How to Create an Awesome Logo Design from a Stock Photo

A good, memorable logo is the basis of any company, its brand. This element should be interesting, eye-catching, and also should reflect the specifics of the enterprise. When starting a business, developing a website, and printing promotional materials, a sufficient amount of attention should be paid to the logo.

Which stock images should you look for? - There are some tips:

  • Color selection. The logo must match the company’s corporate identity (or the site’s color scheme, if it already exists).

  • Optimal proportions. If you decide that the image in your logo will be square, then look for a picture with the appropriate proportions.

  • Choose something special that will characterize your company. In the future, you can change the logo at any time if you get tired of it. But why do you need this mess? Choose the actual picture right away.

  • Stock images should be associated with your business or company name.

  • Simpler is better. A photo that is too bright and has too many small details can ruin the impression.

  • It is important not only to choose a beautiful and bright picture but to process it well, making it individual.

  • You can draw inspiration from others. See what logos other companies are using.

How to edit stock images?

To edit a picture or add text with a title to it, you must use a graphic editor. Some of them require certain skills to work with, but there are also simpler options. You get the best results when working in professional programs, which will be discussed below.

  • CorelDRAW is a powerful graphics program. It will take a long time to study. The main difference from Photoshop is that it creates vector images (CDR format). 

  • GIMP is a fairly functional editor. It includes many features to transform your image into a beautiful logo. Add text, work with layers, change the contrast - everything is at your disposal. The main advantage of GIMP is that it is distributed absolutely free. You can freely download this program and work without bothering with license keys and activation.

  • Fotostars. It is possible to change the size, brightness, and contrast, overlay photo effects, rotate, add frames, etc.

  • Photoshop Online - Provides the core functionality of Adobe Photoshop. The advantage is that there is no need to download and install the program. The work is carried out online.

The best program for processing images in logos is Photoshop.

There are plenty of opportunities. There is as much room for creativity as you want! Using various tools, you can change the original image beyond recognition: make a color change, add shadows, change the exposure, apply a special filter, etc. This editor has one drawback: you need to master it, which will take more than one hour. Moreover, it is paid.

Benefits of using Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is confidently the leader among the programs for creating graphic images. It is a multifunctional graphic editor where you can edit photos, add various visual effects and create graphic images. It should be noted that Photoshop (cs 5, cs 6, and others) is considered a rather complex program used by professionals in cinematography, animation, and photography because it offers a wide variety of tools for creating unique design elements, including logo.

Well, if you are a confident Photoshop user, you can confidently create a great logo. We have prepared for you a tutorial on creating a logo and using stock images in Photoshop.

Stock images for use in logos

Step 1

Choose a picture. Choose something, that will better characterize your company or brand. 

Step 2

Open the original photo in Photoshop, and then go to Image> Adjustments> Black & White. Choose the tones, that are more on your image. Applying a Black & White correction instead of the usual grayscale conversion gives you more control over how the grays will look. You can start by selecting a preset and then playing around with the color sliders.

Step 3

Now convert stock images to grayscale. Go to Image - Correction - Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels). Adjust the sliders to add contrast to the image.

Step 4

Now your image is ready, so, print it out and then, using transparent drawing paper, outline the contour lines and freehand shapes with a pencil. You might think it would be faster to draw the same thing in Illustrator, but drawing by hand allows you to decide which shapes and lines are important to keep and which to remove. Contour lines should be smooth and well thought out. 

Draw Vector Shapes for logo creating

Step 1

Start drawing lines and shapes with the Pen Tool. You could use the Pencil Tool, the Brush tool, or even the Blob Brush Tool, but we're going to create precise paths with only basic anchor points. It will be helpful if you increase the thickness of the paths. Increasing the thickness will allow you to see potential problems. 

Step 2

Continue working in the same manner, smoothing and simplifying the contour lines.

Add Color to your logo design

Step 1

Fill the shapes with one color. Continue to simplify as needed and smooth out the contour lines.

Step 2

Now outline the highlights of the image. These highlighted areas will eventually be cut out of the overall logo design or filled in with a different color. In this case, the selected areas are filled with green.

Step 3

Next, outline the areas with highlights. Again, these areas can be cut out in the end, but we will fill them with a light shade for now.

Improve the Logo with stock images

Step 1

At this stage, all the work comes down to minor improvements. Just simplify your design! Delete all unnecessary lines, leaving your image readable.

Step 2

When you make corrections and revisions and are sure that the work is complete, you can hide the drawing, keeping only the contour lines highlighting the light areas. Use the Divide command in the Pathfinder panel or the Shape Builder tool to remove everything except the highlights, creating one composite path. This step is selective, and you can always keep the colors. However, once you've created a vector shape, you can easily position it against a background color to create different color schemes. 


Correction and refinement of each contour are very important and can take hours to get all the elements in the optimal place. Be sure to review images in logos at different angles. Creating a solid foundation in freehand sketching can make the process a little easier and faster.

(Aug 14, 2021) Clemence Servonnat Creativity

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