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Learn how to create a beautiful blog banner using this PicMonkey tutorial.
When it comes to blogging, I use PicMonkey for all of my images. PicMonkey is so user-friendly and I feel it looks professional when you know how to use it. I’m definitely a PicMonkey Junkie.For this tutorial I have created a fake blog I am calling “Mango Life” just because I love mangoes and I kind of live a mango life myself. My blog Plan Blog Repeat was also made with PicMonkey, but I would like to mention that I do have a BluChic theme. Bluchic makes a beautiful WordPress theme that is both beautiful and user friendly.I absolutely love PicMonkey, I use it for every image that I create for my blog and social media.
PicMonkey is super easy to use with barely any learning curve. I mean seriously, I can learn to use photoshop, but with everything that needs to be done for a blog learning a new program is time-consuming. PicMonkey is a great way to get professional looking results with all of it’s great features.
Did I mention that you can use PicMonkey FOR FREE.
The free version of PicMonkey is great to play around with and you can have professional looking results, but if you want even more features, go with the premium. I’m actually ready to upgrade to the super premium.
PicMonkey offers a free trial of the premium version.
PicMonkey premium is totally worth it! You get more overlays, more overlays and you can even store your pictures in the hub so you can edit them right from there without having to start over. This has been super handy for me.
Go to PicMonkey.com and if you already have an account, login or start the free trial, or do nothing and just start using the free version!
When designing a blog banner, choose the correct banner size.
If we don’t have the correct size, the image can get distorted or need to be cropped when you upload your banner and those issues can jeopardize all of your hard work.
To select the size for our image, hover your mouse over the design tab, it’s the one with the “t”.
Under where it says “Enter a custom canvas size” change the numbers 2000 x 2000 pixels to 1140 x 200 pixels and click “Make it!” These dimensions will give you the correct blog banner size and you won’t have to crop when you enter it into WordPress.
NOTE: I am not familiar with other blogging platforms other than WordPress. I do not know if other blog platforms use different sizes for banners.
Once you click “Make it!” you will go to the editor page and this is where the magic happens!
Now that you have a blank canvas of the correct size for your blog banner, you can start designing.
Choosing a font for your blog title.
There are a number of fonts available from PicMonkey. The fonts with the crown are the ones that you can use with the premium or supremium subscription. You can also use your own fonts if you click on the tab that is marked “Yours”.
Your own fonts are the ones that come from your own computer or fonts that you have downloaded from someplace else such as dafont.com.
The font for the banner of my fake blog, I have decided to use the EDO font. If when you go into the editor if you are not on the text tab, simply click the Tt on the left and it will take you to the fonts. The EDO font is on the highlighted blue tab that is marked “Ours” the other tab marked “Yours” is where you will find all of your fonts.
Adding the text.
When you are ready to add your text, click on the font of your choice and it will be highlighted in blue. Next, click on the box that is marked “Add Text” and a Text Box will populate, click the text box and the cursor will appear, then you can begin to type your text.
Changing text size.
There are a few ways to change the size of the text in your text box. You can hover over the side or a corner of the text box with the cursor and an arrow will appear that allows you to drag the text box to your desired size. You can highlight the text and slide the slider (the circle that is on the line marked size) that is in the “Text Pop Up Box” pictured on the right. Another option is to click the drop down arrow in the “Text Pop Up Box” and choose the number for your font size.
Centering the text.
I chose to center my blog title by centering my text box in the middle of the banner. I did not center the actual text, I centered the box. After I centered the box, I clicked on the centered alignment box that is also located in the “Text Pop Up Box”. The alignment boxes are next to the I or Italics box and beneath the slider.
I know I am going into a lot of detail, but when I am learning something it makes it so difficult when steps are skipped because someone assumes that something is too easy and then I get lost trying to figure it out. I wanted to make this tutorial as simple as possible for just that reason.
Use a simple logo.
I designed a simple logo for my fake blog Mango Life, and I’m going to show you how I did that as well in case you want to design your own logo. I feel that a logo should be simple and to the point. I would like it to invoke a feeling, whatever feeling it invokes it should match the company’s mission.
Even though this is a fake blog for the purpose of my PicMonkey tutorials, I also created a branding board (which will be my next tutorial) so that I would stay on brand while creating designs. The fake Mango Life Blog is about getting out and traveling to exotic locations, eating local fruit, most especially mangoes, while living an eco-friendly and healthy vibrant life.
Stay on brand.
I kept the branding in line when I designed anything that had to do with Mango Life. Why am I telling you all this? In order for a design and blog to make sense and resonate with readers a common theme should run through everything you do with your blog. If your entire blog is cohesive, it will make sense. If everything you do with your blog is all over the place, your blog and brand will be confusing.
As I mentioned earlier, I like simple for a logo. I don’t need the entire company mission statement in the logo, just a feeling or thought that I want my readers to feel when they see my design.
Creating an overlay for a logo or other image.
On the left hand side click on the butterfly. The butterfly image is for the overlay. You can choose to add your own overlay, something from a picture you took, or maybe something you already designed with PicMonkey and you can upload it to use. Don’t steal images from other people if you are using this for your website, use something of your own or an overlay provided by PicMonkey. Design your own image that matches your brand.
I am using a circle from the “Geometric” box in PicMonkey’s overlays. Click on “Geometric” and the shapes shown in the image are the ones you can choose from in the Geometric section.
You can experiment with all of the overlays and find the one that best fits your brand. When you click on the overlay of your choice, it will appear on your banner. Just as you resized the text by dragging the corner of the text box, you can resize your overlay by dragging a corner.
Resizing the overlay image and choosing your colors.
I made the circle my desired size, but now I want to change the color, possibly fade it a little bit, and put it behind the text so that I can see both the circle and the text. Using the “Text Overlay Pop up Box” I decide that I want to keep Color 1 and change Color 2. I will point my mouse at the black in the box of Color 2 and click and a color picker will populate.
Knowing your color numbers is a great time-saving tip!
If you know your color number you can type in the numbers or letters or number letter combo next to the color in the box. Black’s color number is 00000. If you don’t know your exact color you can try out the colors that are in the squares of the color picker. I know my number because it is on my branding board so I will just type it in the box.
Now my circle is green, just the color I wanted it. If I wanted to fade the color I could use the slider in the “Overlay” Pop up box, I would slide the circle along the line to the right, the same way as one of the options to change text size.
Lastly I want to put the circle behind the letters G and O. I right clicked and the grey box populated. What I will next choose to put the green circle behind my letters is the “Send to Back” option.
So now that my blog title and logo are incorporated into my banner, I just have to add my tagline. I once again will add text exactly the way I did with the blog title. I use a different font for the tagline than I do for the blog title because I think it looks a lot better. I don’t use a random font but one that I have on my branding board.
You can also add any additional graphics by adding another overlay and exactly the way we added the green circle. You can change the background color of the banner, or make it transparent by clicking on Basic Edits. Basic Edits is on the left, it is the three lines with the circles that are highlighted in blue.
You can change the canvas color (white background) by typing in the color number or choosing a color from the rainbow-colored color picker. If you want to save the canvas as transparent, just check the box marked “Transparent Canvas” and save your banner as a .png and not a .jpg.
When you have the canvas color that you want, click apply and you’re all finished. You can save your banner anywhere you want, your computer, dropbox, etc. I like to save an additional copy in PicMonkey’s Hub because all of the elements are not merged together and I can easily change anything I want at anytime without having to start over. I definitely suggest giving the free premium trial a go, you won’t be disappointed!
If you have any questions let me know in the comments.