Whether you’re new to Twitter, or you just need to update your Twitter background, there are a few ready made options you can try out there. In just a few clicks, you can upload pre-designed Twitter backgrounds to your page, or customize a background with your logo and image file. In the end, you’ll have a Twitter background, but it will have its drawbacks. Sites like TwitBacks actually provide free Twitter backgrounds for quick and easy upload to your Twitter page. But, if you’d really like to take advantage of the branding opportunities your Twitter page has to offer, all you need is about 20 minutes and Photoshop. I understand that not everyone has Photoshop installed on their computers. Anyone can access Photoshop at a local FedEx Office store with self-service computers. Be sure to check the FedEx Office website for the self-service computer location nearest you.

We’re going to create two files to work with, then merge them together to create the background.

Start by launching Photoshop, then select, File, New. Change the settings to a width of 235 pixels by a height of 700 pixels, and a resolution of 300.

Select File, then New, again to create the second image file.  Change the settings to a width of 2560 pixels by a height of 1600 pixels, and a resolution of 300.

The 235 X 700 image file is the sidebar, and the larger file is the entire background. The majority of your followers will see only a small portion of the background image, but you’ll need the extra space to accommodate larger monitors.

A good friend of mine owns the Wicked Wich food truck in Sacramento, and I always find time to visit chef / owner, Chris Jarosz, and try whatever is new on the menu. Chris’ Twitter page consists of an illustration of his flagship sandwich, tiled on the background.

Let’s say Chris doesn’t like that the text on the background is cut off, and would like an updated look, in the same theme of the current page.

Start with the larger image file.

For Chris’ Twitter background, I’ll use a high-contrast, dark black and white photo that I shot last year during one of my visits. Open the image file you’d like to use for the background. Once it’s open, click and drag the background layer from the photo image file to the blank Twitter background.

I used some slightly advanced techniques, applying the gradient tool to an image mask over the black and white background, so the image has a vintage feeling, and it fades to white at the bottom. This is particularly important to me in the next step where we’ll create the sidebar overlay.

My Final Twitter Background Image File

Switch over to the 235 X 700 image file, then open your logo image file. If you don’t have a logo image file, you could stop with the image file background, or just add text into the 235 X 700 image file. Or, you could have a logo designed for you – which should be a no-brainer, but that’s an entirely different lesson in branding. I’m going to use two transparent image files for the overlay.

In Photoshop, File, Open, then locate your logo file.

Drag the logo file to the sidebar image file as earlier with the background image.

You will most-likely need to resize the logo file after dragging to the sidebar image. Select Edit, Transform, then Scale. Then hold the shift key down, click and hold the mouse on a corner of the image, and drag diagonally inward, until the image fits inside of the sidebar. When the size is to your liking, double click on the image to save the new size.

Select the logo file layer in the sidebar image file, then right click. Select “Create Smart Object” from the menu.

Drag the logo image layer from the sidebar image file to the background image file, and align it to the top, left corner.

Then select File, Save As, and save the file as a PNG format. You’re ready to upload your Twitter background.

Since I’m not actually uploading this to my friend Chris’ Twitter page, here’s what my Twitter background looks like.

This is the view from a laptop and typical monitor. If you fit your overall background into a 2560 X 1600 space with a 235 pixel sidebar, your imagination is the limit.

Once you get this skill down, there’s really no stopping you. You can quickly and easily update your Twitter background to your heart’s content. This literally takes no time at all – I was finished with my own background in less than 20 minutes, and it includes multiple graphic elements. What did you create to use as a background on your Twitter page? Share your Twitter link in the comments here.



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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.