Ever since Facebook launched cover photos for profiles and pages in 2011, creative users have been pushing the boundaries of what can be done with the space. But for a field built atop creativity, most orchestra cover photos aren’t terribly creative. That doesn’t mean they aren’t any good; quite the contrary, most use overwhelmingly gorgeous glory shots of the full ensemble or rotate images to feature guest artists etc.
I did a quick tour of Facebook pages from orchestras that have a reputation in the field for turning out a steady stream of creative graphic designs but only turned up one that came across as creative. The LA Phil Facebook cover photo design uses a common, but clever, method of combining the cover and profile pictures to play a visual head game with the page visitor.
For those unaware, the profile and cover photo are mutually exclusive items and the typical formula for most orchestras is to post a glory shot of the full ensemble in the cover photo and either a headshot of the music director or orchestra logo in the profile photo. Getting both to project a single, seamless image isn’t always easy, especially when you consider that whatever used for the profile photo needs to stand on its own since it appears as the default avatar for wall posts etc.
The LA Phil managed to combine both in a way that makes the profile photo act as a cutout for the cover photo by exposing a bit more of the concert hall. It’s very straightforward yet effective.
Granted, my own Facebook cover photos aren’t going to win any awards for creativity but in the process of redesigning Venture’s website, the design team is certainly taking the Facebook cover photo into consideration. To that end, we did some research and uncovered some really striking examples and wanted to share them with everyone.
The Curnow Effect
If you’re just not drawn into the whole profile/timeline combo pic thing, you’ll need to double down on the timeline photo creativity aspect. A great example is the series of cover photos from Jeff Curnow who just happens to also be the Associate Principal Trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also maintains a somewhat regularly updated What’s Bothering Jeff? feature at Inside The Arts.
Curnow does an uncanny job at reimagining history, my favorite is the trio of shots with him and Mahler.
You Only Need To Look Like a Genius!
If you’re short on time, ideas, etc. but do possess some basic Photoshop skills you can always pay a few bucks and license creativity. In fact, sites like GraphicRiver.net have dozens of ready-made Facebook timeline cover templates for you to use that only cost a few bucks each. Some are clearly better than others but even if you don’t find anything there you like, you’re almost assured to get inspired for an original design.
Since my review of orchestra Facebook cover photos was more of a mad dash than a leisurely stroll, I’m curious to know what was missed. Do you know of any orchestra or other performing arts org cover photos that project a unique, creative image? If so share it via a comment.