Here’s the truth: Your brand strategy should include a logo. But, you might be surprised to learn that you don’t have to spend hundred of dollars on a logo, and you probably shouldn’t—especially if you’re a beginning blogger.
Instead, you can create a simple logo for your blog that looks impressive, doesn’t involve learning complicated software, and (best of all) doesn’t cost a penny!
Really? Less than 5 minutes? Seriously, Christine?
Yes. Really. 5 minutes!
Well, it might take a total beginner 30 minutes, but after you get acquainted with this method, you’ll be whipping out simple logos in no time. As a professional designer, I’ve found that what usually takes the most time is not figuring out the software, it’s making design choices—trying this, trying that, tweaking details, etc. What I’m going to show you today takes a large portion of decision making out of the design process, and that makes creating a simple logo much, much easier for you. 🙂
So, here it is. My secret weapon: Canva. (Get the full list of the resources I use for my branding campaigns here.)
Canva is an online tool for creating graphics of all kinds. And when I say “all kinds,” I really mean it. You can create social media graphics, logos, posters, business cards, advertisements, resumes, and much more. Canva is super versatile, it’s easy to use, and you can use it for free!
Just to be clear, although it is possible to do quite a lot in Canva without having to pay a single penny, there are some design elements in Canva that cost money. You can also opt to upgrade your free account to a Canva for Work account (currently $12.95/month), and get access to additional features. Today, I’ll show you how to use one of Canva’s free logo templates to quickly and easily create a logo for your blog or business.
But first, let’s talk about whether a Canva logo is right for you.
Should You Spend Money on a Logo?
Here’s the debate: Is it better to spend $$$ on a fancy logo, or DIY a “good enough” logo for free?
Well, there’s certainly a time and place for each. Here are five scenarios in which it might make sense to bite the bullet and spend some serious cash on a logo:
- You have an established brand or company. Times are changing and your logo is beginning to look dated. You’re hoping that rebranding your entire company will give you a much-needed boost in sales.
- You want to sell a physical product (clothing, shoes, etc.) at a premium price simply because it has been emblazoned with your logo. You want to be the next Nike, Gucci, or Fubu.
- You have an established, profitable company and you’re launching a new product.
- Your company will have a physical presence (a brick-and-mortar store).
- You are dying to have an amazing logo, and you don’t care how much it costs or what else you might be able to accomplish with your money. You cannot live without a fancy new logo.
For everyone else (including novice bloggers and online business owners), my suggestion is to use Canva to create a simple but tasteful logo, and save your money for other tools and services that will help you grow your business faster than a new logo will. You might want to consider spending your money on email marketing, a lead capture tool, or a premium WordPress theme.
How to Create a Simple Logo With Canva
If you haven’t used Canva before, then Steps 1-4 will guide you in getting your account set up. Already familiar with Canva? Skip to step 5 🙂
So, here’s the template that we’re going to start with:
And here’s what we’re going to create:
Not too shabby, right? Here’s how to do it:
1. Create a Canva account. Creating a Canva account is super easy. All you need is your name, email address, and a password.
2. Canva may ask you what you’re using Canva for. I’ve tried all of the options, and it does not seem to matter which one you choose.
3. Canva may ask you what you would like to design. Since we want to design a logo, click on “See more designs” in the lower right hand corner. This will take you to Canva’s main design page.
4. Find the logo template. In the main window, scroll down to the Marketing Materials section. This is where you’ll find the option to create a logo. Click on “Logo.”
5. Choose a logo template. Canva comes with several logo templates. Choose one that has a layout similar to the one you’d like to create. Don’t get too hung up on colors, fonts, or design elements as those can all be changed very easily. In this example, I’ll choose the template for Alwina Boutique.
6. Start having fun! The design process can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. The quickest way to create your new logo is by altering the elements provided in the template. In this example, to change the “A” to a “C” simply highlight the A, press “backspace” on your keyboard to delete it, and then type “C.” You can change the font by selecting a new one from the toolbar (it pops up after you click on an element).
7. Delete the design elements that you don’t need. To change the background design element, I suggest deleting the original one first. Click on the element so that the box with 4 dots appears. Then, hit “Delete” on your keyboard, or click on the trash can in the upper right hand corner of the screen (under the “Make public” button).
8. Add a new design element. To add a new design element, click the Elements tab on the left, then scroll through the shapes to find one that you like. Clicking on a new shape will add it to your design.
9. Customize the design element. To change the color of the element, simply click on the design and a toolbar will pop up at the top of the screen. Select your desired color(s).
Change the size of the element by clicking on one of the corners and dragging your mouse.
Position the element in your overall design by clicking on the element and dragging it into position. Canva will guide you in centering the element.
10. Arrange your layers. Canva uses layers to separate design elements; new elements are added to the topmost layer. To bring elements forward or backward, click the element that needs to be moved, then click “Arrange” from the toolbar. Select either “Forward” or “Back” to move the element through the layers.
In this example, since the circle element is on top and I want it on the bottom layer, I selected “Back” to put it behind the “C.”
11. Select colors and fonts. Use the toolbar to make further customizations.
12. Export your new design. For logos, I always recommend exporting a PDF (either Standard or Print will work) because the PDF format exported from Canva is a vector file. This vector file can then be opened in Adobe Illustrator for further adjustments.
A PNG or JPG might work for your needs, but know that both of these formats are raster formats. If you ever wanted to, say, print your logo on a 6′ wide banner, the raster format will look fuzzy and pixelated while the vector format will yield crisp, sharp lines. I like to err on the side of caution and use vector formats whenever possible.
Ready to Create Your Logo?
Once you get the hang of using Canva, working inside the software becomes very quick. I titled this post, “How to Create a Simple Logo in Less Than 5 Minutes,” but I’m pretty that after you get the hang of Canva, you’ll be able to do it in even less time than that. ‘Cause you are just that awesome. 😉
Now, if you’re ready to take your blog (and your business) to the next level by focusing on branding, go ahead and download a free Branding Resource Guide. In the guide, I walk you through the 12 branding tools I use and recommend. I think you’ll find it really handy. Download it now!