How to Make a Custom iPhone Wallpaper Background
I wanted to post something a little different today, so here is a slightly useless use of your iPhone's wallpaper screen, an electronic business card or ID name tag. I have found a few uses for doing this other than it looking a little conceited and vain, but it was a lot by trial and error and I just wanted to write down the specifics of how I did create the wallpaper. You may not want to create a "business card" per say, but you can use this exact technique for creating any customized wallpaper for your iPhone. This actually came from a friend of mine, Michael, who had found a Nikon D100 camera body and lens back this summer. Back in its day, this was a $2,000 camera body and someone, somewhere was going to be missing this camera. It took great time and effort for him to actually find the owner of the camera but he did. A phone of course is not the same thing cost wise, but I thought about putting some digital name tag on my various paraphernalia, so this is one way to do this with your iPhone. Besides, with as many of them as there are around, if someone picks up yours by mistake they will instantly know who's phone it is and be able to return it rather quickly. That's the idea anyway.
This type of thing can also be done on your Twitter background and it works just about the same way since Twitter doesn't really give you an exact as how they control their background image sizes and such, and that takes a bit of trial and error too. The background I used here came right off my Twitter background image with a little size adjustment.
To Create a Custom iPhone Wallpaper or Background
To start, I have assumed that you have some image editing software like photoshop. You need to create a new blank image in photoshop and I am referring to the diagram below for the sizes I used. The size of the iPhone wallpaper image is 320px wide by 480px height, so make an image that exact size. You can use something larger or smaller but this will keep the iPhone from automatically resizing the image and in most cases distorting something.
Next, I made a two tone black and white out of the 480px height. The part the phone's date and time covers will remain white in most cases, so if you put a light colored background it does gray out a little of the background, but it is far easier to read if you make it a very dark color. So, color the top section (approximately 115px from the top of the image down) a dark color of choice. You can also do the same thing on the bottom (not in the diagram, but at 95px in height) but the bottom is already a lighter color so it isn't as hard to read. I left my bottom 95px white as you can see, but you can make that a different color too if you like.
The actual usable space is the center, which basically measures out at a 270px square if you want a nice margin on the right and left side. For the image you can really take or create anything you like and just make sure it is cropped down to a 270px square and it will fit perfectly. If you wanted to make this a don't loose me name tag, put some way to get a hold of you in this center info.
Like I said, you are probably asking who cares or what's the point, me too, but none-the-less, there it is. A customized iPhone wallpaper. All together this took about 20 minutes to do at the most (not including this post of course). Anyone else happen to do this on their phone? Now customizing your Twitter background page might be a little more tricky, but, a little more useful.
iPhone 4 Update
I wanted to update this post since the iPhone 4 does not use the same screen resolution as the iPhone 3 or 3G (or iPhone 2 for that matter). The concept still remains the same as it did in the original post, but you will need to get the dimensions of the iPhone 4 to make this custom wallpaper by taking a screen shot with your iPhone 4, which come to 640x960 pixels. Just take the screen shot by holding down the home key and the lock key at the same time for 3 seconds and then you will see the background image.