How To Create A Terrific Facebook Cover Image If You Don’t Have Resources To Hire A Designer

5 years ago

Note From Beth: Nonprofits are beginning to unveil their new timeline designs (I’ve been posting examples on my Facebook Page and curating them in pinterest)   In the Friending the Finish Line peer learning group I’ve been working with, participants are sharing their creativity, including this cover design from Utah Childrencreated by staff person Barbara Munoz. Other nonprofits are busy creating mock ups of the new timeline cover image for senior management.   And, you need to think about the cover image design in the context of your overall content strategy.

But what if you don’t have the resources to hire a graphic designer and need to do it in-house? Nonprofit Techie Ash Shepherd to the rescue! Armed with his advice and resources which includes a simple graphic template, some good photos, a good tagline, and a tool like photoshop, your organization can create a respectable DYI cover image in less than an hour. After reading his post, I thought it was so useful, I invited him to share it as a guest post.

How To Create A Terrific Facebook Cover Image If You Don’t Have Resources To Hire A Designer by Guest Poster Ash Shepherd

a facebook cover image

By now you must have heard the announcement that by the end of March all pages on Facebook will be rolling over to the new timeline look.  With this comes a long list of changes that not only relate to the look of page but will also have important impacts on functionality.

Some of the major changes include
  • Lose of custom landing tabs
  • No more “Wall”
  • Ability to “pin” items to the top
  • New message functionality

There is lots more to know about the coming changes so you can plan and adjust your strategies.  That however is not what this post is about.  For the latest breaking information (and killer videos) I would strongly encourage you to check out and subscribe to John Haydon’s blog.  Quicker than you can say “What is happening” John will have a video up telling you exactly how it will affect your nonprofit.  In fact he literally wrote the book on Facebook.

Other helpful recent blog posts on changes and tatics include:

What You Will Learn In This Post

This post is simply to share a couple resources for those folks looking to build their own covers.  You can simply crop a photo to fit the new dimensions (849 x 413) or even upload a regular picture and do the auto-cropping thing.

For those with a tiny bit of experience with Photoshop looking to do a bit more here are a few PSD files that you can use to create and view mock-ups.

Cover Photo Template

This is a basic file that allows you to work on your layered cover photo with a basic overlay of how the Profile picture might overlap and interact with it.

Download Facebook Timeline Cover PSD file

It will be exciting to see some of the creative results that nonprofits come up with over the next month.   Check out these examples from nonprofits to get your creative juices flowing.

Full Mock-Up Template

It is helpful to see a preview or “Try on a few outfits” without having an update go out on the Facebook news feed saying you updated your cover. No one likes to draw attention to themselves during a rehearsal.  It can also be a helpful way to share previews with other members of your organization prior to going live.

That is why I found this PSD file for the full mock-up preview useful. In the interest of maintaining credit where it is due the originator of the file has his branding on the template.  I have modified the file you can download so that you can cover that up by simply making a layer visible.

Download the full mock-up PSD file

Some Basic Tips

With custom landing tabs going away this cover image is your new first impression so use it wisely.  Herer are a few tips on things to include:

  • Show your personality
  • Make your call to action here
  • Give a bit of that “next step” contact information
  • Offer versions that fans can download and use to show their support for your organization

Not A Photoshop Ninja?

For those not ready to use Photoshop below are a few good free online resources for some basic and user-friendly tools to do some layering and effects.

So what are your plans? Do you have a cover image you would like to share? Would love to hear about it or see links in the comments

Ash Shepherd is as a Project Strategist for NPower NW as a Consultant/Trainer where his focus is on online communications and tools as well as the overall process of planning and evaluating effective use of technology. He also does some freelancing through Indaba Designs This post was originally published on his blog and also cross posted on a guest post on Beth's Blog.

Beth Kanter is the author of Beth's Blog and co-author of the Networked Nonprofit.

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