Shopify Hatchful Test 2023: Free Logo Maker, But Is It Any Good?
Whenever you see the 'smiling arrow', chances are that you think of Amazon and quickly remember something you need to order. Logos are key to any brand's market identity, and at their best, should enjoy instant recognition among potential customers.
Of course, going head-to-head with any of the above would be quite a challenge, however, one way that small and medium-sized business owners can set themselves apart from their immediate peers is with a good logo. Recognizing this, Shopify launched its own logo maker, Hatchful, which we'll explore below.
What Is Hatchful by Shopify?
It all started in 2004 with three friends wanting to sell snowboards and accessories online. Unimpressed with what was available, the trio created their own webshop (Snowdevil), hosting it on a service that would later be introduced to the market as Shopify. Today, it's one of the most well-known ecommerce platforms, catering to online businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Shopify offers a range of different tools that assist the owners of web stores, one of which is a logo maker. Known as Hatchful ⇱, with it, you can create a professional-looking logo in a matter of minutes, at absolutely no cost. Too good to be true? Let's find out.
Shopify Hatchful Review
Can be used to create a logo in just a few minutes
Underwhelming number of designs
Few options to personalize your logo in the editor
Unclear legal situation in regards to usage rights
Create a Logo
You won't need to have a Shopify account to start creating a logo with Hatchful. As might be expected from a Shopify product though, Hatchful is very easy to use. Click on "Get Started" to begin making your logo.
Hatchful claims to be able to create stunning logos in seconds, but does it keep its word?
Defining your business's character
Next, you'll be asked a few questions relating to your business and style preferences. The first of these relates to your "business space" or branch, with choices ranging from categories like "Home and garden" to "Fashion" to "Services".
Depending on which branch (business space) you select, Hatchful's logo generator offers different template suggestions.
After that, you'll be asked to choose up to three keywords that best express your visual style preferences. Options include "Classic", "Conservative", "Modern", or "Futuristic".
Bold or calm? You can choose up to three keywords that best describe your business's visual style.
Logos for everything under the sun
After that, you'll input your business's name and (optionally) a slogan. You can change these later on, so neither is set in stone. Hatchful will also ask what you intend to use the logo for, requiring you to select from one of the following:
- Online store or website
- Social media
- Print and swag
- Business cards
- Large surfaces
- Physical stores
- None of the above
Now, Hatchful has everything it needs and in the next step, will provide you with a selection of logo suggestions to choose from.
Creating a logo with Hatchful is fast with results in just a few minutes.
Unfortunately, Hatchful's results are very generic. This is an issue with any AI-assisted logo maker, as it will never be capable of producing something as unique as a professional designer would, but with Hatchful this seems to be a major cause for concern. Beyond that, there's always the risk that another company or business will design a logo using the same icons or font that feature in yours. Other logo makers also offer more personalized results by asking extra questions or requesting additional input.
On the plus side, Hatchful's logos are high quality, with it being possible to swap out irrelevant symbols over the next few steps. Taken together, Hatchful could make its logo generation a bit more precise, providing more accurate results.
Once you've selected a logo you'd like to work with, click on "Edit logo" to open Hatchful's editor. This is easy enough to get a feel for: To left is a navigation menu with five items: "Name", "Fonts", "Colors", "Icons", and "Layouts". On the right of this, you'll find a preview of your logo, however, you can't directly edit this as it lacks drag and drop functionality.
Hatchful's editor is easy enough to use, but lacks drag and drop functionality.
Easy to use, limited options for customization
Like the rest of Hatchful, editing your logo with the tool is a cinch. In the "Name" area, you can adjust your business's name or add a slogan, however, not all of the platform's templates support the latter, showcasing Hatchful's rigidity. If you click on "Fonts", you'll be able to select from options grouped into five categories: "Block", "Decorative", "Handwriting", "Modern", and "Traditional". Unfortunately, the individual fonts aren't listed or named, and the editor lacks a built-in search feature.
You can select a color scheme for your logo in the "Colors" area, however, here too, the options are rather limited: Hatchful recommends various color schemes (again, grouped into categories), but you can only use these in their entirety. This means that it isn't possible to set differnet colors for individual elements of your logo. For that reason, the absence of a color wheel or hex shouldn't come as a big surprise.
You'll have to make do with Hatchful's color presets as it isn't possible to create your own color schemes.
With Hatchful, symbols are grouped into 11 different categories, corresponding to the business spaces users are asked to choose from when generating logos a few steps earlier. Unfortunately, the choices are limited and rather boring. For example, under the "Technology" heading, we found 33 symbols, several of which had no relevance to our specialization. As a result, chances are high that even if you find a symbol that's applicable to your business, your peers and potential competitors will use it too!
You can only include a single symbol from Hatchful's rather limited selection per logo.
Unimpressive layout variations
You can tinker with your logo's appearance further In the "Layouts" area. For us, this was limited to eight choices, most of which were little more than a slight adjustment of the frame. As such, it isn't possible to really talk about 'customization' or 'personalization'.
Hatchful offers a handful of layout variations, but this is extremely limited.
Hatchful's logo editor is extremely easy to use. Unfortunately, this is because users are offered very little in the way of creative or design freedom, let alone the ability to truly customize or personalize their logo. Basic changes can be made here and there, but it isn't even possible to freely select colors, or adjust more 'advanced' aspects like opacity. The editor also lacks drag and drop functionality.
Of course, some people like to color within the lines, and that wouldn't be a problem, so long as more templates and symbols were on offer. As such, users run a far greater risk than with other logo makers of creating a logo that not only looks like those of existing businesses but, which could easily be copied or mimicked down the road by competitors.
Once you're satisfied with your logo, click on "Next" in the editor in order to download it. Up to this point, it was possible to do everything without a Hatchful account, however, now, you'll need to log in or register. This can only be done via email as social logins aren't supported. As odd as it may seem, you can't log in with your Shopify account either as Hatchful is a separate service.
In order to download your logo, you'll need to create a Hatchful account or log in.
Logo files are then sent to the email your registered with. The Hatchful logo kit contains the following (all files are high-resolution and in PNG format):
- Logo file
- Logo file with a transparent background
- Facebook logos (2 cover photos + profile picture)
- Instagram profile picture
- LinkedIn logos (2 banners + profile picture)
- Pinterest logos (board picture + profile picture)
- Twitter logos (2 header pictures)
- YouTube profile picture
The created we create for free with Hatchful by Shopify.
Additional formats, such as business cards or email signatures aren't offered by Hatchful at the moment. We were also disappointed to see that no options are provided for exporting the logo as a scalable vector graphic, in order to enlarge or reduce the logo's size without suffering any loss of quality. This is important should you want to print your logo on t-shirts or posters.
Rights to your logo? Yes, but...
Unfortunately, Hatchful isn't very forthcoming concerning the legal status of logos its users create. Paid logo makers generally transfer all commercial and non-commercial rights to the logos their users dream up when purchasing a subscription or the logo itself. Of course, it seems that you should be able to use the logo you've created with Hatchful as much as you like (after all, the platform is targeted at ecommerce operators), however, we found the following in Hatchful's terms of service ⇱:
We found a few issues in Hatchful's terms of service.
Hatchful is allowed to use third-party elements in its designs, however, it doesn't accept any responsibility for your usage of them. Making things more confusing is that the specific designs or symbols containing these third-party elements aren't listed or identified. Thus, logos created using Hatchful are on less solid legal footing than those designed with paid logo makers.
For a free tool, Hatchful by Shopify makes quite a few logo files available in its logo kit, however, the lack of both vector graphics and clarity regarding usage rights dampened our overall opinion.
Help & Support
At the bottom of Hatchful's minimalistic website, you'll find five FAQs. Beyond that, Hatchful doesn't offer any additional support. Since it's a Shopify product, there is a small area in the provider's help center for its logo maker which includes a few guides. All the same, we can't imagine users requiring a great deal of support to find their way around Hatchful.
Exactly five FAQs can be found on Hatchful's website. For additional support, a few articles are provided in the Shopify help center.
Shopify offers a live chat (to its users), and we received help within a minute. Unfortunately, the friendly staffer was unable to answer our questions about Hatchful. Queries can also be emailed, although in the past, we had a mixed experience with this.
Hatchful's support resources and channels are mediocre, but that should come as no surprise considering that the logo maker is free to use.
Hatchful by Shopify is the only logo maker from our sample that is completely free to use. No paid subscription options are offered.
Below, we've provided an overview of Hatchful's usage conditions:
|Price per Month||$0.00|
|Contract Period (Months)||0|
Hatchful is the exception in our sample.
All other logo makers we assessed require users to pay up, at the very latest, when they are ready to download the logo they've just created. Several offer subscription packages with extra features, all of which are compared in the table below. To make this fair, we selected the most affordable package from each provider that includes a high-resolution logo file set against a transparent background:
In one very big way, it's unfair to compare Hatchful by Shopify with the other logo makers from our sample since it is the only one offered at absolutely no charge. As the old saying goes though, you get what you pay for, and unfortunately, this is readily apparent with Hatchful: The selection of templates on offer is fairly small, the ability to customize your logo in the editor is severely limited, and the legal situation surrounding usage rights for logos you create is anything but straightforward.
As a result, it's difficult to create logos with Hatchful that don't look like those already in circulation. Even then, there's almost no guaranteeing that someone won't come along and copy your logo, or worse, take you to court for using elements of it without their express permission. For that reason, we would recommend using a logo maker that requires payment of a small fee in exchange for the (lifetime) commercial and non-commercial rights to your logo, to say nothing of offering more customization options.
What are people saying about Shopify's logo maker? To find out, we collated ratings from some of the most popular review portals.
Should you want more templates and a freer hand when it comes to customizing your logo, you're going to have to open your wallet. Our favorite among the classic logo makers was Wix, owing to its high degree of user-friendliness and powerful drag and drop editor. Beyond that, you can also get help from professional designers, on platforms like Fiverr.
If looking for something packing a bit more of a punch, Canva might be able to meet your needs. With its intuitive and extensive graphic design platform, you can not only create logos but also all sorts of other things too, ranging from presentations to postcards.
Below, we've compiled a list of more of the best alternatives to Hatchful by Shopify: