Today we are doing a rapid-fire Q&A on 10 common frequently asked questions among TPT sellers about branding and designing TPT resources. I think you’ll love this episode – I share my honest answers and opinions for each one with little tips in between!

Episode Highlights

  • How do I create a compelling TPT store logo?
  • What color schemes work best for educational resources?
  • Are there affordable tools for designing TPT resources?
  • How can I design eye-catching product covers for TPT?
  • What are some branding tips to stand out on TPT?
  • Can you recommend fonts for educational materials?
  • What’s the importance of visual consistency in TPT branding?
  • How can I design graphics for different subjects and grade levels?
  • What dimensions should I use for TPT product images?
  • Are there design trends to keep in mind for TPT resources?

Resources and Links

My Favorite Fonts Blog Post



Kirsten 0:01

You're listening to the creative teacher podcast, a show for busy teachers looking for ways to engage, inspire and make an impact in their teacher businesses. I'm Kiersten, a teacher business owner who is all about simple and actionable tips, strategies and resources that result in wins, big or small. If you're looking for that extra spark of creativity, you've come to the right place. Let's dive in together.

Hi, everybody, welcome to another episode of the creative teacher podcast. This episode is going to be a fun one, we are going to go rapid fire into 10 branding and graphic design questions and I will answer them for you. These are some questions that I generated from Chet GPT. And they were actually pretty good questions. And I think they are relevant to teacher sellers. So we are going to go ahead and dive in. I'm going to answer these 10 questions pretty quickly. And hopefully you get some great tips from them.

All right, question number one, how do I create a compelling TPT store logo. Alright, so as far as logos right now, something that I've noticed that people are doing more of is having a really nice photograph of themselves, they might crop out the background, and they might add a brand color of theirs. And that's their TPT logo. But even if they don't utilize a photograph of themselves, a lot of the logos that I'm seeing are more simplistic, and it's just really clean, easy to read, mainly adding in the brand fonts, brand colors and their store name. I've done this for clients. But in the past, I know there's been some really nice, elaborate designs with different icons and floral background or something like that. But I think right now things are leaning towards less is more on logos. I think it's great because it's more versatile. And it helps create that more professional look across different platforms. Because you think about it, there are schools looking districts looking and you want to kind of show your brand off in a light that makes it seem like they're not just getting it from just anybody if that makes any sense. So you want those logos to look very clean and professional. Of course not you know, it doesn't have to be just like a big name publishers logo or look boring. You can make it fun and vibrant if you want, but still kind of doing the best of both worlds and not adding too many. You don't want to make it look too cutesy or anything you want people in districts to take you seriously. So I recommend that as far as store logos.

Number two, what color schemes work best for educational resources? Well, that really depends on your brand style and the type of identity you want. I always say there's three different store styles. The minimalist would be you know, you have maybe one or two bright colors paired with neutral colors like gray and black and white. There's the scroll stopper where you might use equally bright colors, maybe five or four or six. And it's very fun, vibrant, colorful, and then you might have the trendsetter store style where you're using really trendy colors 70s style, pastel, that kind of thing, something that's in style for the current year. So really, it depends on your, what you want to communicate as your messaging for Your brand. So definitely dig into your brand strategy if you want to decide the type of colors that you want to match with that messaging.

Alright, number three, are there affordable tools for designing TPT resources? Oh my goodness, yes, of course. I know many people who mostly use Canva, and PowerPoint to design resources. But if you are maybe a little bit more advanced in your designing skills, you can always use something like Adobe InDesign. But that might be a little bit pricey. But really, I mean, I just use PowerPoint in Canva. For a lot of my resources, I mean, pretty much all of my resources. And then every once in a while, I'll use Google slides to create my digital version of my resources. But that's pretty much it Canva, you can use for free. But you can also have Canva Pro to access more tools for I think $12 a month. And then if you go with Microsoft Office, there's a pretty affordable subscription. I know in the past, you had to have like a whole license and you know, habit on to your computer, but you can purchase it online. If you go to Microsoft Office Online, I believe I'm paying a monthly subscription for it. And it's very, very reasonable.

Alright, number four, how can I design eye catching product covers for TPT. So this would go into what you know about you know, if you have a brand identity, your colors and the fonts you use, some main tips I would have is to make sure your title is clear, easy to read, not adding too much wording on your title, making sure you have a really nice attractive and clear looking photograph or mock up or screenshots of your resources. I recommend no more than one to three screenshots if you're using that. And of course, maybe one nice photo that's showcasing the best of your resource. And then of course, you can make sure you have a logo and add some shapes to kind of add interest maybe combined, maybe a circle with a square or other type of rectangular shape. To make it pop, you want people to click, that's the goal of the product cover.

Number five, what are some branding tips to stand out on TPT? All right, well, there's a whole bunch into branding. And it's not just about having a nice logo and some nice fonts that you find on TPT. Really, the main thing to stand out is to find out how you can be unique among your competitors. What are your competitors offering in the niche that you are in, that you can only do in your way that's unique and is a great selling point. So you'd have to go in decide and figure out you know, what your competitors are doing? What are you all doing? And how can you create resources and establish yourself among other similar niches in a way that differentiates you? Maybe it's the type of resources or how you promote your resources. Or it could even just be something like a certain game that you've created that still covers that same niche that not a lot of other TPT stores do.

Alright, number six, can you recommend fonts for educational materials? So I have a blog post on this. It's actually one of my highest traffic blogs. But really, K fonts. Kaitlyn Oh, Bonnie, Amy Groesbeck. And, you know, there's all kinds of things on Teachers Pay Teachers by Kimberly gesswein. Those are all some of my favorite fonts that I like to use from TPT. But I also like using Google fonts and Adobe fonts. Some of my favorites recently, are of course, century Gothic, of course, you know, that kind of thing. But I also like Montserrat. I like Poppins. That's a Google font. I like quest Streel. That's a Google font as well. Um, but yeah, I'm not really like into like shopping for fonts right now. I pretty much use the same two or three fonts. But I definitely think if you are trying to find fonts, specifically for TPT resources for students, I think the best thing to do is go onto TPT you know, search fonts and see if there's any fonts that you like, if one thing I know for certain is that the more that you invest in fonts that appeal to your target audience Since the better, you will probably the more likely you will sell your resources or the more likely people will buy from you.

All right, number seven, what's the importance of visual consistency in TPT? Branding, extremely important, it's so important, I can tell the difference between a store that has that visual cohesiveness. And when you see a store with a clear branding, even if it's just visual, it eases your mind a little bit. And then it just helps you focus on what they're selling. Or maybe like, you know, oh, my gosh, I need to add all of these to my wish list. Whereas something, a storefront that's all over the place, it can be a turnoff to a lot of potential customers. And I know people say, well, people just go on the search results to find a store anyway. Yes, of course, yes, you're gonna mostly find your resources by typing it in in the search results. But there is a very likely chance that there are very many people who go into the storefront of the person whose resources that they found in the search results. And you really want to put your best foot forward when doing so. Alright.

Number eight, how can I design graphics for different subjects and grade levels, this all depends on your niche, I will say that, you probably don't want to purchase the same clipart for a primary grade resource that you're creating, versus somebody who's creating a high school resource, it is not going to end well for those students. So like thinking about if you're creating for primary grades, these are going to need to be very colorful, big fonts, big font sizes, and very, very easy to read text, simple wording, and just visually appealing across the board. As far as maybe adding some simple borders, and making it fun, you know, it's very simple. As far as secondary resources, you're going to probably have more text on that page, less images, especially cutesy images, if you find something, you're gonna probably either have a real photograph or a realistic looking illustration. And so you definitely need to keep the target audience in mind. If you know, of course, it goes into your niche. And hopefully you're having experience in that niche that you're creating resources for, and knowing them in and out. Like I know, middle school teachers know what they need to put in a resource and what's appropriate for that resource. Same with Elementary in high school, you need to make sure that the resources that you design are hitting and resonating with that intended audience of students. Now in regards to let's say, social media, and Pinterest, and you know, different creating graphics for your teacher audience, of course, this is going to be very different. While in primary grades, you don't want to have resources with fonts that have maybe uppercase and lowercase all in one line, or all uppercase, or all lowercase. That might be different when you're creating social media graphics for that teacher audience, because obviously, they can read certain words and fonts that the students may not be able to. So you want to kind of appeal to both at the same time, you want to make sure that they can see that the resources you're creating, have the look that's appropriate for primary grades, but then you also want to make sure when you're marketing your resources, they appeal to the target audience who's going to buy those resources for the students?

Number nine, what dimension should I use for TPT product images, so if we're referring to covers and thumbnails on TPT, the dimensions just square it could be 10 by 1012. By 12. I found that really, that doesn't matter. I would not recommend for you know, one, you know, one inch by one inch because it's going to be hard to create on PowerPoint or Canva. But a good size I would say is between 10 to 12 inches by 12 inches. If you have any resources that are portrait or landscape, I don't recommend it. I think right now squares, what's happening squares what we're going to be continuing with in the next foreseeable future, so definitely take the time to update that if you haven't already.

Alright, question number 10. Are there design trends to keep in mind for TPT resources? Definitely, I will share a few. One is that I think there is a move away from Super elaborate borders around resources. A simple shape that you can create in Canva, or PowerPoint, either a rounded square or a typical square rectangle around each page of a resource is important. And you can add your copyright and your TPT store name at the bottom right corner. Also, the design as far as making sure it is sectioned off, whether you're using shapes, or you're separating it with a larger, bolder text and smaller texts that's added that are Wait, I think, making sure you're having that contrast with the subheadings and the titles and the body text in the resource. Additionally, thinking about the different types of options in your resource, so maybe you might have a black and white version, but you also can easily switch it out to color and maybe use that color version for a digital version. So I think that's one other important trend. The last trend I want to mention is cutesy clipart, especially in the topics and content. So thinking about that context of is this clip art appropriate? And does it trivialize a person or group of people? So while I think it's really cute to have those clipart that depict certain figures of black history, or women's history, or US history or any type of history in general, I think we need to be very sensitive and careful as creators of resources for children of the type of images that we're utilizing to make sure that it's not infantilizing or downplaying the contributions and situations that occurred.

So that is the branding and graphic design q&a. Hopefully, this is something that has kind of helped you out. And I was kind of fun, you know, generating these questions on chat GPT. But the answers are all unscripted and just my initial thoughts on it. So that was just kind of fun. I might have to do more of that. Alright, thanks for listening in. And I'll talk to you again next week.

Thanks for listening to the creative teacher podcast. If you enjoyed listening to today's episode, feel free to subscribe and leave a review. I'd love to hear your feedback. You can also follow me on Instagram at the southern teach dot designs. Have an amazing day.