DIY Logo Design (That’s Free & Still Looks Professional)

Looking for a free DIY logo design app? Need tips on how to make your DIY logo look professional on a budget? Here are my tips for making a great logo for your website or blog without breaking the bank by using PicMonkey. This post contains affiliate links. 

About 4 years ago, I entered the blogging world with ZERO design experience. (Actually, I had no blog experience either, I didn’t even really know what a blog was.)

But I knew I wanted to blog – I loved to write and I was in desperate need of a way to make money online so I could continue to be a stay at home mom. (Read this post if you’re curious about how you can make money blogging.)

But I entered the blogging world completely clueless as to how much work it was really going to be. Especially when it comes to graphic design.

I kid-you-not, my design experience was limited to the late 90’s to early 2000’s Paint program that came on PCs.

But spending tons of money on my new blogging venture was the opposite of what I needed at the time, so a DIY logo design was really the only option for me.

Over the course of the next three years, I ended up buying over 15 new domain names – and starting several blogs along the way.

For each one, I did DIY logo design. And I am so glad I did.

Why DIY Logo Design Is Important For New Bloggers

When you’re fresh in the blogging world, you may have some great ideas and a lot of excitement about those ideas. Blogging IS a viable way to make a lot of potential income. (Find out how to start your own blog in this post. ) But here’s the thing…

You’re SUPER likely to ditch your first blog once you’ve figured out how things work in the blogging world.

If you’re anything like me, you might change your mind about what you want to write about several times before you settle down with something permanent.

There’s a chance that you might get lucky and stick to the same topics from day one – but you’ll still probably change your name and branding at least once.

So what does that mean?

It means that you’ll be wasting a LOT of money if you pay a professional for a logo every time. So just don’t do it. Just DIY your logo until you’re 100% sure what you’re doing. That’s all!

After three years of discovering my place in the blogging world and reflecting upon my own personality and needs, I’ve FINALLY just NOW paid for a professional logo. There’s a time for everything, and I’m so glad that I didn’t waste a ton of money on branding until now…So if you’ve been considering just paying someone else for your design, consider that.

Anyway, if you’re here, you’re probably already working on DIY logo design, so let’s get to it.

DIY Logo Design (That’s Free & Still Looks Professional)

I’m going to break this down in several steps, because that’s what I needed when I was a new blogger. I have personally used several free and paid programs for graphic design, and I have always preferred PicMonkey, so that’s what this tutorial will feature. 🙂 

Step 1: Decide on Your Style

The attitude of your logo is important. I looked at a lot of fitness-related logos when I was getting ready to make mine. I wanted it to convey “strong” yet “feminine” and that’s how I ended up with the logo I have today. (I made my own “Ironwild Fitness” lettering with a custom font from Creative Market, but I paid to have my final logo made with these guys. The pink lettering you see was made by me for my header and the logo was made and I later edited it in PicMonkey to be the color I wanted.) So ask yourself: What am I going for? Bold? Modern? Traditional? Feminine?

Step 2: Consider Your Theme/Blog Layout

Some themes have nice fonts you can use for your header, and some themes are highly customizable. However, most themes have specific sizes allowed for headers and logos. So try to find out what sizes you need before getting started. It’s always safe to make a large version of your logo and you can always scale it down later if you need.

Step 3: Consider Fonts & Colors

From a marketing perspective, we know that different colors reflect different themes and feelings. Consider this when you choose your colors, as what you choose might have a negative (or inadvertent) effect on your readers. Here are the general color associations: 

Step 4: Get Ready to Make Your Logo

You can play around with drawing out your logo ideas on paper if you want, but I like to open up PicMonkey and just start playing around. PicMonkey is a great design tool and photo editor that I use for EVERY blog image I create. (I find it easier to use than Canva.) I personally use PicMonkey for every blog post, pin, featured image, logo, etc. that I make, so I find paying the $7.99 per month totally worth it. There is a free version that’s actually pretty good though.

You will probably want to open up PicMonkey and just start playing around with the options and features first, then I will show you how I make my own logos specifically with PicMonkey. (Go for it!)

How to Use PicMonkey for Your DIY Logo Design

Once you’ve finished the steps above, you’re ready to do some DIY logo design. So let’s break down how I personally do it in PicMonkey.


Step 1: Click “Design”

On the PicMonkey homepage, click “Design” (with the snowflake thing).  You will be prompted to choose a from templates, a blank canvas, or custom size. This is where knowing what your theme needs comes in handy. You should at least know if you’re doing something square, rectangle, etc. (If you don’t know – no worries, you can always crop things down later. Just go with the default if this is the case. Either blank canvas or custom size – I always go with custom.)

Step 2: Get Crafty!

You can use your custom fonts (from wherever as long as they are on your computer) in PicMonkey, or you can use their own. Like I mentioned, I get my fonts and other design elements from Creative Market. You may or may not have a logo idea that is heavy with words, but there are lots of fonts to choose from even in the free version of PicMonkey. There are also tons of little icons and illustrations, plus your typical editing tools. This is the fun part.

Step 3: Change Canvas Color

This is important! If you want to be able to put your logo anywhere (on Pins, T-shirts, Facebook headers, etc.) it’s important to change the type of file to a PNG. This makes the background of your logo invisible. If you don’t want a white box behind everything, MAKE SURE YOU DO THIS. A white background might be fine for things where your background is going to be white anyway (like on some web pages) but it’s not great for everything. Trust me and do it or you’ll be mad later. Here’s how to do it in PicMonkey:

Go to “Basic Edits” on the left-hand side.

Click “Canvas Color.”

Check the box that says, “Transparent Canvas.”

This will take your logo from this;

to this;

Then, when you save it, it will look like this (a PNG file);

 

Step 4: Save or Export

PicMonkey is kind of cool in that you can either download things to your computer, or you can save them in your “hub.” This is just like your cloud and it works like Dropbox, only it will have all of your DIY logo designs. That’s handy if you want to stop and come back to edit things later or if you want to save space on your computer. Anyway, when you’re all done, this is where you’ll want to choose your sizes and name your file. Since this is for your logo, I will always suggest choosing THE BIGGEST file size unless you want it to look fuzzy when you go to put it on your blog.

3 Pointers for Great DIY Logo Design

  1. Keep it simple – not too many frills, not too many fonts. Think of all the biggest brands out there. They all have super simple logos (Nike, Adidas, McDonald’s, etc.).
  2. Choose no more than three colors – to help with branding yourself, plus it’s just too much to do more, trust me.
  3. Check for readability – across any device your logo might be seen on.

One more thing.

You should ask yourself the following questions before going “live” with your DIY logo design:

  • Can my logo grow with me if I keep my blog for a long time?
  • Can my logo be seen easily on a mobile device?
  • Do the aspects of my logo align with the overall attitude I want to relay in an emotional/psychological sense? (i.e. the color red is associated with negativity)

That’s it!

Now, if you did DIY logo design, I want to know how many logos you made before finally settling on one that you actually put up on your website. Be honest!

If you’re new to this, I truly hope that this helped you! Tell me what you’re up to below!

By | 2018-04-05T09:43:24+00:00 March 29th, 2018|BLOGGING, TUTORIALS|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mom, blogging geek, garden nerd, and homemaker. Working towards financial freedom - using my blog to get there!

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