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Do you want to start a blog, but are wondering “what the heck do I do about a logo?” I mean, it’s important, right? It should be something a blogger likes (after all, you will see it everyday), and, of course, it should be something that visitors to a blog are drawn to.
One thing every blog needs is a compelling and eye-catching logo on the Home page.
When I first started blogging, I thought I could buy a theme, and whatever was displayed in the theme advertisement was going to be my logo. I wasn’t until I installed the theme that I realized it doesn’t work like that and that the logo on the theme advertisement was just there for show.
So i decided to take a stab at designing my own logo. Whether you can’t find anything pre-made that you like or just plain can’t afford to hire a designer, this is a very viable option … and it’s fun too!
I have designed several of my own logos now, and the designing program I use is Canva.
Canva is very user friendly and easy to use. Even if you’ve never designed anything in your life, you can do it with Canva.
Let me teach you how!
If you don’t have a Canva account, you can open one easily here. Once you have opened an account, this is the first screen that you will see:
Canva is a very versatile program, and there are a lot of options on this page, but for today, let’s just focus on creating a logo.
Here’s the first two things you need to consider.
First, is the logo going to be just text, or are you adding an image, and second, what colours do you want to choose. I’ll be talking more about images and colours later, but in the meantime, let’s talk a little about what Canva offers.
One of the great options that is included in Canva is the “Your brand” feature which can be accessed via the black sidebar menu. Give it a click! There are some great resources in there to help you make some important design decisions.
There are two tabs labelled “Brand Kit” and “Templates”. If you click on the Brand Kit tab you land on a page which offers resources to plan and design your brand. The top two sections offer information about colour palettes and font combinations.
The bottom two sections are where you can store your logos, and where you can upload your own fonts. Canva comes with a large selection of fonts, but there are beyond a ton of others you can purchase.
The Templates tab takes you to an area that offers various different templates that can be used in designing, but we won’t be using these for a logo.
Let’s get started designing.
Back to the main screen screenshot above, you will see a green button near the top labelled “Create a design”.
Let’s click on that. What you will see are different rows of “canvasses” for many of the different things you may want to design. For logos, I always choose the “Facebook Cover”, which is in the top row.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “why is she telling me to design a Facebook Cover, when I’m designing a logo”?
The answer is this: I always choose the canvass that is the shortest in pixel size from top to bottom, because I find that if you choose a canvass with a larger height, you will have to crop the excess white space on the top and bottom of your newly created logo, or else you will have too much white space surrounding it on the web page.
The problem with cropping, though, is that it can change the size of the pixels in your design and make it appear blurry. There’s nothing more frustrating than designing a beautiful logo that is crystal clear in Canva and having it appear blurry on your site.
Of course, you may want a lot of white space on the top and bottom – it is your design after all, but I find the for me, using anything with a height over 315 pixels creates too much.
So, once you pick your canvass, a new designing screen will appear with a blank white rectangle in the middle. This is your blank canvass just waiting to accept all of your great design ideas.
You will see that there are six tabs along the left side of the page. The ones we will be focusing on the most for our logo are “Elements”, “Text” and “Uploads”.
Here’s what they do:
This section offers various different items that you can place into your design, including shapes, lines, illustrations, icons – there’s even a section which offers photos and many of them are free (or only $1 each). When you click on any of the elements in any of the categories listed, all you have to do is click on them and they will immediately pop into the canvass.
This is where you will add all of the text that will appear on your logo. If you click on this tab, you will see two sections. The top one offers three different sizes of text boxes. If you click on any one of them they will pop into your blank canvass. Once they are in the canvass, you can change the font to something different if you like.
Hint, you don’t need to choose these based on the three sizes shown. You can choose any one of these, and then just resize them if you want once they are in the body of your design.
The bottom section offers a variety of preset font and text design options that you can add to your design, again, by just clicking on the one you choose.
This is the section where it gets fun! When you click on this tab, there is a green button in the centre labelled “Upload your own images”. This is where you can upload graphics from your computer, that you may want to include in your logo.
But if you’re not a photographer, illustrator, painter or sketcher, where do you get these graphics from?
Well, there are many places on the Internet where you can purchase graphics, but here’s a couple of my favourites (I’ll warn you in advance though these sites are incredibly addicting!)
Creative Market: I practically own shares in this marketplace! Creative Market is a magical go-to for all things graphic and web design including fonts, graphics, watercolours, you name it. They offer graphic packages that are very reasonably priced, and the vast majority of them are under $25.
Also, you can search for whatever type of element you want to put into your logo. For instance – if you want a watercolour rose, just type it into the search field, and you will be offered packages and packages from various designers that will offer these elements.
The other great thing about Creative Market is that you can purchase credits and then use them up as you need them.
The Hungry Jpeg: The Hungry Jpeg is a new one for me, but lately I’ve been using it a lot.
Not unlike the others, The Hungry Jpeg offers a great search engine so you can find virtually anything you are looking for, and all graphics, fonts and web design elements offer commercial licenses standard, so there’s no hidden price tag if you want to use them on your site.
And, on top of offering outstanding web design products for sale, the Hungry Jpeg is also an online dollar store and offer $1 deals regularly.
I’ve saved the best for last with The Hungry Jpeg. Once a week they have a, “freebie” giveaway where they offer fonts and other graphic design packages at a super low price – you can’t beat free!
So, let’s get back to our logo design. You’ve gone into one of the graphic design marketplaces above, and purchased a wonderful graphic that you want to include in your design, what next?
When you purchase a graphic design element or group of elements, as is usually the case, a .zip file containing the elements will be downloaded into the download section o your computer. All you have to do is click on the .zip link and it will unzip to display a folder full of goodies. These are the links you will upload into your design.
Just click on the green “Upload your own images” button, and you will automatically be taken to the download area of your computer where you can choose the design element you want to include on your canvass and Canva will begin the upload process.
Once the image loads, it will appear under the “Upload your own images” button. If you click on the image, as with the other element, it will pop into the design canvass. In the screenshot below you can see the image as it would appear once it has been added.
A few short notes about designing once you have uploaded all of your elements and added a text box:
– when you click on an image, it will become highlighted by a dashed box with a small circle in each corner; if you want to make an image larger or smaller, simply click on one of these circles and drag the image larger or smaller
– you will notice that as soon as you add text to your design, a word processor-style text function menu will appear at the top of the design screen, as long as the text box is highlighted; it is here that you can change the font and size of your text
– in the word processor-style menu, there is also a small box which depicts a rainbow of colour; if you want to recolour the text, just click on this box and a colour palette will appear which you can choose from, or you can click the “+” to select a colour that isn’t in the palette, as shown in the screenshot below
– when you upload an image, there is a small dashed line jutting out from the bottom centre of an image of the image with a circular arrow at the end. If you click on this arrow, you can move the image to an angle, so that the image appears angled on the page
– when an image is highlighted, a menu will appear at the top of the design screen which offers the ability to crop an image, to add a filter to an image or to flip an image either horizontally or vertically
– in the Elements tab, you will see a button labelled “Shapes”; I use this a lot to add design elements to my logos; when you click on a shape it will pop into the design screen and have the same sizing capabilities as an image; shapes are fun too because you can recolour them (the same way I described with text)
Once you have finished your logo and it is exactly as you want it to be click on “File” and “Save” in the top right of the screen to save your logo to your design portfolio in Canva. Then press the green button labelled “Download” in the top right corner of the screen. This will download your logo to the downloads folder of your computer.
When you download your logo, you will be given two file extension options: .jpeg and .png. Choose the .png option. This allows your image to be transparent with no background so that when you upload it to your website, only the logo elements are displayed. You will not notice the necessity of this if the background of your website is white, but if you are using a coloured background, you will notice the white canvass behind your logo if you do not choose the .png extension.
A couple of parting things to add to your design toolbox:
In web design, all colours are assigned an HTML colour code. Usually 6 digits. The beauty of this is that when you are creating your brand, you can use these codes to make sure that your website, your designs, and all of the design elements you create for your blog use the exact same colour (or colours).
Most of the programs that are used in blogging offer the option of putting in your HTML colour code, so everything will always be standard. In Canva, if you hover your cursor over a colour box when the palette has displayed, the colour code will be displayed.
Another tool that I use frequently is HTML Color Codes Colors from Images.
With this tool, you can upload an image and hover your cursor over different areas of the image, and then click near the part of the image with the colour you like, and the HTML colour code will appear at the bottom.
This tool is very handy if you have found an image that you love and want to use in your logo, and you want to design your website around the colours in your logo.
Good luck with your design, and if you want detailed instructions about how to set up a blog, click Have You Ever Thought of Starting a Blog? It’s Easier Than You Think!.