*I originally wrote this post for the EBAC blog; you can find the original post here: “Creating an Etsy shop banner, Part 1“. Since many small business owners are expanding their shops into other outlets other than Etsy, this can apply to any place you need a banner.
You can create banners and avatars in Adobe Photshop, Illustrator, or InDesign — if you have all three and you’re not sure what to use, just choose whichever one you’re most comfortable with. There are also free online editing tools you can use.
If you’re going to take on this task yourself, here are a couple basic things to keep in mind when creating a banner for your shop:
Make your shop name visible
This includes making the text size at a legible point size so that people can see it and making it a different color from the background. If you’re going to camouflage your shop name in your banner, what’s the point of even including it? This can get a little tricky when placing text on top of images, since the design of your banner might look too busy.
Images should be relevant
Even if you really love roses and they look great in your banner design, if you’re not selling rose-themed items, why include them in your banner? At first glance, when people look at your banner, they want to get a sense of the shop they’re entering. Have a shop selling children’s items? Don’t bombard your shoppers with a banner with traditional looking fonts. If possible, include a favorite image of one of your items in your banner. Don’t settle for something just because it looks good; make it look good AND relevant.
If you’re into minimalistic design, then that’s fine; it’s definitely better to look professional rather than overwhelmed or too busy. But, if you’re selling whimsical, colorful art, it would be common sense to not make a dark gray and white banner with text only.