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Software for Creating a Banner for Your Etsy Shop

To personalize your Etsy shop, you can add a banner that runs across the top of the page. You can make this banner from scratch using any number of graphics programs. The banner you create needs to give viewers some idea of what they'll find in your shop and has to reflect the aesthetic of the items you make in some way. It also must tie in with your overall branding.

If you have commitment issues, fear not. You can change your banner any time you want. For example, you can change your banner to reflect promotions that you're running or update it seasonally to keep your shop looking fresh.

You can create your own banner using just about any image-editing software you like — even free stuff online. Here are just a few image-editing tools to choose from:

  • Photoshop: Photoshop is so ubiquitous, it has crossed over into the vernacular. It's by far the most respected and full-featured image-editing program available today. It's also among the most expensive and complicated to use (although Adobe, the maker of Photoshop, does offer a cheaper, scaled-down version called Photoshop Elements, which has more than enough bells and whistles to do the job).

  • GIMP: This free, downloadable image-editing tool is nearly as powerful as its costly counterpart, Photoshop — albeit somewhat clumsier in design. It's great for performing essential image-editing tasks like resizing, editing, and cropping. You can even use it for more advanced purposes, such as adjusting levels and the like.

  • Picasa: Offered free from Google and available for download for both Mac and Windows, Picasa supports basic photo-editing functionality, including color enhancement and cropping.

    The downside? You can't create new images within Picasa; you can only edit existing ones. If you use Picasa, you have to use some other image-editing program to create a basic version of your banner, and then import that version into Picasa for enhancement purposes.

  • Picnik: Picnik, also owned by Google, enables you to edit images free, directly from the website. It also offers lots of artsy and fun fonts and filters.

    As with Picasa, you can't use Picnik to create new image files; you have to import an existing file into the site before you can prettify it.

If you use a Windows PC, you can also use the Paint program, which was included free with your computer. Yet another option is to use the software that came with your digital camera.

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