Adobe Illustrator—the easiest way to design a personal logo, even for design dummies

Let me start this out by saying I am 100%, certifiably, most definitely not a graphic designer. So you can imagine the horror on my face when, a few weeks into my Style and Design class at Auburn, my professor assigned us a brand identity suite, complete with a personal logo, a business card and envelope, a resume and a cover letter.

I thought, “This is it. He’s going to take one look at my lack of design skills, give me a zero and email the dean to recommend I be removed from the public relations program because it’s surely by some mistake that I got here in the first place. I better start looking into other majors.”

I am happy to report, folks, that that isn’t what happened. Why? Because I have an anxiety disorder and tend to overreact, sure; but also because I discovered Adobe Illustrator is the easiest way to design a personal logo.

Don’t believe me? This is the logo I made with Canva at the beginning of this assignment when I was trying to figure out if my professor would be able to tell the difference (spoiler alert: he definitely can).

A close up of a logo

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I guarantee you the first thing you thought when you saw that was: “Well, it’s…fine.” But as a public relations professional, “fine” doesn’t cut it. Taking a good, long look at that logo made me realize I was going to have to bite the bullet and learn Illustrator.

Remember what I said: I am a design novice at best. But even with my minimal design skills, I was able to create these two logos on Illustrator.

A close up of a mans face

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I know what you’re thinking—“That’s great for you, but every time I open Illustrator, I have no idea what to do. There’s too many buttons and I don’t know what any of them mean.” Believe me, I felt that way at first, too. But here’s the good news: YouTube is a thing.

There are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of Illustrator tutorials on YouTube. Once I watched a few of them and got the hang of the basics, I realized that Illustrator is, without a doubt, the easiest way to design a personal logo—even for me, the self-diagnosed “design dummy.”

The best thing about Illustrator is that I was able to make both of my personal logos in less than half an hour. How, you ask? Because Illustrator has some amazing, easy-to-use tools that make logo building possible even for the design illiterate.

My personal favorite tool, and the one I used the most when building my logo, is the shape builder tool. It’s not the sexiest tool, but it’s important—you can’t have a logo without a shape, after all.

A screenshot of a cell phone

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I also like it because it offers a bunch of different shape options. The default is a rectangle, but there’s also ellipses (which I obviously used), stars and even polygons, where you can create everything from triangles to hexagons to whatever is in between (don’t judge my lack of geometric knowledge—I’m not a math major). The world is your oyster in Illustrator, so to speak.

A screenshot of a cell phone

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I’m also a big fan of the gradient tool. It’s how I made the circle that encompasses my name in my logo into a semi-circle, which is an integral part of my creative vision for the logo. And just like everything in Illustrator, it offers a wide array of options to make your logo (or anything you’re designing) your own.

A screenshot of a cell phone

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A screenshot of a computer

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And there you have it. Two tools, two colors and half an hour later, I had two logos I was actually proud of. Who would’ve thunk it? (The guy who created Illustrator, that’s who).

So if you’ve got a will, a logo idea and an attention span long enough to watch some YouTube videos, then Adobe Illustrator is the way. Don’t just take my word for it—go give it a try. I’ll be here, waiting and listening for you to start shouting from the rooftops that Adobe Illustrator is the easiest way to design a personal logo that you’ve ever seen.

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