Logos & Graphics on Twitter

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Cynthia Bartz • July 9, 2015
Whether you are revamping your Twitter page or just starting out, there are some things you should know about how to use your logo on Twitter. We want to be sure that your company looks awesome everywhere, including tiny social media profile pictures.

Profile Picture

It is important that your profile picture reflect the branding you have already established. You want some one who catches one of your tweets to know for sure that it is from your company. The simplest way to accomplish this is by using your company logo. If you have a square-ish logo, congratulations! You can probably go ahead and upload your beautiful high-res jpg to Twitter. Keep in mind that even if your logo mostly fits it should still be readable if it is super tiny. Twitter profile images can show up as small as 31 pixels square.

Readability

At all times you want to make sure that your profile picture is “readable”. This means that someone can make sense of what your profile picture is even if it is very small. What this translates to for your business: your standard logo might not work. If you shrink your logo down and you can’t read it consider an abbreviated version of your logo for social media. This might mean dropping a tagline, or only using the symbol portion of your logo. There is no one right answer and the solution for each brand will be different. Try out several different versions, the one you think might work may be the worst approach for readability at a small scale.
Example of Twitter Profile ReadabilityIn the example above the most common size profile picture is difficult to read. Even though this is the standard version of the logo, it isn’t readable and therefore is not the best choice for representing Hands Up on social media.
Example of a readable logo on TwitterThe version above uses only the hands from the logo. The hands are clean and can be read even in the smallest size.

Logo Alternatives

You may also want to consider using something other than your logo for your profile picture. If your brand is highly personalized you may want to use a photo of yourself, rather than your logo. If your brand sells products highlight your best seller. Bottom line for any profile picture is: Your social media profiles should reflect your brand, and decisions made with purpose.

Alternatives:

  • Photo of yourself (only recommended for soloprenuer businesses)
  • Photo of your offices
  • Photo of product
  • Image of brand mascot
  • Image of services in action
  • Your App Icon

Profile Picture Backgrounds

Remember that your profile picture is going to be swimming with lots of other fish. The simplest thing to do is to upload an image of your logo on a white background. But, because it is the simplest answer, that means that most people are tweeting with white background logos. One easy way that you can stand out is to use your brand colors strategically to standout from other profiles. Make sure that colors are chosen with a reason, and that it supports your current brand efforts.

Example of colored backgrounds in profile picturesIn the example above you can see that the white logo on a colored background is much stronger visually than the Hands Up standard logo in this application.

High Quality Images

In the digital world consumers equate the quality of your images with the quality of your company. Crappy images tell consumers, clients and investors that quality is not important to you. Twitter runs all images through a processor to make them all the same size and converts them to a jpg file. The best way to ensure that the image stays beautiful when you upload it is to match the specs, otherwise Twitter will downsample, resize, and otherwise degrade the quality of the image. All images should be a minimum of 72 dpi.

Specs

500×500 px at 72dpi – maximum size your profile picture will be viewed

400×400 px – Twitter’s recommended size to upload

73×73 px – this size appears at the top of your account page

*48×48 px – the most commonly viewed size, this is what shows up in a twitter feed

31×31 px – the smallest your profile will ever be

Header Image

Twitter offers an option to upload a header image to your profile. This image will be seen anyone visits your twitter feed. You can opt not to upload a header image and just use a profile color instead. However, you will be losing out on some pretty prime, free branding real estate. Your header image, like all of your graphics should support your brand message and give more clarity to what your business has the offer.

Avoid Text in image

Now you might be thinking: “How much text can I cram into 1252×626 pixels?”. And I will tell you to avoid text all together in the header image. Don’t do it! There are several reasons why you wouldn’t want to use text in the header image. The first is that the header is used in every Twitter application, including phone apps. In some applications Twitter will put your profile picture over top of your header image, that means that your dissertation is lost behind your logo, username, bio, and drop shadows. The second reason is downsampling. Just like with the profile pictures, Twitter is going to crunch your photo to be as small of a file size as possible. Inevitably your text is going to be pixilated with lots of little artifacts around it. The third reason: people are looking at your profile to read your tweets, not your company history on a background image. Most of the time followers are going to skip right over it and dive into your feed.

If you have to put text in your header image use san-serif, simple fonts to minimize quality issues. Keep text phrases very short and sweet. Save long text for your website and Twitter bio. Position your text towards the center of the image. Twitter doesn’t always use the whole image and you risk losing letters or whole phrases if your content is too far to one side.

Image Ideas

The header image could be a wide variety of things, but it is most important that it coordinate with your profile image and support the type of content shared on your company’s Twitter account. For example, if your Twitter account focuses on providing product updates to consumers, a photo of your office building might not make sense. Like every part of your branding, take just a few minutes to brain storm the best solution for your company.

Suggestions:

  • Photo of your team
  • Photo of your office building
  • Photo of your office interior
  • Photo of your star product/products
  • Photo of your services in action
  • Image of your app
  • Image of your ideal client/customer

High Quality Images

Whatever image you choose for your header, it should be high resolution. Export the largest file that Twitter will allow you to upload. All images should be a minimum of 72 dpi.

Specs

2560×600 px – maximum size

1500×500 px – Twitter’s recommended size to upload

1024×280 px – minimum size header will appear

3MB – maximum file size allowed

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