One of the most overlooked aspects of many streams, and designers, is that there’s no personality/brand recognition in the Twitch panels and more specifically the custom iconography. One of the first thing a visitor sees when they come to your channel is your panels and the icons. What’s the best practice? What are most streamers doing wrong?
The current state of Twitch panels
People are more visual so they tend not to pay attention to the text at first sight. Sure we can throw in giant 320×320 Twitch panels BUT a unskilled designer till try to shove as much information into such a small space and the entire page will look extremely cluttered and crazy. While a well thought out and well crafted full Twitch panel can visual convey the right message. The problem is that most have no idea how to make that happen. The square is limited in space and too many streamers try to fit too much information into a very small space.
Another aspect that often is overlooked is the icons themselves or otherwise known as iconography. There seldom a understanding of the link between each of them and instead most streamers end up with a mishmash of different things. You can easily spot these by taking a few seconds and look at them closely. The first thing you’ll start to see is that they’re often made by different people and the designer or streamer have gone to different icon webpages and grabbed a a handfull of different icons that look cool.
This isn’t a strange thing to do by non-professional designer as well. There’s a bunch of Twitch overlay YouTube videos out there and about 99% of them contain the designer going into a folder of icons that they have downloaded. They, like the DIY streamer, don’t have a proper understanding of the process and look at “what’s cool” and not what works. I wouldn’t expect a streamer to understand that but if a designer don’t you probably want to avoid them at all cost if you want to up your game.
Understanding custom iconography in Twitch Panels
The custom iconography become a part of your entire brand, it’s not a second thought, and when possible let them be handcrafted one by one. When you start to get serious about your personal brand you want even the smallest things to become a part of your overall brand. An icon can say as much about you as a logo or a avatar. It might speak in a different voice or language but that dosen’t mean it’s not understood.
When you hit the right place with these they create their own language that can speak throughout your entire branding. From cards, to alerts and all the way to social media banners. If you’ve ever looked at a design and thought that it feels as if something is missing? The reason often is with the iconography feels as if it has no soul and no relation to the rest of the brand. Custom iconography in Twitch Panels is what’s going to tie everything together. It’s the glue that will allow the brand to be transformative across many different platforms and mediums.
How do you make sure they work?
The first step is always to understand your own brand. If you don’t know your own brand you won’t be able to start understanding what fits within that. When you have that understanding you can start to look at the motion and feel you want to broadcast to the viewers. If you look at the above custom iconography in Twitch Panels you can see that they all deliver a very different message but they all deliver a message that comes from the brand not from each individual icon. When all you’re doing is mixing icons from different places that message will be in several different languages.
You can also, in the above images, see that even if there’s social media icons they mesh well with the rest. That’s why custom iconography in Twitch Panels will always win at the end of the day. No package will let you stand out and no collection will let you have a cohesive brand that speaks for you. As a streamer, that want to evolve, you better step on that gaspedal and you as a designer is falling behind if this isn’t on your list already.
Do you need Twitch branding or custom iconography? I’ve work with both partnered and non-partnered Twitch streamers and done so for over 3 years. I’m dedicated to my clients and my craft. I do both branding, visual branding and brainstorming based on understanding you, your community and your channel. If that sounds interesting to you then you should check out my Twitch services/portfolio/client list and contact me right away.Twitch branding and consulting
I’m seeing growth here everyday and it’s because at the end of the day I’m providing content that you want. That’s the formula for growth. 1. I have target audience; you. 2. I have content that you (my target audience) wants.
Someone tried to argue that this is hard to do… it really isn’t. It’s hard to figure out your target audience but if you do it right creating content for that audience/viewers is easy and it’s natural.
Stay streaming, stay strong, stay safe.