How to Create Your Business Logo with Canva (in One Day)
Chances are that if you’ve decided to start a business, one of the first things you’re looking at having done is your logo. However, I need you to understand that branding is way more than a logo and, in order for your business to have a solid personality, you should be looking beyond your logo. I’m talking about who your customer is, your colour palette, your photography, etc.
If you want to achieve consistency with your branding, a logo is one of the 5 key elements that you need to put into place right at the start. In this post I’ll show how you can create the logo for your business using the free design software Canva. I’ve intentionally decided to show you how to create it using Canva, because it’s free and it has a smaller learning curve than any of the Adobe family. If you feel confident with Adobe, I would recommend you to design your logo on Adobe Illustrator (not Photoshop).
STEP 1. CREATE A NEW DESIGN
First of all, you’ll need to create an account on Canva (free). Once you’re done, log in and create a new design with custom dimensions. I recommend that you set it to 1000px to 1000px. I find that Canva’s logo template is too small when you export your design, and the logo tends to appear blurred.
As I’ve mentioned before, I suggest that you create 3 variations of the same logo to use in different formats. For example, when your logo is on a white background, it should stand out and you’ll be using a darker version. In this logo design step-by-step process, we’ll be creating 3 variations of your logo. So start by adding new pages, and naming them ‘Primary Logo’, ‘Secondary Logo’ and ‘Icon’. Also, remember to name your file so you know how to locate it from now on.
STEP 2. CHOOSE A TYPEFACE
What is the most important thing that your logo must feature? You guessed it - your name (or business name). Before you start getting excited with shapes and alignments, you need to start by deciding on what typeface(s) you’ll use for your logo. If you’ve started to play with Canva, you’ll have realised that there are dozens, and dozens, of great typefaces to choose.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Before you dive in, narrow it down: does a serif (eg. Times), a sans serif (eg. Helvetica), or a script font (eg. Sacramento) best suit your brand? Then, focus only on those when you look for your font.
Here’s the process:
Type your name or business name
Go over the fonts dropdown, only focusing on the style of font that best suits your brand.
Note down the name of the fonts that stand out. You should end up with 5 o 6 favourites.
Go over your shortlist and choose your final one.
In some cases it’s advisable to use two different typefaces. For example, if you’re a health coach working under your name, you may want your logo to feature ‘Your Name’ + Health Coach’. In those cases I recommend that you choose 2 fonts from 2 different categories. Have a look at these 2 examples below. They both use a script font + sans serif font.
STEP 3. CHOOSE YOUR COLOUR
Notice that I’m saying colour, not colours. Unless you use an multi-coloured icon (such as Bri King Tutoring’s), I suggest you only choose only one colour for your logo. That will be your brand’s feature colour, and it will allow people to automatically link that specific colour to your business. It will also help you with visual consistency. If you have more than one concept for your logo, you can use a feature colour, plus a neutral one (black, white or a shade of grey). Look at the example on the right in the image above.
There’s no right or wrong answer in choosing a colour for your logo other than common sense. Have a think: what emotions do you want to evoke with it? What information do you want to give with your logo? Look at this example below and take note on how colour suggests a different type of beauty business:
I would say that the logo on the left evokes a peaceful, spa-like beauty therapist service, whereas the logo on the right suit a nail design beauty service.
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Try a couple of options and ask potential customers what the logo makes them feel about your business. What do they imagine you do (and how) only by looking at your logo?
STEP 4. ADD SHAPES
Adding shapes is not mandatory. If you’ve noticed, not all businesses have a specific shape or icon that goes with their business name. Look at mine (Love is Creative) for example. Or the logos of some of my fave Australian fashion labels Spell or Rowie. If you’re not an expert with design, don’t be overambitious with creating a fancy icon for your logo. Also, I don’t suggest using a premade logo shape from Canva, as you risk there being too many like yours out there. However, I do recommend that you look at Canva’s premade logos for inspiration, and you can do so on Pinterest.
If you want a clean, beautiful logo, here’s my recommendations:
You stick to using only text (with a beautiful font, spacing and colour).
You use a very simple element that enhances your text and adds personality.
See the 3 examples below:
The logo on the left only uses a line. The middle one features an outlined square to lock in the business name. The third logo doesn’t use any shape. You have as many options as you want, but remember: less is more. You can always start with a clean shape-free logo, and add one later on.
STEP 5. CREATE ANOTHER VARIATION
Once you’re happy about your logo, copy it and drag it onto the second page of your Canva document. Why should you create a variation of your main logo? Having your logo in another format will make sure you’re always featuring it in its best shape. What do I mean by that? If your logo is black and you need to use it in a dark background, it will disappear. You should have an alternative to use in those cases. See a couple of examples:
The example on the left switches a logo in horizontal format for one in vertical. The logo on the right has created an alternative reversing the colours and allowing for more options.
Again, there’s no right or wrong way of doing it. Just make sure that both variations are clearly different.
STEP 6. CREATE A FAVICON
You should always have a favicon. You’ll be using it on your social media avatars, your website favicon, and elsewhere where you need to sneak in your business logo.
It does not matter if you used a shape in step #4 or not. If you did use a shape, you’ll be taking advantage of it with your favicon. If not, I suggest you use your business initials, together with your brand’s colour.
See these 3 examples below:
As you see, in the first and second group of logos, where we used a shape (a line and a square), we’re re-using them in our favicons. That way, we’re creating visual continuity with our logos. With the example on the right, remember that I didn’t use any shape. If that’s your case, you can simply use your initial(s) in your chosen typeface, adding power to it by framing it with a bold colour. You can also go minimalist and simply chose your initial (without a bold colour). Look at my website’s favicon. Clean and simple.
Use your primary logo as a reference when creating your favicon. Also, always make sure your favicon can be formatted in a square, as this is often the requirement for your social media avatars or favicons.
STEP 7. EXPORT YOUR LOGO
You’re done! The only step left is exporting your logos.
Download your logo in PNG (High Quality Image). If you’re upgraded to Canva for Work you’ll be able to download them with a transparent background, which is the best option. If you need to print documents with your logo, or send for printing (for example, for your business cards), download it in PDF Print, which is the best quality available.
Before you wrap up, grab a post-it and note down the colour hex code that you used, as well as the fonts, for future reference. Stick this post-it on your wall, for easy reference.
Now, time to upload it to all your platforms!
Stay tuned as I’m preparing my next launch - Premade Brand Kits for Canva, a set of customisable branding templates to help you launch your business with a branding you love… within minutes. I’m all about making your life easy peasy!