Background

If you use Twitter for business or for marketing purposes, then this will be of interest because you’re missing a great marketing opportunity. With your new Twitter background, you can display your logo, contact information, a short bio about yourself, images, etc. Even if your Twitter is used for personal reasons, you can still use this post as a way to create a new Twitter background for yourself.

By the end of this post, you should be able to whip up a custom background image which you will upload to your Twitter account to use for your Twitter profile’s background. If this sounds complicated- don’t worry, it’s not. It’s relatively easy as you’ll soon find out.

I’m going to be covering the four main parts of creating this custom Twitter background image, beginning with the measurements. Then we’ll move on to designing your new image, followed by the actual creation of the image. When that’s done, we’ll then cover uploading the image so that it appears as the new background of your Twitter profile.

The Measurements
Please note that the following instructions are based on my 1280 x 720 monitor screen. The width between the left browser edge and the left edge of the white Twitter posts area is roughly 245 pixels. However, the width between the right browser edge and the right edge of the white Twitter posting area is 250 pixels. When creating the design of your new background, my advice would be to leave five pixels dead space on both sides of the white Twitter posting area just to be on the safe side. You can still incorporate these five pixels into your design, just don’t have an important part of your design in this area.

The height of your new background is 555 pixels. Later, you will be setting your background not to tile. This means when the user scrolls down this page, your background graphic will not move. So when you design your background, your focus will be on the left and right sides of the white Twitter posts area.

Now with the measuring done, these are the figures we have to work with:

Image width: 1255 pixels
Image height: 555 pixels
Left graphic width: 245 pixels
Right graphic width: 250 pixels

With the boring part of the job complete, now we can move on to designing the layout of the new background

The Design
If your Twitter account is a personal one which you use for non-business purposes, then the design possibilities are only constrained by your imagination. But if your Twitter account is for business purposes, then you need to figure out first what your goal(s) are for the new background:

Are you wanting to provide contact information?
Do you want to promote yourself, your blog, your site, your business, etc.?
What design would best convey your brand or image?
To help you come up with some ideas, I would suggest checking out these Twitter account home pages to see what is possible:

Chris Garrett
Gary Vaynerchuk
Mashable

For my Twitter background, I want to make sure I incorporate the Geek Entrepreneur logo to help build the GE brand, use the same colors as I have on my Geek Entrepreneur blog (to, again, build the GE brand), and include my email address, Geek Entrepreneur URL, and the URLs of my other sites.

If you have ever done any kind of design work whether it’s for your blog, web site, whatever, you know things usually go faster and easier if you have an idea on paper of what you want to do. Designing your Twitter background is no different. What I did was use a sheet of printer paper to layout my design, using the dimensions of the paper as the area of the Twitter background. I didn’t measure anything out; I just divided the sheet into three sections with the middle section representing the Twitter post area.

Once you have your design idea(s) ready, then you’re ready to fire up Photoshop (or another graphic creation program) to create the background image.

Creating The Background Image
When creating your background image, I would suggest making a model background image and save it as a PSD file (that is a Photoshop file with layers file). If you do this, then you’ll have a handy model file to use when creating other Twitter backgrounds. I mention this now so you remember to do it later.

Okay, first thing you want to do is create a new graphic that is 1255 x 555. This is the background image for your Twitter account. If you know how to create a guide, then create a vertical one at 450 pixels and another vertical guide at 1005 pixels. The space between these two guides represent the Twitter post area. You can also create a horizontal grid at 95 pixels to section off the top of your image in case you want to fill that area with a color. By setting it to 95 pixels, it will drop down a little below the top of the Twitter post area which creates a nice look, in my opinion. Now create another horizontal guide, this time at 480 pixels. Anything below this guide runs the danger of being cut off. Anything above this line should be safe.

Once you have your background image complete, save a layered version of it so you can make changes to it later or to create a whole new design. After you do that, flatten the layers and save your graphic as either a JPG or GIF file. When you save your image, ensure that the file size is less than 800K. This is the maximum size allowed for a background image. With this done, you are now ready to upload your new Twitter background image.

Uploading The Background Image
First step is to login to your Twitter account then click on Settings in the menu at the top. On that page, you will see a row of tabs (PICTURE HERE). Click on the one marked Design. Now, scroll down to the bottom and click on the Change Background Image>> link. A text field will soon open with a Browse button next to it.

Click on that button so that you can search and upload your new Twitter background image to the Twitter server. Once you do that, make sure the Tile Background checkbox is empty because you don’t want your new image to repeat on the screen. Now click on the Save Changes button at the bottom.

Don’t be surprised if you make changes to your background image once you upload it. You might realize your design doesn’t necessarily mesh with the layout of the page or what have you. This is why I suggested saving a layered model of your image earlier.

Wrapping It Up
I hope you found this little tutorial easy to follow and use. I would love it if you gave it a shot and then posted your Twitter URL in the comment section below so that I and anyone else can check out your handy work. If you have any suggestions or hints you want to pass along on creating a Twitter background, be sure to add them to the comments section below. Thanks!

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