Hi there! I’m Krista Wallden, the doodler behind Creative Clips Clipart! I am a lover of all things teaching, clip art, and coffee. I’m secretly waiting for TpT to open up a chain of coffee shops for “creating, collaborating, and caffeinating” (Now that is some fantastic-sounding alliteration!) Then my three favorite things truly could become one. A TpTer can dream, right?

I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger today, and I want to talk about… product covers. Whether you love them or hate them, they must be done before you can post that amazing resource you’ve created in your TpT store. As the saying goes: “Don’t judge a book by its cover, unless it’s a TpT product and you’re looking for quality educational resources to purchase for your students.” I might have mixed that up a little, but all joking aside — product covers DO matter!

Here’s why:

  • A product cover is the first impression your potential buyer has about the quality of your resources.
  • We live in a very visual world. Graphics and design can be just as influential as words or titles.
  • Effective product covers are the stepping stone to showcasing the quality content within your product. Covers will grab your buyers’ attention — but content and quality will determine the final sale.

Today I want to share with you 5 (Easy) Tricks for Creating Effective Product Covers.

Diversity

If possible, select clip art for your covers that shows diversity. This immediately communicates to your potential buyers that you have an awareness for different races and abilities. Teachers are looking for resources that reflect their own students’ backgrounds or expose them to new ones. Diverse clip art images of students will appeal to a wider audience of buyers.

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LessMore

Oh, this one is a struggle. There are very few things in life I can think of where less is more — less cupcakes? no… less shoes? definitely no… less clip art on product covers? Yes. As a BIG lover of clip art and someone who literally has thousands of graphics on her computer, I understand the desire to put them ALL on your product covers. However, remember that clip art cannot overwhelm the core content of your product. Your product title, subtitles, and name need to be easily visible, too. Remember: Most of your buyers will initially see your product cover as a rectangle that is only 1 inch tall (a little thumbnail icon). That is small! What might look like a great cover when it is full-size on your computer screen will look entirely different when it’s small. When you create a product cover, try shrinking it down to see if buyers will still recognize key words or graphics.

LessMoreEx

 

Combine Photos and Clipart

Photos can add a fun contrast to clip art images, and I love how they look together. If you create a nonfiction resource, using a real photograph on part of your cover can help your buyers connect the cover to the content inside. Adding clip art WITH photos helps you add your own design touch, too. Below are some “fake” product covers that I created as an example — but I love them so much I wish they were real!

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Design for your Prod

There are many types of products on TpT, and product covers are more important than ever in helping buyers recognize your product’s purpose. From task cards and interactive notebooks, to teacher planners and calendars, you must design a cover FOR your product. In my example below, I created a cover for a Teachers Pay Teachers Business Binder that I’m currently working on (yay!). I mustered up all my “clip art self control” to design this cover with just THREE graphics. My product means BUSINESS and I wanted the cover to look uncluttered, focused, and professional. That is what people would expect from this type of product. If your product is for primary grades, choose clip art that reflects that. However, if your product is for upper grades or high school, use less “cute” clip art and more design elements or borders.

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Plan Ahead

If you are creating a product series (math units, monthly products, etc), think about how you can create “like” product covers. This will save you a TON of time down the road as you create future cover designs because you can keep the same format and just swap out the images/colors. Having similar product covers for related product lines helps your buyers associate them together. They also look professional, and it makes them more recognizable in other settings (Pinterest, blogs, Instagram). Below are some examples of the covers of my Monthly Graphics Clubs. Each month, I just switch up the title and the color of the elements. Easy peasy!

Ex5 copy

I hope these five simple tips will help you reflect on your product covers and make it easier to design them in the future! There is an alliteration that I always say: Combining quality content with clip art can create new customers. Okay… I don’t really say that, but I started with an alliteration so I thought I should end with one, too.


Krista is a graduate of Penn State with a Bachelor of Science in Kindergarten and Elementary Education and a minor in Special Education. She loved her Penn State roots so much she stuck around another year and completed a Masters of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction. She says, “All my clip art sets are original images — most of which are hand-drawn with ink pen and then colored and formatted digitally.” You can see more of her resources and what Krista’s up to on her Facebook page: The Creative Chalkboard.

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