The ultimate guide to telling your brand’s story

Tips for NotOnTheHighStreet and Etsy sellers about creating a strong visual brand through your logo, online shop graphics and photography

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Its very easy to judge a book by its cover and the same can be said for your eCommerce shopping platform.

The more appealing and cohesive your shop looks, the more likely buyers are going to browse through your items and make a purchase. We have three top tips to consider when it comes to illustrating your brand’s story and how you can build your own carefully crafted “cover” with appropriate shop branding and images for optimal appeal.

Your visual story:

Just like a book cover, your shop graphics represent the essence of what’s inside. Think of designing these graphics as illustrating a story without words.

First, consider what you want to communicate about your brand. Try writing down a few words that describe your shop’s style. These words and concepts will serve as an outline for your visual story. Make decisions about colours, fonts and photo positioning that are in line with the style you want to portray.

Visual consistency doesn’t mean making your shop look flat in terms of design. Think about how your cover photo, shop icon and product photography compliment each other. Using a colour palette consistently in your shop is one way to create synergy. We would recommend choosing one strong pantone colour and use two secondary lighter colours to compliment this. Think about what emotions colours can convey too. Red connotes passion, energy and youthfulness whereas purple is original, creative and individual.

Shop logo: The Essentials

  • Can your logo be easily understood? Your logo should communicate the look and feel of your shop at a glance. A great logo communicates something about the ideas or passion behind the shop’s products. If you use a graphic as your shop logo, make sure shoppers understand what it depicts and how it relates to your shop.
  • Can it scale down? Your shop logo should be legible, even at small sizes. A graphic that looks great on your shop homepage might not translate well at smaller sizes. Preview your shop logo in a variety of sizes to ensure your final selection works even when it’s small. Avoid using too much text in your logo — it will be difficult to read in small sizes.
  • Is it memorable? Simple and minimal logos are going to be more recognisable. Shoppers who have purchased from you before should be able to quickly recognise your shop logo.

Cover Photo: The Essentials

The cover photo on your shop homepage or social media page allows you to immediately immerse shoppers in your brand and products. The cover photo spans the entire width of your shop and is displayed on mobile devices so there is a lot of space graphically to promote yourself. Consider the following points when creating your shop banner or social media banner:

  • Highlight your best photography. Your cover photo is a great spot to show off photos of your products in action or a styled image that showcases your entire collection.
  • Use text sparingly. If you want to include your shop name in your cover photo, make it big enough to read on mobile devices and keep the text to the centre of the photo so it’s still legible when the image is scaled down.
  • Get creative. Your cover photo is a large canvas. Experiment with repeating patterns, fields of colour or photos of your workspace. Make an impact by showing off unique fabrics or designs that are representative of your products.
  • Keep it fresh. As the year unfolds, the cover photo can be a good space for an occasional refresh to reflect changes in the seasons, gift-giving holidays, milestones and special occasions. Try to avoid changing your shop logo too frequently though; keeping that consistent can help you build a recognisable brand identity.

Work Your Product Images

Your product photography should echo the colour palette and aesthetic you established with your shop logo and cover photo.

  • Develop a photo styling palette. Backgrounds and styling for your product photos don’t have to be the same in every image, but they should feel cohesive in telling your visual story.
  • Develop a photo styling palette with consistent colours, lighting and props to create this cohesive feel.
  • Keep perspective. If your shop sells several products that are similar in type and scale, use product photography to emphasise this.
  • Mix it up. Alternatively, it could be a good idea to show multiple perspectives of the same image, especially if your item includes fine details that can’t be captured in one product shot.
  • Use photos to show use. Where appropriate, take multiple photographs to show the various ways your product can be utilised. For example, you could show a tote bag filled with goods, as a carryall or used as a creative gift bag. Visual cues like this help customers envision the various ways they can use your product.