In part 1 of the Build a Blog series, I discussed how to start a self-hosted blog, in part 2 I discussed how to find a template for you blog and today I’m going to walk you through a step by step tutorial on how to create a banner for your blog!
Your blog banner, as you can imagine, is very important; it displays your blog name and most of the time, it’s the first thing a reader will see once they come to your site. Even though your blog banner is probably one of the most important aspects of your blog, it doesn’t have to be difficult to create or take a lot of time.
This tutorial is very quick and simple and did I mention, It will cost you not one penny? …….
Before I continue I would like to mention that I used a program called GIMP that I downloaded online to make my banner. GIMP can be downloaded for free, but I do feel as though PicMonkey is easier to navigate and gives you the same quality results. I use PicMonkey to create the covers of all my posts, for example, this one here. Since PicMonkey does not require you to download anything on the hard drive of your computer, I do feel like PicMonkey is the most beneficial option for all. I will be doing a post in the future about GIMP, but today I’ll focus on PicMonkey.
As I mentioned previously, in the Build a Blog series, I will be building the imaginary blog, Modern Beaute, from the ground up. So today, I’ll be showing you how to create the banner shown above.
First, once you head over to PicMonkey.com, you’ll have four options: edit, touch up, design or collage. To create your banner, you’ll want to choose the “design” option at the top of the screen. PicMonkey will then ask you what size you would like your canvas, and I chose 2000 x 2000 pixels, but its up to you. I personally think that it’s better to have a bigger canvas and then crop later, than have a canvas that is too small and then have to start over.
Now, once your blank canvas is on the screen, choose your canvas color aka the background color for your banner. I’m using white which is the code #ffffff. If you don’t know the color code for the background color your are looking for head over to http://htmlcolorcodes.com/ and pick the color of your choice.
Once you’ve decided your background color, now you can start adding text or images. As a disclaimer, any images that you use for your banner must be yours, and what I mean by yours is that you’ve designed them, or paid someone to design them. Yes, you can use vector images you find on the internet for free, but only to the extent that the author allows. To be on the safe side, I stick with fonts, but you must be careful with fonts you use as well, especially if you download them from a site from the internet.
To get to the fonts section, click the fourth icon down (Tt). You can choose to use PicMonkey’s free or paid fonts and your fonts from your computer. Play around and see what font you like and add your text and choose the color you would like your font to be.
Now that I have my text the way I wanted, I decided to crop the image to get rid of the unnecessary space. Once I cropped the image, I chose to sharpen the image, but this step is optional.
For a simple banner you can stop here, but I’m going to continue and create this banner here and hit save to download the image to your computer, but to create a banner similar to this one, keep reading.
First you should an overlay that you like. I am using this gold foil I downloaded from Deviant Art. Just as a disclaimer, any thing you download from Deviant Art can not be used commercially. So, if you plan on selling any items with your banner/logo on it, you do need to purchase the image you use as an overlay. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure you are using the images to the extent as the free license allows; as always if you have any doubt, contact the seller.
Once you have the overlay you like downloaded on your computer, click on the butterfly icon on the left side, go to add your own and then open your overlay and place the overlay over the text you want covered.
After you have your overlay placed over the text you would like changed, go down to “blend modes” and choose the effect you like the most. I liked the “lightened” effect the most, so that is the one I chose.
I then, cropped and sharpened like I did above with the first banner and then saved and downloaded the image to my computer.
Now you’re done! I hope this quick and simple tutorial was helpful to you! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.
Also, let me know what program you used to create your blog banner.