A brand needs a memorable logo to stand out, and you can’t create one with a box of crayons. If you want a professional logo, you need professional logo design software.

But lately, the market’s been flooded with logo design software of all kinds: desktop, online, free and even AI-powered software! All of those options can be overwhelming, especially if your previous graphic design experience comes from MS Paint.

The many logo design software options
Which logo design software is right for you depends on your budget, needs, and design expertise. Illustration by OrangeCrush

In this guide, we outline our top picks for the best logo design software on the market. We break them up by category and evaluate their pros and cons so that you can get a sense of their greatest strengths vs. their cost. Let’s dive in!

Top logo design software

1. Gravit Designer: Best online logo software
2. Vectr: Easiest logo software to use
3. Looka: Best AI-powered logo designer
4. Hatchful: Best mobile logo creator
5. Inkscape: Best free logo design software
6. Photoshop: Best design software for logo sketches
7. CorelDRAW: Best logo design software for adapting sketches
8. Affinity Designer: Best all-in-one logo software
9. Adobe Illustrator: Best overall logo design software

1. Gravit Designer: Best online logo software

Nowadays, you don’t need to download software at all—you can create a perfectly professional logo with an online app. As it happens, Gravit Designer is available both online and on desktop. But out of all the online options we reviewed, this program has the most features and tools to support custom logo design. These include selection tools, precision alignment, blending modes, symbol libraries and much more.

You do have to pay for the pro version if you want a range of design export files as well as full editing control over color, typography and vector paths. Depending on your particular needs, this might not be a concern, and the free version has enough assets to create a professional logo, provided you have the design savvy to do so.

Gravit designer's interface
via Gravit Designer

Cost

  • Free version with limited features
  • $99.00 — Pro version with full features

Pros

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  • A toolset that rivals industry standard design programs
  • Fully functioning vector program for projects beyond logo design
  • Video library of software tutorials
  • Great library of template icons and illustrations

Cons

  • Drawing tools limited to pen and pencil (no brushes)
  • The majority of features require purchase

Who should use this logo design software:

People who have experience with vector programs or a willingness to learn—a lot of tools mean nothing if you can’t use them.

2. Vectr: Easiest logo software to use

If you’re looking for an online software option that’s much simpler than Gravit, Vectr provides a streamlined interface that supports custom logo design. Their mission is to make graphic design accessible to everyone, and this translates to completely free software and an intuitive workspace that welcomes newcomers to vector art.

While the barebones toolset certainly delivers on this promise, there are limits to how far you can take your designs. But it still manages to contain a decent array of tools (pen/pencil, gradients, shadows, opacity and others), that make it a great place to start as a logo designer.

Vectr's design interface
via Vectr

Cost:

  • Free

Pros:

  • Supports real-time collaboration
  • Can use in browser or download as an app
  • Learning support for graphic design that goes beyond software tutorials

Cons:

  • Tools do not have the fine control that other programs have (such as complex selection or smoothing functionality)
  • Limited options for editing created shapes aside from deleting and starting over

Who should use this logo software:

Beginning logo designers looking to get started with vector programs. Anyone who needs to create a custom logo design with no budget for or time to learn expensive software.

3. Looka: Best AI-powered logo designer

Of course, why bother designing your logo at all when you can get a robot to do it for you. Looka’s online logo software is perfect if you do not have the design chops to create your logo or do not have the time or budget to hire a designer.

Right out of the gate, their preliminary questionnaire is more involved than similar platforms like Renderforest. Looka delves deeper for more accurate results about what kind of brand you are and what style suits you. But it probably comes as no surprise that the results are ultimately based on templates and the quality of these automated logos can be mixed. If you’re looking for a logo that’s fully customized and tailored to you, you may want to leave the robots behind.

Looka's logo creator interface
via Looka

Cost:

  • $65 for ownership, high-resolution file in different formats, color variants and lifelong tech support
  • $80 for the above, plus social media kit, business card design and $100 of credit for Google Ads

Pros:

  • Can own a logo in minutes
  • In-depth questionnaire provides more accurate brand representation than other AI-based logo software
  • Some customization available
  • Provides vector logo files

Cons:

  • No matter how good the AI is, your logo can’t be as personalized as with a human designer
  • Can be hard to find representation for obscure or uncommon industries

Who should use this logo software:

People who don’t need to participate in the logo design process. Maybe you’re afraid your lack of design skill will hold you back. Maybe you just don’t have the time. Maybe creative tasks stress you out and you can’t afford to hire a freelance designer. Alternatively, Looka is perfect for when you’re on a deadline.

4. Hatchful: Best mobile logo creator

Hatchful Shopify mobile logo maker
via Hatchful

Although you can use it on desktop, Hatchful (a.k.a., the logo maker from Shopify) has an excellent mobile interface that makes it perfect for the user on-the-go.

It works similar to the other logo makers in that you choose your category and style, although Hatchful has more options for more accurate results.

Cost:

  • Free

Pros:

  • Lots of features for free logo software
  • Works for iOS and Android (and desktop)

Cons:

  • Very little design capabilities
  • Not enough customization to make a truly unique logo.

Who should use this logo software:

People looking for free logo software, who either don’t have access to a desktop computer or prefer mobile devices. People who don’t mind using template logos.

5. Inkscape: Best free logo design software

Moving on to more robust, desktop design software, Inkscape is the perfect transition—it offers lots of features like its design software counterparts, but it’s 100% free to download and use. Inkscape is a open-source design program that still receives regular updates, and it comes with SVG capabilities to boot.

Typography design inside of Inkscape's interface
Design by takeru kobayashi via Inkscape

Cost:

  • Free

Pros:

  • Lots of features, especially for free logo software: basic text modification, a full color palette, pre-made vector shapes and the familiar pen tool.
  • Open source means a community of developers (and users) are always working to improve it.
  • Fairly robust software, considering it’s free. Can’t beat that price!

Cons:

  • Not supported on Mac without ports
  • Only outputs in the SVG vector format

Who should use this logo software:

Designers on a tight budget who are looking for more functionality and creative freedom than the templates offered by other free logo software. New designers who don’t want to invest in pricier design software just yet. Developers who want to tweak and personalize the source code of their design software.

6. Adobe Photoshop: Best design software for logo sketching

One of the most well-known design software, Adobe Photoshop, has earned its reputation for good reason. Although mainly conceived as a photo manipulation editor that’s not meant for actual logo designs, Photoshop still offers plenty of design features to make it one of the most versatile programs around—it can handle digital painting, video and even 3D imaging!

Provided you have a graphics tablet, Photoshop is an excellent program for freehand drawing and logo sketching. You can quickly trace and refine sketches with layers, resize and edit specific parts with selection tools, and wind back the clock on your mistakes with the friendly Undo button—all significant advantages compared your average sketchbook.

Vector programs are essential for finalizing logo designs, but their focus on precise points and perfect curves makes them not the best tool for sketching. Photoshop even has some vector tools at its disposal, allowing users to go a step further and prototype their logos. For a professional quality final logo, you will need to transition to a vector program eventually, but Photoshop is a great place to start the logo design process.

Lettering inside of Adobe Photoshop's interface
Design by Adrian Meadows via Adobe

Cost:

  • $20.99 per month (annual plan, paid monthly)
  • $239.88 per year (annual plan, prepaid)
  • $31.49 per month (no plan)
  • 7-day free trial
  • Graphics tablets vary by price and quality. The cheapest are around $20

Pros:

  • A multitude of brushes for sketching and drawing. Photoshop can mimic paint brushes, pencils, charcoal, watercolor and more.
  • Can create advanced level visuals, like shiny metals, embossing or complicated shading.
  • Customizable workspace with saved presets.
  • Integrates with other Adobe programs like Illustrator or InDesign.
  • Ideal if you want to edit raster effects into your logo.

Cons:

  • Limited vector capabilities, making it mainly software for raster images. Hence the name photoshop
  • Steep learning curve; only invest in Photoshop if you plan on using it for years

Who should use this logo software:

Because of the learning curve and price, Photoshop is for serious designers only. Moreover, it’s for designers who work extensively with raster documents and prefer every pixel to be in the perfect place.

7. CorelDRAW: Best logo design software for adapting sketches

A popular brand name among designers, CorelDRAW is a powerful and feature-rich designer software rivaling the Adobe products that dominate the industry. What CorelDRAW does better than its competition is integrate hand-sketching via its LiveSketch tool: with a pen-enabled device, you can transform free-form sketches into precise vector graphics, without the hassle of scanning and tracing.

One big downside with CorelDRAW is its file format, which isn’t industry standard, so avoid using it if you need to share your original files with clients and stick to software with standard file formats only.

Logo design inside of CorelDRAW's interface
Design by rodriigo designer via Corel

Cost:

  • $499
  • 15-day free trial

Pros:

  • Works for Windows and Mac
  • LiveSketch lets your draw digitally as conveniently as with pencil and paper.
  • Lots of design-centric features

Cons:

  • That’s a pretty big price tag…
  • CorelDRAW’s file format is not industry standard, so avoid using it if you need to hand your files over to clients
  • Some users complain about the interface, which isn’t as intuitive as other logo design software

Who should use this logo software:

Designers who prefer illustration. CorelDRAW is as much digital sketching software as it is logo design software, so if you’re a designer who loves drawing with pencil and paper, this is the software for you.

8. Affinity Designer: Best all-in-one logo design software

Digital images are usually either vector, meaning their size can scale without a loss of quality, or raster, meaning they have a set number of pixels. Most design software prioritizes one over the other, but Affinity Designer provides top-tier features for both.

While raster elements are not ideal for logo design, they are for the more complex graphics, texture and shading you see in illustration. This means that logo designers with other creative ambitions are not stuck purchasing multiple software. Continuing on this revolutionary path, Serif (Affinity’s publisher) has also garnered notoriety for challenging Adobe’s subscription-based model by offering its software at a flat rate—a change many graphic designers are onboard with.

Lettering inside of Affinity Designer's interface
Lettering by Jonathan Ortiz via Affinity

Cost:

  • $49.99
  • 10-day free trial

Pros:

  • Ideal if you want to seamlessly switch back and forth between vector and raster.
  • Can be used in conjunction with other logo design software. Their wide export list even includes PSD (and the only vector export missing is AI).
  • Professional range of features justify the price tag
  • No subscription fees.

Cons:

  • While it offers more features than the free logo software, it’s still lacking compared to other professional software in this list. For example, there aren’t any perspective grids or workspace presets.

Who should use this logo software:

Professional designers whose style benefits from switching between vector and raster without the use of multiple programs. Designers on a budget who don’t want to spring for more expensive logo design software.

9. Adobe Illustrator CC: Best overall logo design software

Lastly, we have Adobe Illustrator—logo design’s longtime industry standard software. While some newer faces have come along since Illustrator’s release in 1987, it remains the most popular vector software available. Some argue that this has more to do with Adobe’s grip on the marketplace (aided by its emphasis on integration with its other products) than its merits. But it’s hard to deny the shear volume and depth of Illustrator’s features—from perspective and web tools to complex imaging effects, along with advanced color, typography, and vector controls. Almost every tool is backed up by more nuanced variations on those tools, giving designers unmatched control over their imagery. At the end of the day, Illustrator is more than a logo design program—it’s a complete vector art powerhouse.

Illustrator pioneered the vector art field, and while other programs have added their own ideas to the mix, many still feel like derivations, racing to catch up. Only time can tell whether they eventually will, but for now, Illustrator remains firmly in the lead.

Vector design in Adobe Illustrator's interface
Design by Vasava Studio via Adobe

Cost:

  • $20.99 per month (annual plan, paid monthly)
  • $239.88 per year (annual plan, prepaid)
  • $31.49 per month (no plan)
  • 7-day free trial

Pros:

  • All the tools for creating and manipulating vector art in any way imaginable: layers, drawing tools, effects, live painting, gradients… you name it.
  • A strong online community for DIY troubleshooting.
  • Customizable workspace with saved presets.
  • Integrates with other Adobe programs like Photoshop or InDesign.
  • Cloud functionality

Cons:

  • Illustrator has a steep learning curve with many tools intended to go beyond logo design.
  • Subscription costs add up to hefty price tag

Who should use this logo software:

Serious and committed logo designers. Illustrator is specifically made for professional graphic designers, and its comprehensive vector capabilities make it the software of choice for logo designers.

The best logo design software for you

There are tons of logo design software options out there, and they each have a different purpose. Which one is best design for you depends on your particular needs and budget.

Of course, if you’re a business owner, hiring a logo designer negates the need for logo design software in the first place. Professional software is a key component of professional logo design, but the most important asset is design expertise. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re working with a professional every time.

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This article was originally written by Workerbee and published in 2017. The current version has been updated with new information and examples.