A Beautiful Background For Your Twitter Page

Dec 02, 2010 View Comments by Steve

How Do I Change My Twitter Background?

In the top right hand corner of your twitter homepage you should see your username and avatar. Click on this to reveal a drop down menu and click on Settings then go to the Design tab. In here you can choose a different background from the images provided by twitter or you can choose to upload an image or colour. We are going to combine uploading our own image and using a background colour to produce a professional twitter page.

Do you just want a fun wallpaper?

If it’s not a business twitter account and you just want a bit of fun and to customise your online presence then take a look at twitterbackgrounds, twitrbackgrounds or the Free Twitter Designer. Another options is to use Twilk a site that will make a background by tiling the profile pictures of your followers. Its a neat idea, dead easy to set up and looks pretty good too.

Designing a Background Image For Your Brand

Most companies and well known personalities on twitter have custom backgrounds. This can really help you stand out as a professional and help you add more information about yourself and what you do. Lets start with a few good examples.

Option 1: Combining Background Image & Background Color

The first 2 images above are examples of a simple non repeating image on the left hand side kept narrow so it doesn’t get hidden by the main tweet window. The trick here is to set the twitter background color within your twitter settings to be exactly the same color as the image background color. That way it blends seamlessly into a classy background with a useful branded sidebar to boot. Keep your image narrow and simple because with the new twitter design it takes up more of the central space and many people are working on small screen laptops. We recommend a maximum width of just 180px.

Option 2: Large Background Images

The 3rd image (@peterjones) above is a large background image this allows you a lot more space to play with the design. In the old twitter design people used this so they effectively had a sidebar on the right as well as the left showing information at either side of the main twitter window. With the new wider twitter design these don’t really fit anymore and we would recommend against trying to fit anything to the right of the main twitter feed via a background image as it usually looks strange and ugly and overlap will almost always occur. The other disadvantage of these large images is they take longer to download which can make the user experience frustrating.

Option 3: Repeat Images

The last image example above from @ryancarson is a repeated or tiled background. These can work and we quite like Ryans design above. Another popular use of tiling is to create an image with a bunch of small tiled photos. Then have this image tiled so at first glance it looks like the background is a photo wall. These backgrounds can be distracting and take your concentration away from the important content which should be the tweets and profile details.

So lets build a beautiful professional twitter background

There is no doubt here at Technology Expert that the best strategy is to have a simple small image, not tiled that acts as a narrow left sidebar. It can include company name, logo, strap line and perhaps a few extra contact details. The background can have some texture as long as it progressively fades into a smooth texture to the the right and bottom border so it seemlessly anchors to the background color configured within twitter itself. Make sure that any foreground detail on your image such as text and logos is kept within the 180px width to limit any change of overlap with the main twitter feed. This isn’t all that easy to do for non designers so I suggest if you’re not sure keep it really simple. The second example above from Condiment is a great example. Probably the best looking of the lot and dead simple.

To create your image use an image editor and although most people won’t have the expensive Photoshop software you’ll find the free Paint.NET for Windows or Paintbrush for the Mac. If you are in the market for a cheap paint package then try Adobe Photoshop Elements or the brilliant Pixelmator if you’re a Mac user. If installing software to create your twitter background seems like overkill try the online tool Picnik. Once your happy with your image you can upload to twitter via the design tab in the settings area. You should also edit the background color and other colors to match your image branding too.

Was this useful? Do you need some help? Give me a shout on twitter or in the comment section below. Thanks for reading.


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