Who Took This: Media Twitter Banner Edition

We were going to rank them, but we're embracing civility

Smiling man at home enjoying good music from smartphone. Checking social media and text messaging
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Unless you are an avid fan, it may have slipped past you that the Twitter account for Insider — the publication that encompasses the verticals formerly known as Business Insider, Tech Insider, and the titular Insider — has a banner image. It looks like this:

Insider / Twitter

This makes sense. Most media companies have Twitter accounts; any Twitter account has the option for a banner; most media Twitter accounts will have banners. The marvel here is that this image is not just a logo, slogan, or promotion for a proprietary offshoot product, as is the case with many other outlets.

This was designed for the purpose of a banner — someone was tasked with distilling the site’s essence to just six images and arranging them in 1500 by 500 pixel form. This person, armed with the full buffet of a media company’s photo licensing subscriptions, concluded that was achieved best by the following: an NYSE day trader who looks like Jake Johnson, Jeff Bezos extolling the media outlet he owns; a nesting doll of army men heads, Donald Trump and the Queen celebrating D-Day, Mahershala Ali getting an old face, and a woman who has never seen pizza before.

Unfortunately for Insider’s competitors, no one can improve upon this arrangement of images. But that hasn’t stopped others from trying. Here are the honorable mentions for the best media company Twitter banner, selected by our team of in-house experts.

The Economist

It seems The Economist changes their Twitter banner to match the cover art of each print issue. As of January 29, 2022, the banner shows a gun pointed towards a map of Ukraine. If this were a permanent choice and provided without the context of its cover story (“Russia’s roulette: The stakes in Ukraine”), we would have no choice but to award it first place for excellence in reductive symbolism and gun drawings. Even if it’s temporary, it is a strong banner — for now.

Financial Times

FT / Twitter

A Financial Times subscription costs anywhere from $375 (digital only) to $675 (print and digital premium). This banner, which resembles a Ben Garrison cartoon with a Roth IRA, is free. Bonus points for the falling glasses.

The Rachel Maddow Show

Rachel Maddow / Twitter

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow went for a subdued image: a gaping void. Perhaps she was hacked by Russia. She knew too much.

Daily Mail U.S., Daily Mail Celebrity, and Daily Mail Online

Daily Mail Celebrity / Twitter
Daily Mail U.S. / Twitter
Daily Mail Online / Twitter

You may be wondering, what’s the difference? Seemingly, just the specific images they chose of Donald Trump, the Windsors, and Selena Gomez before chopping them up into this chunky spread, inspired perhaps by the Windows 97 icon.

Huffington Post Parents

Huffington Post Parents / Twitter

This seems personal.

Just Jared Jr.

Just Jared Jr. / Twitter

Unlike its adult sister site, Just Jared, which went with a drab logo for banner art, Just Jared Jr. managed to pack several dozen children in here. The prop avatars make for a nice touch.

The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal / Twitter

The Fearless Girl statue symbolizes Peggy Noonan.

Ozy Media

Ozy / Twitter

Never give up on your dreams of hosting a YouTube show after one of your employees pretended to be a YouTube executive on a phone call with a Goldman Sachs investor.