Design your own lovely logo in 30 minutes or less (video tutorials for creative ladies on a mission)

It's logo how-to week!

Is there something missing from your site or blog?

Would it happen to be…a logo? A logo you’re proud of and that makes you feel like a real, honest-to-goodness blogger, or entrepreneur, or businesswoman? A logo that conveys the spirit of your brand – whether that spirit is sophisticated, playful or clean?

If you answered “yes”, then this is your lucky week! Over the next few days, I’m going to teach you how to design your own logo using three super-simple “logo formula” videos – no Photoshop or graphic designer required!

LOGO FORMULA #1: Sophisticated

What makes it lovely: This logo formula uses a single, hand-drawn graphic element (in this case, a waterlily), an ornate font, and a basic font – all using a strictly black-and-white palette. It would be a great logo for a refined, feminine brand, and you can adapt it (yet retain the sophisticated feel) by replacing the graphic in the middle and the fonts used.

The how-to video is below, but before you watch it, there’s a bit of prep work you’ll need to do:

  • Think of a graphic element that conveys the essence of your brand (or just something that speaks to you).
  • Go to and search for your graphic element of choice (it could be an owl, a woman’s silhouette, or just about anything else you can think of). To get rid of the photos that come up after you search (remember, you want a black and white illustration), tick the “illustration” box on the search results page. To buy an image off of iStock, you’ll need to first buy “credits” from them. Then you can exchange the credits for images from their site. After you purchase your image, you’ll save it to your computer, and you’ll be ready to use it in your logo.
  • Go to, and pick out a fancy font that catches your eye. All the fonts on Font Squirrel are free for commercial use (so when you get super famous later, you won’t have to switch your logo font), and they’re conveniently sorted into categories such as “novelty”, “handdrawn” and “stencil”. You’re going to pair this font with a basic one that you already have installed on your computer (like Helvetica, Arial, or Verdana), and together, they will make up the typography used in your logo (“typography” is a fancy word for “text” or “fonts” as they pertain to graphic design).
  • Install the FontSquirrel font on your computer. Here’s how to do it on a PC, and here’s how to do it on a Mac.
  • Open up your browser (whatever you usually use – Safari, Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer) and go to
  • Press play on the video below to find out exactly how to put all the elements together and create your logo!

Feeling empowered yet? Good! This is exactly the kind of stuff you’ll learn when you enroll in The Girl’s Guide to Web Design, our online course that teaches you to ditch your fear of code, unleash your inner designer and create an awe-inspiring blog or site. Our students are calling the course “life-changing” , “brilliant”, “a fabulous investment in myself”, and “worth every penny” – but you don’t have to take their word for it! The proof is in the pudding: click here to see the gorgeous sites and blogs they created with the skills they learned in the course.

Enrollment in our First Class Edition (the extra fancy version of the course) closes on January 29th, 2012 – and won’t reopen until at least Fall 2012. (I’m getting married in June (woot!) and will be taking some time off to plan, enjoy, and regroup). Plus, you get super-cool bonuses for creative people if you sign up between now and then, as part of our Magical Mystery Bonus Tour. So if deep down you feel this is YOUR year to finally get that gorgeous site or blog online and looking *exactly* how you want it, head on over to our signup page to find out more.

Alrighty – back to logo talk!

#1: Did you create something lovely as a result of this tutorial? Come on over to our Facebook page and post a link to your newly logo-ified blog or site! We’d love to see your genius in action!

#2: On Wednesday, I’m going to walk you through a “playful” logo design formula – and it’s going to be just as awesome as today’s was.

To get an instant heads-up when Wednesday’s logo formula is ready for you, fill out the form below to join our email list. :)


{ 10 comments… add one }

  • shana January 25, 2012, 2:10 am

    hi amanda

    happily, i just discovered your site! understandable, actionable and oh so pretty to boot. would you mind letting me know if it’s possible to change the spacing between text in pixlr?

    thanks so much from shana

    • Amanda January 25, 2012, 2:18 am

      Hey Shana! Unfortunately Pixlr doesn’t let you control spacing between letters (also known as “kerning”) – but you can check out SplashUp (another free online image editing program) for that. Or there’s always Photoshop. :)

  • Frugal Me January 25, 2012, 5:27 am

    Hi Amanda, came across this page (via Mano Y Meta) and I’m loving your site.

    Question is there a way to use a photo I already have if I change the color to black and white instead of buying a stock photo?

    I would like to keep it 100% original and free if I can.
    Thanks a lot
    -Frugal Me aka cheap

  • Naomi January 27, 2012, 12:27 pm

    I’m having trouble opening a saved jpeg.
    does adding .png at the end allow you to open a saved doc on Pixlr?

    How did u make your social media buttons like drawing feature? can that be done on as well?

    Cheers—Thanks for the tutorial

    • Amanda January 27, 2012, 1:59 pm

      Hi Naomi – thanks for stopping by!

      What kind of JPEG are you trying to open? Is it one that you created in Pixlr, or one that you got from another source and saved on your computer?

      Re: the social media icons, there are tons of cool (free) social media icons available online. Try searching for “hand-drawn social media icons” on Google. :)

      • Naomi January 28, 2012, 7:52 am

        And you can just use any or what about copyrights?

        • Amanda January 29, 2012, 5:23 pm

          Good question! When you purchase an image through iStock, you are purchasing the right to use it on your site, royalty-free.

  • Tehlia January 28, 2012, 7:30 pm

    I have been watching you Logo tutorials with Pixlr. THANK YOU! I have been overwhelmed with needing to learn Photoshop and this is one small step closer and a ton friendlier.

    • Amanda January 29, 2012, 5:22 pm

      You’re very welcome, Tehlia! Pixlr is a nice way to get your feet wet with this stuff. :)

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