The last year has been a huge learning experience for me in the ways of branding. Last May, Jason Young and I created the MS Dev Show podcast. And while we had really great intentions and thoughts at the beginning new little outside of the technical aspects of it. As we went on, we quickly realized the need for a consistent brand. We quickly recruited help for some initial logo designs from Martinez Media, a great local designer. We expanded those design aspects to our website, and even small runs of merchandise. And while there are many aspects of a brand, in interest of eventually getting to a point, I’ll only be focusing on visual design.

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For those who don’t know, Jason and I split up duties of the podcast. I just so happened to be the one in charge of show notes and social media (I hope I’m doing a good job!). Jason mentioned to me, earlier this week, that tweets with images are much more likely to get retweeted, favorited, or clicked on. Later I found out he just meant grabbing the picture we already have of our guest, but my mind was in branding mode.

I foresaw a desire to tweet out the image of a guest, using their Twitter profile picture, overlain on top of some artwork inspired by our theme, with one of our logos on it. It would be immediately recognizable as us, but also showcase the current guest. It is also something that I can imagine others might want. Other podcasts, blogs, or anyone else with a brand and a desire to combine their brand with pictures of people. And since I don’t want to do this all by hand, I created a small tool to automate this for me.

Thus the inspiration for Brand Image Generator, it’s on github, clone your own copy! Brand Image Generator is a simple C#, desktop WPF app, where you can enter in a valid Twitter handle, and it will download the profile pic and merge it with your brand. It saves the file to disk and opens a window to where it is saved. You can then just drag and drop it to the Twitter website to tweet out your message. I can’t think of an easier workflow, if you can, send me a pull request!

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If you don’t want to mess with code, just compile it and you can edit the app.config to fully re-brand the app, and its output. I think the results are great!

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