How Design Plays a Dramatic Role in the Perfect Facebook Fan Page

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Although the new Timeline format caught us all by surprise, over time we’ve just learned to adapt to it and play by Facebook’s new rules.  And now after months of playing with it, I’ve realized that it offers much more control over the visual branding than ever before (still not as much as MySpace did).

Since The Creative Complex is a design firm, it’s our job to focus on the Facebook fan page DESIGN for our clients.  When helping our clients with their visual elements, we focus on 3 areas of the page:

  1. The Cover Photo — the 851 x 315px image at the top;
  2. The Profile Picture — the inset 125 x 125px (plus a 5px white border) image that also serves as your brand’s icon when posting or commenting as your Page;
  3. Custom Tab Images — the (maximum) four 111 x 74px buttons below the Cover Photo that link to your tabs;

Using a smart and creative approach to the above elements can result in great visual branding that will make your Page more compelling and Like-able!

The Cover Photo — Needs to POP out and INFORM

The Cover Photo image you use for your Page will be your Page’s first impression, so you DON’T want to waste it!

Make sure the imagery supports your brand and, along with concise text, conveys your brand’s essence.

Here are some brand cover photo that I like:

  • Mansion Miami has a shot from behind the DJ that makes the place look out of control!
  • Livestrong continues the yellow band branding, all the way down to the tabs!
  • NatGeo TV evokes adventure, both on Earth and in the cosmos.

What you CAN’T do on your Timeline Cover Photo

Facebook restricts what a Page’s Cover Photo may contain. Specifically:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Profile Picture — Keep it Simple


Besides being the square image that is inset at the lower left of your Cover Photo, your Profile Picture is also reduced to 32 x 32px to function as your icon when you post on your Page or comment on other Pages.

So make sure your Profile Picture, which renders at 125 x 125px (plus a 5px white border) as the inset with the Cover Photo, also makes sense at 32 x 32px.

My suggestion is for you to either

  1. Use your logo, or a part of your logo that is iconic (when scaled down, it will be tiny but still needs to be identifiable!)
  2. Integrate your Profile Picture and Cover Photo (creating a background continuity that makes the two images feel like a combined whole)
    1. Example:  Corona
    2. Example:  Fanta (and it’s 3D!)

Custom Tab Images — The NEW craze!

Finally, we come to the Custom Tab Images, those 1-4 buttons for which you can create custom images, EXCEPT for Facebook’s own Apps (Photos, Notes, Events, Videos, Links).

A Page can have up to 12 apps, with 4 appearing below the Cover Photo and up to an additional 8 revealed by clicking on the arrow to the right of the tabs (the arrow displays the number of hidden tabs). The image dimensions are 111w x 74h pixels.

Strive for Design Consistency with your event brand!

The best approach is to have visual consistency on the tab/buttons.

Here are some examples:

  • Livestrong continues the yellow band branding, all the way down to the tabs!
  • Liv Miami has tabs for Buy Tickets, Videos, Reservations and Email Signup that are all consistent with the brand image.

At The Creative Complex we’re always about creating a beautiful consistency with your venue and event brands.  Facebook can effectively convey the purpose and quality of your brand if it’s done right.

Let us know your comments!

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