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Computing With Bifocals
by Nancy Carroll Gravley

A column for people who remember what
the world was like before there was color.....

How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Knowing How -- Sorta
February 17th, 2004

In May of 2002, I did a mini review of an application called The Logo Creator.  This application is designed to let the user quickly create a professional looking business or personal logos by taking pre-existing designs and modifying them to suit your own needs.

The program has recently been upgraded for OS X -- and some nifty options were added in the process -- so when I was asked to take another look at it I was pleased to do so.  Especially since you can also save US$30 if you order it from macXware!

Logo Creator
Made by:  Laughingbird Software
Requirements:  G3 or better
OS 10.1 or later
256 MB Ram
120 MB Hard Disk Space
Sells for:  U.S. $69.95 from Laughingbird Software or U.S. $39.99 from macXware.

To start with, there are 75 customizable templates to choose from, each includes a tag line/slogan generator.  Brand new is matching letterhead templates and the ability to print business cards using the same logo.   Users can import their own artwork, clip art and photos.  You can change fonts, adjust colors and adjust effects such as drop shadows, blur, make things transparent, etc.  However, you don't have to do anything except modify a preexisting template by typing in the words you want to use, which means that even newbies with basic skills can use this application.  

There is an on-line tutorial that walks you through the 5 basic steps necessary to make a logo similar to the one I have created in the example below.

I can't give this my usual test for new software, i.e., how far can I get without reading any instructions because I have used a version of this before, but it only took me a few minutes to create a new logo that went from this:

Logo Creator Template

to this:

Template Modified By Me

Once I have the logo created and saved it, the letterhead and business card will automatically be created for me insofar as the logo will be positioned and placed in the business card format or the letterhead format.  There is an online tutorial available for adding additional text for business cards.  It is very easy to follow and provides examples of card designs.  

There are also tutorials available for making T-shirt designs, and other items that more experienced users may want to evaluate.  The tutorials mentioned are on the Laughingbird site, but in addition to these basic tutorials, the macXware site has some added tutorials for further skills and modifications that users may want to try.

It really is not difficult to get more creative.  I took another basic template and altered it completely with about 20 minutes work. Most of that time was spent playing around with color and font options.  I started with this basic template.

Logo Creator Template

I removed the word "The" from the top, changed the size of the blue words to fit the number of letters I choose to use, changed the figure image, and changed the font.  All of this was done with point and click techniques.  Even importing the clipart was a one step process.  Had I wished to do so, I could have also changed the colors  of any of the text.  I am not going to delineate the steps for this process because anyone who feels capable of trying this can easily follow the tutorials.  The one thing I couldn't do was make the text taller without changing the width.  It automatically stays in proportion.

My Modified Logo

I now have a logo that I can use to tag my painted pieces at craft shows, make business cards, create letterhead, and make a small poster to advertise my space at a show.  Since I am using a Mac, I can also easily make up my own receipts as well.  My overhead will be very small.

One last observation is the usefulness of this application for Web page development.  Individuals making their own Web pages could certainly use this software to their advantage.

This is a cool application at the original price.  At US$39.99 it is a real deal.

Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions  for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping.   To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.

Post your comments below.
Check out Nancy's complete index of all her columns for the most complete list of tips anywhere. The list is categorized and is a great reference when you are looking for help!

A Capacious Catalog Of Computer Tips

Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color, covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.

Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.

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