A Twitter banner — also known as a Twitter header — is a beautiful thing. This social-media real estate is granted to every Twitter user from the get-go, and it serves a distinct purpose: To promote your product, service, brand, or personality.
“Consider this your billboard,” Twitter says, advising users to “swap out this image periodically to spotlight promotions, events, product news, or just keep things fresh.”
The available strategies for doing so are practically endless, from using the space to display your product line to infusing it with your visual brand identity. The hardest part about creating an effective banner may simply be determining which approach works best for your business.
With that in mind, let these 25 effective Twitter headers inspire your next Twitter banner.
The promotional approach
Since your Twitter banner is so prominently featured on your profile page, many brands choose to treat it as an ad. Consider Kiehl’s: Within the banner space, this skincare brand’s product line is arranged to mimic a row of bottles on a bathroom shelf. The image gives Kiehl’s customers an opportunity to explore its offerings, and maybe even visualize them in their own homes.
2. Haribo UK
Candy maker Haribo promotes its product too, but in a way that embodies the brand’s fun-loving attitude. Visitors to this page get a sneak peek at Haribo’s wide variety of gummy candies, which are arranged on a white background to communicate a positive statement about the brand. If presented with an opportunity to send a subliminal message, give this design trick a try.
Ann Arbor, Michigan-based deli, bakery, and mail-order food business Zingerman’s updated its Twitter banner to spread the word about the business’s 35th anniversary. The image incorporates Zingerman’s quirky illustrations, which can also be found in its catalogue and on its product packaging. Introducing this visual theme early in the customer experience helps to create a sense of consistency when consumers make a purchase later on.
4. Overlap League
A service or community can sometimes benefit from a Twitter banner that provides more information about its purpose. The Overlap League, a community and newsletter dedicated to native advertising, explains itself with a simple but functional visualization.
5. NY Public Library
Rather than feature an image of its interior or legendary Rose Main Reading Room, the New York Public Library chose to advertise the origins of its logo. Patience and Fortitude, the iconic lion statues that flank the main branch’s entrance and the inspiration for its logo, are a longtime symbol of New York — so the NYPL’s decision to put them front and center on Twitter is a reminder of the institution’s long and proud history.
6. Southport FlowerShow
If your primary objective is to promote your brand, try promoting your social media presence at the same time. With its Twitter banner, the U.K.’s Southport FlowerShow took a minimal approach that used a black background to make the fuchsia of its logo pop, and added social media icons in the same color so that attendees know how and where to follow the event online.
Shutterstock Editor makes it easy for users to customize or resize any image to meet Twitter’s header photo requirements. It offers the same capabilities for other major social media sites, like Pinterest and Facebook, as well.
Embrace your inner artist
7. Paul Alex Gray
You don’t have to be a professional artist to flex your creative muscle on Twitter. Writer Paul Alex Gray captures his Twitter followers’ attention with a cartoon illustration that incorporates his name and interests. Because Gray’s work includes fantasy fiction and writing character backstories for kids’ video games, the playful banner is a good professional fit.
8. The Daily Dot
For multi-faceted brands like online news resource The Daily Dot, this custom wallpaper is a good choice. Not only is it distinctive, but it gives potential readers an idea of the types of topics the site covers, along with the themes that its editors and writers enjoy most.
9. USA Swimming
Another strategy is to go abstract with a banner that relates to your business, but doesn’t quite give everything away. USA Swimming made the logical decision to use a photograph of a swimmer, but eschewed the ordinary in favor of a more artistic image that captures the drama and spectacle of the sport. If you opt for a Twitter header like this one, take a cue from USA Swimming and promote your organization in your profile pic to avoid any confusion about the nature of your brand.
Fernet-Branca, an Italian elixir made of herbs and spices, created a Twitter banner that’s equally artistic but takes an entirely different visual approach. This composite photo presents a literal interpretation of the explosion of flavor that customers can expect when they purchase a Fernet drink. Whether you’re familiar with the product or not, the image makes it clear that Fernet intends to deliver an exotic and exciting cocktail experience.
Show your work
There are obvious advantages to using your Twitter banner image to put your products on display. If you’re an artist, you’ll want to do the same with your work.
11. Kevin Swallow
Painter and photographer Kevin Swallow used one of his many urban landscape paintings to pique his audience’s interest in his work, and coupled it with a painted self-portrait for his profile pic. The result is a colorful and consistent page that perfectly embodies his artistic style and specialization.
12. john ed de vera
John Ed De Vera offers a sneak peek at his workspace, where he creates one-of-a kind papercut art. The profile picture on his Twitter page depicts him in the midst of a project, and the two images work together to tell the story of his creative process.
Turning your Twitter banner into a miniature gallery of your work shows potential clients what they’ll get if they choose to hire you. Some designers, graphic artists, and illustrators feature multiple creations to demonstrate their range.
Stay true to your brand identity
Before you decide on a design for your Twitter banner, though, it’s useful to explore additional marketing methods. This includes employing the header to emphasize your brand identity.
14. Inkbot Design
For example, Belfast-based graphic design and branding agency Inkbot Design is lucky enough to have a logo that attracts attention while also referencing its brand identity (ID) design services, so ensuring that it stands out on Twitter makes sense. A solid black banner harmonizes with the logo’s stripped-back palette while also hinting at the concept of a blank slate.
15. Crooked Lane Books
For maximum impact, crime fiction imprint Crooked Lane Books expanded the illustration from its logo to fill the space. This approach puts the spotlight on a bold graphic representation of the company’s unforgettable name.
16. Joanna Gaines
For TV personality and designer Joanna Gaines, showcasing gratitude — the theme of her magazine’s most recent issue — serves a dual purpose: To promote The Magnolia Journal along with the driving force behind her brand. “The goal in all of this is to make this magazine something you look forward to with each new season… and, if we get this thing right, to make The Magnolia Journal something you’re grateful for,” writes Gaines. You can riff on this technique by highlighting a trait or mission that’s important to your brand.
17. Dan Makoski
Alternatively, you might try creating an image that shows your followers what matters most to you. Walmart VP of Design Dan Makoski sends a clear message with this heartfelt photograph. Notice that he’s wearing the same shirt in both the banner and his Twitter profile pic for visual consistency.
Find a fresh perspective
18. The New Yorker
Twitter users are bombarded with imagery, so it’s important that your page stands out. The New Yorker achieves this goal by adopting a fresh, street-view perspective in this engaging illustration. The colors mirror those of the magazine’s mascot, who graced the cover of the very first issue in 1925 and has made many other appearances since.
19. DigitasLBi US
Global companies can explore the possibility of designing a Twitter header that illustrates their international footprint. With offices across North America, Europe, Asia, and beyond, DigitasLBi has its pick of landmarks, but for its U.S. Twitter account the focus is on American monuments like Chicago’s Cloud Gate sculpture and the Hollywood sign. The image shows potential clients that, from coast to coast, this agency has its finger on the pulse of the industry.
20. Old Spice
Anyone familiar with Old Spice and its major rebrand won’t be surprised by this eccentric Twitter header. The surreal image complements the brand’s equally quirky Twitter bio and reminds consumers that the new Old Spice is made for hip young men who seek the polar opposite of their father’s aftershave. On Twitter and beyond, brands that have a reputation for being offbeat are wise to stay true to form.
Pair storytelling with photography
21. Mark Thorpe
Wildlife photographer Mark Thorpe is well acquainted with the power of photography, and uses it in conjunction with his Twitter banner to increase awareness of his work and gain followers. This striking image illustrates the beauty and mystery he encounters when he’s out in the field.
22. Richard Bernabe
Instead of displaying a single photograph, photographer Richard Bernabe combined a selection of nature and travel shots sourced from his collection. Fusing multiple images can result in an impressive banner design.
Similarly, Canadian fashion magazine Flare maximized the available space by creating a collage of photographs and beauty products. The header is dynamic and exciting, and informs would-be readers of the magazine’s content.
LEGO uses photography too, but in a different way. The toy brand chose to feature a historic photograph of its manufacturing plant and an early schematic of its products. If your company has an interesting story to tell and vintage photographs to share with customers and fans, your Twitter banner could be the ideal place to do it.
25. Nike Sportswear
Finally, this modern take on a composite photo epitomizes Nike Sportswear’s slick style. The iridescent accents are in keeping with the current metallic trend and the edgy, urban look that’s sure to appeal to Nike customers.
With so many options for designing an engaging Twitter banner, you might find yourself eager to update yours more often. Using Shutterstock Editor to source, enhance, and edit images means it will take no time at all to keep your Twitter profile sharp and your brand top of mind for consumers. You can customize your own Twitter header from a selection of pre-designed templates, or make your own from scratch with text, shapes, images, and your own logo.
Top image by TAW4