Issue #191

How to make a logo for your site (the easy way)

One super important component of your branding is your LOGO. It’s pretty obvious, but I haven’t really talked much about it because it comes down mainly to design taste.

But, the more I think about it, there are some things you want to keep in mind about it.

Yesterday, when I talked about colors on your blog, I warned about getting overly artsy with it. I talked about using lots of white space, not getting weird with your link colors, etc. Well, the same thing goes into your logo. Many designers try to get overly artsy with them and it usually isn’t necessary AT ALL.

Let me start with a couple little “rules” here…

  1. Your site should have a logo. There’s little that makes a blog look less cared for than a plain-text title where the logo usually goes.
  2. Your logo need not be fancy-pants.

So, yes… create a logo. But, don’t over-think it. There are so many people who come up with a site idea and then sit there and spin their wheels over logo design (or spend a lot of money on a logo design) when none of it is necessary.

Truth is… a logo is not nearly as important to the success of your business than you might think. There are MANY things way more important that you should be spending time on than your logo, m’kay?

It is a good brand which makes the difference for your business, NOT your logo. And if you still think your logo is your brand, you’ve not been paying much attention here lately. Your brand is a FEELING. An IDEA. It is a mental image picture people associate with you and your business. THAT’s what people will remember, not your damn logo.

A funny thing, too…

If you look at logos of many of the successful brands – even billion dollar companies – you’ll notice that their logo is SIMPLISTIC.

Often, it’s just a font. Just the name of the company in text. No fancy crap. No imagery. Just… a font.

If it works for them, it’ll work for you, too.

Don’t be a useless art critic. You know… the kind that will sit there and look at some paint splatter in the “modern art” section and sit there and try to interpret it as if it means something. 😉

We have businesses to build here, so we don’t have time for the Law of Triviality (often called the Bike Shed Effect).

So, with that in mind, here’s how you should design your logo…

  1. Pick a font you like.
  2. Pick 1 or 2 colors that you like that fit your brand and your site color scheme.
  3. Write the name of your brand.

Done.

This might sound ridiculous… especially if you’re very visual. Plus, if you’re a designer, I’m probably just pissing you off right now. 😉

But, here’s why I think this is good advice anyway…

First, logos do change. Most companies change their logo periodically. So, why spend gobs of time on it – especially in the beginning?

Secondly, simple logos are more flexible. You can easily scale it up and down. You can put an icon next to it if you like. You can put it onto a transparent background so it can work with different color schemes or even background images. Simply put, plain-text logos are FLEXIBLE.

Lastly, this is the kind of logo you can make yourself. You won’t feel trapped by the need to pay a designer to do it for you. You can be self-reliant when it comes to this thing.

Later, when the money is flowing, if you feel like changing things up, you can pay a designer. That’s up to you.

Funny thing is… I once paid a pro designer to do a design for me. Years ago, for my tech site. He did a great job with the layout, but the logo he made? It was a FONT. 🙂 Yes, even the professionally designed logos are often just a font.

– David

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