About InstantEncore

InstantEncore is the leading provider of mobile solutions to performing arts organizations around the globe. Our partners use the InstantEncore platform to power their mobile apps, enhance live experiences and create deeper relationships with their audiences. InstantEncore partners include Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Curtis Institute of Music and Dallas Summer Musicals. With Tessitura™ Network, Inc., our partners include the New York Philharmonic, The Shaw Festival and Santa Fe Opera.

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5 Tips for Customizing Your Mobile App’s Background Image

It may seem trivial, but the custom background makes a world of difference for your mobile app.  The background of an app can enhance the visual palette, fortify your brand recognition, and provide graphical context for the mobile experience.

To Manage Your Background Image
  • Log in to your Control Panel
  • Find Mobile in the options on the left
  • Click on Style from the menu
  • Click on Manage Background Image
  • Upload an image from your computer

When customizing your own background image, remember that you want it to be interesting but not obtrusive. It should be a tasteful, thoughtful representation of your organization.

Matching the color or pattern of your standard website’s background creates consistent branding experience for your users. It gives them a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Here are five tips to help you create a great background image for your mobile app:

Tip #1 – Prepare and Upload an Image According to the Specified Dimensions

UPDATE: The recommended image size is 640px wide by 960px tall. Must be JPG or PNG format. Smaller images (e.g. 320 x 480) will load more quickly, but may not look as sharp on higher resolution devices. Larger images (e.g. 1240 x 1920) will look sharper on tablet devices, but will take longer to load initially.

It is usually best to avoid landscape-oriented photos. You can easily modify one to fit the proper background size. Try cropping the image or adding onto it in creative ways. Sometimes it’s not the best choice to merely crop a portion of your photo to 640×960, since the result could be a larger distraction to the eye. When that is the case, you can try this suggestion:

A quick suggestion to turn your favorite landscape-oriented photo into a usable background image.

Tip #2 – Avoid Text
Text will get in the way of the actual content in your app. When positioned appropriately, a little subtle text or logo is manageable, but too much text – no matter how faded it is – will be distracting.

Tip #3 – Don’t Compete With App Content

Solid colors can help match your standard website’s branding. Textures are great for a unique look. Ensemble or Venue photos can make users feel more connected to the app. Whatever the approach, the background should never overpower the content of the app.

Left: original image | Right: semi-transparent solid color overlay

If you like a particular image, but you’re worried about how it will look behind the text in your app, you can add a solid color overlay with the transparency set anywhere from 50%-90%, depending on just how busy the image is you’re using. Then simply preview, adjust as necessary, and use your best judgment.

Left: black overlay with dark theme | Right: white overlay with light theme

For a darker image, you can add a black semi-transparent layer and choose the “Dark” theme from the style settings. For lighter images, use a white semi-transparent layer and the “Light” theme. These themes set the font color of the app so that text will still be readable over your background image.

The best digital wallpapers, small or large, are those that are subtle enough to not take away from the foreground, yet maintain a fair amount of elegance.

Tip #4 – Match Your Splash Screen and Remember your Color Scheme
An easy and effective background idea could already be right in front of you. Your splash screen image is already the right size, so why not apply it to the rest of the pages in your app? You may have to adjust the intensity of the colors, or remove (if not fade) any logos or images, but using elements from your splash screen for the background is a great way to create a beautifully unified look throughout your app. Choosing a complementary color scheme for your header and accent features will give your app the sophistication your fans are looking for.

Tip #5 – Preview Your App
The background image appears on every page, including any custom pages you create, so spend some time previewing your app to make sure the pages are readable and looking the way you want. Remember, you can update your background or change it out as much as you like, whenever you want to freshen up the overall look of your app.

Here are some background examples from various InstantEncore Partners to help inspire you.

To view the most detail, expand the slide deck to full screen.

Customizing a background image for your app is a small step in enhancing your mobile appearance, but it makes your content more approachable and contributes a unique visual environment. Users will undoubtedly notice and appreciate your attention to detail.

Be creative, and have fun with your style!

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