A client of mine recently asked for some feedback on a new banner she had created for her Facebook page. After a quick review, I realized that just because apps like Canva and PicMonkey make designing easy, it doesn’t mean everyone has an eye for design. I wanted to provide some constructive criticism so I made a list of things to keep in mind. She was also working on a logo concept so I wanted to give some examples of simple logos that require little to no design experience.
First things first, I love the use of bright color, but too many colors and textured backgrounds can start to look dated or clip-artsy. Think 80s and 90s where everything was bright and crazy. You don’t want your design to remind people of this…
Today, many logos and brands have become more streamlined, focusing on bold text that can appear in any color, but when people see it they know exactly what brand it is. Take for example, Bath & Body Works. The logo is not the color, the logo is the text, the shape and the tilt of the lettering. They can change the color to represent any season – red and green at Christmastime, red-white-blue for 4th of July sales etc. – and regardless of the color people will always recognize the brand.
Bath & Body Works uses bright colors, but the overall design is simple, modern and easily recognized. The colors also do a nice job of representing their brand which caters to women. If your target audience is women or children, by all means think bright colors, but don’t over-do it. If your audience, however, is made up of hipsters looking for trendy décor, think of keeping your look more streamlined.
When I start coming up with a concept for a banner image or logo, I first think of what my goal is – who am I trying to reach – and then I take a look at what other brands are doing. Just as singers and songwriters cite previous rockstars and bands as their inspiration, the same is true with design. If you want to be the next Pottery Barn, think about what they’re doing. Is their design concept simple or complex? Colorful or minimalistic? What do you think of when you open a catalog or browse their website. That is the “concept” you want to imitate. Just because you’re running an eBay store, an Etsy shop or a small local business, doesn’t mean your branding can’t look just as professional as the big stores.
Here are some brands have capitalized on keeping their logo simple and easy to recognize, while providing customers with lifestyle / product images that show people what they’re are all about. Today’s marketing is all about how you make people feel. If you’re selling upscale decor, clothing and antiques, you want someone to see your banner image or cover photo and get that rich, eclectic feeling.
If you want to feature multiple products in your banner I suggest taking one photo and arranging your featured products together. Maybe it’s a variety of glassware sitting on an old wooden table or some of your best selling products arranged in an artful display (just ideas). If you’re not confident in your staging or photography skills, it’s not a bad idea to use stock photos that feature the products you sell.
Your banner image is like a first impression so you want it to capture what your store is all about. It’s also important to keep fonts simple and bold. If you’re selling hardware you wouldn’t use a curly font or a fancy script, just as if you’re selling crafty items you don’t want to use a “manly” looking font.
To keep it simple, remember to consider these 3 things:
- Meaningful colors
- Appropriate fonts
- High quality lifestyle or product photos
It’s also important to make sure your images are the right size. If you’re not sure of the dimensions, here’s a great guide for creating perfect social media images, cover photos and ads, courtesy, Social Media Examiner.
I hope this is helpful!