Social media images – is it hip to be square?

Social media images - is it hip to be square

If like me you love mathematics and Italy then you'll probably come across a guy called Fibonacci; an Italian mathematician from the 12th century who became famous for his series of numbers known as the Fibonacci sequence. 

Let’s do some maths

Let's start 1+1 = 2,
This starts off our sequence 1, 1, 2
Keep taking the last two digits and add them together
1+2 = 3, giving 1, 1, 2, 3
2+3 = 5, giving 1, 1, 2, 3, 5
3+5 = 8 giving 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
and so on 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233  . . . .

Let’s discover the magic

If we do some simple maths - division - then the magic happens. By diving each number in the list by it's preceding neighbour like this . . .

A 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144 233
B - 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 89 144
A/b - 1 2 1.5 1.667 1.600 1.625 1.615 1.619 1.618 1.618 1.618 1.618

To cut a long story short and ignoring too many decimal places the sequence returns the number 1.618. This is know at the Greek letter “phi”. Whilst Fibonacci’s sequence reveals this number, other deep thinkers such as Euclid & Plato uncovered this mystical number many centuries before.

OK 1.618 you ask, what on earth has that got to do with social media then? Let’s discover more magic.

It’s not hip to be square, it’s hip to be a rectangle.

Whilst Huey Lewis & The News tried to convince us back in the 80s that it was Hip to be Square, it was the gifted souls we called Leonardo da Vinci and Salvador Dali, to name but two, that thought it was hip to be a rectangle. But not just any old rectangle, these special sized rectangles are known as Golden Rectangles with width to height ratio of 1.618, or better known as the Golden Ratio. This ratio keeps on turning up in art, architecture, plants, animals, nature, water and weather flows.  It has a natural seduction and we feel its beauty.

According to US academic Adrian Bejan:
Whether intentional or not, the ratio represents the best proportions to transfer [visual information] to the brain.  We really want to get on, we don't want to get headaches while we are scanning and recording and understanding things. Shapes that resemble the golden ratio facilitate the scanning of images and their transmission through vision organs to the brain. Animals are wired to feel better and better when they are helped and so they feel pleasure when they find food or shelter or a mate. When we see the proportions in the golden ratio, we are helped. We feel pleasure and we call it beauty.

For further visual imagery regarding the usage and wonderment of this so special ratio just take a look at our magical world on Google Images

Social media images - is it hip to be square

Social Media is not so golden in our digital world

When it comes to social media graphic sizes it can be very confusing to know which size image you need for each platform.

Here’s a contemporary social image size guide, thanks to Hubspot

Let’s do some maths on how magically golden our favourite social media platforms are when it comes to image sizes for posting. Remember we are looking for 1.6.

Facebook Twitter Instagram Linkedin YouTube Snapchar Filters Pinterest Google+
1.9 2.0 1.0 1.75 1.77 1.77 Variable Variable

So our social media gods haven’t learned much from centuries of beautiful wisdom.

Making beautiful images

I guess by now you are in a state of confusion when it comes to creating social media graphics. You're confused as to how many pixels you should have for the optimum post with the most likes, re-tweets, shares, engagements . . . aaaaaarrrrrhhhh - stop. Just getting the right size image isn’t going to make you an overnight success.

  • Take a step back and consider what your image is representing.
  • What message are you trying to convey?
  • How will the image or photograph help to complement and reinforce your message?
    How will the image portray your brand values?
  • What typeface will you use for any text; what size, colour and weight will it have?

A well-crafted image can tell a story of 1000 words. Its width and height may not diminish its sentiment. A perfectly sized image void of a message will fail to tell a story. Share your voice, that message from your thoughts. Send it out with the positivity from your heart and your story will be felt.

And if you are still struggling with creating images, you may need the help of a Digital Alchemist.


Posted in creativity, Graphic Design, images, social media.