How To Create A Terrific Facebook Cover Image If You Don't Have Resources To Hire A Designer | Beth's Blog

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

Digital Strategy

Note From Beth: Nonprofits are beginning to unveil their new timeline designs (I’ve been post 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 Children created 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 Post Ash Shepherd

Source: Ash Shepherd

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.  Below are some examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Ash's Profile

Originally posted at Razoo

Originally posted at SocialFresh


Originally posted at SmashingHub

Originally posted at Inspirationfeed

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.



34 Responses

  1. Ash says:

    Beth, thanks for sharing this post with your readers. Hope folks find it useful and offer any feedback on how it could be improved. Would love to ramp up these resources even more and get them back out to people.

  2. Jon Loomer says:

    This is great! I’m still in preview mode while I fix up my apps and cover image. I’m having a tough time coming up with the “ultimate cover photo” idea, but this helps for inspiration!

  3. Emily Dew says:

    Thanks for adding some ideas and free resources! One note however – the advice to add your call to action to the cover photo directly conflicts with Facebook’s guidelines (see here under “Page Features”: and John Haydon’s explanation here:

    Though there may be creative ways for an organization to visually communicate a need to be addressed or a suggestion of how others can get involved, an explicit call to action is probably better highlighted elsewhere on the page.

  4. […] Timeline’s here, and do we like it! Get your Page a great Cover like Loius Vuitton’s page did. Don’t want to hire a Designer do the job? Check out this cool tip by Beth Kanter […]

  5. John Haydon says:

    Beth – thanks for the mention (sorry I’m only catching this now). I’d be curious to hear what other video tutorials might be helpful…

  6. […] How To Create A Terrific Facebook Cover Image If You Don’t Have Resources To Hire A Designer – Beth Kanter Description: Beth is great for marketing tips to nonprofits, but many of her posts (like this one) apply to everyone. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my cover photo before publishing my Timeline, and this certainly serves as inspiration. […]

  7. […] using Facebook’s new Timeline feature for pages. Beth Kanter’s got a good one about creating a cover image without hiring a designer. Lunametrics breaks down the Timeline features and gives specs and suggestions for each one. And, […]

  8. […] finally here’s a useful post on Beth Kanter’s blog – How to create a terrific timeline cover photo if you don’t have the resources to hire a design… Did you like this? Share it:TweetShare stuff:FacebookEmailStumbleUponReddit This entry was posted […]

  9. […] How to Create a Facebook Cover Image – Beth’s Blog Tools to help you create a custom Timeline cover image: […]

  10. Linda says:

    I am learning about Corel PaintShop layers AND the new FB Cover Page all at the same time! Just began last night, messing around with pages for two causes I am admin on. Thanks for all the resources and tips here, they make this transition a lot less scary!

  11. […] are some really cool examples of things you can do with your cover photo at Inspiration Feed, and Beth Kanter has a great template that you can download to create a coordinated cover photo and profile […]

  12. Chiranjeev says:

    Really nice wau to create such a cool cover page for facebook timeline profile.

  13. […] How to create a Cover Photo if you don’t have the resources to hire a designer A Cover Photo Creation Tool (don’t mind all of the ads – they can be a bit confusing) Amazingly Creative Cover Photo Examples addthis_url = ''; addthis_title = 'Updating+your+Facebook+Creative+for+Timeline'; addthis_pub = ''; posted under Social Media […]

  14. Graham says:

    Beth- I was hoping you could tell me what you think of this Cover Photo tool:

  15. Vijay Chhuttani says:

    Nice Article…was looking for a mockup PSD n got here. I would like to suggest one thing… U should think about redesigning your comment section. There is very little room for the text to breath… n suffocation hurts. N thanks for the PSD 🙂

  16. Ash Shepherd says:


    Happy to hear the template was helpful for you.

  17. […] at the top of Timeline Cover image tips Making Timeline Easier to Scan (video) Some image tips to make your page stand […]

  18. How2Blog says:

    Really nice instructionzzzz. Tnx a lot dude 🙂

  19. Ash says:


    Very useful tool and have been happy to share it (the credit to you) with others. Thanks for sharing in the first place.

  20. Maria Paul says:

    hi!! Is there any other site like who designs facebook cover for free????

  21. […] How To Create A Terrific Facebook Cover Image If You Don’t Have Resources To Hire A Designer (Beth Kanter) Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPinterestStumbleUponPrintEmailTumblrDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Leave a Comment by CarolHBates on May 25, 2012  •  Permalink Posted in Community College, Education, Facebook, Social media, YouTube […]

  22. Korko says:

    Nice article but some may not want to use Photoshop. For that, I created a simple tool to just create a combination of the profile picture and the cover from a single image :

    Give it a try!

  23. Jo Sermon says:

    Many thanks for your help, wonderful!

  24. mahesh says:

    i was wondering how to create cover image..this article shows me some idea.i will try to do it.thanks for the post

  25. ruthy thomas says:

    Good article dude. By the way, You quote “If You Don’t Have Resources To Hire A Designer” why should we hire a designer when like sites offers cover designs for free of cost as per our ideas and customisation.

  26. Thanks for the information and I will apply these to put up an new facebook cover photo on my timeline. And I would like to try this one also.

  27. Alex Saji says:

    Awesome article. I really liked!!

  28. Arsie Organo says:

    Indeed your collection of Facebook cover photos are really terrific!

  29. Osho Garg says:

    Thanks For Guide 🙂
    This really Helps 🙂

  30. Jenny says:

    Thanks so much!

  31. […] For example, Beth Kanter explains How To Create A Terrific Facebook Cover Image If You Don’t Have Resources To Hire A Designer. […]