Your New Go-To Cheat Sheet
The moment will come for every designer when they must help a friend or client who needs their brand graphically represented on social media. It’s fairly easy to make mistakes when creating graphics for social media platforms, especially with resolution and file format, so your first thought should be to look for a cheat sheet with all the requirements for any image you may want to make for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social platforms.
When working with cover pictures, if you have specific content that you want to show in certain areas, you might realize that your text content will be cut off or obscured when the image displays on small mobile devices. Finding myself in that unfortunate and frustrating situation, I started doing trial and error tests with cover images and created some guidelines for working with text layout in a graphic that will display on different screen sizes.
For facebook I suggest adding the text in the center or partially centered so it doesn’t get cut-off from the sides on mobile devices. Be conscious of the space the overlaid text and profile picture will obscure on your image, along with the darkened gradient behind them.
Cheat sheets usually suggest using a massive image, but you’ll find that out of the whole image, only a very small portion shows up. To solve that problem, I suggest adding all your content in the horizontal middle third of the image avoiding the top and bottom. You’ll have less trouble with the sides that way.
Twitter is similar to Youtube, but it doesn’t cut as much from the top and bottom of the image (almost one seventh from each). Just follow my guideline for YouTube, and you should be just fine.
Google plus works inversely: on mobile, they show up almost in their entirety on the top (sometimes some areas on top and bottom depending on the device), but for desktop, there’s an overlay with the profile information that covers part of the left half of your image, the actual background image is pushed to the right. I suggest minimizing text content for this type of profile, but if you must include text you can place it on the right side, a small distance from the edge.
Here’s a package with the grids (Included: transparent png files and an eps). Remember that the mobile grids can’t be 100% accurate since they can change by the dimensions of many devices, but they can help you visualize the boundaries for your text and graphics setup.
As for the rest of the major social media sites, I’m still working on their guidelines, but for now, you can try your own solution. If it works out, please share it in the comments!