One of the great tools Etsy offers us as sellers is a nice, large, customizable banner. Changing this banner to feature different holidays gets your customers in the mood to shop. It’s like walking into a store decorated for the holidays. It makes a statement.
It’s always nice if you can tie your shop banner and inventory together so that people get an idea of what you are selling. But for some shops, that may not be possible. So in this post, we’ll address creating a banner using holiday images available on the web.
The danger in using graphics from the web is that most free graphics are NOT free for commercial use. You must read the fine print and refine your Google searches. The best search I found that yielded the most results was “free commercial use graphics Halloween” but even some of those sites were non-commercial use only. To use graphics meant for non-commercial use only is a copyright violation and, as artists, we cannot encourage what amounts to theft.
There are also websites that allow you to purchase graphics for commercial use. If you are frequently redecorating your shop or personal website, it may be worth the investment. Many sites will sell you a membership for a period of one week for as little as five bucks. Shop around and choose wisely.
After choosing a website and searching the available images – most of these sites have excellent search tags – simply right-click and save the image on your computer. Open the image in Photoshop and create a new image to be your new shop banner - 760 pixels wide x 100 pixels high x 72 dpi and rgb color mode. Note: If you are new to Photoshop, you may want to review my first tutorial.
To drag the image onto your banner, you need to change the color mode. Go to Image / Mode / RGB color. Select your pointer tool and drag the image (web) onto your banner. If the size is not right, make sure your layer is set to the image you just pasted and hit Ctrl T for Transform (Edit / Free Transform) and stretch or condense it to fit. Hit enter to finish.
Add your shop name: You may have a standard font you use but the holidays are a great time to experiment with something different. There are lots of fun fonts out there geared toward any time of year. I searched “scary fonts” to find something Halloween appropriate. Download and install the fonts and play around with your shop name. I first chose a font called Dark Theater but it made a mess of the capital G in my shop name. You may need to try several to find a good fit.
Duplicating images: Now, I want to reverse that spider web and duplicate it. Select the first layer where the graphic is and drag it to the New Layer Icon. This duplicates the web onto another layer.
Choose Ctrl T again and the transform bounding box will appear. Drag the image over to the left so that you can see both the left and right sides of the box.
Select the Move Tool (arrow) and use it to grab the right side of the bounding box. Drag it toward the left and onto the left edge of the box. The image is now reversed. Stretch and tweak the final placement of everything and viola! A holiday banner is born! Upload it to Etsy and you are ready to go.
Tips: Consider using your banner on your blog, personal websites and in web ads. If your banners are different sizes, determine which site has the largest banner and create that first. It’s very easy to size it down to fit your other site needs!
My final banner:
Join us next time as we look at isolating your product images to become part of a banner.