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Monday, April 12, 2021

Sloth Adds a Logo (Adding a Logo to Your Header and Where to Get One)

Zip's theme allows him to add a custom logo to his header. If your theme offers the ability to add a custom logo, here's how and where to do it. Also, this post provides some tips for creating a logo and links to some websites that allow you to create logos easily.

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Zip has chosen some colors and fonts for his website. He finds that his theme will allow him to upload a custom logo which will replace his website title in the header. Not all themes have the option to easily insert a custom logo in the header or topbar, but many free themes do, as well as all premium themes I’ve tried. But he has some things to consider when creating a logo. Here are some thoughts about where to get a logo, making a logo, and how to add a logo in WordPress.

How to Add a Logo In WordPress: Customizer or Theme Panel

If your theme allows you to insert a custom logo, you’ll most likely find that feature in your customizer under “Headers” or “Site Identity.” You’ll note that you cannot see the logo text in the image below — it’s white and has a transparent background so it will show up on a turquoise-colored header background.

Image of adding  a logo in site identity in WordPress how to add a logo in wordpress

Some themes, like Divi and Newspaper, add extra theme settings in your admin area where you’ll find an area to insert your logo(s). I use the plural here because some themes will allow multiple sizes to allow for retina images.

What Size Should My Logo Be?

The recommended size varies with your theme — check your theme documentation. Many themes will offer custom settings as well to set a size for your logo. For optimization purposes, it’s best that the size of your image isn’t significantly larger than it will display in the browser. However, I’ve sometimes found that images I’ve created in Canva for a logo in a small size sometimes look a bit fuzzy.

What Type of Image Should My Logo Be?

Most themes will allow you to set .png, .jpg, or even a .gif as a logo. However, unless your image background is going to match your header color and it’s going to stay that way, using a .png with a transparent background is best.

Some premium themes I’ve seen allow you to insert a .svg code as a logo image. However, if you’re going to use an SVG, you’ll have to upload it manually using an FTP application or your file manager.

Any Advice on Making a Logo?

Let me first point out that I am not a graphic designer, though I mess around with graphics a bit. However, I have a few opinions about logos:

Keep it simple.

I tend to break this rule, and have on this website as well, I think. Often the most memorable logos have a single, notable element and one or two colors. Logos don’t have to be fancy or colorful.

Be careful!

I’m using the “logo” below as a case in point:

Anthropology of Adventure logo in script font

The above is a “redo” of a logo I created for a free blog I was helping my daughter’s friend to start when she was working and studying abroad in France. She thought she wanted to go on and study anthropology as a grad student. Her blog’s name? The “Anthropology of Adventure.”

Above is NOT the logo I made — I can’t find it now. It used a different font, but it was very similar to this one. Can you see the immediate problem, which my daughter promptly pointed out?

“MOM…this says ‘AA’!!!”

The second criticism I have is that the script text here, though lovely, maybe unreadable in smaller sizes and there isn’t any icon or image.

But do I have to have an icon or image in my logo?

Not at all. However, icons or images are memorable, AND you can use them as your site’s browser icon (favicon), which we’ll be getting to in the next post.

What if I want to sell branded merchandise using my logo?

Good question! Make sure that if you’re not either hiring someone to create a logo, especially for you or drawing one yourself, that you know what your rights are to use the logo. Read the fine print carefully for any graphic you purchase or online logo maker that you use.

For instance, I like to use Canva. Right now, if I read their free media licensing agreement, I see that free media qualifies for commercial or non-commercial use. Still, they can’t guarantee that some things, videos, and sound, for one example, have the appropriate releases.

But the planet graphic Zip used in his logo seems to qualify for commercial use — it was a Canva free graphic. However, if it was a pro graphic, he’d find that Canva has an extended license he’d need to purchase if he wanted to make and sell those Slothverse hoodies. Currently, the price for extended licensing of a pro image on Canva is $100/image.

The other image that he used and edited? It was part of a set of vector images that I had purchased. He finds that if he wanted to put his little sloth-on-a-planet on merch like Slothverse t-shirts or mugs, he’d have to buy extended rights to the image set, which would run around $60 or so. Not really so bad if he hoped to profit off merchandise.

However, the use here wouldn’t be exclusive. Other people could still buy the same image set. For the image he purchased, there’s not an exclusive license available, and he’d have to contact the company specifically about exclusivity — but he’s not going to worry about that right now. But you would need to worry about it if you wanted to trademark a logo you made with a purchased graphic.

Costs can vary wildly. The $60 his image would cost seems within the range of affordability. I contacted Getty Images once about commercial rights for an image and I recall that what they asked seemed to be way beyond my budget.1

Where Can I Get/Make a Logo?

If you’re running a large business and have a budget for it, you may want to hire a graphic designer to create a custom logo for you. But don’t expect them to generate a manifesto similar to the very-weird and now-famous Pepsi logo gravitational field document (but feel free to create your own bizarre logo manifesto if you wish.)

silly slothverse trajectory image

I’m all for having a clear business plan if you are sure you’re going to be running your blog as a business rather than a hobby. But maybe you’re like Zip — just trying this blogging adventure out for the first time. You may have little to no budget. Or, perhaps, you’re a strict DIY-er. You want to either use a free or cheap logo maker or make a logo on your own.

Some Tools to Help with Logo Making

If you have access to graphics or illustration software and know how to use it, great! My favorite tools are Canva (listed below) and I sometimes use Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.

But Zip is a sloth of very little budget. A significant number of free or inexpensive tools are available to help with creating your logo. Here are a few I’ve tried: web-based, Windows-based, or iOS (phone) based (sorry, I no longer have an iPad, and my daughter is reluctant for me to touch her Android phone.)

Web-based logo makers:

Tailor Brands

logo make in Tailor Brands with words Slothverse the Slow Universe and a small sloth icon how to add a logo in wordpress

Tailor Brands offers a very simple-to-use web-based interface to create a logo. You can choose from initials or a bunch of icons and customize your fonts and colors.

I didn’t see options to upload a custom font, and, of course, most formats of your logo don’t come free. You can create a favicon, Pinterest logo, and a few other options for free. But if you want the EPS (vector graphic) format of your logo, you’ll need to sign up for one of their monthly plans, which range from $3.99-$12.99/month at the time of this writing.

But it’s fun to play around with. They also have a “social template” creator that will let you create a consistent look for social posts for your website.

Social post branding from Tailor Brands how to add a logo in wordpress

Canva

Canva has been my most consistently-used graphics program. Sure, using premade Canva graphics isn’t as “custom” as drawing something for myself in Illustrator, and (particularly in the case of Pinterest templates), you run the risk of having an uncomfortably similar design to someone else. However, if you’re writing a bunch of blog posts and need to make versions of your image for social posts quickly, Canva lets you quickly resize your graphics for Pinterest, Facebook — whatever you want.

Oh, that’s right; we’re talking about logos. Canva makes it easy to create logos, as well. However, their square logos generally aren’t the ones you’ll want for your website header. Usually, you’ll want a rectangular image there — which is easy to do.

Canva offers a free version with some limited graphics. If you can afford their $9.99/month pro version, though, and will be using it often (which you will), it’s well worth the upgrade. Canva Pro offers many more graphics, photos, videos, and templates to use, and you can upload custom fonts.

Zip’s logo was partially made in Canva but combined a free Canva graphic (the planet) with a vector graphic I had purchased and edited previously. However, he wasn’t sure which font to use, so he tried both on for size (and used white lettering on his header for visibility against the colored background.)

While I made this program in Canva, not in their logo maker, they have a free logo maker you can easily access here.

Slothverse logo with Rock Salt font featuring a sloth standing on a planet how to add a logo in wordpress
Slothverse logo with Live Savers font featuring a sloth standing in a planet how to add a logo in wordpress

Logo Maker

Logo Maker also has a simple web interface and lets you choose from a variety of badges, icons, fonts, and design styles. However, they seems devoid of sloths. No sloths! But, still, they had a skeleton with headphones:

Logo made in logo maker with skull with a hoodie

Once you make a logo on their platform, though, it costs $40 to get the downloadable files. You can, of course, make the logo for free and then buy products with your logo on them from their website.

Fiverr Logo Maker

Fiverr logo maker is also not free. However, their tool is easy to use, and it offers a bunch of fonts and unlimited colors to customize. When I put my information in, it did present me with a sloth face as a logo choice (among a bunch of other icons), but it wasn’t easy to find where I could select from all of the available images. Their tool did allow me to change all of the colors for my icon.

Once you have your logo made, if you want the files and rights, you can pay $30 to get the PNG versions of the file. Getting the vector graphics and a social media kit as well will cost you $60.

Cute sloth logo made in Fiverrr logo maker

Windows Apps

Logo Maker

Logo Maker for Windows is a free app on the Windows app store. It has a bunch of images from which you can choose. Some are free, but many to most come with a price tag — either a monthly subscription fee starting at $3.99 or a one-time use fee starting at $6.99. Many of the images I didn’t find appealing, and there wasn’t a sloth in sight.

However, you can upload an image into the program and then add text. Fonts are only browseable, not searchable, and exports only appeared to be in square format — so you’d need to crop it yourself to get a rectangular logo. It’s pretty easy and intuitive to use, but I’m wondering why I wouldn’t just choose a different free program such as Paint 3D here if I wanted to use a free Windows app.

Logo with leaves made in Windows logo maker app

Paint 3D

If you have a Windows PC, you have Paint 3D. It’s entirely possible to create a logo in Paint 3D. You can add any font you want by installing it in Windows (Zip didn’t add his Rock Salt font yet because he’s lazy.) You can, of course, import images. Or, you can create a creepy looking 3D sloth face. Zip finds this one abhorrent.

Logo with Lobster font and a creepy sloth face made in Paint 3D

Paint

There’s also Paint of course, which you also have if you have Windows. You can import photos add text and export your logo. You can also create a silly or creepy sloth face here using shapes. However, I can draw a much better sloth with time and other tools.

Logo with weird sloth face and Cherry Cream soda font made in Paint

iOS Logo Maker Apps

These are just a few of the many apps on the app store. I’ve also used Sketch in the distant past when I had an iPad. Though fun, there’s more of a learning curve there. I also recall having much iPad fun with Paper by 53. Paper is more of a “handwriting” type and notebook tool. I never tried to create a logo with it, but thinking about it makes me want to buy another iPad.

Vintage Logo by LogoFly

Vintage Logo works on both iPhone and iPad. However, I used to use it much more when I had an iPad, and before I “discovered” Canva.

This app offers fun retro-style logo templates as well as social templates and quote templates. The base app is free. Of course, they offer “in-app purchases,” which you’ll need for many of the graphics and templates. Subscriptions range from $6.99/week to $39.99/year.

However, I find that it drives my crazy trying to customize a logo on my iPhone; I never use this app now. As such, here’s one of their free default logos as a sample:

Other iOS Logo Makers

Tons of image apps exist on the app store. I used to use the ones below. However, using my phone to try to design a logo, became too frustrating for me — especially when trying to use the free versions, which offer little in the way of available graphics. Of course, most will allow you to import outside images.

I may do individual reviews of some apps in the future.

What’s the Verdict?

For now, Zip likes the little sloth standing on the ring of a planet. He still is indecisive about the font, but we’re going to use Rock Salt for now to match the website font he chose.

What are my favorite tools for making logos? Most used? Canva! Expensive but nice to have — used frequently? Photoshop and Illustrator. But I also like Tailor Brands quite a bit. It’s straightforward to use, and you usually end up with a cute (or stylish, if you don’t want cute) logo.

Now that he has a logo, and has learned how to add a logo in WordPress let’s go on and add a favicon to his website in the next post.

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References and Footnotes
  1. I’m not listing the price here because I don’t recall exactly what it was and want to be accurate.[]
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Cheryl
Cherylhttps://www.caffeinejournal.com
Cheryl is a former Occupational Therapist and WordPress enthusiast who became a writer in some parallel universe and occasionally, but infrequently, publishes things in this one. She writes two blogs (or is it three) which she won't quit because she knows that blogs, in her case, are like a hydra and if she cuts one off two more will take its place. When she's not doing that, she enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking (formerly fast, now ebike), messing around with Adobe illustrator, making assorted things, meditating (though she wouldn't call that "like," and reading. She normally doesn't speak about herself in the third person, but she sometimes uses "we" in the royal sense while writing this blog. She lives in Poulsbo, WA with her spouse, her youngest adult daughter, a very old mutt, and a Siamese cat.
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