Social Media Design: Great Google+ Profile Examples
You’d expect NASA to be particularly well suited for such a nerdy social media platform as Google+ — and you’d be right! The space agency regularly updates its profile with stunning panoramic photos that take advantage of the extra display space that Google+ gives its viewers.
A rocket launch is just one of the images that NASA regularly updates; the images of Earth from space, astronauts out on spacewalks, or intergalactic quasars are changed regularly to reflect the latest achievements.
If you’re working in a field that lends itself to creating good visuals, changing the banner image whenever you have something new or momentous happen helps to keep your visitors coming back.
Notice how the designers have cleverly used a PNG version of the NASA logo with a transparent layer so that the red swoosh appears to continue off of the blue circle of the logo. This is a great example of how to make your brand’s logo stand out on your Google+ profile.
This header perfectly captures the can-do optimism and playful spirit of the team behind Mozilla Firefox. Ever since People magazine became famous for capturing celebrities on the rebound in mid-leap, photographers around the world have copied and parodied the style.
Getting an entire group to jump in sync like this requires a lot of patience, many takes, and comfortable shoes because you’re not going to get it right the first time. If you’re thinking about producing your own banner image that features you frozen in mid-air, you will need a steady hand on the camera and a really fast shutter speed to capture the image without motion blur.
Also note how the Firefox logo fits perfectly into the circle that Google+ allocates for your profile photo.
It stands to reason that Cadbury, the maker of delicious chocolates, would feature its products. But rather than going for a crowded, busy image that features all of its brands, Cadbury UK instead chose to keep the image simple showing only mouth-watering treats and the Cadbury logo.
Even though the large image format can tempt you to cram in too much, sometimes less is more (as in this case), and a close-up shot can tell a more tantalizing story.
When you think of air travel, you think of jetting off into exciting, wide-open spaces. The design of the American Airlines banner for Google+ takes advantage of this underlying feeling, and the image of one of its jets climbing into an endless blue sky gives an optimistic, energizing feel. The design is simple, focusing on the red, white, and blue colors and basic logo.
It figures that the mascot for Google’s mobile phone operating system would get a nice treatment on one of Google’s own properties. However, note that the logo also has a somewhat rushed and perfunctory feel.
Yes, the echo in the little circle of the main image is nice, but the designers had an opportunity here to do more. It doesn’t help that the lighting and shading on the profile photo of the robot are pretty much exactly the same as on the robot in the main banner.
The tablet app Flipboard uses a nice, textured background and a rose in a vase (note the subtle shadow cast down and to the right on it) to give visitors to its Google+ profile the soothing feeling of sitting down at a table with a linen tablecloth to read a few good magazines.
Experts at Photoshop would notice that the image in the center of the tablet looks just a little off-kilter, and that it has probably been layered in — but at a glance, this design works.
If you’re going to create a collage, make sure that the images you choose for the lower portion of the design can stand up to having their details overshadowed by the Google+ interface.
Rachel Brenke is a photographer and an attorney who uses her social media profiles to showcase her specialized talent for helping creative professionals with everything from basic legal permission forms to more serious matters.
Her inviting pose in her photos gives her Google+ profile a warm and friendly feeling. Note the creative touch in how Rachel uses the same image, in color in the smaller version, and in black and white in the larger one.
The small profile photo is displayed in the left side of the Google+ cover area — you want to make sure that the larger image leaves space for the smaller one.