You know you’ve hit it big in the crafting world when just two words spoken evoke images of your work: your first and last name. There are several of these names, Amy Butler™ simply being a shining example who has turned her name into a brand – with a great clean logo to boost the brand. The very fact that you need to put a ™ at the end of her name really shows it.
The Amy Butler™ style of logo is extremely easy to create, so even a beginner who has never opened Photoshop before can follow this tutorial. If you don’t have Photoshop, look for a program like GIMP (which is free) that can handle layers. This is essential. In the illustrations, Photoshop CS5 is used but you should be able to find the same tools if you do a little digging.
Amy Butler™ Inspired Logo Tutorial Details
- · Program: Adobe Photoshop (or compatible program that can work with layers)
- · Version: Illustrations show CS5
- · Difficulty: Beginner
- · Estimated Completion Time: Approximately 30 minutes-1 hour depending on knowledge
- · Prerequisites or Requirements: Basic knowledge of your graphics program & tool locations, a copyright-free, paid for, or originally created silhouette to be used on the logo
Before beginning, please understand that all images contained in this article are copyright to Phebe Durand and are not to be re-used for any purpose without the artist’s consent.
Obviously, let’s fire up Photoshop. When you create a new canvas (File, New) though, take a minute to really think about size. What will you be using this logo for? Is it possible that you may want to use it on larger printed items like t-shirts or signs? Or will you be focusing largely on business stationary? This is important because it can help save time.
Once you’ve decided what you think the largest thing you might print will be (I’ll say I’m designing for a maximum of 12 inches, for smaller print pieces) then you can create your canvas. To begin with, add 2 inches to the size you’ve decided on. Then, make sure that the canvas is in 300 pixels per inch resolution and CMYK colors. Once all this is set, you’re ready to hit OK and make a very large-looking (it looks much larger on screen than it will actually print at) image that will work for all your printing needs without losing the quality of your design.
This really is important, and one of the reasons that people get frustrated when printing their own work. You absolutely must set the resolution to 300 ppi in order for the print quality to be crisp and sharp. While this will make your canvas seem enormous, it actually still prints at the size you set it to print at (in my case, without resizing, I would print a 12 x 12 inch square). The difference is the quality of that print.
The Amy Butler™ logo uses a very crisp color palette that features two shades of green that are really popular. Your colors should reflect the ‘feeling’ of your business. Very corporate? Go with 2 shades of blue. Sell baby clothing? Baby pastels are your best bet. In other words, really think about what the colors express to people. Take a look at some basic color psychology if you’re unfamiliar with the topic.
For the examples, I will be creating a logo for a dramatic fashion designer.
Since we can’t all make the right impact using a single shade of color, consider sharp contrasts if you get stuck. In the examples, red is brightly contrasted against black. This gives the appearance of both urgency and timelessness. It’s a favored color scheme for many ‘dramatic’ designs.
Once you’ve decided your two colors, create a new layer in your document (Layer, New Layer) named palette and just scribble the two colors on it for quick access. Before finishing, you’ll delete this layer.
To get started, we’re simply going to draw a perfect circle that fills most of our canvas, in the background color you’ve chosen (in my case, black). To make it a perfect circle, hold your ‘Shift’ key while dragging the circle out.
Once your circle is made, you need to rasterize it so that the edges are crisp and sharp. Simply right-click the layer with your circle on it and choose ‘Rasterize Layer’. Smooth.
What makes the Amy Butler™ logo start to really stand out is the contrasts. Our first contrast is the color outside our main circle. To make this contrast the most easily, make sure the circle layer is highlighted (it should be but you can check by looking to see if it’s colored blue – if it isn’t, just click on that layer) and then click the small ‘fx’ icon at the bottom of your layers panel. From the pop-up, choose ‘Stroke’.
First, you’ll want to pick up the second color from your color palette. Then, start widening the stroke until you have a solid thick line that is appealing to you. In the 2nd illustration attached to this article, you can see both my beginning look and the thickness of the Amy Butler™ official logo.
Our next step is to place a graphic on our logo background. The Amy Butler™ logo uses a very popular concept – the simple silhouette. I’ve used that idea as well; look for a silhouette that will convey something powerful about your business or your personality with nothing but a glance.
Unless you create the silhouette yourself, you’re probably going to have to do a little playing around with things. First of all, make sure that there is no background color. If you have the typical black on white silhouette, this is a simple fix: go to ‘Select’ and choose ‘Color Range’. Click on the black part of your silhouette, then click OK. Now, copy-paste the selection on to your logo background. It may need resized.
The problem is that it’s still black and not the color you need. Another simple fix. Click that little ‘fx’ icon at the bottom of your layers panel again, but choose ‘Color Overlay’ this time. Then, simply click the color box to pull up the color selection window and then click on your contrast (second) color. Click OK and you should see the silhouette exactly the color you want it.
In the 3rd illustration attached to this article, another example of the original Amy Butler™ logo against my own result so far.
Believe it or not, we’re basically done. All that’s left is the placement of text.
The idea of ‘branding’ yourself, or your name, may seem ridiculous. It is one of the best ways of getting people to remember you, though. Our brains are hard-wired to remember names, and when those names are associated with ‘good’ things, we’ll remember them well.
That’s precisely what a good logo does, what a good brand does, and what you can do using nothing but your name and the silhouette you’ve provided. Hey, Amy Butler™ and many others have done it – so can you.
Play around with font types and sizes, but make sure that your text is the same color as the outline and silhouette you’ve already created. For the best results, varying sizes of the same font seem to be the way to go.
In the 4th illustration attached to this article, my final piece against the original Amy Butler™ logo I’ve taken inspiration from for this article.
To see my final piece without the contrast, head back to the first illustration in this article.
When you’re done and happy, make sure that you save the file in native .psd format so you can easily make changes, resize, and submit for printing when necessary.