In Our Opinion

Everywhere there be rectangles

By June 27, 2014 January 21st, 2019 No Comments

Editing my LinkedIn profile recently, I was asked to update not just my profile picture, but also to select a new background with an image measuring 1,400 pixels wide by 425 pixels deep.

Kristin - LinkedIn

Do you know how hard it is to find a photo this shape?

As channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn begin rolling out new designs, it’s easy to spot a design trend – and it’s shaped like a rectangle.

Rectangle

Some of these rectangles are more extreme than others.

Criticisms about how these most popular of channels are starting to look suspiciously similar aside, I have to wonder if any of the designers are thinking about how difficult it can be to find imagery that works well, and consistently, in these very peculiar shapes.

If, as in the case of our client First County Bank, you have the opportunity to design your header image, you can try to accommodate for the range in widths (it’s not the depths that are generally the problem).

Facebook

Facebook

Twitter

Twitter

LinkedIn

LinkedIn

But you don’t have to create a custom image to fit these shapes. And some photos, as with the one I used for my personal profile, can actually be more compelling cropped than they were in their original shape.

Uncropped, this isn't a photo that works well.

Uncropped, this isn’t a photo that works well.

It’s clear rectangles are having a moment – so what can you do with this not-so-new shape? Here are a few ideas:

People, people, people

Action shots & events

Action shots & events

Steve the Bike Guy

A look inside.

Partners and supporters

Product

(Looking for some ideas? Check out sites like HubSpot.com for great examples of brands maximizing the new spaces).