A recent commenter asked, “how critical is it that a blog have a logo?” That’s a good question. Whether your blog should have a logo really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, but in the end I believe that if you are serious about building a presence online, you will benefit from having a logo. I use the word “benefit” because of course there are plenty of successful blogs that do not have logos. That being said, here some reasons to consider a logo for your blog:
1. A logo will differentiate you from the millions of other bloggers.
With over 70 million blogs out there it is imperative to find ways to stand out from the crowd and a logo is an obvious way to do it. The last thing you want is for your blog to be generic.
2. A logo will automatically make you more memorable.
You and your site will be more memorable with a consistent visual image that represents you. Notice I said “consistent”, not unique or clever. Andy Beard uses a simple A in a box and he uses it everywhere, from the top of his blog, to his avatar on MyBlogLog. It’s a consistent use of a basic image and it works. I can scan through a MyBlogLog avatar block and when I see his mark, I immediately recognize it. It reminds me of his site and the straightforward, no nonsense kind of content I always find there, and might even prompt a visit (even though I’m subscribed to his feed). Once you have a logo, use it (or part of it) everywhere you possibly can. The more people associate that image with you, and see it next to comments, as an avatar, etc., the more familiar you become to them and the more likely they are to remember to return to your site.
3. A logo says you are serious about your online presence
A logo automatically sends a distinct message to readers and even potential advertisers, that you approach the business of blogging seriously and for the long term.
4. A logo is part of your brand
The presence of a logo in the header tells readers something about you and your site before they ever read a word you’ve written.
A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to the product and serves to create associations and expectations around it. A brand often includes a logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, and sound, which may be developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality. (Wikipedia)
What does the header of your blog say about you? Is it text on the default background of the theme? The title says something certainly, but you could communicate so much more through the use of a logo.
So, what if you buy into this logo thing but aren’t necessarily ready or able to pay someone like me to design something? Try using a wordmark. Many of the great brands of the world don’t have any image as part of their logo at all- it’s just their name, set in a specific font and specific use of color. Check out this article on how to design a wordmark. EMoms, Dawud Miracle, Chris Garrett, and even Google have wordmarks that work just fine without the addition of an image/icon. Don’t have any fancy software like Photoshop or Illustrator? You can download GIMP or Inkscape for free and they work in many ways just as well as their expensive counterparts.
That’s the low cost way to accomplish it. If you are at all serious about building your blog into a well-known, high quality brand, I highly recommend you invest the money up front in a good logo designer. Check out David Airey’s post on this topic, and the post at the Graphic Design Blog as well.
Some who are reading this post who may be less “technically inclined” may be thinking, “that’s all well and good, but even if I had a logo, I have no idea how to put it on my blog. Well, that’s a topic for another post…