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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Brand Your Blog: Create an Logo Overlay in PicMonkey (a Tutorial)

This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a overlay graphic in PicMonkey. With a few easy steps, you will be able to create your own blog logo that can be added to your own images, to a blog button, to a banner for the linky party you are hosting…you can even change up your blog button seasonally if you want with a minimum of fuss. It’s easy peasy…

Create a logo overlay for your blog with PicMonkey

 

A while back a blogger friend of mine created a blog button in PicMonkey with a seasonal theme and she was wondering how to change it up when the season changed without having to start from scratch. While PicMonkey is a powerful online tool that allows you to create in layers, the image you save is flattened (no longer in layers) and so it is hard to change a small part of an image. Suppose you want to keep the text exactly the same, but change the background? If you open your file in PicMonkey and click to change the canvas color, the whole thing becomes that color and your text, graphics, etc. will disappear. This is because your image has been flattened and you can no longer edit the individual elements.

One way around this is to use an image editor that will allow you to save your file in layers as well as a jpg or png.

BUT, you can still do it in PicMonkey, it just takes a little prior planning.

Creating a Logo Overlay in PicMonkey

What you will do is save a layer or group of layers as an element that you can then import to PicMonkey as an overlay. You can then add this element to a new background, a graphic, or whatever. Did that sound confusing? I think it will make more sense once I show you how to do it.

Let’s start by making the transparent overlay.

First go to PicMonkey.com and click “Design” (you need to log in these days to save your files---you can do that upfront or when you go to save).

go to picmonkey and choose design

 

Open up a blank canvas to your desired size. I’m using a square for this tutorial.

picmonkey tute 2

 

Click the “Canvas” button. Click the check box next to “transparent” and click “apply. Your canvas will now look like a gray and white checkboard. The background of your finished overlay will disappear if you add it to another graphic or photo.

choose a transparent canvas

 

Create your logo elements, text, shapes, whatever you would like. For the purpose of this tutorial, I kept my example simple. Notice that I chose to make the heart center transparent also, so that if I add this logo to another graphic it will appear as only the words and a heart outline. The heart is a free overlay (under the butterfly button) in PicMonkey. You have option with most of the preset overlays to change both the outline and the filler color---“transparent” is a color option.

add elements you want in your logo

 

When you are done monkeying around and are happy with your graphic, save it. Make sure you save it at the highest resolution you can and that you save it as a png.  It should automatically save as a png since you have a transparent background, but make sure that is what is selected before you save it. Notice on the save screen how the background looks light gray and fades into the screen---this is how they indicate transparency.

save your logo

And here is how the overlay looks all by its lonesome:logo with transparent background

There are number of ways I could use this simple overlay to brand other images in PicMonkey (or any another photo editing program).

Let’s make a button with a new background in PicMonkey using my new overlay.

 

Open a new canvas in PicMonkey and make it whatever color you like. I’ve used a light blue here.

picmonkey tute 6

 

In the left sidebar, click the butterfly (this is for “overlay”). Choose “add your own” from the top of the list and then “my computer” and browse to find your overlay file. Your overlay will open over top of your background. You can then edit the overlay or any other layers you have added.

picmonkey tute 7

 

While the overlay is selected, click on the color selector to change the color. If you used all one color for your overlay, all the elements will change to the color that you select. If you used multiple colors (like I did) the changes will be a little less predictable, so play around.

picmonkey tute 8a

 

You’ll see the other options. “Fade” allow you to change the transparency of the element (lighten it or even make it like a watermark). “Blend modes” will do some interesting things---try it out. You can erase parts of your overlay under the “erase” tab. Don’t like your changes? There’s an undo arrow below your canvas. 

picmonkey tute 8

 

Change the size of your element but clicking and dragging. This can come in handy if you want to “brand” a button for a blog event, pinterest images, linky banners, or whatever you may want to use your logo on.

picmonkey tute 9

 

When you are done, be sure to save it as a new file (don’t save it over your overlay file).

Here is the original template over a light blue background:

blue background

 

And here it is, branding a photograph in the upper right corner:

2008 children crop with logoThis is a very basic tutorial to get you started, but I think you can imagine a lot of creative possibilities for using your new logo or overlay.

If you found this PicMonkey tutorial helpful, please share it by clicking one of the share buttons off to the side.

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