downloadable version for Mac
May want to buy expansion packs for more templates
The company Summitsoft introduced its graphic design software in 2001 and has continually improved it. Logo Design Studio Pro provides high-level features without a sharp learning curve, making it the clear winner in our best overall logo software category.
Logo Design Studio Pro offers a “premier do-it-yourself logo design experience,” meaning small business owners with different experience levels can create professional logos with ease. The software comes with:
- Over 2,000 customizable logo templates
- More than 6,000 vector shapes, images, and graphics
- Over 750 fonts available for commercial use
Logo Design Studio Pro offers several pricing options, including a one-time fee for a Windows download or subscription-based plans. You can use the web version on Mac and Windows operating systems. Packages include:
- Logo Design Studio Pro Standard Edition: $69.99 one-time fee for a downloadable version
- Logo Design Studio Pro Platinum Edition: $149.99 one-time fee for download plus three expansion packs
- Logo Design Studio Pro Online: $29.99 the first month, then $7.99 per month for a web browser-based version
- Logo Design Studio Pro with 30-day pass: Use the software for 30-days for a one-time fee
Plus, you can edit your logo design using gradients, shadow, blur, glow, 3D bevel, or emboss effects. Once complete, users export their graphic as a JPEG, PNG, GIF, or black and white file. If you want more logo, font, and graphic templates, you can purchase expansion packs starting at $29.99, such as:
- Color Splash Pack
- Cutting Edge
- Vintage Cool
- Food and Beverage
- General Construction
- Fashion and Retail
- Service and Odd Jobs
- Professional and Business
- Sports and Mascots
- Alphabet Art
- Winter Wonderland
Best for Beginners: Designhill
If you’re new to logo design, then Designhill’s AI-powered software makes it easy to create a logo within minutes.
Only pay upon downloading your logo
Create a logo in five minutes
Works on desktop, mobile, and tablets
Limited editing tools
Minimal customization options
Some templates and fonts look less professional than others
Designhill began in 2014 as a design crowdsourcing platform but pivoted to providing small business owners access to logo generating software that doesn’t require graphic designer skills. Instead, Designhill’s AI-capabilities handle design elements, so beginners don’t need to learn how to navigate specialty software, making Designhill the best tool for beginners.
Unlike graphic design software, you won’t spend time watching tutorials to navigate Designhill. No experience is needed, and even people who aren’t tech-savvy find Designhill easy to use. Instead of complicated features, this logo generator creates your design after you answer a few simple questions.
You won’t find comprehensive editing tools in this software as it’s a logo generator, meaning they do the work for you. However, the company also offers Designhill Studio, a graphic design tool with icons, templates, and fonts.
Once you complete your design, you can save or purchase it in a downloadable format of PNG, SVG, EPS, JPEG, and vector logo files. Designhill offers three packages for beginners needing a one-time logo purchase:
- Basic: For $20, you get a basic low-resolution file best for use on social media
- Premium: Pay $65 for a high-resolution logo, lifetime phone support, font names and colors, and options like a transparent background
- Enterprise: For $150, you get everything from the premium package plus advice from an in-house graphic designer
Best for Experienced Designers: Adobe Illustrator
Built for graphic designers, Adobe Illustrator provides comprehensive software with many customization options and in-depth features for people familiar with vector editing tools.
Seven-day free trial
Can import scanned images
Steep learning curve
Doesn’t support many raster graphics
Special pricing offers require a 12-month commitment
Since 1985 Adobe has led the industry in graphic design software, and Adobe Illustrator is part of Adobe’s Creative Suite. This feature-rich logo tool gives you unlimited design options perfect for customization by business owners familiar with graphic design software. Its complex functions require knowledge of editing and design tools, so Adobe Illustrator is the best software for experienced designers.
You can download the software to Mac or Windows computers or use it on your iPad. Inside this graphic design application, you’ll find a nearly unlimited number of editing and design tools, including:
- Perspective and pixel grids
- Advanced color options like Pantone or CMYK palettes
- Over 16,000 font types
- Gradient tool for objects or individual brush strokes
- Reshaping, symbolism, and paint tools
- Puppet Warp to twist and shape objects
Adobe offers plans for commercial and personal use along with a discount for teachers and students. You can buy a single application, like Adobe Illustrator, for $33.99 per month per license or purchase all apps (over 20) for $79.99 per month per license. Business plans differ from individual plans by offering:
- Integration with popular apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams
- 1TB of cloud storage per user
- Team accessible Creative Cloud Libraries
- Instant syncing across devices
- Premium tech support
Best for Free: Inkscape
Inkscape is an open-source design program with robust logo creation tools and does it all for free.
Works on all operating systems
Tons of editing features
Installation is more complex on Mac computers
Learning curve for people unfamiliar with design software
The software was created in 2003 as part of an open-source project, meaning developers can create new versions or tweak the code to fit a company’s needs. Inkscape’s straightforward design and rich capabilities make it a clear winner for free logo design software.
Inkscape is one of the few vector editing programs that work on Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms. If you’ve operated graphic design software before, then Inkscape will be easy to use. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the various vector editing features, there is a learning curve. But its popularity means you’ll find plenty of online tutorials to develop your logo.
Once you create your design, you can export it in several file formats, including SVG, AI, EPS, PDF, and PNG. Top editing functions consist of:
- Pencil, pen, and calligraphy tools
- Shape tools for rectangles, ellipses, stars, spirals, and polygons
- Text tool for multi-line text and on-canvas editing
- Color selector tool for RGB, HSL, CMYK, color wheel, and CMS palettes
- A gradient editor
Best for Original Designs: CorelDRAW
Turn nearly any sketch into a logo using CorelDRAW’s vector tracing tools.
Subscription or one-time purchase options
Includes a full graphics suite
In-app hints for guidance
Higher learning curve
No mobile app
Released in 1989, CorelDRAW is the oldest software and a well-known competitor to the popular Adobe Illustrator. Its reasonable subscription cost and illustration-to-vector-image capabilities make CorelDRAW the best choice for business owners who created an image and need to turn it into a vector design.
You can buy CorelDRAW as a download for Windows or Mac. Or choose the subscription model which uses a web-based application. If you’ve used other graphic editors before, then CorelDRAW is similar. It’s not a logo generator, so it helps to have some design or editing program knowledge. You will appreciate the in-app video and tool hints, along with many tutorials.
If you have an existing sketch or want to hand-draw your logo, check out the LiveSketch tool. You can use any pen-enabled device to sketch your design while the software adjusts it for vector curves or use its intelligent vectorization tool called PowerTRACE™ to scan a file and turn it into a vector image. Other features include:
- More than 7,000 clipart, images, and vehicle wrap templates
- Over 1,000 fonts
- Symmetry, block shadow, and capture tools
All plans come with seven applications, such as CorelDRAW and Corel Font Manager. You have three pricing options:
- One-time download: $499
- Month-to-month subscription: $34.95
- Annual subscription: $249
Most Comprehensive: Gravit Designer
Use advanced vector editing tools for completely custom designs using the feature-rich Gravit Designer.
Tons of icon and illustration templates
Works on all operating systems
Limited features on free version
Need graphic design editing experience
Few collaboration tools
In 2018, the Corel Company acquired Gravit Designer, which added a great cloud-based tool to their software line. Gravit Designer’s feature-rich program allows you to zoom up to 25,600%, allowing for editing the finest of details. This affordable tool provides everything a small business owner needs, making it the winner as the most comprehensive logo design software.
As a web-based program, you can use Gravit Designer on Mac, Windows, and Linux systems. It’s easy to export your logo in a PNG, JPG, PDF, or SVG file. While you do need some familiarity with graphic design software, the user interface is uncluttered and straightforward to use.
Furthermore, the program includes vector editing features, such as:
- Selection tools
- Precision alignment
- Blending modes
- Symbol library
- Google integration
- Preset canvas sizes
- Print on demand templates
- Premade shapes such as emojis, frames, illustrations, icons, and stickers
Gravit Designer’s free version is robust, but many professionals opt for the annual subscription to access more color palettes and full support for all features. The plans include:
- Free: Comes with 500MB of cloud storage, PDF export, and RGC color palette
- Pro: For $99 per year, you get unlimited cloud storage, can work offline, and use a CMYK palette
Best for Instant Branding: Looka
Use Looka’s AI-enabled logo generator to create a design, then get an entire brand kit for one low price.
Several payment options
More than 300 branded templates
Fast and easy to use
Not as custom as vector editing tools
Lesser-known industries may not find desired icons or symbols
Mixed quality on some AI-generated logos
Looka launched in 2016 to give small business owners access to great designs at an affordable price. Its AI-capabilities mean you can develop a new logo within minutes and download a complete suite of branded assets. For small companies wanting to quickly produce images for email signatures, social media, and business cards, Looka is the best logo generator for instant branding.
Since Looka uses AI, you simply answer a few questions about your favorite design styles, colors, and symbols, then you’re presented with logos based on various templates. Editing is easy. Adjust shapes, colors, text spacing, or layout with a few clicks. Once you’re done, you can preview your logo on various branded assets, from T-shirts to business cards. Branding assets include:
- 20 business card templates
- Over eight email signatures and blog banners
- Get over 20 versions of your logo for social channels
- More than 10 letterhead designs
- Receive a custom branding document
When you’re happy with your design, you can buy the logo by itself or as part of a logo and brand kit. The logo and brand kits require an annual payment for a subscription:
- Basic: $59.88 per year for your logo, posters, and flyers
- Premium: $95.88 per year for all features with more than 300 ready-to-use branded assets
- Business: $191.88 per year for a fully hosted website and site builder
If you only want a logo, then you can make a one-time purchase. The logo-only packages consist of:
- Basic: $20 for one PNG logo file
- Premium: $65 for several high-resolution files in PNG, EPS, SVG, or PDF
- Enterprise: $80 for a social media kit and business card designs
Best for Mobile: Hatchful
This simple and intuitive logo maker’s features make it the best mobile app on the market.
User-friendly mobile interface
No design skills needed
Limited design and editing capabilities
Less customizable than vector editing software
PNG download only
Hatchful is Shopify’s logo maker that uses machine learning to deliver users a variety of design options. Hatchful created the logo generator for “the entrepreneur on the go,” making it the best choice for mobile users.
While Hatchful provides an easy-to-use mobile application for iOS and Android devices, you can also use the software on your desktop via a web browser. As a logo generator, you don’t need any special skills to use it.
Instead, you choose your industry, visual style, and where you’ll use your logo. The AI tool automatically generates dozens of logo variations. You can then edit the icons, colors, and fonts. Your free logo download comes with:
- A high-resolution logo
- Facebook profile and cover image
- Instagram profile design
- Twitter banner, banner variation, and profile image
- Pinterest profile and board photo
- LinkedIn profile image and two banner variations
- YouTube profile photo
Hatchful is free to use.
Best for Collaborating: Canva
Canva is full-featured editing software with real-time team collaboration tools that work well for teams with various design capabilities, plus you can share the link with external stakeholders.
Great for beginners
Free plan available
Mobile app has fewer features
Free plan limits the number of available icons
Program can slow down your computer
Since 2012, Canva continues to develop fresh and high-quality templates for logo making. This graphic design tool is perfect for teamwork with multiple users being able to easily create changes and organize projects making this the top pick for best for collaboration.
You can use Canva via a web-based application or on its mobile app. This graphic design tool provides tons of high-quality templates and lets you design your logo from scratch or use the logo maker tool. Top features include:
- Out-of-the-box color and font combos
- Millions of free and premium images, symbols, and illustrations
- Shared folders for teams
- More than 1,400 logo templates
- Ability to comment and collaborate in real-time
- Link-sharing for external approval
All Canva plans come with a free logo template, fonts, and graphics. You can easily download files in SVG, PDF, JPG, and PNG formats or share it to social media. Choose from three plans:
- Free: Full design editor with 5GB of storage
- Pro: $12.95 per month or $119.40 for an annual subscription for use by up to five people, 100GB storage, and one brand kit
- Enterprise: $30 per month per person for built-in workflows, unlimited storage, and enterprise-level support
Best for Mac: Affinity Designer
Built for Mac, Affinity Designer is a low-budget graphic design tool you can use on your iPad or desktop.
Inexpensive one-time fee
Raster and vector editing tools
Intuitive iPad version
iPad sketch tools can be buggy
Not for people unfamiliar with design software
Released in 2014, Affinity Designer is a native Mac application with reliable features similar to Adobe Illustrator. As an Apple Design Award winner, Affinity Designer is the best choice for Mac users.
Along with Mac and iPad use, Affinity Designer is compatible with Windows operating systems. This editing software is different from others because it allows you to switch between raster and vector designs, so you can add brush strokes or edit individual pixels on your raster image, then add that detail to your vector logo.
Graphic design experience helps when using Affinity Designer, but many online tutorials exist to walk you through logo making. Other features include:
- Scan a pencil drawing
- Advanced grids
- Auto alignment tools
- Real-time blend mode preview
- Sketch your logo on your iPad
You can download your files as PSD, AI, PDF, SVG, JPG, TIFF, and EXR. Affinity Designer also supports most color palettes such as CMYK and Pantone, making it easy to send your logo to the printer and get a true color match.
One of the best parts of Affinity Designer is its price. You’ll pay a flat fee of $49.99 for desktop software or $19.99 for an iPad application. For this cost, you can use the software for a lifetime, and all future updates are free.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Does Logo Design Software Work?
We reviewed two kinds of logo design software that support a range of knowledge levels. Tools like Looka are logo generators, whereas Adobe Illustrator is a vector editor for graphic design.
Logo makers use AI technology to auto-generate logos based on your industry and other preferences. It relies on built-in templates, symbols, and icons to give you ready-to-use logos. There is often no learning curve, as you’re not doing deep design work. Most logo generators let you adjust colors, symbols, or shapes. But you won’t see the advanced tools found in graphic design platforms.
Vector editing software is built for graphic designers. It uses design terms that may be unfamiliar to small business owners. However, the vast range of features allows you to customize your logo fully, and most programs offer many types of online tutorials to help you design your logo.
Regardless of which option you choose, you need a downloadable file containing a vector image versus a raster image. A raster image is what professionals work with most often. It’s a graphic made of pixels in a JPEG or GIF file format. A raster graphic works well for social sharing but looks fuzzy when enlarged.
With a vector image, your software calculates the exact size of each line of your design, so it maintains the same quality anywhere you use it. With a vector design, you can give the file to a designer and have a huge storefront sign made, or make a wrap for your car without any distortion.
What Makes a Good Logo?
Brand recognition is crucial, so keep your logo simple and memorable. Plus, you want it to work well across all marketing materials and not look dated in a few years. A good logo looks equally compelling on business cards as it does on a billboard.
Moreover, when printed in black and white, your logo should retain its original design. While small business owners can create a logo without outside assistance, people without design experience will face a learning curve.
Along with learning about the psychology of color, you also need to choose a descriptive or non-descriptive design. For example, Burger King uses a descriptive logo as it includes two buns in its design, symbolizing its status as a burger joint. With a descriptive logo, you can usually tell what industry the company is in. A non-descriptive logo is more general, like McDonald’s “M” logo. You can’t look at the logo and know what the company sells or who their target market is.
What Does Logo Design Software Cost?
Logo design software comes with several different pricing options. You can use many for free, then pay a fee when you download your high-resolution logo. Or you can download your software or buy a subscription. Pricing differs by:
- One-time fees: Downloadable software ranges from $49.99 to $499.99
- Monthly subscription: Monthly payments range from $12.95 to $34.95
- Logo-only downloads: Pay $20 to $150 to download your logo file
- Annual subscription: Annual payments range from $59.88 to $249
For people who don’t need graphic design software, a basic logo generator may be the best choice. Other options include hiring out logo development to a graphic design freelancer or agency.
Outsourcing logo design typically ranges from $500 to $1,000, but many cost several thousand dollars depending on your needs and the amount of back-and-forth between you and the designer. You may find lower pricing elsewhere, but there’s no guarantee of quality.
Before making a decision, it’s a good idea to think about the cost of your time and decide which options give you the results you want within your budget.
How We Chose the Best Logo Design Software for Small Businesses
We examined more than 24 logo makers and vector editing programs to determine ease of use and overall quality of designs. For logo generators, we compared editing tools and professional appearance. With graphic design software, we dove into the various features and tools available to customize logos. Plus, we explored pricing plans, special functions, and the skills needed to use the software.
Lucidpress. "Impact of Brand Consistency." Accessed November 22, 2020.