Creating the Volkswagen Logo in GIMP

Crafting a recognizable logo can be an exciting venture, especially when you’re recreating the iconic Volkswagen emblem. Using GIMP, a versatile and free image editing software, beginners can produce a professional-looking logo by following a systematic approach that combines basic and more advanced techniques.

Starting with the Basics

To start, launch GIMP and create a new project with a transparent background to ensure flexibility when you apply the logo on various backgrounds. The key to a crisp design is to work with layers, which allow you to edit each part of the logo individually without affecting other elements.

Step 1: Setting Up Layers

Begin by setting up your layers. These will be the backbone of your design process. Each major portion of the Volkswagen logo should have its own layer – the outer circle, the inner circle, and the text layers.

Step 2: Creating the Circles

For the Volkswagen logo, start by creating the outer and inner circles using the Ellipse tool. Make sure they’re perfectly aligned at the center. Apply a slight bevel to the circles to give them a three-dimensional look. This can be achieved by using the “Bevel and Emboss” feature in the Layer Effects dialog.

Step 3: Adding Stroke and Fill

Next, focus on the stroke and fill of your shapes. For the Volkswagen logo, you’ll want a specific blue color for the background fill and a white or silver color for the stroke. Use the Color Picker tool to select the precise hue, then apply it to the appropriate layers.

Refining the Design

Now, let’s move to the inner designs. The Volkswagen logo has interconnected V and W letters, symbolizing the brand’s name—Volkswagen, the “car of the people.”

Step 4: Working with Text

Use the Text tool to create the V and W. You’ll want to choose a font that closely resembles the thick, sans-serif style of the original logo. Position your text within the inner circle, making sure that they interlock as seen in the reference image.

Step 5: Adding Shadows and Highlights

To give the logo some depth, apply subtle shadows and highlights. This can be done by duplicating layers, shifting them slightly, and using the blur tool to soften the edges. Adjust the layer opacity for a more natural look.

Step 6: Experimenting with Effects

To give your logo a polished finish, consider experimenting with advanced effects like gradient overlays or the Cubism filter. These can add texture and complexity to your design, making it stand out.

Customizing Your Logo

With the basic Volkswagen logo completed, you should feel free to customize it to fit your needs or preferences. Try different gradient applications or drop shadows to the text elements for a personalized touch.

Finally, save your project in GIMP’s native format to preserve layers for future editing. Export the final version of your logo as an image file like PNG or JPG to use it across various applications.

Creating the Volkswagen logo in GIMP can be a rewarding project, and with these steps, even beginners can achieve a professional look. Play around with the design, learn new tools and techniques, and you’ll soon be able to craft a range of logos with confidence.

Step 1

Create a new rather large, transparent document in the Gimp. I made mine 1000×1000 at 300ppi. Change your foreground color to #82B2E0 and your background color to #012B62. Create a new layer. Select the ellipse select tool and, while holding shift, create a circle taking up the majority of your document. Fill it with out background color.

Step 1

Step 2

With your selection still active, select the gradient tool. Select the FG to Transparent gradient with out light blue as the foreground color. Pick the radial gradient type and apply it like in the screen shot below.

Step 2

Step 3

Now we are going to create the emblem on the logo. Press D to reset your foreground and background colors and press X to invert them. Create a new layer. Draw a round selection inside our background circle we created earlier. Fill it with white. Deselect and then create another selection inside that one. Hit delete. You should now have a white ring inside our blue circle. The reason we do it this way instead of shrinking our selections is to keep the selection round. When you shrink a selection, it doesn’t stay truly round, but instead gradually forms into a hexagon, and we don’t want that.

Step 3

Step 4

Now we will create the lettering to go inside the ring. Instead of drawing a V and then a W, we will draw an X with a horizontal line through it and then give the X “feet.” Confused? Here we go.

Select the Paths tool. Create the first leg of the X like below and fill it with white. Copy/Paste the selection and then flip it horizontally. Merge this layer with the emblem layer. Delete a small section in the middle of the X. Draw legs on the side to form the W and fill them with white. Looking familiar?

Step 4

Step 5

Now we are done with the drawing part. Download this set of scripts and install them to your Gimp scripts folder. Go to Filters > Script-Fu > Refresh Scripts and a new menu should pop up named Script-Fu next to the Filters menu.

With the emblem layer selected, go to Script-Fu > Layer Effects > Drop Shadow. Use black for the color, 75% opacity, Linear Contour, 0 noise, normal blending, 10 for spread, 10 for size, 145 for offset angle, 5 for offset distance, and layer knocks out drop shadow. Hit ok.

With the same layer still selected, go to Script-Fu > Layer Effects > Inner Shadow. Use black for the color, 5% for the opacity, and 145 for the offset angle. Hit ok.

On the same layer, go to Script-Fu > Layer Effects > Bevel and Emboss. Pick Inner Bevel for the style, 3 for the depth, up for the direction, 10 for soften, 24.7% for the highlight opacity, 41.2% for shadow opacity, and hit ok.

Make sure the Inner Shadow layer is above the Bevel and Emboss layers.

Step 5

Step 6

Your logo is now complete! You can optionally add some gloss to it or a drop shadow if you like. Enjoy!

Final Image


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