Brushed Metal Logo in Photoshop

When starting a business, especially an online one where it can be tempting to focus so much on the design of a website that things like logos can easily be forgotten, many people underestimate the importance of a logo. With one glance, a logo projects a company’s image. That glance might take in text, illustration, symbols, or a combination of these – but the logo still portrays much more than a name alone will.

Logos are important because people can process an image more easily than words alone. Just a little visual stimulation, your logo can embed itself in a person’s memory even easier than a catchy slogan.

Another consideration is the idea of branding. Brand recognition can’t take place without a logo.

So … it then comes down to how you’re going to make your logo. There’s really no reason you should have to pay for someone else to do the design for you. Logos can be made quickly and easily using Photoshop – and the pieces you create yourself will be more likely to say what you want about your business, because you know your own aim better than anyone else will.

This guide will help you create a brushed metal logo in Photoshop. You will need Adobe Photoshop 7 or above (all illustrations attached to this article show Photoshop CS2) and you’ll want to give your creativity free reign. Have fun, and you’ll be amazed at what you can come up with in a pretty short amount of time.

Brushed Metal Logo Tutorial

1. Open a new canvas (File, New) and size it at about 500 x 500 pixels. It’s very important to create logos in the largest size you’re comfortable working with. When you begin with a large size (resolution), you can size the logo down later and still keep the quality of your work. The more flexibility you have, the more ways you’ll be able to use your logo.

2. Set your foreground color to something you like or have used in your company documents and/or site. I’m using a bright, cheerful blue (#0b80a6). Then, use your ellipse (circle) SHAPE tool and draw a large circle on your canvas. Hold your shift key down while you draw the shape to constrain proportions and keep a perfect circle. Make sure that you’re using the shape tool, and not the marquee tool! Then, right-click the layer made by your shape and choose “Rasterize Layer”. Rasterizing will make all the edge lines smooth and professional.

3. Now, hit your layer styles (Layer, Layer Styles) and choose the “Gradient Overlay” option. Layer styles simply allow you to apply effects to your image without making them permanent – you can make adjustments later if you want or need to. In the Gradient Overlay dialogue, change the “Blend Mode” to “Soft Light”. Then, change the “Style” to “Radial”. Finally, tick the “Reverse” box so that the dark areas are to the outside of the circle. Click OK. (Reference Illustration 01)

4. Our background “ball” is ready to go. Now we get to actually create the metal. To start, right-click the ball layer and choose “Duplicate Layer”. Then, return to your layer styles and the Gradient Overlay – only doing it on your new layer this time. You will need to load the “Metals” gradient set by clicking the down arrow beside the gradient, then the right-arrow that appears in that drop-down box. Choose the “Silver” gradient. Then, set the “Blend Mode” back to “Normal”. Click OK. (Reference Illustration 02)

5. With that, we’re ready to start making our metal look “designed”. This step I can’t detail too much because it will be up to you and what sort of look you’re trying to achieve. The basic idea is this, though: Using the custom shape tool, create a series of designs that can be used for the metal, out of which the ball will show through. When you’ve got your metal design “created”, use the magic wand tool to select outside the design and delete any “extra” metal. Then, hide the new shape layers. Several examples have been provided in Illustration 03.

6. Last step! Your metal layer needs one more layer style added to it. Click Layer – Layer Styles – Stroke. Change the color to black and leave all other settings alone.

Six steps to a logo in Photoshop? Yup – you just did it! Now go show it off.

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