Your logo is one of the first things visitors see on your blog. Of all the pieces of your blog brand, it really is THE most important.
Your logo is often carried into other areas of your online presence, like on an Etsy shop, Facebook page or other social media profile. So, your logo should really represent your blog in the best manner possible.
A logo should, above all, be unique. Even if you’re just getting started and don’t have a budget for a custom logo design, please, avoid the pre-made logos that are sold again and again. Or even the ones that come with our themes 🙁
So, if you don’t have a budget for a custom logo and you shouldn’t buy a pre-made logo, that means a DIY logo.
There are few ways to create your own logo, from Adobe Illustrator to Photoshop and the simple and free Canva.com. In this post, we’ll discuss:
- Should you create your own logo?
- 5 important elements of a great logo
- A video tutorial on how to create a logo in Canva
To DIY or Not DIY
Now, many web designers will tell you DIY logos should be avoided at all costs. They just won’t cut it. It will be totally obvious you don’t have a professional logo. Oh, the shame!
Feh, I say. I’ve seen some awesome DIY logos. Even better than some of the professionally done logos out there.
The choice of whether or not to invest in a custom logo or go the DIY is a very individual choice. If you’re going to invest in paying a professional to help you with any part of your branding, I encourage you to get a custom logo designed.
But if you’ve got a bit of know-how with Photoshop or Canva and are willing to tackle your own logo, I say go for it.
RELATED POST: How to Brand Your Blog
But before you jump into designing your blog logo, let’s discuss…
The 5 Elements That Make a Great Blog Logo
Before you start planning and designing your logo, think about the 5 essential elements of a great logo.
SIMPLE: A Blog Logo Doesn’t Have to be Elaborate to be Great
Some of the best logos are the simplest.
I am a fan of a minimal, readable logo, myself. You might have noticed our new logo is super plain. It reflects the minimal style of the themes we design. It is also very readable.
The main point of branding your blog and online presence is to make it memorable. If visitors can’t read your blog logo, that will be memorable, but not in a good way.
There are some great logos around with cute little graphics and swashes. But there are equally as many beautiful, memorable logos that are simple and clean.
If you’re handy with Photoshop or Illustrator and can create a stunning logo complete with vectors and watercolor swashes, go for it. But if you’re just getting started with graphic design, don’t be intimidated by the idea that your logo needs to be over the top.
Consider a few of the really memorable logos out there:
- Google. Plain text logo. Nothing fancy except the addition of a few primary colors.
- Time. The iconic magazine. Bold red type in a signature font. Simple but effective.
- FedEx. Very simple text logo in a pretty generic font. The use of specific colors makes it very recognizable.
- Calvin Klein. This logo should really be boring. One font, basic black. But the brand uses a very geometric sans serif font that is very pleasing to the eye.
Too many fancy fonts and busy graphics can result in a logo that just looks ridiculous. Simple can be great. Don’t be fooled into thinking your logo has to be busy to be great.
TIMELESS: Great style never goes out of style.
There are always trends in web design. But just like shoulder pads and other IT looks that quickly pass (thank goodness), a trendy logo may be “in” one day and out the next.
A timeless logo will always look great.
Right now, logos created with hand drawn fonts are hot. Who knows how long that trend will last? For a while, logos with watercolor backgrounds were popular. Their trendiness is waning and they’re starting to look dated and tired.
Stick to classic, clean styles that never fade.
MEMORABLE: THE Goal of Creating your Own Brand
There are several elements to creating a memorable blog logo. Again, make sure it’s readable. Second, unique. Don’t be memorable for having a logo that looks like someone else’s.
Choose fonts that have character but that are still easy to read. There are some beautiful hand drawn fonts available right now. But make sure that that gorgeous font is readable. I have a big thing against “Gs” that don’t look like a proper capital g. Probably because my company name starts with a G.
Take fonts for a test drive. Creative Market and many other sources for beautiful fonts allow you to view a custom sample of the font before you buy. Test your blog or site name using their test drive option to make sure it will look great before you buy.
VERSATILE: It’s Gotta Do It All
You’re going to end up using your logo for more than just your blog header. It’s going to end up as a watermark on your blog images or as a part of your social media covers. So, it needs to look great in all black and all white as well as in full color.
You may also want to opt to create an alternate or secondary logo that can be used on social profiles and shops. A large rectangular logo may look good at the top of your website, but many social media sites, like Pinterest only allow for a small circular or square profile image. An alternate logo works great for this.
Keep your alt logo consistent with your main logo.
Your logo is important but it’s just part of your brand. Make sure the colors in your logo are carried throughout your branding. It’s ok to use a special font in your logo but make sure that font is harmonious with the rest of your brand fonts.
An edgy, hand-drawn font logo in stark black may look great but if the rest of your site is feminine pastels and calm grays, your logo is going to look out of sync.
Create your logo as part of an overall brand scheme and stay consistent with all aspects of your brand throughout all your online presence.
Follow these 5 guidelines to create a great DIY logo.
Different Types of Logos
There are 5 types of logos you can create for your blog:
1. Simple Type Logo
This logo style uses only text in the logo (see our logo or Google as an example). Aka a “wordmark”.
A simple text logo doesn’t have to be boring. Mix and match font weights like we did with the logo for the Prima Donna Fashion demo.
Mix fonts. A more elaborate script font looks amazing with a simple sans serif. Check out the logo from our Marissa Blogger template.
Get creative with color. Think Google or FedEx.
A lettermark uses the initials of your brand as the logo. This works well if your blog has a long name or title or you have limited space for your logo in your website design. A lettermark also works well as an alternate logo or secondary logo to be used for profile images or on social media.
Examples of lettermark logos abound. Think Volkswagon (VW), CNN, ABC, HBO, IBM, GE. The list goes on.
3. Brandmark Logo
A brandmark logo uses a graphic symbol to represent your brand. This standalone logo can be difficult to pull off on a blog. You want a logo that communicates to your readers who you are. A brandmark may not be the way to go.
But a brandmark can work great as an alternate or secondary logo.
Examples of brandmark logos include Starbucks and the Nike swoosh.
4. Combination Logo
A combination logo is a great option if you want a logo with a little flair and have the design chops to create one.
Combine a wordmark logo with a brandmark to create a logo that really represents your brand. Or you could combine a brandmark with a wordmark logo.
Examples of combination logos abound because this style logo makes a big brand impact. Combination logos are the most unique kind of logo. They combine not just type but add in a unique symbol.
A few iconic combination logos include The North Face, McDonald’s and Target.
5. Emblem Logo
An emblem logo is when a logo is a symbol with the brand name text is inside the symbol like a badge. This style of logo can be very effective for a primary logo or as an alternate logo.
Recognizable emblem logos include the NASA logo, BMW, MasterCard and Harley Davidson Motorcycles.
If you decide a brandmark, combination or emblem logo will work best for your brand, you may want to consider hiring a designer to help you create your logo.
Or consider one of the logo creation kits from sources like Creative Market. Unlike pre-made logos, these kits will give you a better chance of ending up with a unique logo. You’ll need some basic Photoshop or Illustrator skills to work with these kits but most sellers provide basic instructions to get you started.
You want to create a logo that’s simple, timeless, memorable, versatile and appropriate. The best options for a blog logo are a simple wordmark logo or a combination logo that combines either a lettermark or brandmark with a type logo.
I’m a visual person and really love seeking out inspiration online. I’ve created a Pinterest board packed with tons of beautiful logos to inspire you. Check it!
Now that we understand the 5 elements of creating a great logo and the 5 types of logos you can design, let’s practice creating a logo in Canva.
Create a logo in Canva
I chose Canva for this tutorial because it’s free and easy to use. I am a Photoshop girl myself, but the learning curve can be steepish.
So, let’s do this!
OK, hope you enjoyed this post about essential elements of a logo plus a quick tutorial on Canva so you can create your own memorable and unique logo.
Coming soon, more posts to help you beautiful your blog including how to choose a color palette and an epic post + workbook to help you create a brand for your blog.