If you’re working on building your Twitter audience, creating an aesthetically pleasing Twitter header that captures attention is a must.

As with all social media platforms, though, there are specific image guidelines that apply to profile headers, including acceptable dimensions and other rules you’ll need to follow. Here’s what you need to know about the ideal header size as well as other tips and tricks for creating an attention-grabbing Twitter header.

The ideal Twitter header size

The recommended size for a Twitter header image is 1500px x 500px in JPG, GIF, or PNG format. (Note that Twitter doesn’t support animated GIFs for header or profile images.)

Sounds simple enough, right? Don’t forget that your Twitter profile image takes up some space in the lower left-hand area of your header, and there’s also invisible space to account for as well.

Essentially, even if you’ve painstakingly created the perfect header image, profile photo accounted for and all, Twitter still crops the image so it doesn’t actually display in its full glory. If that’s not frustration enough, you also need to consider how your header image will scale across various screen sizes.

If you don’t want Twitter to mess with your header (as far as cropping or resizing it), create an image that’s exactly 1263px by 421px.

Because Twitter profiles have a responsive layout, your header still needs to be able to withstand some scaling to accommodate users’ browsers and screen sizes. That’s why it’s a good idea to test your design across a few devices, browsers, and screen sizes to get a feel for how well it scales to various sizes without sacrificing the aesthetic you worked so hard to perfect.

If you’ve installed Twitter follow buttons and Twitter share buttons on your website, you’re earning new profile visitors and potential followers. Your Twitter header image is often your brand’s first impression.

Tips for designing an amazing Twitter header

Follow these best practices to create the perfect Twitter header design:

  • Leave space for your profile image. When designing your Twitter header, leave some open space for the area where your profile image overlaps.
  • Place important elements near the center. If your header contains important elements, such as your company’s name, position it near the center of the image to ensure that it’s fully visible and not in danger of being cropped to accommodate a smaller screen size.
  • Leave space for the invisible area around the border. Because Twitter crops header images, there’s a border of space around the image that won’t be visible. Keep this in mind when designing your header to ensure that everything that you want to be seen is in the visible area.
  • Consider using your logo as your profile image, not as part of your header. On some devices, particularly mobile devices, the profile image overtakes the header image on these smaller screens – meaning your logo will be obscured even if it’s positioned in the center of your header.
  • Use high-res images. Twitter applies JPG compression to header images (after converting them to JPG), which can impact image quality. Using a high-resolution image for your header results in a higher-quality look despite any resizing, compression, or cropping that takes place to accommodate different browsers or devices.
  • Stick to a few carefully chosen colors. Images that contain fewer colors are better able to withstand JPG compression, so stick to a smaller number of colors that complement your brand.
  • Keep it simple. Again, JPG compression can do some pretty wacky things to images that previously looked fabulous. Keep it simple and rely on clean lines with a high contrast between text, images, and background colors or effects to minimize the visual impacts of compression.

Getting the most out of your Twitter header: 5 examples we love (with key takeaways)

How can you use that valuable Twitter header real estate to make an impression? Take some inspiration from these exceptional examples.

Canva

Canva

Canva’s Twitter header is simple, sleek, and makes a bold statement that also helps the company gain traction with its #mydesignstory campaign.

Takeway: Use your Twitter header to promote current events or #hashtag campaigns.

Target

Target

Target’s Twitter header is certainly eye-catching, but more importantly, it’s completely in line with the company’s typical branding. And with no text at all, it still manages to send a clear message that you can find something for the whole family in Target stores.

Takeaway: Stay true to your company’s brand image.

YETI

YETI

YETI keeps it simple with a stunning visual image of a boat off the shore of a pristine beach. The perfect example of an ideal use case for the company’s products.

Takeaway: Present use cases for your products or services.

Uber

Uber

Uber is under new leadership and is clearly looking to the future with an apt Twitter header that declares it’s “moving forward.” The phrase obviously has a dual meaning, as Uber’s customers are moving forward, too. While there is text, it’s clear, prominent in size, and in high contrast to the background.

Takeaway: Leverage your Twitter header image to celebrate successes or raise awareness about your company’s values.

Airbnb

Airbnb

Airbnb keeps it simple yet makes an unforgettable statement at the same time, featuring a flawlessly put-together living space with a distinct home-like vibe – precisely what most customers are looking for when they book a place to stay through Airbnb.

Takeaway: Show off what you have to offer!

Creating the perfect Twitter header image may take some time, but it’s well worth it for a stunning profile that captures attention and leaves a lasting impression on your profile visitors. The best part? You can change your Twitter header image as often as you like, so change it up frequently to coincide with your latest campaigns, events, or other happenings.