Till March 26th, SitePoint is running a Twitter background contest that will bring the winner a copy of The Principles of Beautiful Design by Jason Beaird, and a copy of the soon to be released book Sexy Web Design by Elliot Jay Stocks. The rules are pretty simple: you can send as many entries as you want and the artwork you send needs to be original. More information you find in the forum.
Inspired by this forum thread, I thought it might be helpful for the contestants to list here some of the most beautiful Twitter backgrounds I saw, and a few possible design guidelines.
First things first: there is no recipe to create the most stunning Twitter background. People respond differently to visual stimuli. Some like simple designs; others enjoy the curls and swirls of the arabesque. Backgrounds can be created to promote a brand, a person or simply to reflect the personality of the user.
A good Twitter background is wide enough to fit most screen resolutions. Most popular screen resolution is now 1280×1024, but creating a Twitter background with this size would be too narrow for a 1600×1200 screen for example. There is no clear rule as to what the right size should be, but to stay on the safe site (so that your Twitter visitors will never see the original twitter background color at the right side of the screen) a background wider than 2000 pixels seems to be the best choice. Just make sure the image you create looks good at all screen resolutions.
To ensure that your original background blends well with the Twitter design colors, customize these in your Twitter profile settings. Change Twitter’s default background color with that of yours, and make sure that colors for text, name, links, sidebar fill and border blend well with your design too.
Now let’s take a look at some of the most beautiful Twitter backgrounds ever made.
@tkpleslie we find a beautiful branded design. Pink is dominant and it makes the design look feminine. A memorable background. Size: 1700×802 pixels.
This background by @webandarts is 1226×580 pixels. It’s fresh, simple and branded reflecting not as much the personality of the designer as the company it’s promoting. Indian design.
@gopalraju we have another example of Indian design. Nice autumn colors and 1266×675 pixels background.
A breathe of spring with joyful colors in a profoundly feminine design @sairbear. Image size 1050×1050 pixels.
A background reflecting the personality and talent of the artist @kimdeanart. Image size 800×897 pixels.
@vonster surprises with an evil clown background, which obviously doesn’t scare the 2164 followers. Twitter background: 1680×1050 pixels.
First 2048×1707 pixels background @ginamstudio. The design reminds me of a pretty pajama fabric. Blends well with Twitter’s logo.
Great personal branding design @problogger. Image size 1600×1200 pixels.
Another good example of personal branding @randaclay. Image size 1106×796 pixels. I personally liked her former layout more.
Funny cartoons make for great Twitter backgrounds too: @boagworld is a good example. The smallest size so far: 658×754 pixels.
Interesting illustration @doshdosh. 1600×1200 pixels. The design reflects the personality of the user more than anything else.
I hope these backgrounds will at least give you an idea about the “trends” if they don’t inspire you. If you need even more inspiration, you can find some on Flickr as well.
So what is your design going to reflect? Which type of approach do you think is best fit for a SitePoint competition? Do you know of any beautiful Twitter backgrounds not mentioned here? Feel free to post your answers in the comments box.