Let Your Banner Fly!
by Steven Moreno, TES Content team member and TES author
Logos are everywhere! They’re all over the foods we buy, clothes we wear, technology we use, and teams we cheer for. They’re nearly everywhere we look! They can be obvious, such as Apple’s apple. Or, they can contain somewhat subliminal messages, like the arrow from the A to Z showing that Amazon sells everything in between.
Given that we live in such a visual culture, as a TES author, you want to find a way to visually stand out and give your resources their own unique stamp. You want to help TES users distinguish your resources from others’ at first glance, and you can do that through your shop banner and logo.
Now you may be thinking, “I’m a teacher, not a graphic designer!” True. But as a teacher, you have spent your entire career bringing creative ideas to life!
So, to help you with that process, I’ll take you on the 5 step journey that I took in order to create my own banner and logo:
Step 1: What’s Your Name?
Given that my goal is to design curricula that make a difference in students’ educational lives, my “brand” name is Design 4 Difference. I decided to come up with a name to help those who may not know me as an educator understand what I do. Hearing “Steven Moreno” might not do anything to grab their interest, but with a brand name that describes me or my resources, I will help build my audience — and you can too.
Step 2: Let’s Get Visual, Visual!
The first thing I thought about when creating my banner was: What do I want my logo to convey? We’re all unique and create resources that are, in one way or another, a representation of ourselves and our teaching philosophies. The key is to find a way to represent that visually. For example, ask yourself:
Do your resources spark students’ interest in math? Add a bolt of lightning to your banner equation.
Do your physical education resources help build healthy champions? Include a trophy with a heart on it.
Or maybe your resource keeps your kindergarteners busy with learning? Then why not a include some friendly “busy bees” in your banner?
Do your resources utilize the latest technology? Include a tablet or smartphone.
Do your resources help students become better public speakers? Try a podium with a microphone or speech bubbles.
Step 3: Express Yourself!
When I was in the classroom, I prided myself on creating curricula that engaged students, piqued their interest, connected to their lives, and helped them develop a love for history. I didn’t want to be that history teacher who bored them out of their minds. So, how could I visually represent an engaged student who was excited about learning? I thought of my students whose hands would shoot up during a discussion as they said, “Ooh! Oooh!”, begging to be called on.
The extension of the lower-case D’s thus became the hands of two of my students begging to be called on (even though I was going to pick another student whose voice needed to be heard, but whose hand was not up), and the lines above their heads helped visualize that their interest was piqued by the lesson.
What represents you or your teaching resources? Whatever it is, make sure your banner expresses that.
Step 4: DDIY (Don’t Do It Yourself)
Given that you’re likely a full-time educator, I think it’s safe to assume that you are also not a professional graphic designer. Ask someone else to do the work if you don't feel comfortable doing it! If you have a concept or a rough sketch of what you would like, then ask around to see if there is someone who can do it for you. There are websites where graphic artists offer their services for a task like this for cheap. Better yet, ask a favor of one of your art teacher colleagues (who also has classes full of art students) who might be willing to do it for you in exchange for a small favor (such as covering their class when they have a dentist’s appointment). The first logo I ever really made was first drawn by one of my students who had the art skills I did not. I gave him a gift card and bought him a t-shirt when I went on a trip, and he was very appreciative. You go out of your way to help your students, and I’m sure they’d be willing to do the same to help you.
Step 5: You Just Wanna Have Fun
The banner and logo will be a representation of you and your professional expertise and should reflect your personality in some way. Don’t overcomplicate things. A hand-drawn illustration that is scanned can have as much (or more) personality as something that took hours on a computer. Enjoy the creative process of creating your shop banner as much you enjoy creating those amazing resources that fill your shop! Best of luck!
If you have any questions, want some amateur design feedback, or want to share your banner, feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.