13 Logo Design Services You Can Use Today

As you build your company and website, you probably want to present something unique, something that is memorable about your company image. Many companies choose to create a logo to identify their brand and company. But often, creating an original logo when you are first starting out is too expensive.

So here are 13 logo creation applications or services that range in price from free to affordable. This list of free and paid services should help you find the best tools. One word of warning: Several of the “free” sites are free only for the creation process. Always read the fine print.

If you want to download the logo you’ve created and have unlimited use, there is a charge, and I tried to note when that occurs.  To be totally realistic, you could do some of this work yourself in Powerpoint or a decent drawing program, but there are small companies starting today that don’t have those software programs, and these mostly Web-based tools might appeal.

Free (or Mostly Free)

Supalogo is one of my favorites for creating a super-fast font-based logo. You type in your text, pick some options and hit download. You can even look at samples and click edit and start from there. Nicely done.

Logo Victory is a completely free logo design tool that lets you download a jpeg image. If you want other file formats, they have a small upgrade charge. They also offer paid services starting at $49. This was one of the only sites that offered a no-strings free logo.

Marketsplash is a completely free (with registration) logo design service. I was impressed with it. It is built and run by HP, which I mention in other places, but this tool lets you download a few different versions of your logo with a simple registration.

The Logo Creator is free logo creation software. No trial, no demo, fully free in return for a tweet. Yes, a tweet on Twitter and you can have their software for free. From the logos showcased on the site, it looks like a fairly robust application. The offer was tested and worked at the time of publishing this post.

CoolText lets you type out your company name and then choose different ways to stylize the font itself. Handy, fast and free if all you want is your name with a bit of energy to it.

Logo Ease offers a fully free logo creation tool. You have to register, but they let you create and download (they send you the link) the logo that you spent time creating. When you get your download link, it comes with instructions to include a link back to their site. They also offer paid services.

Logo Craft lets you select an icon from predefined categories, then add text and effects. Once it is ready, save the logo or download it for future use. You can access the logos you created anytime and edit them further. Very easy to use. They also offer a custom design service starting at $49.

Flaming Text is similar to CoolText, but I liked a few of their different options. I could see using sites like these for a young company, a nonprofit or a project. For some companies, this is all they might ever need.

Real World Graphics offers a few Web apps to help you create icons or favicons (those tiny little symbols you often see on websites and in social networks).

Sherv.net offers Icon Maker, which can be ideal for those who are building a company around their personal name and identity. It will let you take your photo into a cartoon-like drawing. It might work well for those building a Facebook page, too. Admittedly, this one is more of a fun creation tool and not a serious branding option.

Logo Venture is another service that appears to be best custom logo design service, you can get a logo for as low as $49.

LogoBlog is a free logo creator similar to CoolText and Flaming Text. No registration, just download your completed font logo in a few different formats.

GRSites offers logo creation, text box creation (such as for a sidebar or additional column area on your blog or site), and other design features like textures. They do ask for a link back to their site, but offer some nifty tools.

Tweak offers a completely free logo creator for a low-resolution JPEG image file. If you want a higher resolution JPEG or an EPS file for a high quality print job, you can purchase them for $9.95 and $29.95, respectively. Fast and easy to create, focused on font specific layouts, and you have to register to get to the download page.

What If Your Favorite Music Programs Were Built In the Past?

What If Your Favorite Music Programs Were Built In the Past?

Did you ever wonder what it would have been like if the top music programs of today had been around decades ago? What if iTunes was built in the 1970s, for instance? If it were, you would have been standing in ridiculously long lines just for the experience. But you’d be able to check out songs for three weeks at a time, and you’d probably get a really cool Apple sticker with your rental. What would the downsides be? Well, for one—that same ridiculously long line we mentioned earlier. You know, for the experience. You’d also have late fees if you don’t return your songs on time. Finally, you’d only be able to use your song rentals in one household. Bummer. There are other modern music programs that would have operated a little differently in the past. Think about Pandora, Grooveshark, Napster, Spotify and even Last.fm. If you’re curious to know what these programs would have been like in the past, check out the infographic below.

Torch is a free and unique software that offers you powerful browsing together with built-in media downloading and sharing features, and creator of the Torch Browser Back in Time infographic.

Designing Your Ultimate Garage With Planning Software

Every year homeowners spend tens of thousands of dollars in renovating their kitchens, bedrooms, living areas, and washrooms. One area that often gets over-looked is the garage. We don’t think that’s fair! Many people make the mistake of thinking that a garage is nothing but a place to store your vehicle, and whatever other odds and ends you don’t have room for in the house. This doesn’t have to be the case however…after all, that’s what sheds are for, right?

A proper garage, can be a multiple of things whether it be a workshop fit for a master carpenter, to a quiet place of refuge to enjoy a cold beer and your favourite TV show, or an entertaining space to host those summer parties! All it takes is a bit of careful design and planning, which is made easy with designing software.

Now before you go running off screaming “I’m not a computer guy!” allow us to reassure you that there are plenty of options that require little to no experience. Lucky for you, we’re here to tell you about a few:

1.     DIY Garage Designer
One of our top picks is DIY Garage Designer by Big Hammer.
This software’s motto is “You supply the vision. DIY Garage Designer will supply everything else.”

Features include:
  • Click & drag drawing method
  • Allows you to choose from multiple building methods
  • Provides multi-view and 3D rotation to see your future garage from all angles
  • Offers detailed printouts to assist you with building permit applications
  • Advanced design features for the more experienced builder
  • Gives you a list of all building materials required for your design, right down to the last screw
But our favourite part? It’s absolutely free and requires no license. Simply download the software to your Internet Explorer Browser and get planning.

2.     Plan3D
Plan3D designing software isn’t free, but at just $2.95 a month it might as well be. And just like Big Hammer’s DIY Garage Designer, it is great for beginners. As the program’s homepage says “You have better things to do than learn complex architectural software. That's why we made Plan3D the easiest home and interior design toolfor homeowners and others with limited design experience. If you know how to use the Internet you know how to use Plan3D.”

Features include:
  • All inclusive software with no additional fees
  • Allows you to simply scan floor plans and convert them into 3D renderings
  • Realistic diagrams with a variety of textures and building materials
  • Design interiors and exteriors, including landscaping
  • Access to thousands of 3D models from windows and doors, to furniture to give you an idea of where everything will fit in your garage organization storage.
One thing to keep in mind, is that as useful of a tool as Plan3D may be for designing, it’s not as comprehensive as some other software. For instance although it will offer you with an extremely realistic and scaled vision of your garage, it won’t provide you with a detailed list of required materials like some of the other software on your list.

That said, if you simply want to come up with a design to pass onto a contractor or expert for reference, then Plan3D will be more than enough to get the job done.

3.     SketchUp Pro
A slightly more advanced alternative, is SketchUp Pro.  Advanced doesn’t always mean difficult though. This software brags about its usability and the fact that it’s brand name is “synonymous with friendly and forgiving 3D modeling technology”. Handy contextual tips, a digital instructor, and online resources are there to help you alongside your designing process.

Features include:
  • Imports DXF, DWG, 3DS, DAE, KMZ, TIF, JPG, PNG, and others.
  • Exports all of these as well as DF, OBJ, FBX, XSI, VRML, MP4, WEBM, and AVI.
  • Endless visual effects to modify building features and surroundings so that you know exactly what your final product will look like
  • Scalable models of lathes, toolboxes, and anything else you might find in your garage that can be incorporated into your design blueprint to help you plan an appropriate layout
  • Prints custom construction plans based on your design with building steps and required tools.
Unlike DIY Garage Designer, SketchUp Pro comes with a price tag but depending on your needs, this might be worth it. Otherwise, sign up for the free trial! If you’re able to work quickly, this might be all that you need.

4.     SoftPlan
If you’re completely new to the world of building, then SoftPlan’s software might be a bit excessive, however it’s one of the most thorough programs out their for all of your designing and architectural needs.

Features include:
  • 2D and 3D designs
  • Optimized to allow incredibly fast design and revision times
  • Specially developed material textures like studs, pitch, and fascia for house and garage design
  • Allows you to print detailed construction plans
  • Produces comprehensive material lists that account for all kinds of details including the volume of excavation, rolls of landscaping fabric, length of edging, and volume of gravel right down to the number of stones required.  Each with their own pricing and waste factor!
SoftPlan does come with a bit of a pricetag, but what we like about it is that rather than forcing you to hand over a large chunk of cash up front, this software uses a month-to-month payment scheme starting at less than $50.This way,  you don’t have to worry about handing over an arm and a leg for software that you’re only planning on using for one project.

Now it’s time to get started!
Don’t worry about whether or not your design is perfect the first time around. The whole point of planning software is being able to try your ideas out before building a permanent structure! If you complete the digitalized version of your “perfect design” only to find out it’s not so perfect after all, then start over and try again. You’ll have your ultimate garage in no time!

The author is an interior designer, who has more than eight years of experience in the field. His name is Michael Nelson and is living in Toronto with his family. You can contact him at Google or Facebook.

A Guide To Online Success

A Guide To Online Success
Being successful online is sort of a skill in itself. There is so much competition nowadays that it is becoming progressively difficult to separate yourself from the pack. You have got to be proactive and have a grasp of both the market and your own company strengths. If you have this then you will be able to target the correct market and thus make money from what you offer. In addition to the traditional method of creating a website, there are other ways to promote such as social media and emailing. All of these must be explored as well as optimizing your website and securing a strong and memory filled domain in order to ensure that that your site is fully efficient and functional. This article will highlight what it takes to be successful online and how there are many options that need to be covered in order for this to be the case.

A Well Designed Website

This is of pivotal importance, your website has to be well designed, clear for the user and must work efficiently. To many this seems plainly obvious but there are so many companies out there who create websites for the sake of creating one rather than as a credible way of increasing the prominence and success of their company.
We live in a world dominated by the internet and thus it is increasingly important that company infiltrate this market and invest money at the same time. Employing a team of web developers isn't a bad idea, after all this is their job and the can make sure every feature works properly and it is designed in a way that can embrace your company image and ethos. Being successful online is a long term process and you have to have the product and presence to ensure that clients keep coming back. If you are successful in ensuring this, then the likelihood is you will have a fruitful time of it on the web.

A Strong Platform

There are many companies out there that offer domain platforms from which you can create your website, selecting the correct one for the right price is becoming very important. JaguarPC hosting services is one of doing it, the offer large memory and monitoring services for their customers at a good price. The list however is endless, there are so many different companies out there that may suit your needs better so it important to ask around and get what is best for you.

Use of All Available Resources

Facebook and Twitter are both so popular nowadays and using this as a tool to promote your company website can be a great way to increase your profit margin. Setting up your own profile and also paying Facebook to advertise are bother brilliant ways of raising awareness of what you have to offer. If you are credible about making money online then you have got to raise your company profile and show the world what you can do, above are three of the best and most efficient ways of doing this.

Andrew is an author with a love for modern technology, especially the internet. He has a degree in business and writes extensively about both technological developments and business strategy.