Issue #290

Sent to members on June 3, 2019

Making blog logos (very simply)

A lot of people really over-think their logo. And it can create a bit of a quandary when you don’t really want to pay somebody to make one for you…. and you’re not a graphics designer.

So, let’s say you’re starting up a new blog. Or, perhaps you’re looking to brand a new product or something. And you want to create a logo for it.

You’re not a graphics designer. And you don’t want to go through the time and expense to pay somebody else to do it for you.

Real quick before we continue… if you ARE OK with paying for it and if your graphics needs are high enough, you can get signed up with the new trend… which is essentially graphics design on retainer. Companies like Design Pickle and Unlimitly offer unlimited graphic design at a fixed monthly rate. Those are not affiliate links… and I’ve never used either one (although I just might). But, wanted to present that as an option.

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Now, back to people who want to do this yourself…

Thing is… the simplest logo is just a word. A font. People like to have fancy, graphical components to the logo. But, it isn’t necessary.

So, take the name that you want to “logo-ize”. Open up a Word document or something. Type those words. Then, start playing with fonts to see what kind of looks you can get.

Many times, you’ll want to play around with the font size, the letter spacing, the slant, bold, italics, etc. See what you can come up with.

If you have a graphics editor, then use that because it will give you far more control than a word processor (obviously). I use a Mac, so the editor I personally use is called Affinity Photo. (again, not an affiliate link). I am not a pro graphics designer, but I can hold my own. And I personally find Photoshop to be a little overbearing (and rather expensive). I find Affinity to be quite good.

Now, what if you don’t like the fonts you have access to? Here’s something you can do…

Go to the site 1001 Fonts. This site is a humongous directory of fonts of all kinds of styles. In the toolbar there, you can type your brand name and it will then show your text in all of their fonts.

You can also play around with the filter settings in order to narrow down to fonts you actually like.

Now, when you find something that looks promising to you, you just click the DOWNLOAD button and download that font to your computer. You then install that font to your computer so that you can access it in all of your software. A quick Google search will show you how to install a font on your computer. It is super easy. Both Mac and Windows have font manager and you basically just drag it in there. It really couldn’t be easier.

Using whatever font you choose, make your logo. Play with the settings as you see fit. Then, export. Boom… you got yourself a logo. 🙂

A few little tidbits of advice:

  • Use a really big font, NOT the size that you intend for it to show up on your site. You want this to be a big image then you will scale it down for your site. This way the text remains crisp and not pixelated.
  • If you know how to use layers in your photo editor, then make your background a separate layer. Have a layer for plain white background… and a layer for plain black. Then, create your logo on a new layer. This way you can see what your logo will look like on different background colors. You can just turn them on and off.
  • Create multiple versions of the same logo… one for light background, one for dark. You may need to change the color of the text.
  • When you export, turn off the background layers and then save as a PNG file so that you can get the transparent background. If you save as JPEG, then the background color will be there and it may conflict with your site once you post it.

The overriding point to all this is…

Don’t overthink your logo.

In most cases, a font works. You don’t need much more. Look at some of the logos to major brands and often it is basically just a font.

If you really want some kind of image to go with it and you’re not a graphics person, you can find stuff out there to be a shortcut. You can find icons on IconFinder. Stock photos of all kinds on DepositPhotos. It won’t cost you much. It sure is a lot cheaper than hiring a custom graphics designer. 🙂

So, if you need a logo… fine. Just throw it together so we can move onto more important things.

Keep in mind… it isn’t as if a logo is set in stone. You can change it. People do it all the time. I know a lot of people get really stuck on that outward symbolism of the logo and make it into some big thing that requires deep thought (and expense). But…. nah. You’ve got more important things to do. Your logo isn’t one of them.

– David Risley

Tech Talk

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