Tuesday, January 6, 2015

TpT Design Tips for the New Year

Hello all and Happy New Year!  
I hope your 2015 will be just as or more awesome than the '14 and we at the Primary Pack are so glad to have you with us!

This is Cara from Creative Playground with you again.  Make sure to come visit me when you can!

Today I'd like to share with you some quick and easy design tips to making your TpT cover pages be the best they can be.  I have three tips you can implement today and have your cover pages looking awesome tomorrow!

1)  Color coordinate all your items on your cover.  
I suggest starting with the image or clip art you'd like to use.  Then find your color schemes from there.  Then choose your background papers and frames should you choose to use those (and I hope you do!)  If you can choose two of those three, your best bet is to choose clip art and background paper. 
If you're having problems coordinating colors, remember the color wheel?  Never thought you'd use that again, did you!  Keep these 6 colors in mind as a general rule:

 Each block of colors all "match" with each other.  So for example, if you have a graphic that is primarily purple, you can be pretty safe by choosing green and/or orange as matching colors. The same goes with the bottom three colors.  If you have a red graphic, yellow and/or blue coordinating images, titles, and background colors are all going to coordinate.  It might not look like it, but they really do go with each other on the color wheel.

2.  The second tip to remember is the types of fonts you use on your cover.  Here are more basic tips to keep in mind when choosing your font styles:

If you're going to use a cursive or curly font, pair it with a plain type font, or Decorative with Plain.  You can pair a THICK font with a thin font and it will look great.  Finally, a wide or short font will look awesome with a tall font.  
Another thing with fonts is to not mix more than three types of fonts.  That's a no-no unless you have a lot of experience with fonts.

and the last tip I'd like to share I see all the time, and it might be a pet peeve of mine, but I think it's worth sharing.

3.  Stick with one clip-art designer for your cover images, should you choose to use more than one.  Use these as an example:

I LOVE both of these artists, Whimsy Clips and Melonheadz.  I own a gazillion clip art sets from both.  Now both of these have similar looking little boys, have a Valentine's theme, and are boys.  You might think they'd be ok to put on a cover together.  Not so!  They are totally different styles of drawings and don't belong on a cover together.  It might not look that obvious at first, but a keen purchaser will spot this in a minute.  As a buyer myself, if I see this on the cover, I don't buy the item.  Because that makes me think they did the same thing throughout and it just doesn't look right.  Trust me; just don't do it.

I hope I've shed some light on some useful design tips for you to use this year!  I'm no professional artist, but I do have an art background, so you can trust my judgement.  If you're ever not sure if it looks ok, assume that it probably doesn't and redo it.  Problem solved.  I've redone covers a lot and sometimes it seems like the cover is the item I spend the most on.

I really suggest taking the time to do it correctly so it can look its best.  If not, you might be a customer like me, and just bypass that product altogether.  I admit it; if the cover doesn't appeal to me, I can guarantee that the inside won't either.  This is just my opinion and hopefully you have had better luck than me.  And I also understand that elementary covers may be different than higher grades.  But they still should coordinate and they have fonts so the same rules apply~

Have a wonderful day my friends and until next month,


  1. Cara a great post, love checking out this blog.

  2. Thanks so much Paula! We love having you too and hope all is well in Aussie!

    Your Friend,