When it comes to consistency, social media is much like the weather: If you don’t like something, just wait a minute it’s sure to change. A few weeks ago, Jenna made a comment in her blog post on branding about the importance of creating a design that could accommodate the changing demands of social media. In jest, she said someday we might see triangular avatars, and as designers we needed to be prepared.
Little did she know that just a few days later, we would be dealing with round avatars to keep up with the new design of home pages on Google+. A clever reference to the circles of contacts, faces of people look cute in the circles. Unfortunately, most logos and avatars do not.
I get it, our name is Roundpeg, so you would think we would love a circular avatar, but we don’t. Our primary brand is horizontal. It looks good at the top or bottom of a printed page or PowerPoint presentation, on the back of our business card, and the top of our website, but it doesn’t work in social media. So a few years ago, we created “RP,” an informal shorter version of our logo as a social media avatar.
It sat nicely inside the square on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. In larger images, we even placed the full word in small print underneath the avatar. In the new world of Google circles, we have lost our brand name. Fortunately for us, we have used the RP consistently for the last few years, so it is a recognizable part of our brand even without our full name. Other companies are not as lucky. I am sure we will see many interesting iterations as companies scramble to adjust.
But more challenging than the avatar is the new cover image. Trying to stay one step ahead of Facebook, they have rolled out a giant cover image. The new images can be as large as 2,120 pixels by 1,192 pixels. This is so large that on most screens, you only see the bottom half of the image when the page loads. So you can read the profile information which is now superimposed on the image, there is a slight grey screen on the bottom half the image which distorts the colors of your heading.
On the upside, there is more information in the about section, and it is easier to edit your profile. You probably want to make all these changes as soon as possible, because Facebook is rolling out it’s changes to the Newsfeed in the coming weeks as well.
As I said, when it comes to social media, there is always something new.