In 2016, mobile games made over $40.6 billion in worldwide revenue.
With more games appearing every week, there are many developers who need logos to help market their games.
Since you’re only designing for the screen, Photoshop is the best choice of software for these logos. (We’re not talking about the tiles that appear on mobile device screens. Those are icons, not logos.)
But where do you start? Read on to discover how to design a mobile game logo in Photoshop.
Sketch Designs On Paper First
Photoshop is a powerful piece of software. There are plenty of tips and tricks for using it.
But your output is only as good as your input. Spend time sketching lots of designs before you make your logo in Photoshop.
Remember logos for mobile gaming never display at a large size. You won’t have a lot of space for complex images or lots of writing.
Do you have your sketches ready? Fire up the software and create a new document.
Start with a size larger than you’ll need. It’s easy to resize down, but if you try to enlarge something small you’ll get a pixelated mess.
Scan your sketch or take a photo of it. Paste the sketch or photo into your new document. Then resize it to fit the document.
Use Layers to Organize Your Work
Lock the sketch layer and create your first new layer above it. Open the Swatches panel and create your own color palette.
Visit a website like mobilegamerhub.com to research color schemes. Then use the eyedropper to sample colors to turn into swatches.
Use the Shape Tool to draw shapes to fit your sketch. This works best for bold, simple shapes. Color each shape using your new palette.
Have a more complex design? Trace the sketch using the Pen Tool, then create a selection and fill with the right color.
Keep all your shapes on separate layers to make them easier to change later.
Use Shading to Show Depth
Shading can go wrong on logos, especially at different sizes. Try to avoid using layer styles like drop shadows that may change when you flatten the document.
Instead, use the Pen Tool to add blocks of white for highlights. You could also fill new selections with black on the layers below objects. Nudge them down and across to create block shadows.
This is one reason why ‘flat design‘ became so popular for logo design.
Add Minimal Text
You’ll need to include the name of the mobile game. Choose a font face that best suits the style of the game.
Browse existing games to get a sense of the typography you might use. Fantasy games often use blackletter fonts to imply old scrolls or books of spells. Military games typically use army-style fonts.
Try to avoid fancy text effects that might get lost at a smaller size. It’s more important that the logo is legible.
Save and Flatten Your Logo in Photoshop
Save your final logo as a PSD file. Remember you’ll always be able to go back and make changes.
Flatten the document and save as a .PNG or a .JPG, depending on your needs.
Designing a logo in Photoshop can take time to master, but there are plenty of training resources online to help you.
Time to fire up the software and get practicing!