What Software Do I Need to Create a Logo?

The Best Software for Creating Logos

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Screen Shot
A vector-based drawing program like CorelDRAW, shown here, is your best bet for logo design software. © Corel, used with permssion

When creating logos, it's best to use  vector-based software such as CorelDRAW, or Adobe Illustrator. Logos need to be used in a variety of circumstances, therefore, it is best if they are resolution independent graphics that will maintain their integrity at any size. Because logos are usually not photographic in detail, vector-based software works well for them

Vector-based Illustration Software for Windows
Vector-based Illustration Software for Mac

For simpler logos, you may be able to get by with specialized type effects software which is designed for creating headings and other types of text-based graphics.
Text Effects Software

Logos destined for web or app use can be saved as  svg graphics. This format is, essentially, XML code which browsers can easily read. You don't need to learn XML to create SVG graphics. It is written for you when the filed is saved or exported in the SVG format from, for example, Illustrator CC 2017.

Color is quite important. If the logo is destined for print, then CMYK colours must be used. If the logo is destined for web or mobile use, feel free to use either the RGB or Hexadecimal color spaces.

Another major consideration when creating logos using vector-based applications , is complexity. Overuse of vector points, gradients and so on only contribute to file size. This is especially important for logos destined for viewing on the web or mobile devices.if you are using Illustrator, for example, select Window>Path> Simplify to reduce the number of vector points.

 

Finally, type choice is critical. Be sure the font choice compliments the brand.If a font is used then you need to have a legal copy of the font if the logo is to be printed. If it is just a couple of characters you might consider converting the text to vector outlines in the application. Just be aware by doing this, you can no longer edit the text.

Also, this suggestion is never appropriate for text blocks like paragraphs.

If you have a Creative Cloud account you have full access to all of the fonts offered by Adobe's Typekit.If you are unfamiliar with adding and using Typekit font, there is a full explanation here.

If you anticipate the need to create and edit graphics for other tasks, such as icons,  besides creating logos, you may want to investigate an integrated graphics suite which combines image editing, illustration, page layout, Web design, and typography functionality in one package. A graphics suite such as Adobe's Creative Cloud  can give you everything you need for a variety of imaging and publishing tasks, but the learning curve will be higher compared to a single program.
Integrated Graphics Suites

Updated by Tom Green

You'll find much more information on logo design at About.com's Desktop Publishing site.
More on Logo Design