By Neil on January 9, 2014
Creating the TurboBikeTrainer.com Logo in GIMP
First download the latest version of GIMP from here: www.gimp.org. It’s 100% FREE.
This is the logo that I use on TurboBikeTrainer.com. I will show you here using 100% free software GIMP exactly how I made it. Watch the video below and follow the steps in this post to see how I did it.
Open a new image (File/New) and in the popup window set the width and height to 1000px. Click Advanced Options and set the X and Y resolution to 600 pixels/inch. Setting a large image size and a high resolution will mean we get a sharper image when finished.
Click on the Rectangle Select Tool from the left-hand icon toolset, then left mouse click on your page and drag out a rectangle as shown in Figure 1 below. Push Enter on your keyboard to confirm your selection rectangle, and then from the top menu bar choose Select/Rounded Rectangle, and in the popup window change the radius to 10 and click OK. You now have a rectangle selection area with rounded corners.
Figure 1 Create a rectangle selection area. The red arrow points to the Rectangle Select Tool icon.
You should have a layers window showing on the right-hand side. If you do not then click Windows/Dockable Dialogs from the top menu bar and select Layers. Click the Create a New Layer icon from the right-hand side Layers window (looks like a sheet of paper), and in the popup window make sure Transparency is selected and click OK. A new layer will appear in the Layers window, click it to ensure it is selected and then click on the Foreground Colour Palette and choose a light green colour (I used the HTML notation value of 86d776) and click OK. Now click on the Bucket Fill Tool from the left-hand icon toolset, and then left mouse click inside the rectangle you just created. You now have a light green rectangle. See Figure 2 below for locations of the (A) Create a New Layer Icon, the (B) Foreground Colour Palette, and the (C) Bucket Fill Tool.
Figure 2 Locations of the (A) Create a New Layer Icon, the (B) Foreground Colour Palette, and the (C) Bucket Fill Tool
Now we need to divide this rectangle into a top and bottom section. The rectangle shape should still be selected, if it is not simply right click on the layer that has the green rectangle on it, and select Alpha to Selection. With the rectangle shape selected (i.e. there is a dotted line around the rectangle), click on the Ellipse Select Tool from the left-hand icon toolset and then from the Tool Options that shows on the lower part of this left-hand section, select the Subtract icon next to Mode. Draw out an ellipse shape and adjust the dimensions and position until it looks similar to that shown in Figure 3(a) below.
You will be left with a smaller rectangle shape with a curved upper surface. Create a new layer (click the Create a New Layer icon in the right-hand side Layers area), and then alter the Foreground Colour to a darker green (I used the HTML notation value of 2aa113), and use the Bucket Fill Tool to fill in the new curved rectangle a dark green on the new layer. You should have an image that looks like Figure 3(b).
Figure 3 (a) Positioning of the ellipse selection area, and (b) the rectangle with a darker lower section.
Next we are going to add a slight colour gradient to the top lighter green section of the rectangle. Right click on the lighter green layer on the right-hand side and choose Alpha to Selection from the dropdown to highlight the full rectangle that is on this layer (note the darker green layer is on top of this ligher green later, hence we only see the top of the lighter green section). Go over to the Background Colour Palette and alter the colour to a very light green. Select the Blend Tool from the left-hand icon toolset, and then click just above the top edge of the rectangle and while still holding down the left mouse button, drag the Blend line down to below the bottom edge of the rectangle. See Figure 4.
Hold down the Control key on your keyboard as you drag the Blend line down to keep it perfectly vertical.
Hold Control+Z together to quickly undo anything you are not happy with. This makes is easy to use a bit of trial and error to get the blend just how you want it.
Figure 4 Dragging the Blend Tool down to create a colour gradient on the lighter rectangle area.
Now we are ready to add the tbt letters to the logo. Click the Text Tool on the left-hand icon toolset, and set the Foreground Colour to white, and then in Tool Options on the lower window on the left-hand side, change the font to Bauhaus 93 (unless of course you want to use a different font). Left mouse click the top layer on the right-hand Layer window before you start typing, this just means the letters will start on the new top layer in your stack. It is easy to drag layers up and down later so don’t worry if you forget to do this. Click on the logo and type the letters tbt.
Modify the size of your letters using the Size box in the Text Tool Options, and then click the Move Tool on the left-side icon tooset, then click the text you just wrote and drag it into the correct position, as shown in Figure 5.
If the correct layer is selected on the right-hand Layers window, then after you click on the text you can move the text using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
Figure 5 Positioning and size of the letters. (A) indicates the Text Tool and (B) indicates the Move Tool.
The lower section of the letters needs a grey gradient colour, so to create this we need to right click on the text layer in the right-hand Layers window, and choose Alpha to Selection to create a selection around the letters. Change the Foreground Colour to a darker grey and the Background Colour to a lighter grey, and then select the Blend Tool from the left-hand icon toolset. Create a New Transparent layer and make sure its highlighted, and then drag the Blend Tool up from the bottom of the letters to around the mid-section of the letters to create a dark to light grey gradient fill of the letters. See Figure 6(a).
We now need to remove the grey from the top area of the letters, and a quick way to do this is to right mouse click on the dark green curved rectangle layer and choose Alpha to Selection. We want to Invert this selected area so that everything outside out it is selected, so on the top menu bar click Select/Invert. Now highlight the grey letters layer by left mouse clicking it in the Layers window, and then push Delete on your keyboard. Again from the top menu bar go Select/None to remove and dotted selections and you should now be left with an image similar to Figure 6(b).
Figure 6 (a) Adding a grey gradient fill to the letters, and (b) the letters with a white top section and a gradient grey bottom section.
The next stage is to put a dark grey outline around the top part of letters and a light grey outline around the bottom part of the letters. Right mouse click on the original letters layer again and choose Alpha to Selection to create a selection around them. Then create a new Transparent layer and make sure it is on the top of all the other layers (remember you can drag the layers up and down when ever you want too by holding down a left mouse click on a layer and dragging it). Change the Foreground Colour to black, and then on the top menu bar click Edit/Stroke Selection. In the popup window change then line width to 2px and click Stroke.
With the outline of the letter still selected (i.e. there is a dotted line around them), create another new layer, change the Foreground Colour to white, and with the new layer highlighted click Edit/Stroke Selection on the top menu bar and leave the line width as 2px and click Stroke. Move then black outline layer to the top of the Layers stack, and then right mouse click the dark green curved rectangle layer and choose Alpha to Selection. We will use this selected area again as a cutter and we simply want to highlight the top black layer and push Delete on the keyboard. This will remove the black layer from the lower part of the letters. Finally, to make the black outline a dark grey highlight the black outline layer by left mouse clicking on it, and at the top of the Layers window you’ll see an Opacity bar. Reduce the Opacity down to 45 on this black outline layer. Now click the white outline layer and reduce its opacity to 60. You should not have the image as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7 Logo with an outline around the letters.
Too add a little bit of texture and shading to the logo we will use the Dodge / Burn Tool. Select the dark green curved rectangle layer and the click the Doge / Burn Tool from the left-hand icon toolset. Under Tool Options below change Type to Burn, and then set a then Size to a large value (I used around 700). Also, make sure a blurred Brush is selected, such as ‘2. Hardness 050’ that I used here.
Click around the right and left edges of the dark green rectangle and you will notice it getting darker. Remember to use Control+Z to undo any clicks quickly until you get the shading looking like you want it. See Figure 8.
Figure 8 Shading the logo using the Burn tool. Arrow points to the Dodge / Burn Tool icon.
The next bit is a little bit tricky and involves modifying the letter t’s in the logo, so that the gap between the arm of the left t is the same as the gap within the letter b. The the right letter t needs a left arm adding with a curved outer surface. We’ll be using similar methods to what we have used already so it’s not a problem. First we’ll extend the arm of the left-hand t. Zoom in on the left t either by holding down Control on your keyboard and rolling your middle mouse button if you have one, or use the Zoom Tool in the left-hand icon toolset and drag a Zoom rectangle around the t. This just makes it easier to work on this letter.
Create a new Transparent layer and then using the Rectangle Select Tool draw a rectangle the same height as the arm of the t. Position and size this rectangle so that it overlaps the original letter but extends out towards the letter b, leaving a gaps that is the same as the gap within the letter b. See Figure 9.
Draw out a rough rectangle shape, then hover over one of it’s edges. The edge will change appearance so that when you left mouse click you can drag it, allowing resizing of the rectangle. Use this method on all edges so that your rectangle is the perfect size.
Figure 9 Mashing out a rectangle to form the new extended arm of the letter t.
With the new layer selected fill this new rectangle with white (change Foreground Colour to white) using the Bucket Fill Tool, and then create a new Transparent layer and stroke your rectangle with a black outline (change the Foreground Colour to black, select Edit/Stroke Selection from the top menu bar, leave Line width as 2px, and click Stroke). With the black outline layer selected reduce its Opacity to 45 so that it is the same as the rest of the letter t. Select the Eraser Tool from the left-hand icon toolset and in it’s Tool Options choose a smaller brush size (I used a Size of 10) with a hard edged brush (I used Brush 2. Hardness 100). Make sure the new black outline layer we just created is selected and then click around this black outline removing any lines we don’t want (i.e. the inner vertical line). See Figure 10.
Figure 10 Erasing unwanted parts of the black outline. Red arrow points to the Eraser Tool icon.
With the left t complete we now need to modify the right-side t. Start by masking out a rectangle using the Rectangle Selection Tool just like in Step 10, using then height of the existing arm of the t as a guide, and stretching the rectangle all the way over so it overlaps the curved area of the letter b. Fill this rectangle with white on a new layer, and then give it a black outline, again on another new layer. Change the Opacity of this black layer to 45 to that is matches the rest of the text outline, and make sure this black outline layer is at the top of your layers stack. You can go ahead and merge this back outline layer down onto the white layer now by right mouse clicking the black outline layer and choosing Merge Down. You should end up with something similar to Figure 11.
Figure 11 Filled rectangle ready to form the new arm of the right-side letter t.
Using the Eraser Tool remove any unwanted black outline and white fill that we do not want from this new merged rectangle layer. We now need to replicate the curved black outline of the letter b and use it as the curve on the new letter t that we are creating. Make the rectangle layer we just created invisible by clicking on the eye icon to the left of it. Now find the layer that has the black outline of the letter b on it (try making each layer invisible until you find the layer you want). Select the layer that has the outline of the b on it and click the Free Select Tool from the icon toolset on the left. Now click around the curve of the letter b as shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12 Using the Free Select Tool to select around the curved part of the letter b. Red arrow points to the Free Select Tool icon.
Either click on the first node you created or get close to it with your final click and then hit Enter on your keyboard to close the selection. From the top menu bar select Edit/Copy, and then select Edit/Paste as/New Layer. You now have a new layer with this selected area on it. Reduce the Opacity down to 45 on this new layer because it resets to 100. Now using the Move Tool move this pasted curve layer so that it is in the correct position (i.e. its distance away from the original curve of the letter b is the same as the gap within the letter b itself. Now turn the visibility of the back on for the layer we turned off earlier (just click the eye icon again). You should have something like Figure 13.
Figure 13 Copying the curved area of the letter b and moving it into position over the new arm of the letter t. Red arrow shows the layer visibility toggle icon.
Select the new white arm layer and using the Eraser Tool carefully remove any white fill and black outline the lines outside the curved line. See Figure 14. If your new curved line is too big and extents over the top of the arm of the t, as mine does, then simply select this curve layer and Erase the excess outline. Once you are happy merge this outline layer down on to the new section of the letter t, and now check it all lines up correctly. If you have any gaps in the new curved outline (again like I did), you can use the Paintbrush Tool to fill it. First click the Color Picker Tool in the left-hand icon toolset and click on the dark grey outline to identify the correct colour. Then select the Paintbrush Tool and change its Size to 1. Then zoom in to the area of interest and carefully colour it in, as shown in Figure 15.
Figure 14 Using the Eraser Tool carefully remove any unwanted areas of the new white fill area and black outline.
Figure 15 Completing the outline of the new curved area using the Paintbrush Tool. (A) points to the Paintbrush Tool icon and (B) points to the Color Picker Tool icon.
The last step was definitely the most challenging, but we are not just about finished. All that is left is the black drop shadow that will finish this logo off. Turn the visibility of you white background off, which will probably be the bottom layer of your stack (this is assuming you have a background layer). Next from the top menu bar select Image/Merge Visible Layers, leave all default options in the popup window, and click Merge. This adds all layers together (except the invisible background layer). Again, from the top menu click Filters/Light and Shadow/Drop Shadow, and in the popup window I used an Offset X and an Offset Y or 10, with a Blur radius of 15. Click OK and this will create a nice drop shadow under your logo. I set the Opacity of my Drop Shadow layer to 75 just to make it a little darker.
You can make the background layer visible again to see this drop shadow more clearly, but ultimately we want to delete the background layer completely because we do not need it. To delete the background layer highlight it first, and then click the Delete this layer icon at the bottom of the window (the bin icon just to the right of the Create new layer icon). Now merge the logo layer down onto the Drop Shadow so that we have only one layer remaining with out complete logo on it. Finally select from the top menu bar Image/Autocrop Image, which with crop the page perfectly around your logo.
Just click File/Export from the top menu and export you logo. Give it a file extension of .png to keep its transparent background.
Hopefully you were able to follow all the steps in this tutorial. If not please leave a comment below and ask anything you like. Also, I recommend watching the video at the top of the article and see me (and hear me) making this exact same logo.
I also have an Inkscape tutorial creating this same logo. There are a few different techniques but the end result is pretty similar. Check this tutorial out here.