Have you looked at someone else’s personalized cover photo on Facebook and wondered how to make your own? These five useful tips will show you how to create your own cover photo so you’ll be the envy of all your digital friends.
Step 1. Check the guidelines.
Before starting to work on your cover design, it’s better for you to check Facebook’s official guidelines.
First of all, be aware cover photos will be public. This means anybody will be able to see them. Second, you cannot infringe anybody’s copyright. I recommend you use your own photos or photos that were licensed to you, images whose copyright has expired or those that are in the public domain.
Finally, Facebook states covers cannot contain images with more than 20 percent of text.
Step 2. Setting up the cover.
The size of Facebook cover photos is 851 x 315 pixels. You can use larger images (for example images with bigger height), but smaller images will not do.
Even if you can crop the photo, it would be better to create a cover photo with this size so you’ll know exactly what your cover will look like.
TIP: Once you create your first cover photo, you can use it as a photo template for future uses. A template will make it easier to change the cover later. All you’ll have to do is replace the images in it without having to start over from scratch every single time.
Step 3. Choosing the images.
Your cover should speak about yourself or your business. There are many ways to do this, but overall it’s better to just keep the cover simple so your message can get across.
Simple covers are usually those that have greater impact on the viewer and that are memorable. Facebook doesn’t allow text-heavy covers (see #1), so the cover’s attractiveness should be purely visual.
A relevant and eye-catching photo (or a collage of photos) will work best. Choose good quality images and avoid awkward cropping. I also recommend using horizontal photos.
Step 4. Adding text.
Even with Facebook’s limitations, you can still add some text to the cover. A brief headline, a call to action or your personal motto will do.
Make the text easy to read by picking a font and color that will provide adequate contrast with the background. Choose an appropriate placement in relation to the rest of your cover and Facebook’s layout.
Step 5. External cover photo makers.
If the steps above seem overwhelming, you can take a shortcut and use an external cover photo maker to create your graphics.
Usually cover photo creators will ask you to select a template or upload your own photos, adapt them and modify the dummy text. They will then combine the cover elements into a single image compliant with Facebook’s requirements.
Some will let you save the final image to your computer for you to upload, while others will add the cover directly to your timeline. This requires a Facebook login and authorization.
You can try Cover Canvas, Easy Cover Maker, Timeline Cover Banner, Feedme Status or Cover Bash.
Not just another photo.
Your Facebook cover is not just another photo among the rest. If you are using Facebook as a promotional tool, the cover is the first thing people visiting your page will notice and it can be used to your advantage.
Edited in Photoshop CS5.