Thursday, March 22, 2012

Photoshop Tutorial: Making an Etsy Banner

I had a request from a new seller a few days ago who needed help making a new Etsy Banner.  She wanted a background image, some other images layered over the top and to be able to add her shop name.  I decided that the best way to answer her question was to write a tutorial and share it with the blog, because I know she is not the only one struggling with this.  This tutorial is made using Photoshop CS5, but other versions of Photoshop will be very similar to this.

(Be sure to click the images to see them larger.  Numbered steps correspond to numbers on the images.)

Part One: The Background Image
Open up a photo in Photoshop that you would like to use as a background.

1.  Choose the Rectangular Marquee tool.  It looks like a box drawn with a dotted line.

2.  We need to first make this photo the right shape for our banner, by making it a rectangle that is the right ratio.  Choose Style -> Fixed Ratio.

3.  Now enter the right ratio for the rectangle you need.  For an Etsy banner that is width 760 height 100.

4.  Your cursor will look like a little plus sign.   Click and drag a box (dotted line) to select the part of the image that you would like to use.

Then choose Image -> Crop.  This will take away the rest of the image and leave you with the rectangle you selected.

Next we need to make that rectangle be the right size, or the right number of pixels.
Choose Image -> Image Size.  It will bring up a new window.
A.  Make sure that "Constrain Proportions" is checked.  This means to keep the image at the same ratio.  No squishing or stretching.
B.  Now type in the number of pixels you need:  width 760 height 100
C.  Finally make sure the resolution is 72 pixels/inch.  (That's all you need for a web based graphic.)

(More after the jump...)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Ack! I can't believe they are changing Facebook again!

That's right.  "Fan Pages" on Facebook are getting a whole new design starting at the end of March.  This fantastic article from Handmadeology will help you figure out what all of the new stuff means and how to make the most of it: How to Navigate the New Facebook Fan Page Timeline

For example, I didn't know that there are rules about what should be in your new "cover photo":
Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:
  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"No Pins" tag and more about Pinterest

Lots of buzz about Pinterest these days.  Another interesting post by Craft Test Dummies: The Perils of Pinterest.
Unclear and contradictory Terms of Service, the hijacking of affiliate marketing links, and the fear of intellectual property infringement are now causing artists and crafters to delete their pinboards and install the “No Pin” meta tag.
But should YOU?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Article: Secret of my Success

photo from

Crochet artist June Gilbank from Planet June posted this tweet:
HUGE milestone reached: in February I earned more than when I had a day job! I’m awestruck..! #crochet #pro #dreamjob
This lead her to thinking about how that happened and she wrote this article about what she thinks has contributed to her successful crafty business.  Food for thought.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Resource Article: Time Management

Who couldn't use a little help managing your time more effectively?  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal: Are You as Busy as You Think?
"I soon realized I'd been lying to myself about where the time was going. What I thought was a 60-hour workweek wasn't even close. I would have guessed I spent hours doing dishes when in fact I spent minutes. I spent long stretches of time lost on the Internet or puttering around the house, unsure exactly what I was doing."

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Resource Article: Self Promotion vs Marketing

Another interesting read from the Craft your Independence blog about Self Promotion vs Marketing and your "marketing mix".  (Edit: Sorry for the broken link!  Fixed now.)
Marketing, however, is the process of communicating with your people, about your product, your business and how it can help them. Promotion is only (a small) part of the marketing equation.