Imagery is one of the most important ways you can establish the look and feel of your brand and store with your Shopify theme, so it’s no wonder that it’s also a common area that store owners want to customize and tinker with. However, as we’ve discussed with both typography and color, there are some areas with imagery that can deliver much better returns on your time and energy.
Big or small? Centered or left side?
At the end of the day, the size and positioning of your logo isn’t going to have a huge impact on sales. Since many Shopify users are just starting out or only serve niche markets, brand recognition isn’t likely to have a huge impact; logos don’t need to be large or overbearing to be useful.
As long as your logo is clearly displayed, it’s likely to be effective in building and establishing brand awareness, while still ensuring that those already familiar with your brand know they are in the right place.
That said, make sure you have a well designed logo that’s also available in a high quality version so it’s easy to read and see in your Shopify theme. If you don’t have one, spend some money to have one designed or get some logo design tips from the many resources available online.
If you have a logo you’re happy with, but only have it in low resolution sizes, spend the money to have it traced.
When commissioning a logo design, consider that horizontal logos in a landscape orientation tend to work better in most Shopify themes — tall, round or square ones can often cause layout issues. If your current logo doesn’t seem to be fitting well in your layout, consider having a designer create an alternate version of the logo that will work better in a wider space.
Also check to see if your theme can accommodate logos in different places; for example the “word mark” or horizontal version of your logo may work best in the top menu area, but a symbol/icon or emblem version of it could look better in the footer or on mobile.
Many Shopify theme users think their product images are too big. And an equal number of store owners probably think their product images are too small.
The first thing to consider when it comes to your product images, is that most Shopify themes have ecommerce best practice in mind and use photo sizes that look good aesthetically, adhere to established design guidelines and make it easy for customers to view products.
In order for the shopper to feel confident making a purchase online without being able to physically handle the item, it’s often better to err on the side of bigger images rather than smaller, with more access to view details rather than less.
Instead of spending time adjusting the size of images on pages, which often requires extensive code modification, find ways to improve your product photography to not only make the best use of the space available to you but also make your products look their best.
Don’t forget that it’s often a good idea to show photos of your products in use, in addition to isolated or more staged studio shots.
Remember that your Shopify theme’s product photos are the digital equivalent of a person being able to pick up or try on your products — so spending time and energy on quality photography will ultimately pay off much more than worrying about the precise display size of the images.
If you don’t have high resolution photos, that’s also definitely worth an investment, especially if you use a Shopify theme with a product image zoom feature.
It’s tempting to promote all of your most exciting news and updates to visitors on your Shopify theme’s homepage, but adding more than a few slides to a rotating slideshow banner or carousel is not only time-consuming to produce and design, but also adds to page load time; most of your users are unlikely to be on the page long enough to see more than one or two slides anyway.
If your Shopify theme only supports a set number of slideshow banners, adding more can be a complex process.
Also keep in mind that since homepage slideshow images tend to be, by definition, very large, they can also have a profound effect on the load times of a particular page.
Instead of customizing a theme to accommodate more slideshow content, work within the confines of your theme and make everything that’s on the homepage “earn” the right to be there. Items on the homepage typically should be broadly focused and the most compelling you have to offer.
If you have info you want to promote or make sure gets seen, such as a new collection arrival or a flash sale, it’s best to put that announcement on a static image banner in a prominent place; if you typically have a slideshow in your topmost area of your home page, for example, consider turning off the slideshow effect by reducing it to the one slide only; this offers the best chances of it being seen by your shop visitors. It’s often best to think of a slideshow as a place for supplementary imagery rather than as a place to convey important information.
Spending time fussing with Photoshop or other image editing software to add your own text or "buttons" to a picture is usually an unnecessary exercise and time drain.
Since most themes will automatically scale down or crop image banners, slideshows and other pictures on mobile, this often renders any text that has been added directly to the image file quite tiny and hard to read.
If text has been "hard stamped" in place onto the image, it could also get cut off on smaller screen sizes or not appear in the spot you thought it would.
A well-designed theme will usually provide multiple options for adding and styling any text and action buttons on top of your banner and slideshow images, and possibly other images as well.
This will allow any text to remain as text, which not only renders legibly on different screen sizes (since the size of it can be controlled through the code) but it’s also much better for SEO, since that text will be searchable rather than embedded into an image file.
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This year, four members of the Out of the Sandbox Shopify theme team had the privilege of attending the Shopify Unite conference in San Francisco. We’ve since returned with new insights, ideas and lots of enthusiasm for the growth we see coming —both on the Shopify platform and for ecommerce in general.