Hello and welcome to the newest post in my beautiful blog design series! In this highly anticipated post, I’ll teach you how to design a logo for your blog (really for any business) and how to make it look as professional as possible.
You may be thinking “I can never design a really cool logo”. The idea of this post is to teach all of you -even those who can’t create a stunning drawing to go along with it – how to make your logo look great.
Please bear in mind that I’m trying to stick a lot of lessons and graphic design principles into this. This post is a little different from what you’ll get in an actual course, as it’s catered to non-professionals. To make it easier on you, I’ve split it into two separate posts. I’ll bring you to part two at the end.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
What is a logo?
This seems like an obvious question, but I see many bloggers making a common mistake. Your logo is the single graphic that represents your brand. This is then incorporated the elements of your blog – whether it’s your header, your image watermarks, your business cards or your social media channels.
I see many bloggers referring to their header as their logo. Their logo is an element in the header. It can be your header as well (you don’t have to have other elements in your header image). You should have a standalone logo that you then put into the header.
Last week I explained more what branding is. Your logo includes, and is often representative of your branding. So before you start designing your logo you need to make sure you have your blog branding intact.
How to Design a Logo : The Design Process
1. Know your target audience:
The very first thing you need to know is what your blog is about. Your logo needs to reflect your blog in its various elements. So be aware of your vision, such as your target audience, their demographic, and their interests. You’ll be setting the mood for them.
2. Research and create an inspiration board:
Look at other logos in your industry. Focus on successful blogs. BUT don’t copy them! Get inspiration on textures, layout and such. Next, look at websites outside your industry. Collect “elements” you like – swatches of colors, shapes, textures, and more (it can even be a piece of decor with a memorable silhouette), and paste it onto a white poster board. You can collect font clippings as well. Use your old magazines, and print things you find online.
A great way to do color research is to search for images with the mood you’re looking for. So if you’re looking for a luxurious vibe, hit up Pinterest, and search “luxury”. You’ll find lots of creams, rose golds, and glitter. You can put an image into Photoshop, and use the color picker tool to pick colors right from that photo.
3. Sketch it out:
Even if you’re not an “artist”. Pull out your kid’s crayons and color some! One of my favorite logos that I designed (this was actually designed in class while I was studying design) was sketched out in color pencil. I loved the texture so much that I incorporated it in all of the branding of this “company”. The lines of the “steam” was inspired by some home decor I clipped in step 2 above.
4. Collect your actual graphic elements:
This is like step 2 but digital, and closer to your goal. In step 2 you’ve collected your inspiration. In this step you’re assembling the actual elements you’ll use in your logo. By elements, I mean any or all of the following: icons, shapes, fonts, colors.
At this point, I start researching fonts. If you are making anything at all from your blog, or plan to, make sure any fonts you use are okay for commercial use. You must have a commercial license! Keep in mind also if you’ll want to make merchandise later on, you need a full license. Fontbundles.net is a great resource for free and inexpensive, extended use fonts.
I always design my own images and icons. I do this, because an important aspect of branding is uniqueness. So at this point, I’ll experiment with shapes and such I may want to use. I also play around with color schemes on the computer, creating sets of 2-3 color swatches I’ll want to use.
5. Make 2-3 sketches:
Make these using your graphic design software. Most of the programs you’ll use to edit your blog photos will be capable of creating a logo as well. I like to use Photoshop as a first stop, but it’s worth pulling in Illustrator to create a vector version that can be used in any size. Usually my second try works out better than my first. So I’ll create a few logos. Sometimes I change things up completely in the second, and sometimes it’s only a single element, such as the color or font.
6. Get an outside opinion:
You NEED fresh eyes. Ask a friend that you trust. Ask your child. Ask for opinions from the other bloggers in your tribe. The feedback they can provide is amazing.
7. Fix it up:
Your final logo will rarely be one of your first drafts. Fix up what you have. Polish it up. And then tell the world with pride “I designed my own logo”!
For those of you who want more guidance for making it look professional, and for inspiration, continue on to part two – 15 Tips for Making a Good Logo (even if you’re not a professional).
Following the simple rules I’ve set forth, you’ll be able to design a custom logo that looks… perfect!