Thursday, January 24, 2008

Banners, Avatars ,Business Cards (Oh My)

If you own an etsy shop (or in some cases, several)- You know how important it is to have a great banner and avatar. Your Banner is what you want the world to see about your shop.
Your banner identifies who you are as a person and a seller. It tells the public who you are, what you are about and why they should shop from you.
Your banner is like the Macy's window display. It is what people see first before going into shop.
Just like in reality, people who are virtual shopping will choose a shop which presents itself a little nicer. Kind of like the mall. You will generally choose a shop that has a nicer window display. Your banner is your window display.
You would NEVER see the Disney Store, or Macy's or Marshall Fields have a window display that is less than perfect. Your shop should never be less than perfect!


Be careful about using colors that contrast too much. They are a visual assault on the eyes. Example :

It is almost dizzing. If you are going to have a dark color as your background make sure you have a lighter complimentary color as your writing. (see below).

Now on the opposite end of the Color Spectrum, make sure your writing is dark enough. I cant tell you how many times I have stumbled across a banner where the print was too light a color to really see well.

Good Grief! Can you even SEE that?? (Squint REALLY hard)

Watch the Uber- funky fonts. They are kind of hard to read sometimes. If you have a little bit of a difficulty seeing exactly what it says, maybe you should pick something a little clearer.
Also, make sure you use the enite 760x100 space you are given. It fills the page better, and looks more uniform.

Good tips to making your own banner on photoshop:

If you dont have the time to learn photoshop, the money to purchase photoshop or just are in a creative slump, try these beauties on for size. Here are some of my favorite Banner makers on Etsy.

Her banners are custom made. She has made banners for several people on etsy and is super easy in her pricing. Lindsey has done most of my banners. tell her what you want and she wont rest until it is delivered!
Her Balm Shoppe and Blue Boy Gifts banners were gifts to me and I just love them.

She is a professional graphic designer and does both custom and prefab. Her banners include an avatar as well.

Don't you LOVE the Hey Lady! Banner??

Very creative and unique, I love babyjewels.

her collage version banners are really cool and the colors are beautiful. I love the backgrounds and distressing and all the stuff she packs into her banners without them looking overdone.

I love the Cara Di Bella Jewelry Creations Banner.

custom and prefab banners, great pricing and will work with you until it is right.

The Madelyn Smoak Metals Banner is a really great example of a great "window display". It tells all about the shop and what you can expect inside.

cool and eclectic banners, great colors, spacing and more. these banners are relly cool, and she makes them within 24 hours. Her layouts are really cool.

I am enamored with the Sour Tang banner. Those colors match my business cards!

these are perfect to spice up your shop on Valentines!

I am a huge fan of changine my banners for the seasons or holidays. That Candy Hearts Banner would be a great Valentines addition to any shop!


As for avatars there was a fantastic article in Storque the other day about the importance of your avatar.
The article is here:

I quote:
Avatars! Create a memorable avatar. The avatar is your face on Etsy ...I find that the best avatars are one of three types:

Faces. I love to see your face in your avatar. If you are your brand, then this is totally the right way to go. I love to see the person behind the craft...

Item avatar. Make sure your avatar is an item that you actually have for sale in your shop and it is a good photo with a light background...

Brand identity. I feel strongly about not changing your avatar too much, except for when you are switching between a series of avatars that are on a theme or that reinforce your brand identity...
end quote.

I agree. If you have a pet avatar, make sure you can distinguish it from the jillion other pet avatars out there. (I find a good example is Pussdaddy) Take it to photoshop, crop it at a unique angle, give it a funny phrase. Dress it up. Anything. If there are 10 avatars with a black dog on it I know I will remember the black dog that is wearing a clown wig (for example)
Many of the banner makers will also make a matching avatar in their price.
Now your banner doesnt have to match your avatar. I think your avatar should be your personality, your Face on etsy. Your banner is your shop, your avatar is the person behind the shop.

Now onto the MOST IMPORTANT thing of all.(IMHO) Your Business Cards. Yes, it is vitally important that you have business cards. You MUST MUST MUST have them. I cannot stress it enough.They are your signature, your calling card. They are a physical, tangible reminder of your items and product. ALWAYS carry business cards with you. Give them out at every opportunity. When I go out to eat and the server brings me my bill and I give her the credit card, I leave a business card with my tip. I send out 2 business cards with every transaction. One to keep, one to give away.
There are many places you can go to get Business Cards printed.

1.You can buy the cardstock at your local office supply shop and do a home print job. This takes a lot of ink and a lot of patience. I dont recommend it. Especially if you have a printer that is kind of older and the printing leaves a little something to be desired. But if you are lucky to have a great printer, try it out. It may be cheaper in the long run.

2. You can have them printed at an Office Supply shop, or a quick print or Mr Speedy. All price ranges depending on what you want and usually done in a few days and you dont have to pay shipping! Typically a little more expensive going this route, but quicker nd the convenience of having them in hand and not being at the mercy of the Almighty USPS.

3. Online. Try Vista Print. Overnight Prints. 123print. You can upload your own design, or create one from scratch or from a template. Great pricing, easy to do, and you have a hard copy online and can easily reprint more. You do have to pay shipping. TIP: DONT fall for the "quicker shipping" trap. Pay the cheapest amount in shipping. If you pay "slow shipping" they claim 2-3 weeks. I always pay cheapest shipping and my cards are usually mailed out within a few days. I have never had to wait more than 7 days to get my cards.

Now as for the design, the online option means you will have the same business cards as many others in your field, especially if you use a template. If you can design your own and upload, then wonderful. If you dont have the right program to design and upload your own card, then try these shops for your next batch of cards. They will send you the file for you to upload to your printer of choice.

Her business Cards come in e-mail form that you can upload to your favorite online printer.

Or you can opt to have her print them off. Her cards are bright and chipper and very cool.

She also does the vertical cards as well.

If you loved her banners, you will probably love her business cards as well!! Custom made templates.

Arent these the COOLEST? If these arent eye catching, then I dont know what is.

These vertical cards are so unique and brilliant. In these cards Little Crab uses the Chiyogami paper as a background.

She also has mini cards and
other styles of cards..

Enjoy your shop. Promote the heck out of it. Just make sure you have the right tools! With the right banner, avatar and business cards you can etsy with success!

thank you to all the wonderful etsy sellers who let me profile them!
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