Do-It-Yourself Logo Design
I haven’t done research recently, but several years ago I was interested in making a logo by myself and I checked out quite a few DIY logo making software programs. In the end I chose The Logo Creator and I have since used it quite successfully many times. It’s not free, but it is inexpensive (US$47) and while I can’t say there isn’t a better option available, I think you won’t be disappointed with this software.
Update: My old version of The Logo Creator stopped functioning reliably and instead of buying a new version I decided to try another program, Logo Maker by Avanquest, to compare. At the time, it was free so I had nothing to lose, but now they seem to be charging £20.41, which is still a good deal. So, which do I like better? Honestly, I think they are both good choices. The UI is quite different and the art options are as well. If I had to choose just one, perhaps it would be Logo Maker, but considering how inexpensive each is, it might be worth getting both.
This might sound strange, but Microsoft PowerPoint turns out to be a very good platform for doing logo design. I stumbled on the idea when I was trying to design book covers for some e-Books I was writing and realized it works quite well. There are tons of options for working with shapes, fonts, shadows, edges, blurs, transparencies, changing background colors, etc. And, you can easily paste in any external image you desire. Setting the size of the canvas helps you work with smaller dimensions and exporting to various image file formats is simple and you can even specify a transparent background, which is helpful. Once you export the designed logo, you will want to crop/resize it, optimize it, and create favicons. For those functions I use ResizeImage.net, Compressor.io, and iconifier.net respectively.
Professional Logo Design Services
I am sure there are a million different fee-based logo creation options to choose from, but one that I came across which seems promising is LogoWorks. Another, which isn’t limited to just logos, is 99designs. This site helps you run a "design contest", where thousands of designers compete to create the best possible design to meet your needs. All you need is a clear idea of what you want designed and how much you’re prepared to pay for it.