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25th February 2014

Jessica Reid, of envy creative, on Effective Facebook Cover Design

Effective Facebook Cover Photo Design

Guest Blogger: Jessica Reid

Facebook pages are an excellent free resource for companies to promote their product or service and it is important to take advantage of the full real estate of your page. Cover photos (the long horizontal image at the top of the page) can be designed to effectively communicate a message or display a limited amount of information as well as an eye catching image. For companies with seasonal offerings or promotions, it is an ideal place to freshen up the look of your page, and the new image will also be shared in the news feed of those following your page.

To begin with, make sure you are using the correct size dimensions of 851 × 315 pixels for the cover photo area. This will prevent the image from having to be cropped once uploaded and the potential to cut off critical parts of the image. When designing the cover photo, it is important to keep in mind the placement of the page's profile image, which is the 160px square image located on the left hand side of the page, 210px from the top of the cover image area. The best approach is to avoid placing text or the focal point of the image in the bottom left side of the cover photo, and the use of right aligned text can help balance the cover image with the profile photo. If your company logo is a shape that doesn't fit nicely into the square format of the profile image, it can sometimes be more effective to add the logo to your cover photo instead, especially if it is a more linear design.

Facebook recently removed the rule that previously prohibited users from using more than 20% of their cover photo area as text, though it is generally still a good idea to limit the amount of text on the image to get your main message across. Try to bring the personality and spirit of your company or organisation across in the cover image, and consider using interesting typography, vector graphics and illustrations, as well as photographic images. When using photography, try to work from photos that are landscape rather than portrait format, so that they don't require as much tight cropping.

Strong Facebook cover photo examples from around the world

  1. Appreciate Your Followers

    Aer Lingus use a simple graphic treatment and typography to mark a milestone of followers on their page. It is a good idea to appreciate those who follow your company online, especially if you reach a certain number after running a competition or promotion to gain new 'likes'.

    Aer Lingus Facebook cover photo
  2. Strengthen Your Brand Presence

    Technology giant Cisco strengthens their brand presence on a fairly simple cover image with the inclusion of coloured logo elements and a simple slogan.

    Cisco Facebook cover photo
  3. Integrate the profile picture

    Integrating a cover photo and profile image is a tactic that has been used in numerous ways ever since Facebook introduced the timeline layout for pages. Corona utilises this format successfully to incorporate the label on their bottle with the background image and a simple slogan.

    Corona Facebook cover photo
  4. Promote Your Social Media Campaign

    The Canadian Olympic team promoted their social media campaign for the recently concluded games in Sochi with the hashtag #WeAreWinter on most of their official images, including a final cover photo from the closing ceremonies.

    Cisco Facebook cover photo
  5. Promote Your YouTube Channel

    Volkswagen turn their cover photo into a teaser to prompt users to visit their Youtube channel, which allows them to use one form of social media to promote a secondary social media outlet.

    Volkswagen Facebook cover photo
  6. Promote Upcoming Events

    Popular TV shows need to promote upcoming episodes so viewers always know what day and time to watch the show. A strong image and tagline reminds followers of The Walking Dead of the airtime of new episodes.

    Walking Dead Facebook cover photo

Strong Facebook cover photo examples by Envy Creative

Below are a few examples of Facebook cover photos that we, Envy Creative, have created on behalf of our clients to help spice up their pages and promote some seasonal offerings or messages.

Just Baked, a small bakery in Castlebar, Co. Mayo, produce lovely cakes, cupcakes and other treats that will often have seasonal themes or decorations, so we have created a few different cover images to help promote their products and remind customers of the tasty offerings in-store. Their logo doesn’t easily fit into their page profile image, so we include it on their cover photo instead;

We also do a lot of pro-bono work for the Irish charity Homes for Unwanted Greyhounds (HUG) who have a significant and active Facebook following. Along with updating their cover photo on a regular basis, we also like to have a bit of fun with the greyhound character in their profile image, who often finds himself wearing a hat or other seasonal garb!

by Jessica Reid

Jessica Reid works for Envy Creative, a small graphic design company based in Co. Mayo on the West coast of Ireland.

Envy Creative offers both print and web design services, working mainly with small businesses and local start-up entrepreneurs, including assistance with social media profiles and promotions.

Connect with Jessica/Envy Creative:

Hi, I'm Dorcas. I make websites. I lecture in Digital Marketing and related in the UCD Smurfit School. I do consultancy. I do talks. I've written a book on WordPress (available here).

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