In Part 1 of this post, I’ve explained how to design a logo for yourblog using a seven step design process. I know that many will complain that they’re not creative – so where should they start? Here are some simple tips for making a good logo. Use this as your “checklist”.
I’ve included some of my favorite “blogger designed” logos. These were made by bloggers like you who don’t necessarily have a background in design, but they look great because of some simple rules. Some of these may not be perfectly polished but you can see that even one small detail makes a huge difference.
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
15 Tips for Making a Good Logo:
1. Get your formats right:
Your logo should have a transparent background, not a white one. That way, if you put it on a colored header later on (which I hope to discuss eventually) it will not have an ugly white border. Your color format for anything on the screen is RGB color, and anything for print will be CMYK. You can change this easily as you need it, so create your logo in either off those two.
2. Keep it simple:
Update: I’ve clearly fixed my logo since this article was originally written but I thought I’d keep the tip below for you to see. It applies to my current logo as well.
To tell you the truth, the logo that I have on my blog was not thought out much. I liked the craftiness of the font Amatic SC so I used that. I just arranged the text in a simple, recognizable manner, and my logo was born. Until this day, I like it. I don’t think it needs more.
That is the silhouette version of my logo. I artificially thickened the font to make it more bold and unique. And I arranged it in a “square” shape that creates a single unit (more on that later) so that just the text alone creates a logo. Below is a color version of my logo, in a website button advertisement. (the background is NOT part of the logo).
You don’t need to have “cool” elements or graphics. If you find yourself creatively challenged, just take your blog name. Pick an appropriate font. Choose your colors. and write your blog name.
Limit your elements! I’ve seen too many logos that try to be “too cool” by putting everything in it! Think the Huffington Post. TechCrunch. Those are massive blogs with simple logos. Apple has a simple logo. Ikea. Overdoing it makes you look like you’re trying too hard. And definitely avoid shadows and outlines.
3. Limit your fonts:
Use one title font in your logo. If you have a tagline, it can be in a different font, but a simple one, such as Arial. I love how Lalymom combined two fonts without causing visual friction.
4. Connect with color:
Color is the most powerful way to connect. Each color family, tone, and theme has a psychology behind it. Use color to draw in your readers. I have an older version of this book and I love it. I refer to it every time I’m doing color planning for a logo. I actually read it cover to cover five times as I’m fascinated by this. If you use good color tones to set the mood of your brand, you need few other elements to give your logo your brand’s touch.
One of my favorite blogger designed logos that uses a great mood-setting color scheme is Beer and Gluesticks.
This is a kid-friendly blog with an adult twist. The orange if very kid friendly, while the presence of a muted yellow and the brown background bring in a little adult and is reminiscent of… beer!
5. Convey your message:
I LOVE Totschooling‘s logo and the manner in which it gives across the message of the blog. It has a serious undertone with a playful twist, and of course a happy face.
6.Keep shapes simple:
You don’t need fancy drawings. You can take a photo and outline it into a simple drawing, making a brilliant logo. Take a look at the brain in Left Brain Craft Brain‘s logo. It’s simple and iconic:
7. Avoid backgrounds in the actual logo:
Any background elements you use should not be a part of your logo. That’s why it’s important to understand the difference between your logo and your header.
Legibility across your blog is critical, and I will discuss that issue at a later point in this series. It is very important in your logo specifically, as you might want to use a “fancier” font in your header. Those fonts are often illegible. If you’re using a detailed font, make sure the characters are clear. For example, if your blog name is “My dog and me” you don’t want people reading your logo as “My clog and me”.
9. Branding within the text:
Use the text as your branding! Often, setting up your text in an interesting (but still legible) way is the best way! You don’t even need anything else.
10. Put in something real – but clean it up!
Including something from real life can make a beautiful logo. Nurture Store‘s logo is created from a daughter’s painting, which was digitized into a clean icon. (note, the “paint” in the background is part of the header, not the logo).
Lalymom above digitized a photograph of scrapbook paper, incorporating it into an icon as well.
This can get tricky, as you’ll see in my next tip.
11. Avoid photos
Why? Because, tip #2. They’re simply too complicated. This will cause a bunch of issues later on. But even more importantly: it’s too much on the eye. Your logo should be absorbed in a single eyeful. Your logo should be easy to implement into other designs later on. So, please don’t use a photo as your logo. Even if you’re a photographer.
Betsy’s Photography did a brilliant job conveying photography in black and white with her self-designed logo.
They key to incorporating number 10 along with number eleven is to make sure you turn any “real” elements you use into a single, uncomplicated graphic component. For example, if Betsy were to want to include a photograph in her logo, she can take a photo with a strong silhouette and incorporate only the silhouette.
12. Arrange it so that it works as a single unit:
This is key especially when you have a few elements, such as a name, a tagline, a graphic, and possibly an underscore too. Inspiration Laboratories has a few elements in their logo, some of them somewhat complex. Yet, since the elements are arranged so that they form a single unit it you can see it in a single eyeful.
Do this by including the same colors, and by arranging the elements so that they nest into each other, and are aligned on the sides.
13. Cohesion across elements:
This is actually a take on number 12 – a way to make various elements work as a single logo. Do this by using similar types of strokes.
Picklebums has a pretty detailed logo, that works in a single eyeful. This is because the bold style of text is mimicked in the bold shapes used in the pictures.
14. Be wary of internal margins:
This is particularly important when designing a “badge” style logo. A very common issue is to place the elements too close together so that it looks too crowded. Give your logo its personal space…
15. Have a reason “why”:
If someone asks you “why that color?” or “why that font?” or your reasons for any decisions you made, have an answer. This means that your logo is well thought out, and most likely reflects the brand you want it to.
Making a Good Logo in Five Minutes:
Of course it shouldn’t take you five minutes! You want this logo to be good for a lifetime! Put your heart and soul into it!
But, for the purpose of illustrating the above points, I’ve put together a logo in five minutes – one that you can easily design too.
Yup, that’s a fictional blog. The font is a favorite of mine called “Rayando”. It has a crayon texture, reminiscent of kid crafts. I’ve added a crayon scribble on the left (using a free Photoshop brush) that anyone can make. The font is a poorly made font that does not come with punctuation so I’ve added the period. It’s all aligned. And the colors are classic kid colors.
So if you’re not creative and you want to create your own logo, follow the basic structure above, and the tips I’ve outlined.
1. Keep it clean and simple
2. Make sure it works as a single unit
3. Make sure it reflects your blog
If your logo fits the above criteria, it’s most likely a great one!
If you haven’t been following along until now, you can catch up on the rest of the blog design series by clicking on the image below:
Disclaimer: this post contains an affiliate link.