In this Pixelmator tutorial, I’ll show you how to create a Skype-like logo.
Step 0 – Choose a Font
This really doesn’t have anything to do with Pixelmator at all, but it’s always fun to browse through all the available fonts online. Two of my favorite free font libraries are Fonts 500 and neatfonts.
Step 1 – Create Document
Create a new document. For this example I used 640×480. Select black for your foreground color, then select Edit>Fill.
Rename this layer ‘background‘.
Step 2 – Add Text
Select and use the Type Tool. I used white, 96 point, Ariel Rounded Font. Click Layer>Rasterize Type Layer. This converts the text into a rasterized image so we can select it. Rename this layer ‘text’.
Note: After rasterizing the image, I re-spaced the letters to more closely resemble the Skype logo. You can do the same with the Rectangular Marquee Tool and the Move Tool.
Step 3 – Add Border
Select the ‘text’ layer. Click Edit>Load Selection. Create a new layer below ‘text’ and call it ‘border’. Now select the ‘border’ layer. Click Edit>Refine Selection…. We want to Expand the border, so drag the Contract/Expand Slider to the right a bit. I increased it to 13.
To recreate the bulbous look around the text, choose the Elliptical Marquee Tool. Choose the additive selection mode in Tool Options.
Draw a few ellipses around the edges, overlapping the original selection. Choose a color fill, then click Edit>Fill. I used Aqua from the crayon box.
Step 4 – Add Gradient
With the ‘border‘ layer still selected, create a new layer above it. Call this layer ‘gradient‘. Select this layer and click Edit>Refine Selection…. We want a very thin border around the edge of the logo so drag the Contract/Expand slider to the left. I used -3. Select the Gradient Tool and create a new linear gradient.
Click and drag in the direction you want the gradient applied.
Step 5 – Add Text Outline
Because the logo uses white letters against a white to blue gradient, we want to add a slight outline to the top of the letters to provide some contrast. Select the ‘text‘ layer and click Edit>Load Selection. Add a layer above it and call it ‘outline‘ and choose this layer. Pick black as your foreground color. Click Edit>Stroke…. Adjust the Width and Opacity sliders to add the outline. I used 1 Width, 25% Opacity.
Click Command-D to undo the selection. Click Layer>Add Layer Mask. Click the new Layer Mask in Layers Option. Choose the Brush Tool. Using White as the brush color, paint over the bottom half of the letters to mask out the outline. For brush options, I used 45px diameter, 0px hardness, 1px spacing.
It’s quite easy to create a logo in Pixelmator*. Applying the various methods above, you’ll be able to create the look of almost any logo you can think of. In fact, many logos aren’t even as complicated as Skype’s and consist of only a font and a single, solid color.
For comparison, here is the Skype logo again and the one we just create:
*Ideally, a vector based program should be used in creation of logos because vector images aren’t affected by scaling.