You may have noticed a change when you read this post: there is a new banner up there! I had tweaked the banner myself a couple of times, never was happy with it, and made this temporary banner.
And I really did like this one because I love typography and fonts (and clearly, it was easy enough so that even I was able to figure out how to make it), so this was right up my alley, but it was always meant to be temporary until I could figure out how to get a banner that incorporated quilting, fused glass, and lots of color. You know: live a colorful life....
To complicate my lack of banner expertise, our etsy shop (which you can visit if you like but all you will find at this point is empty shelves) also needed a banner. It had the same style as the blog, cool but really not indicative of what we plan on selling.
I have to give etsy a lot of credit. It has many great resources for sellers. Tutorials, very informative articles, lots of helpful stuff. Last week there was a really good article on how to make your own banner in Photoshop, how to size it properly, etc. I probably worked on that baby a good two to three hours, followed the directions explicitly, and never could (a) get it sized properly or (b) get the images that I really wanted.
I should have been suspicious when the writer said something like, "It's really easy. All you do is...." That should have been my first clue that what she really meant was "do not attempt this on your own."
So I finally did what I should have done in the first place: I hired someone else to do it! After going through etsy's version of google, "banner designers," I finally settled on one called whimsy graphic designs. The designer had a lot of examples of her work. Plus she was from the United States. While I'm sure the graphic designers from Kuwait and Singapore were highly qualified, and were just as accessible via email, I wanted to have someone closer to home, and Maryland was close enough for me.
I went for her high-dollar package: the "professional customized full etsy shop package, business card, 2 shop banners, 2 avatars and 1 reserved listing image." I didn't need the business cards, but I did want two separately designed banners--one for the blog and one for the etsy shop. Rebecca Allen did exactly what I wanted. She was easy to work with. We emailed back and forth quite a few times in the course of about five days. You can see the great job she did for the blog. And here is her design for our etsy shop:
And in case you are familiar with our business name and are wondering if she made a mistake and left the "s" off the end of "design," well, etsy has this very inconvenient rule (at least for us ) of absolutely no more than twenty characters. And that little "s" put us over the limit. Ugh.
And what did I pay for all this work? A whopping (drum roll, please) $20!!!! Seriously. $20. I should have done this weeks ago. Thanks, Rebecca. You're in my rolodex the next time I need some graphic design work done or cool stationery. And I won't forget what you do for your real job. It'll just take me a little longer to save up my money than it did for your design work...