One of the Simplest Logo Makers
BrandCrowd was founded in 2008, the exact same time as its sister-site DesignCrowd, and yes, brought to you by the same people. The general idea is to provide quality logos, as fast as possible… but can they pull it off?
This logo maker is available only in English, and it does not support non-Latin characters. At least, it doesn’t work with the simplified Chinese characters I tested. Accent marks and the tilde (in the Spanish letter “ñ,” for example) do work just fine, though. So if you want to make a logo for that French-Mexican fusion cafe you’ve always dreamed of, you’re good to go.
No, it wouldn’t have French food. Just Mexican food, with French wine. And, ideally, Cuban coffee. Just in case you were wondering.
In addition to making logos, BrandCrowd offers customized web design services with hosting, and graphic printing services. All packages are paid–there are no free plans and no free samples. Everything is focused on bringing your logo to life with minimal fuss.
Does that make for a good logo, though? Will such a logo meet your needs? That’s what we’re here to find out.
BrandCrowd Does What It Set Out to Do
Unlike many of its competitors, BrandCrowd is not about generating the perfect logo based on numerous questions, and it’s not about AI or machine learning. (So when our robot overlords take over, BrandCrowd will likely not be to blame.) It’s about you building a logo, fast, with the help of a fairly large library of pre-made icons and layouts. And well, it does that successfully.
I’ve criticized other logo generators in the past that used this same approach, but that was because their logos were outdated and they had a very small selection. By contrast, BrandCrowd currently has over 21,000 icon designs to pull from and they’re (mostly) quite beautifully-made.
As you might imagine, this means there’s no step-by-step AI-powered wizard. Just a big library of icons and a fairly robust set of filters and customization options. They’ve got icon-based logos, pure text logos, and they’re all available in JPG, PNG, EPS, SVG, and PDF formats. There’s even a JPG file that’s large enough to immediately use in print documents.
No, printing isn’t an old legend. People still print stuff. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. I am NOT old.
How many relevant logo options you get will depend entirely on the keywords in your search, though technically, it will display all the logos, with the most relevant ones listed first. A search for “stamp” will get you about one page full of results, while a search for “tech” will get you a lot more.
The relevancy will vary too. When searching for “stamp,” for example, all relevant results look like the ink-to-paper sort of stamp, and none of them look like the kind you lick. You know, like… mail? Kids these days.
Fortunately, while the icon library could be bigger (21,000 + icons seems like a lot until you try to design one for literally every business need), BrandCrowd does offer robust, yet simple customization. It’s not a full-fledged graphics program, but that’s probably not what you’re looking for. In short, you can absolutely design a unique-looking logo.
There is a fairly wide selection of fonts and you can pick from a variety of preset colors for each element. Or, you can use the color picker to get just about any color you want, which isn’t as common a feature as it should be. Some of the logos support gradients, but not all. Also, your final download comes with a PNG file that has a transparent background.
You can easily change the layout by using the preset layouts or by using the drag and drop feature. Logo icons are logically categorized and you can customize the color for each. In short, you’ve got options.
As far as I can tell, there’s no functional limit on the number of characters in your company name or slogan. However, if your company name is 129 characters long, I would strongly suggest abbreviating it.
Every Logo Is Partially Handcrafted
So yeah, those 21,000 icons? I thought I’d specify that they aren’t from an icon set or anything. Each was designed on its own by a professional logo designer. I saw plenty that didn’t meet my needs, but none that I thought were actually bad or too “basic,” like the sort of icon you’d find in an app menu. There’s quality there.
You Can Buy Premade Identities
Don’t want to go to the trouble of customizing everything about your own logo? Want a logo no one else is going to have? BrandCrowd also sells pre-made identities and logos that can only be sold once. If you buy one, it’s yours and only yours. These are naturally a bit more expensive than logos from the logo maker, but you can make an offer to the designer that’s lower than the listed price.
There’s no guarantee they’ll agree to your offer, but you can try.
You Can Make Custom Graphics with Your Logo
If you pay a little extra, you get access to a graphics editor that works a lot like the logo customizer. Think of templates you could make for all the different social media sites.
You could even design a graphic based on a Google Plus template to imagine what could have been if… well, enough people had used Google Plus.
You Can Get a Professional Involved
A fairly reasonable payment will get you access to a professional designer. If you’ve got a logo almost where you want it, or you’ve reached the limits of what BrandCrowd’s editor can do, this might be a good option for you. It won’t be necessary for most users, but it’s a good benefit to have access to.
My Experience With BrandCrowd
Okay, here’s the usual bit where I tell you that I’m on a mission with these logo service reviews. One of the logos created during this journey — either by myself with a logo maker/generator, or by a professional designer from a logo design service — will be Website Planet’s new logo. It probably won’t be the one made here.
The full journey is in the video I made, so I won’t go over every step. I just browsed around for a few logos I liked, then narrowed down my choices, and played with the design until I liked it. As mentioned in the video, I wish there was a way to get more precise spacing between elements rather than manually dragging and dropping them.
But overall, I didn’t have any major issues, other than being tired while I made that video, and thus a little slow to find bits of the user interface I needed.
I can’t figure out a way to blame BrandCrowd for that, though. It’s on me.
Ultimately, I ended up making this logo here:
See what I mean about the spacing? I might have to fix up that text alignment later if my bosses at Website Planet really like this one. I’m proud of the shades of blue I chose, though.
Ease of use
Well… It’s Certainly Not Hard
BrandCrowd is very focused on getting you up and running with a logo in minutes, when possible. Sure, picking out your base logo and customizing it to your liking can definitely take a while, especially if you’re picky like me. But the process itself is simple and quick, and if you’re not as particular as I am, getting a logo in ten minutes is entirely possible. It shouldn’t take you more than an hour or so if you take it quite slow.
Heck, you can get it done in about three minutes, if you click on the first logo you see, don’t change much, and are quick with your credit card details. Again, I wouldn’t recommend doing it like that, but you can.
You Can Save Your Projects (But Not Delete Them?)
And once again, it’s time for me to reiterate how the ability to save your projects and come back to them later is so very important. In fact, your logo drafts are weirdly resilient in the way that I haven’t actually found a “delete” button yet.
You Can Search through All Logo Options First
Not only can you start building a logo before you log in, but you can also see all 21,000+ logos, browse, and search them. You can find out if BrandCrowd has what you need before even typing in your company name. I have to appreciate that sort of transparency when so many of their competitors will try to throw you straight into the process of building a logo and hope you’ll be too invested to leave.
Imagine if those stores that let you build your own teddy bears got super aggressive with the upselling. BrandCrowd does try to upsell you, but it’s not nearly as obnoxious as all that.
You Can Get Your Logo Printed Easily
Like many other logo generators, and indeed like its sister website DesignCrowd, BrandCrowd offers you many things to print your logo on; hats, T-shirts, mugs, business cards, mousepads, and stickers. So yeah, you can do all of that with minimal effort, and for fairly reasonable prices, so long as you’re not buying in bulk.
Overall, the entire interface is mostly self-explanatory, and you’ll catch on quick. I do have a couple of issues listed below, but the process of finding the logo you want (provided you find something you actually like) is dead simple. The customizer is nearly as simple, as most features are well labeled, or quite intuitive. And if you do get lost, there is support available (more on that below).
The only real problems I have are these:
- There are two login systems. One is linked to DesignCrowd, and one only requires your email address (which could be a bit insecure, as anyone might know your email). It’s never made clear which parts of the website require which login until you try to log in.
- The Color Picker button isn’t clearly marked as a color picker.
The logo maker itself is easy to use. The website can be a tiny bit confusing to navigate at times. I would encourage new users to click around at will. There is an undo button, after all.
It Could Be Worse
Support for BrandCrowd is… reasonable. It’s tied into the same support system as DesignCrowd, but as DesignCrowd is (probably) their real money maker, BrandCrowd support generally seems to go a bit slower. It’s functional, though, and the support staff is helpful. You’ll usually get your questions answered on the same day unless you ask your questions real late at night.
There is a helpful, if basic FAQ on the website, and a (very) simple video tutorial available from the home page. There’s also a blog that regularly posts logo design tips and logo design inspiration articles. None of this information is particularly in-depth or detailed, but it could help you get started faster.
You can, technically, phone them (I asked), but the number isn’t listed because it’s mostly supposed to be used for DesignCrowd support, not BrandCrowd. But if you call the number provided in the email, they will apparently try to help you out.
First, I asked them if I could call them. This is where they told me that they prefer to keep BrandCrowd business to email, but even so, they were pretty accommodating.
Then I asked them if there was somewhere I could see my bill online. Apparently, there isn’t, but they’ll happily resend your bill to you, in case you lose the first email. I wasn’t overjoyed to see the upselling in this second email, especially as the service offered didn’t have much of anything to do with my request.
Lastly, I asked them on Twitter (which is listed on their contact page in a way that suggests you can look for support there) how often new logos get added. Now, this likely isn’t a question they could answer with exactitude, because design takes time, and so does talking to designers. An estimate would have been nice, but it appears they couldn’t provide that, either.
It would be nice to get some data on the logo/icon library in the future, though. That library is the backbone of the whole service, and it would be cool to know when you can log in and see something new.
The prices for almost everything are perfectly reasonable. The standard package, in particular, is affordable while giving you everything you need to use the logo in both digital and print products. It also provides infinitely scalable formats that you can edit in a vector graphics program like Adobe Illustrator.
Then, there’s the aforementioned add on, which gets you service from a professional designer to edit your logo. If you want “unlimited” edits to your logo, you can sign up for a fairly cheap subscription plan and edit your logo as many times as you need. If you want to access that graphics editor for making social media graphics, that’s another subscription plan.
Otherwise, just make sure you haven’t misspelled anything in the original logo. There are no free edits once you’ve bought it.
If you’re using BrandCrowd because you don’t want to bother with a normal graphics editor, and you plan to make a lot of social media posts with your logo on them, this sort of plan might be worth it.
Don’t buy the email signature package, though. Email signatures are not hard to make, and there are plenty of free templates/signature generators out there. It’s the only service they offer that makes me say, “Oh, Honey. No. Why?”
When you buy a logo from the logo generator, there are three licenses you can opt for. The Standard License gives you non-exclusive rights to use it anywhere you want. The Buy Out License removes the logo from the store, making sure you’re the last person to use it. (Though people who bought it before you still get to use it.) The Exclusive License removes the logo from the store and gives you all intellectual rights, forever. The icon/logo is entirely yours now.
Most people will probably only need the Standard license, all things considered. But if you have the cash to spend, and you really want to make sure no one “steals” your BrandCrowd-made logo, you have the option.