The Facebook cover photo crowns your Timeline. You can choose a stunning photograph and keep it simple or create an eye-catching composition. No place on Facebook is better suited to show off your creativity and express your personality than this.
Don’t despair if you’re not a master of Photoshop. Facebook makes it easy to add images of a sufficient size and many tools out there have inspiring templates and can help you perfect your cover photo. Finally, this article will show you how it is done one step at a time.
The Anatomy Of The Facebook Cover Photo
To create the perfect Facebook cover picture, you need to get its dimensions right. Inspecting the elements on a Facebook page reveals that the cover photo measures 851 pixels in width and 315 pixels in height.
When you choose a photo, note that the bottom left corner will be covered by your profile photo.
- The profile photo measures 170×170 pixels including the border,
- It is spaced 15 pixels from the left edge of the cover photo,
- and it extends ~26 pixels beyond its bottom edge.
Additionally, the bottom edge will give room to your name next to your profile photo and two buttons towards the right.
How To Create The Perfect Cover Photo
Whatever type of cover photo you go with, make sure the quality is right. Choose a sharp image that is at least 851×315 pixels large. The cover photo size is odd. Fortunately, the image you choose can be bigger. Facebook won’t distort it, rather you will be able to position an over-sized picture and choose the frame that will be shown as your cover photo. For an amazing result, however, you might want to invest some extra effort.
Think beyond a stunning photo! What else can you do with that space? Can you playfully integrate the overlapping profile photo into your cover photo? If you cannot think of anything, be inspired by what others have done…
…or Jérôme Vadon.
Looks difficult to create, doesn’t it? Well, achieving the effects you see above is not that hard. Create your cover photo as if your profile photo was a part of it. You can use a free image editor such as Paint.NET. Keep in mind the measurements I shared above to get the placement of your profile photo just right. Then essentially crop the profile photo from the finished cover photo. The white frame is added by Facebook. Finally, add both photos to Facebook separately and enjoy a truly artistic result.
The example above was created with IrfanView from a random pillow fight crowd photo. The negative indicates the position where the profile photo will overlay the cover photo. The profile photo would be cropped from the cover photo, ideally in a size of 180×180 pixels, although in the end it will only measure 160×160 pixels plus a 5 pixels border. Pick a slightly cooler crowd picture that includes you, process the resulting cover and profile photo with filters or effects for perfection, and your Timeline will be like no other.
If that still sounds too complicated, try one of the many Facebook cover photo tools. They can help you crop your favorite photo to the perfect size, add filters, combine several pictures into a collage, or add your pictures to a fun template. With those helpers, it becomes easy to create a custom and amazing Facebook cover photo.
Here is a simple one. Autre Planète’s Social Media Image Maker is a great tool to optimize a single image. It supports both Facebook profile and cover photos. After cropping your photo, you can add Instagram-style filters, add further effects to the photo, change its name, select the output file format, and finally download the file. The tool works independent of your Facebook account, which is a plus in my book.
How To Add a Cover Photo
Once you have a suitable cover photo, go to your Facebook Timeline. Simply click on your own name anywhere on Facebook. If you don’t have a cover photo at the moment, click Add a Cover in the top right.
This will trigger a pop-up window that explains a little more about Cover photos. Basically, Facebook wants you to use a unique and personal photo.
When you Okay the message, you can finally access the Add a Cover drop-down menu.
Your basic options are:
- Choose from Photos…you have previously uploaded to Facebook.
- Add Synced Photo…from your mobile device.
- Upload Photo…from your computer.
If you have previously added a cover photo, hover with your mouse over the image and click the Change Cover button that will appear. Here you will see two additional options, namely Reposition and Remove.
Facebook will automatically adjust the photo to the maximum width. If it’s taller than the available space, you can drag it into place until you are happy with the result.
Before you choose to Save Changes, note that your cover photo will automatically be visible to the public, regardless of previous privacy settings! If you would like to try another photo, click Cancel in the bottom right.
Once you hit the Save Changes button, Facebook will update your Timeline and announce to the public that you have changed your cover photo. This message is public by default and will appear on your friends’ News Feeds, regardless of other privacy settings. However, you can hide it from your Timeline when you click the Edit or Remove button in the top right of the status update.
Creating an artistic Facebook cover photo can be a lot of fun. But even a simple and beautiful picture can enhance your Timeline. What counts is that you give your cover photo your own style; that’s what makes your Timeline special.
How have you crafted your cover photo and do you dare to share the result with us?