Part One of this story began where Charrette ended, with the birth of Pinterest and the infusion of visual material into the social media world. As a sign of the times, Google has acquired YouTube; Yahoo owns Flickr; facebook has acquired Instagram and Pinterest is the wonder app. There are actual startups that provide supporting applications for Pinterest. These include Pinerly, Pinpuff (recently acquired by Science), Pinvolve, PinReach, PinAlerts and Repinley.
Visual is in
The picture is perfectly clear. ‘Visual’ is in. It was simply a matter of taking the next step from videos and stock photos to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. This step is the fusion of graphic design and the existing social media culture to allow design to assume its proper place and meld into social media. A new and more dynamic culture is being created. In spite of these pluses, it has not been an easy or smooth journey.
Facebook goes visual
Facebook’s conversion to ‘timelines for business’ pages involves both sophisticated and complicated graphic design and branding concepts. Because it is so technical, creating a facebook presence in the form of a ‘timelines for business’ page, Page Cover Mastery seemed like a good idea. Availability of blog posts about the guidelines for ‘timelines for business’ page covers is an educational necessity.
My posts have ranged from the simplest, The facebook ‘timelines for business’ page cover primer, to the most complex, The facebook page cover challenge. More will likely be written. The primer is sent to all the businesses encountered on facebook that need simple tips to improve their pages, including graphics, branding and guidelines.
Google Plus joins the party
Google Plus has taken a page from facebook’s dual-purpose format providing both personal profiles and business pages. Both Google Plus and facebook offer plenty of room for visual creativity. Graphic design reinforces individual personalities and professional branding for many venues.
For a while, there were some heated concerns about copyright infringement issues related to Pinterest pins. But that has settled down and has fortunately not become ground for litigation picnics. Visual is a boon. But travel with care.
Social media marketing graphic design
Thus, social media marketing graphic design has emerged as a new discipline. This two part series is the story of the graphic design rebirth and its evolution to date. Since the writing of the transitional article, Pinterest and pingroof.com: the perfect Charrette palette, the following have also been written, Social Media: Catalyst for the graphic design renaissance, Pinterest: The visual designer’s social media darling, Introduction: How have history and technology impacted graphic design?, Part Two: What time and technology have done to graphic design, How to design facebook page covers and Google embraces graphic design.
Who’s Number One?
Facebook is still much more popular than Google Plus. The former is like a shopping mall and the latter is like a chic boutique. As a result, each attracts different types of customers and serves different purposes. Guy Kawasaki has a lot to say about this. We will too.
Facebook’s guidelines for creating page covers involve a complex minimum of four to five elements as detailed in my post The facebook ‘timelines for business’ page cover primer and in greater depth in Reference of Dimensions for Facebook Timelines for Pages [Infographic] by Jon Loomer:
• the cover photo (851×315 pixels) with very specific ‘guidelines’
• the profile photo (180×180 pixels)
• the custom URL that requires 25 ‘LIKES’ to create
• the ‘About’ description (with a reference web URL)
Google Plus wants to be
Google Plus pages involve basically two design elements. They are described in these blog posts by other writers, Google Plus profile template and Infographic: Sizing up your social media sites:
• the profile image
• the banner consisting of a single landscape image or five individual photos
The slideshow accompanying this article compares and contrasts graphics in these online design applications. It illustrates how individuals and businesses have attempted to fulfill the multiple requirements for facebook cover pages. It also indicates how much more can be done mostly with Google Plus pages to enhance their identities and brands. There appears to be room for improvement everywhere. The next article will explore this issue further.