I was scrolling down my news feed, hunting for any interesting news, when I saw this article about a girl who’s Facebook cover photos are just fantastic – and I naturally had to check it out!

Honestly, this girl is kicking some serious ass:

A creative example of how to combine Facebook cover photo and profile picture on a Facebook page or personal timeline | #Facebook #design

You also must have seen some cool combinations of cover photos and profile pictures, where the entire design looks like one continuous graphic, whether it was on individual profiles or business pages. Naturally, you might think that all the biggest brands would be eager to create something as epic as the example above, right?

Well, not really.

I spent more than an hour going trough various business pages, trying to find any design integrations where the profile picture would be smoothly overlaid on the cover photo. And even from those few that I found, the majority couldn’t get the exact layout just right. *sigh*

See for yourself:

Jack Daniels - Profile Picture and Cover Photo combination on their Business Page 2014 | #Facebook #design

Other than being a boring design, the profile picture is also slightly larger than it’s supposed to be. – Jack Daniel’s

How pepsi combined their FB fan page cover photo with the profile picture, 2014 | #Facebook #design

At first sight looks perfect, but you can see the design doesn’t match if you click on the cover photo. – Pepsi

Sprite's continuous cover photo and profile picture design on their Facebook page | #Facebook #design

Nice try but outdated – the profile picture is misaligned. – Sprite

Levis FB Business Page timeline - incorporating the profile picture with the cover photo | #Facebook #design

Finally – a beautiful example of what can be done. – Levis

Johnnie Walker seamlessly combining their cover photo and profile picture images | #Facebook #design

And kudos to Johnnie Walker Lithuania for an impeccable cover photo and profile picture design. – Johnnie Walker Lietuva


As you can see, it’s not an easy task!

So after a lot of trial an error, I created my own Facebook cover photo template that you can use for your designs too (woop!).

[yellowbox] Click *here* to download your free template (no sign-up required) [/yellowbox]

And to make things easier, here’s a short tutorial on how to use the template. By the end of it you will know exactly how to create a stunning cover photo that blends seamlessly with the profile picture.

As the measurements are the same, you can use it for both individual profiles and Facebook business pages.

The Dimensions Problem

Before anything else, let’s have a look at why it can be difficult to incorporate the profile picture into your cover photo.

As you might already now, the dimensions of a Facebook cover photo are 851x315px (that is, 851 pixels in width by 315 pixels in height). However, the profile picture has to be uploaded as at least a 180x180px image that will then be shrunk to 160x160px.

Facebook cover photo dimensions, profile picture design measurements - 851x315px in size, 2015 | AdomasBaltagalvis.com #Facebook

This means that if you just used a 851x315px canvas and tried to crop out the profile picture, the size of the resulting photo will be 160x160px only, and Facebook will not allow you to upload it (as I mentioned, it has to be 180x180px, at least) – and that’s a pain, but…

This is exactly why the cover photo template I created is twice as wide than recommended by Facebook, 1702px in width, leaving the cropped out profile picture a 320x320px image.

How To Use The Template

NOTE: in order to use the template you will need to use the Adobe Photoshop or another application that supports .psd or files. I also included a .png file of the page frame, so you could use that too.

Profile Picture Design:

Open the template and add the photo you want to use for the design. Use the frame as a guideline on how it will appear on your Facebook page and adjust the photo the way you like it.

In the template you will find a layer called Profile Picture. Press and hold the CTRL button (or Command on Mac) and click on the shape to load the selection of the profile picture (more precise than just using the crop tool).

Go to Image -> Crop and you’ll be left with a cropped profile picture. Finally, be sure to use “File -> Save As” to save the profile picture as a separate .psd file and then export it as a .png file.

Cover Photo Design:

Go back to the initial template. Again, hold CTRL (or Command) and click on the “Cover Photo” layer to load the selection.

Go to Image -> Crop – you will now be left with the cover photo that’s 1702x630px in dimensions. To decrease the image size go to Image -> Image Size, and enter: Width: 851px, height: 315px.

Use “Save As” to save the cover photo as a separate .psd file and then export it as a .png file again…

And you’re done!

The Final Look

If you followed the steps correctly, you will now have two files: one profile picture (320x320px) and one cover photo (851x315px).

To upload the new design, go to your Facebook page, click on “Update Profile Picture” and “Upload Photo…”. For cover photo, click to “Change Cover” and “Upload Photo…” and select the newly created image.

Talking about alignment, I got obsessed with it and, after a few modifications, managed to get it as close as technically possible.

Just how aligned is it, I hear you ask?

This much:

How to combine profile picture and cover photo for an ultimate timeline design 2015 | AdomasBaltagalvis.com #Facebook #desing

As you might have already guessed, the opportunities are endless. However, don’t forget some basic design rules: if you have a light logo, make sure to pick a dark photo for the design so that the logo stands out in the news feed, next to the page name, something like this:

How to match Facebook cover photo with profile picture for an creative business page timeline design 2014 | AdomasBaltagalvis.com #Facebook #desing

And if you’re an advanced Photoshop user or have a designer that can help you out, feel free to get as creative as this:

Creative Facebook cover photo and profile picture: Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk , Hawkeye and Adomas Baltagalvis | AdomasBaltagalvis.com #Facebook #marketing

Bonus Section: Mobile Optimisation

And the very final thing: cover photo optimisation for mobile devices. If you visited any Facebook pages on your iPhone, you might have noticed that the cover photo isn’t displayed the same way it is on desktop – only the middle section will appear on mobile, while the profile picture will move significantly towards the centre.

In order to avoid ugly discrepancies, I added an additional Mobile Layout layer which will help you to fit your visuals and text accordingly – don’t place important information on the sides, especially if you know that the majority of your page users are mobile users:

Template on how to optimise Facebook cover photo design for iPhone mobile devices | AdomasBaltagalvis.com #Facebook


If you haven’t yet, grab the free template here:

[yellowbox] Click *here* to download your free template (no sign-up required) [/yellowbox]

Will you be using the template? Have you seen any other great cover photo examples? Let me know in the comments below!

See ya,