So, you’ve probably heard about the new Twitter header photo, right? Okay, if not, head on over to Paula’s post about the change and the reasons or possible motivations for the change.
While the whys are important, there’s also the HOWs. The truth is this: it’s actually kind of a real pain in the ass. It’s an incredibly awkward thing; unlike the Facebook cover photo which is all image based, the Twitter header photo includes your already established Twitter avatar, your Twitter handle, name, and your bio all in one cramped small space PLUS Twitter shades the image so the the WHITE (arg! WHITE!) text of your bio shows. So while at first glance it looks like you get to upload a big, shiny photo, you have to be careful. Which I learned through trail and error and thought I would share with you. Ready?
First of all, the dimensions of the image are 1252 pixels by 626. Because I love you all, I’ve made a blank image that is the right size that you can download here. You won’t be able to see it – it’s blank, after all – but if you hover your cursor over the page on that link and then right click, you will download the “blank Twitter header.”
Once you’ve downloaded this, you can then open the photo in PicMonkey (you could use the collage feature as well, but it’s challenging and tricky to customize the size of your collage; I’m sure they’ll fix this in an update)(also, you can use Photoshop if you’re fancy like that). Once it’s open, you can begin to customize the image how you like. Here’s a guideline of what you have to work with:
As you can see, there are several issues: the centered bio and Twitter name stuff is awful from a design perspective, and the choice to use WHITE! arg! text and the automatic shading is also a whopping pain from a design point of view. Also, it wasn’t clear from initial screening that the Twitter avatar would be plunk in the middle, so I was going to use my photo in that banner. Turns out that looked stupid. See?
So it was back to the drawing board. Eventually, I got something that worked, but it’s not nearly as much… I don’t know; awesome? As I’d hoped. The Facebook Cover Photo is a lot more fun to design. If you could control elements such as the text color, the shading thing… well, if wishes were horses and all that.
So, once you have your image, what do you do? The way you change this image is this: you go into SETTINGS on your Twitter page, then DESIGN, and then you scroll all the way down to the photo part where it says, “Change Header” (NOTE: if you want to keep the old design, you can, and if you upload a photo and want to change back to the old version you can). Click on the “Change Header” and upload your photo.
Then, if you’re me, you go back and fix it 40 times. It’s okay now, but I’m not sure I’m done tinkering yet… what do you think?