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Creating Logos: A GIMP Tutorial

Updated on February 21, 2011
Make amazing logos
Make amazing logos

Logos with GIMP

Logos are wonderful, whether used for official marketing purposes or for creating titles on digital scrapbooking pages. Creating logos with GIMP is not very complicated, and there is a wide rage of special effects to jazz up any title.

Before beginning this tutorial, find a plain background image of any color. This file will be needed prior to creating a logo.

Creating the Text

  1. In GIMP, select FILE and OPEN the plain background file.
  2. Select the TEXT TOOL from the toolbox, and choose the font and text size.
  3. Type a phrase onto the plain background: the text color should be black.
  4. Go to the WINDOWS dialog and select DOCKABLE DIALOGS. Choose LAYERS from the drop down window, and a pop-up layers window will appear.
  5. In this window, click on the small white rectangle in the lower left corner to create a NEW LAYER. Select transparency as the layer type.

Select letters with the fuzzy select tool.
Select letters with the fuzzy select tool.

Layering the Text

  1. Click on the text layer.
  2. Go to the toolbox and choose the FUZZY SELECT TOOL. This tool looks like a lit wand, in the top row of the toolbox.
  3. Hold SHIFT down and click on each letter or symbol in the phrase with the FUZZY SELECT TOOL.
  4. Go to EDIT and choose COPY.
  5. Click on the new, transparent layer and PASTE the text to this layer.
  6. Select the former background layer, and click the DELETE LAYER icon (trashcan) in the layer window. Delete the text layer, too. You will be left with one layer containing a transparent background containing the phrase.

The final logo screenshot.
The final logo screenshot.
A background will appear after applying the logo effect. Delete this layer.
A background will appear after applying the logo effect. Delete this layer.

Applying the Effect and Saving the Logo

  1. Go to FILTERS and select ALPHA TO LOGO.
  2. Chose an effect: the "Amazing" effect above was created with the "glowing hot" effect. The "Oh Boy" logo was created with the "comic book" effect.
  3. Select a color or color gradient to apply to the logo.
  4. When the effect is applied, a background will reappear under the logo. DELETE the background layer by selecting the layer, then the trash can icon in the layer window.
  5. Merge down any remaining layers by selecting the LAYERS tab in GIMP, then clicking MERGE DOWN.
  6. The logo is now complete, on a transparent background. SAVE the file as a .PNG file. The default PNG settings are fine.

A logo with a different font and effect.
A logo with a different font and effect.


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    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 7 years ago from Western New York

      Photoshop has a more user-friendly platform, but the GIMP is completely free (I was willing to deal with a learning curve for the trade-off). The GIMP created Gimpshop, which is closer to Photoshop, but it lacks some of the power of The GIMP.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 7 years ago from Canada

      You are pretty slick with this program! I use Picasa for some basic stuff but do more complex work in PhotoShop. GIMP looks like fun.

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 7 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks for the tutorial . . . Gimp is great!