In the following tutorial, you will learn how to create a lightning bolt logo using Affinity Designer.
If you don't have the time to learn how to design logos with lightning bolts, you can always try Envato Elements, where you will find a massive collection of logos with lightning bolts. This lightning bolt design is just one of the many examples.
If you prefer video tutorials over written guides, then you can't miss the Envato Tuts+ Youtube channel! Take a look at this new video to learn how to create a lightning bolt logo using Affinity Designer:
What You'll Learn in This Lighting Bolt Symbol Tutorial
- How to set up a grid in Affinity Designer
- How to create a lightning bolt symbol
- How to create a lightning bolt in a circle logo
Lightning Bolt: A Very Brief History
The lightning bolt has inspired power, fear, and speed since the beginning of mankind. Zeus, king of the gods in ancient Greece, could shatter huge mountains and kill Titans using thunderbolts. More than 2,000 years later, mankind knows much more about lightning bolts and how these get produced, but Mother Nature can still be something to be in awe of.
A lightning bolt continues to be a symbol of power, fear, and speed at the same time. The lightning bolt is a pretty universal symbol, and it has been used for numerous causes.
One of the most common uses is the electricity warning sign. A simple lightning bolt on a fence will make you think twice before you touch that thing.
Moving to speed, Flash must be one of the first things that comes to mind whenever you think of a bolt logo. Since 1939, the DC Comics superhero has proudly worn a bolt logo on his chest to let people know that he's that fast.
Another iconic use of the lightning bolt in the entertainment industry is the cover artwork for David Bowie's sixth studio album named Aladdin Sane. The lightning bolt across Bowie's face is regarded as one of his most iconic images. Since his passing, the iconic lightning bolt has been revived in memory of Bowie.
Being such a great symbol of power, the lightning bolt has also made its way into politics. It's mostly associated with right-wing causes, but lately a red bolt logo has been used as the symbol of Polish protesters fighting for a woman’s right to choose.
In conclusion, the lightning bolt is a pretty versatile symbol and can be used in a lot of ways. It's up to you to find a way that will make your lightning bolt design stand out.
1. How to Create a New Document and Set Up a Grid
Press Control-N to create a new document. Select Pixels from the Document Units drop-down menu, set the Width and Height to 850 px, increase the DPI to 300, and then move to the Color section to select the RGB/8 color format. Keep the Bleed set to 0 and click the Create button to create your new document.
Focus on the Toolbar and click that magnet icon to enable Snapping, and then click the tiny arrow button to open the fly-out menu. Just enable the Snap to Grid, and then go to View > Grid and Axis Manager. Check Show Grid to enable the grid, and then click the Basic button so that you can set the Spacing to 10 px and the Divisions to 1. Now that you're set, let's see how you can create a lightning bolt in a circle logo.
2. How to Create the Circle
Pick the Ellipse Tool (M) from the toolbar, and simply click and drag to create a new shape. Hold down the Shift key as you click and drag to easily create a perfect circle. Make it 310 px wide. Once it's created, you can switch to the Move Tool (V) and focus on the context toolbar. Simply click the Align Center and Align Middle buttons to easily move your circle to the center of the canvas.
Keep this shape selected, and let's stylize it. Focus on the Appearance studio (View > Studio > Appearance) and first of all remove the fill color. All you have to do is click that color thumbnail and then press the white swatch with the red oblique line.
Continue with the stroke and click that color thumbnail. Click the Gradient button and start by selecting the left gradient slider. Click the Color box, select RGB sliders from the dropdown menu, and set the color to R=13 G=81 B=248. Move to the right gradient slider, select it, click the Color box, and set it to R=45 G=142 B=245.
Keep focusing on the Appearance studio, and this time click the stroke size. Use the Width slider to increase it to 8 pt and also Align it to Inside.
Finally, you need to adjust the angle of the gradient. Pick the Fill Tool (G) from the toolbar and select Stroke from the context toolbar, and then focus on your circle to adjust the applied gradient. Make it vertical, roughly as shown in the following image.
Make sure that your circle is still selected and keep focusing on the Appearance studio. Right-click the Stroke and go to Duplicate to add a copy.
Focus on the new Stroke, lower the Width to 4 pt, and then use the Fill Tool (G) to adjust the applied gradient as shown in the following image.
3. How to Create the Lighting Bolt Symbol
Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) from the toolbar and use it to create a 160 x 60 px shape. Remove the stroke color, fill it with yellow (R=248 G=220 B=2), and place it as shown in the following image. Keep this rectangle selected, focus on the context toolbar, and click the Convert to Curves button.
Make sure that your yellow rectangle is still selected and switch to the Node Tool (A). Use simple clicks to add two anchor points as shown in the following image.
Keep focusing on your yellow shape and keep the Node Tool (A) active. First, select the top-left anchor point and move it 160 px up and 120 px to the right, and then select the bottom-right anchor point and drag it 160 px down and 130 px to the left.
4. How to Adjust the Circle
Reselect your circle using the Move Tool (V) and go to Layer > Expand Stroke to turn the two strokes into separate vector shapes. You can have a look in the Layers studio (View > Studio > Layers) to see how your circle turns into two shapes.
Reselect the lightning bolt symbol and press Control-C > Control-V to duplicate it. Move to the Layers studio to reselect the original lightning bolt symbol.
Move to the Appearance studio to remove the fill color and then focus on the stroke. Set the color to black, increase the Width to 8 pt, and keep the alignment set to Center. Once you're done, go to Layer > Expand Stroke to turn this black stroke into a vector shape.
Make sure that your black stroke is still selected and press Control-C > Control-V to duplicate it.
Move to the Layers studio and keep in mind that you need to hold down the Control key to select more than one shape. Select the bottom black shape along with the larger blue circle, focus on your toolbar, and click the Subtract button.
Keep focusing on the Layers panel and select the remaining black shape along with the other blue circle. Again, click the Subtract button from your toolbar.
5. How to Stylize the Bolt Logo
Reselect your yellow lightning bolt symbol and duplicate it (Control-C > Control-V). Keep the copy selected and replace the fill color with R=252 G=164 B=2.
Continue with the Node Tool (A) and hold down the Shift key to select the two nodes highlighted in the second image. Simply drag them 30 px down and 40 px to the left, as shown in the third image.
Once you're done, select just the anchor point highlighted in the third image and drag it 10 px to the left, as shown in the final image.
Keep focusing on your orange shape and replace the color with the linear gradient shown below. Again, use the Fill Tool (G) to adjust the gradient as shown in the following image.
Continue with the Pen Tool (P) and use it to create the two shapes shown below. The grid and the Snap to Grid feature will make things easier. Keep the same gradient and use the Fill Tool (G) to adjust the gradients as shown below.
6. How to Add a Background for Your Bolt Logo
Pick the Rectangle Tool (M) and use it to create a shape that covers your entire canvas. Fill it with R=35 G=31 B=32 and drag it behind your logo.
Select all the shapes that make up your logo and press Control-G to Group them. Keep this group selected and apply a subtle Outer Shadow effect with the settings shown below. You can do it via the Effects studio (View > Studio > Effects) or using the Layer Effects button from the bottom of the Layers studio. With this final touch, your lightning bolt design is complete.
Congratulations! You're Done!
Here is how your lightning bolt in a circle logo should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.
Feel free to adjust the final bolt logo and make it your own. You can find some great sources of inspiration at Envato Elements, with interesting solutions to improve any logo with lightning bolts.
Popular Bolt Logos From Envato Elements
Envato Elements is an excellent resource for logos with lightning bolts. Here's a short list of some of the most popular lightning bolt designs that you can find.
Thunder Bolt Logo (AI, EPS, JPG, PDF, PNG, PSD)
Here's another take on a lightning bolt logo in a circle. Feel free to adjust the size or the colors as you wish.
Lightning Bolt Logo (AI, EPS, PNG, JPG)
Here's another amazing lightning bolt design. The smooth curves combined with the subtle gradients provide a bit of dynamism to this bolt logo.
Bolt App: Lightning Bolt Design (AI, EPS, JPG)
Or why not try this stylized version of a bolt logo? It's a pretty basic example of a logo that uses negative space.
Lightning Bolt Logo in a Circle (AI, EPS, PNG, JPG)
Here's a more complex lightning bolt logo in a circle. The subtle gradient along with the folding effect give this logo a pretty nice 3D look.
Thunder Bolt Logo (AI, EPS, PDF, PSD)
This amazing bolt logo can also be used as a badge or mascot. It's 100% vector, so feel free to scale it or adjust the text however you need.
Want to Learn More?
We have loads of tutorials on Envato Tuts+, from beginner to intermediate level. Take a look!
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