How to create a logo design using Canva

Canva is an easy to use application available online or as a phone application which makes tasks like designing a logo extremely simple. Before getting stuck in on Canva it may help to roughly draw out how you want your logo to look to avoid aimlessly playing with components within the application with no real end goal. The most important thing when creating a logo is to keep it clean and simple. Your goal is to generate recognition which should be easier with a simple design. You will need to consider fonts, colour schemes, and how everything balances. You can also check out some current designs for inspiration in the browse section on Canva to see what works well and completing some of Canva’s great tutorials before getting started.

Other resources that can be helpful for inspiration are Designspiration and Dribbble which are both large design communities in their own right with powerful search features.

To begin creating on Canva you will need to sign up for a free account. Next, simply open Canva and choose a layout. There are lots of layouts to choose from such as business card, Facebook cover, Instagram post, and so on.

You can pick a custom layout and set your own dimensions by clicking “Use custom dimensions” in the top right. Often a square is ideal, no smaller than 300 x 300 and no bigger than 400 x 400 pixels to conform with standard logo sizing.

Now you have your blank canvas in front of you, you’re ready to start adding components. In the sidebar to the left of your work you have several options. The page will load with the layout section open, here you can choose an arrangement of photos or view template designs. Next you have the elements tab where you can browse free photos, icons, illustrations, shapes, lines, frames and more. For example, entering “hospital” in the search bar will find all results related to hospital, or if you search specifically in the illustrations section, you can find a hospital related icon to incorporate into your logo.

Many elements can be used for free, or you can upgrade to access thousands more. With some elements you are able to change the colours to match your colour scheme simply by tapping on the part you wish to change and selecting a new colour. Another good place to start is with a shape, like a circle or a triangle, as your base, which you can find under the Shapes section in the Elements tab.

The next tab down is for text. If you are using text or letters in your logo, choosing the right font is very important. The right font can add a lot of character, whereas the wrong font can make your logo look unbalanced and give off the wrong vibe about your business, so take your time trying out different options, there’s plenty to chose from! Take the following two examples, see how the first one looks much more professional for a health care logo, whereas the second font might be more appropriate for a bakery logo or a lifestyle blog.

You will also find sample font layouts in this section often combining several fonts for different lines of text. This is a good way to see which fonts go well together. To add your own text, select the Add Text option at the top of the list, edit the text, then highlight and chose your own font from the list. All text properties such as colour, size, spacing, etc can be edited using the bar that appears along the top of the editing area.

Below the text tab you have backgrounds where you can choose a block colour or some simple designs to back your logo. Finally we have the upload tab where you can import your own photos, designs or illustrations to use on Canva.

Now that you know where to look for all the components, you just have to add them in and arrange them. Handy features like snap-to guidelines will help you to maintain symmetry and balance as you move things around. Note, it can be useful to have more than one version of your logo, to use in different situations, but make sure they look similar enough to maintain recognition. Alternatively, keep size in mind and create a logo that will look good in all sizes. The following logo is a good example for either option.

Other important factors to keep in mind include balance, as we mentioned earlier. Having at least one line of symmetry tends to work really well and generally looks aesthetically pleasing to everyone. Of course you can stray from this rule, but it is nice to keep things balanced throughout the peace to satisfy the majority of people who will view your logo.

The other thing you need to balance, or use carefully, is colour. Different colours convey different meanings, for example green stands for nature and healing. There are several types of colour harmonies you can use to make a colour scheme. Take a look at a colour wheel, if you chose a range of colours adjacent to each other, these are analogous and will generally feel warm or cool. Next you have complementary colours, these are opposite each other on the wheel. Alternatively, a triadic colour scheme uses three colours that are spaced equally apart on the wheel. There are more combinations that you can use to get an aesthetically pleasing scheme going, such as a monochromatic scheme which uses varying shades of the same colour, and others, dig a little deeper into the theory of colour to find out more. Don’t forget that your logo may be printed in black and white from time to time, so it should look good like this too.

Lastly remember to keep it simple and stay original! While it is good to get inspiration from other people, copying their ideas defeats your goal, which is recognition. So when you are happy with the outcome, simply save your work as an image or as a PDF, or share it via email, and voila!