As part of the openness I practice/preach with Technology Should Be Simple, I want to share how the logo for the website was created. Giving you a look behind the scenes and see that's it's not as daunting a task as some people make it out to be.
Fair warning, I do have more graphic design experience than the average user, but this tutorial is made simple enough for anyone to do.
For creating the Technology Should Be Simple I used one program, Pixelmator. It is a $30 image editing application available in the Mac App Store. You don't need to spend hundreds or thousands on graphic design programs to create your logos or make your images look nice. I have the latest version of Photoshop installed on my computer but I chose to use Pixelmator. It's has a simple to use interface and not loaded with features I never use. It is a great program for people new or learning image editing.
I am not building this logo completely from scratch. Here is the original logo I had for Technology Should Be Simple. It is a logo used for the original blog that was this website. It is very much based on my company's logo, and was put together very quickly (less than 10 minutes). It needed a proper design with some thought put into it.
Inspiration For Redesign
What do I want out of my logo? I wanted simple and flat. I am a big fan of the Metro Design. The same design language you see in Windows 8. I am also a fan of the flat colors and styles that have been popular lately (think iOS 7). I wanted a flat square as the main shape of the logo.
The colors are based on personal preference. There is a psychology behind the color of your logo, and some people take great consideration for this, but I went with what I like. Red is my favorite color. Black, white, and red is my favorite color combination (also the colors of my high school). I use the same color scheme for Rivik Media.
The First Attempts
Here is the first round of designs. I simply put Technology Should Be Simple into a Pixelmator document, chose black and red as my colors, and began trying different fonts. It was purely a guess and check method, but it worked and didn't take very long till I had the font I wanted. No more plain old Arial.
Next, I worked on the Metro/square look I wanted. I arranged the text into a more block format and experiments with different borders. I actually liked the black/red boarder but it wasn't good enough. I wanted something different.
The Final Product
It wasn't until I reversed the colors that I started seeing something I liked. Changing all the open space to just black let me eliminate the need for a border. The logo looked simpler and more minimal. I even removed the red highlight text and just went with black and white. I will still used the red is some versions though.
After I finally had the look I wanted, I played around with the colors a bit. I settled on a black background that was just a bit off from plain #000000. It added some subtlty and changed it from white text on a black background to something I'd be happy to call my logo.
With the new logo and overall design, I needed to update some other graphics I use around the website. The main one being the feature image I use for #TechSimp Links on the Technology Should Be Simple Blog. This image is used quite frequently and featured once a week in the blog. The original was never meant to be a finished product, but was a good placeholder until a proper graphic could be created.
The Sum Up
That's it. I wanted to show that you don't always need to pay a graphic designer or marketing firm to design your logo. A little research, idea, and software is all you need to get going. I've heard some people spending ridiculous time/resources on their logo when they are first starting. The focus should be on your product, not your logo.
Your logo will be something that evolves with your business. I am sure to revisit this logo later on and improve on it, but it is certainly good enough for me, and good enough to launch my website.