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Guide to the New Google Plus Cover Photo Size, Inspiration & Tips

March 12, 2013

By Cypress North
60 Comments

UPDATE 11/14/13: We’ve added some new screenshots to show you what the new cover photo layout looks like.

The consensus around the web is that the new Google+ cover photo size is massive. The new size is 2120 x 1192 pixels — which gives businesses and brands a lot more space to work with compared to the old version.

In a previous post on our blog, one visitor named Scott commented with the following question:

How exactly should one design in such a way to control the viewer’s/visitor’s experience? Is there a new template to use?

 

This is a great question, and one that I’m sure many of us are paying attention to.

A cover photo can say a lot about a person. What do you want your first impression to be? Since the cover photo takes up about 95% of the viewable screen area, this is your opportunity as a biz owner to make an impact and engage potential customers, clients, and visitors.

Think about your goals and your audience on Google Plus. Are you trying to build a community or brand awareness? If so, you may not want to lead with a pushy marketing message, but instead try something more personal that your audience can relate to. Show off people using/wearing your products. Share a picture of you and your team.

We updated our cover photo with our very handsome, furry friend, office mascot Rogan. People who have read our website and follow us on InstagramTwitter or Facebook know Rogan — they’ve seen him fetch a beer, dress up for Halloween, and take lots of naps in the office.

Google_Plus_Cover_Photo_Upload_2

Find something that tells visitors a story or gives a little insight about you/your brand/your company. It’ll give you some common ground and serve as a talking point when they contact/hire you!

General Observations

Here are some of my initial thoughts and observations about the new Google+ cover photo, plus a new template and size specifications to help you update yours.

There’s (a lot) more space to work with

  • The height of the old cover size (180 px) was somewhat limiting as it forced users to focus on finding images that best fit the horizontal layout, or forced them to work with a designer that could help create a custom cover photo design. The new cover photo size gives you far greater flexibility to display images bigger and better – a marketer’s dream! There is a lot more room with the new photo size to add clear call to actions, highlight services, and showcase products to engage potential clients and customers who visit your page

Cover re-sizes dynamically

 

  • If anyone was worried about screen resolution size and how that plays into the massive cover photo, worry no more. The cover photos dynamically resize proportionately using 16×9 ratio to fit your screen resolution so you – or a visitor – will always see the cover photo, a preview of a person’s first post, circles, and navigational elements no matter what browser or resolution.

 

Need high resolution images

 

  • A bigger photo size means that you now need higher resolution images to make your page look visually appealing to visitors. Avoid using blurry or pixelated images.

 

Profile images: circle and square formats

Mashable_Cover_Photo

 

  • If you have a square logo with margins around the edges, like Mashable does, be aware that your profile image may be displayed with some white edges around the side. If you want to avoid that, size your profile image smaller, or add more padding overall so that it fits within the circle. The downside to this is that your square image may appear smaller:

AMEX_cover_photo

 

Inspiration

Here’s a look at some creative uses of the new Google+ cover size.

Coca-Cola uses the cover photo as a collage to display photos of the ice cold pop around the world.

Coca Cola Cover Photo Image

Ford uses the cover photo to display a beautiful image of one of their vehicles. The logo has a transparent background, which makes it look like part of the cover image.

Ford Motors Cover Photo Image

Madewell goes simple — which is very much in line with the brand aesthetic — and displays a very clean image of a model wearing pieces from the company’s line.

Madewell Cover Photo Image

SMX chose an image from a session at a marketing conference to give visitors a glimpse into what it’s like to attend the industry show.

SMX Cover Photo Image

Etsy does a nice job showing off handmade items and letters. This is also a great example of fitting the logo to the circle and square format.

Etsy Cover Photo

Tips

 

  • Keep it simple, don’t try to jam everything into the cover photo – you want people to keep scrolling to look at your content
  • Think about your profile image (logo) and make sure it doesn’t conflict with the cover photo (i.e., look at patterns, colors, textures and make sure your profile image stands out and doesn’t get lost)
  • Try bringing attention to your Follow and +1 buttons to encourage users to connect with you like they used to do on the Facebook fan gate pages; I haven’t seen an example of this just yet, so let us know in the comments if you find one!

 

Specifications

 

  • The display size of the Google+ Cover Photo image is 2120 x 1192 pixels
  • The height of the area that displays the profile photo, page name, page URL and number of +1’s is approximately 160 pixels in height (Google adds a black gradient to the bottom of the image so be sure all important information and text is included above the page name)

 

Template Download

Since the cover photos re-size to fit your web browser, it’s a bit harder to create a template download as the profile image and page details move depending on the resolution of your web browser.

Here is what our page looks like when shrinking the web browser:

CN_cover_photo_2

Here is what our page looks like at full screen:

CN_Cover_Photo_3

As you can see, the page details get smaller and move more towards the center when viewing the page at full screen vs. a larger logo and details that better fill the page when viewed at a smaller size browser.

UPDATE 11/14/13: Google has once again changed the layout of the cover photo for Google+. The newest version displays your full cover photo on the page, taking up about 2/3 of the width of the page, with the remaining 1/3 displaying the page/user information, a button to quickly circle the page/user, and an option to share the page/profile. The background behind the information section is a re-purposed version of your cover photo with a blurred effect applied. Cover photo dimensions remains the same: 2120 px by 1192 px, aspect ratio 16×9.  The change is live for all users, and you can still use our free downloadable template to create a compelling, engaging cover photo for your Google+ profile or page. I think this is a nice upgrade from the previous, massive cover photo.

Here are some examples of pages with the new cover photo update:

cypress_north_new_google_cover_11-14-13

 

madewell-new-google-cover-11-14-13

 

etsy_new_google_cover_photo_11-13-14

 

mashable_new_cover_photo_11-14-13

 

 

 

To get you started, here is a free Google Plus Cover Photo .PSD template already sized to 2120 x 1192. It might take some trial and error; however, the good news is that there isn’t anything blocking the top part of the photo.

 

We’d love to see what you create — stop by and leave us a link to your profile so we can check it out. Good luck!

For more posts like this one, be sure to follow Cypress North on TwitterFacebook, and Google+.

Cypress North

Cypress North

We are a small group of developers, marketers and designers who are experts in their field. We work hard to surpass our clients’ goals; word-of-mouth is our best friend. Our unique expertise in both internet marketing and development allows us to accomplish projects that others simply can’t. If you are looking to choose the steak over the sizzle, you’re in the right place.

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60 comments

morgan the writer June 17, 2014Reply

how are people posting their website link in that left panel, I can’t seem to do it so far…

Tiffany Tcheng June 18, 2014Reply

You can add your website link in the About tab under “Links”.

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[…] Guide to the New Google Plus Cover Photo Size, Inspiration & Tips […]

Arita May 22, 2014Reply

Is there any way to change the background around the profile pic instead of google just taking a part of the header image and blurring it?

Jane Ko December 23, 2013Reply

Thanks for the dimensions update! Just updated my profile https://www.google.com/+JaneKo

Trish December 6, 2013Reply

Google+ is changing the header image requirements far too often for my liking therefore I have been negligent with updating my header image until now. Thank YOU Tiffany for the specifications, making my job a whole lot easier 🙂
https://plus.google.com/b/103531937505192355565/103531937505192355565/posts

Tiffany Tcheng December 9, 2013Reply

Glad we could help!

Ed Ferrigan October 16, 2013Reply

Tiffany, thanks for this overview. I have a question though that I don’t see mentioned. Whenever I bring in my image I get a cropping tool and it only takes the “crop” and blows it up to be my page. Whats happening here? Doesn’t make sense to me. Shouldn’t I just be able to import an image and thats that?

Tiffany Tcheng October 16, 2013Reply

Ed,

Just “crop” your entire image. Drag the tool to the top left corner and drag to bottom right to get the full image uploaded. Hope this helps!

Templotic September 23, 2013Reply

Thank you for sharing cover guidelines i done it 🙂

newwebsitethemes August 21, 2013Reply

I’ve changed my cover image to perfect size to fit whole layout, thank you for sharing this awesome tips.

Zad July 29, 2013Reply

Awesome ! Thanks for the template. Here’s my page so you can check out what I came up with 🙂

https://plus.google.com/115269012513614234197/posts

J. A. Ginsburg July 16, 2013Reply

Help! I created a background image to your specs, but when I try to upload it, there is a smaller live “window” and the request to move the image to fit the window. It looks like it’s the same 16×9 ratio, so I tried making the orignal smaller. It makes no difference. It always wants to cut the original image. I tried using one of Google’s pre-loaded background photos. Same problem. I am completely frustrated. HELP! Thanks…

Doc July 13, 2013Reply

I did not think I would be perplexed with what my original Cover Photo image size should be, to begin with. Every time I re-size in my graphic program & up load to Google+, I am asked to crop which the image becomes distorted.

What am I missing

http://www.google.com/support/+/?p=compatibility_mode_warning&hl=en

Patricia July 7, 2013Reply

I loved the ‘inspiration’ samples. And thanks for the psd template, it’ll save me lots of time!

gregory urbano June 23, 2013Reply

thank you so much for the info and template!

Matt Hulbert June 18, 2013Reply

Tiffany, I want to thank you so much for this posting! It really helped me out tremendously, Your assistance is appreciated a lot more than you can imagine!
Here is the cover page that I was able to create after reading your post
https://plus.google.com/b/117261096556829365283/117261096556829365283/posts#117261096556829365283/posts

robertjm June 16, 2013Reply

If I create an image that is NOT the full height (i.e.: 2120 x 300 pixels) is Google+ going to simply add black space, stretch the image vertically, or only display that size, thereby getting rid of that annoying “pop” that happens when the page redraws?

aditya June 15, 2013Reply

thanks for the help. Really helpful while creating my cover photo on google plus.

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[…] Guide to the new google plus cover photo size, inspiration & tips […]

Stuart June 9, 2013Reply

Hi Tiffany
Thanks very much for your article and template, they were a great help while redesigning our new Global Trading Tools cover image.

Here is the link if you’re interested to check it out…
https://plus.google.com/101484090429509902820
Thanks

Ana Hoffman June 5, 2013Reply

I need to update mine – you gave me some creative ideas, Tiffany.

Nazito June 3, 2013Reply

Thank you Tiffany, I do go with great ideas and a FREE PSD template to start working on it. I will make sure to came back and share my G+ cover photo.

Mary Jo June 1, 2013Reply

Thanks so much for the info! I kept trying to get the dimensions right…but kept failing! LOL!

But…happy to report that I figured it out, thanks to you! 🙂

https://plus.google.com/b/107541599729155625606/107541599729155625606/posts

Brian May 29, 2013Reply

The cover photo looks a little better to me today. Maybe it just took a while to load or I was just staring at it too much yesterday when I was making it. Anyway I did use native res and a .png file but even looking at a page like Adobe’s there cover photo didn’t look as high res as I would expect.

Let me know what you think and thanks for the help it’s for my company’s page but we don’t really use it yet. It’s just linked to our youtube page so I put it together really quick.
Thanks

Jay Holtslander May 28, 2013Reply

I uploaded a transparent image for use as the Avatar like ford did but it seems Google has changed something as it automatically received a black background.

Stuart June 9, 2013Reply

Hi Jay
Not sure if you still experiencing the background showing up on your transparent avatar image, but just wanted to let you know I have been able to successfully use a transparent .png image on Google+ without a background showing.
Not sure what image format you were using but just thought I’d let you know that transparent .png appears to be working ok.
Cheers

Brian May 28, 2013Reply

Having an issue getting the image to look clear on the page. It keeps looking faded or stretched event though my image is the native resolution. What settings do you use and what file format should I be saving too, in order to get the best quality?

Tiffany Tcheng May 28, 2013Reply

Hi Brian,

Google does a great job of supporting high res images, so I don’t do anything different when saving for my cover photo size. Do you have a link to your Google+ page so we can take a look? Maybe other community members can chime in to help.

Jeff Ostroff May 28, 2013Reply

I saved mine in PNG format 2120 x 1192. Make sure you actually did save it in that exact size. But PNG helps because it accepts scaling better than the lossier JPEG format. Remember JPEG is compressed a lot.

Ahmed Tarek May 22, 2013Reply

Tiffany, thanks for sharing this. I am working on the cover image of my page right now and i will try to make use of your notes.

Jeff May 13, 2013Reply

Tiffany, thanks for the great article, I just added my new cover photo after I saw your article. It’s a shot I took at Vail back in 1995 the morning after a record 26″ overnight snowfall, no foot prints on the snow yet:

https://plus.google.com/106304789190448327349/posts

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[…] Guide to the New Google Plus Cover Photo Size, Inspiration & Tips (CypressNorth.com) […]

Serena May 4, 2013Reply

Very useful article and inspiration! Like yours with the office dog, so cute…I just had a go at a new profile for my food blog- https://plus.google.com/b/102767501951257846240/102767501951257846240/posts

Lindsey April 25, 2013Reply

Thanks for the template!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/116309118593186456907/posts

Cynthia April 23, 2013Reply

I hate this sell, sell, sell thing happening now in every possible social site. I am here doing research for the company I work, but I have to say, from a personal point of view, how annoyed and frustrated I am to see brands everywhere.

Google+ Set up guide basics & tips | Fat Eyes April 16, 2013Reply

[…] The header for Google+ pages allows for a panoramic scene across the top of your Home page. It is called a Cover. This can be any photo that you upload or you can use one of the Google+ stock photos. You can also add text. business page. Image size is 2120px by 1192px. You can use anything you like. I went a little off mainstream on mine and used images of a couple of my paintings. See below. This is a good guide and some inspiration for creating your cover. […]

Jamie April 16, 2013Reply

Thank you, your template was very helpful and saved me time in knowing where the logo etc would be. Not thrilled with the black fade at the bottom as it doesn’t really work well with my type of images but nothing I can really do about it. Thanks again and if you wanted to check out my new cover photo- https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/107498268580795307708/107498268580795307708/posts

Tiffany Tcheng April 16, 2013Reply

Cover photo looks great, Jamie! Very creative. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara Pilgrim April 4, 2013Reply

I updated my cover photo to the new size, but when I view my page as ‘Public’ it has cropped off the top half of the image. It will appear if you scroll the page but the full image does not appear unless you do this. Very fustrating! How do I know how much of the image will be seen?

Janet Benaquisto April 3, 2013Reply

I have a rectangular company logo and had a difficult time fitting into the square profile photo space, now the circle makes it look even more odd. Is there a way to not have the profile photo at all? The other thought I had was to create a new graphic cover photo with our logo and find a appropriate related photo for the cover photo.

Martin April 10, 2013Reply

Hi Janet,

You could make a completely transparent image for your profile photo which would look good on the cover photo but remember that you then wouldn’t have a profile photo anywhere else on Google+

Bill Gilmore March 20, 2013Reply

good article, got my header the exact right size now thanks for your help. Hopefully G+ wont go changing trying to please us again

MAK March 20, 2013Reply

Thank you so much for the information, this is really helpful. the google plus new size is pretty weird but i will my best to utilize it to my benefit. Thank you for the .psd 🙂

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[…] For more details, check out this nice tutorial (and template) here. […]

Scott Deering March 17, 2013Reply

By far the best information on the new G+ photo. Thank You

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[…] March 2013 update: Google+ has changed the cover size to 2120 x 1129 pixels – you can get an updated PSD template from this blog: new Google+ cover template […]

Rae March 15, 2013Reply

If we add rulers to the PSD template, any idea where the specific cross points on the ruler are that would be where the +1 page box falls into in order to know where to point any “stand outs” to?

Tiffany Tcheng March 15, 2013Reply

Hi Rae,

I updated the PSD template with rules and a guide layer that indicates the approximate locations of where the +1 button is, page name and logo area. Thanks for the idea!

Rae March 15, 2013Reply

You? ROCK!

Matt March 14, 2013Reply

Particularly impressed with Ford’s effort, out of interest how do you think they have removed the shading bar to leave such a crisp transparency on the image.

Tiffany Tcheng March 14, 2013Reply

Hi Matt, are you talking about the black gradient? It looks like it is still there to me — the bottom of the image is a little darker than the rest of it. It just might blend in a little better since the bottom of the photo is black pavement.

Trish Jones March 13, 2013Reply

Hi Tiffany,
Thank you so much for this. I figured out how to get back the original header by just deleting the uploaded image since I hated the new size. However, you’ve inspired me to stick with it and use the new cover to my advantage. Much appreciated. Trish

Tiffany Tcheng March 14, 2013Reply

Hi Trish! I’m glad to hear you’re going to give the new cover photo a shot. You’re absolutely right — embrace the new size and use it to your advantage. I’d love to see what you create. Stop by and leave a link so I can check it out when you’re done.

Krystyna Barker March 13, 2013Reply

Great post – some good points and great visual examples for inspiration. Will certainly share this with my audience. regards Krystyna

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[…] tips, inspiration & a new template that fits the 2120 x 1129 cover photo size. Check it out here. […]

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[…] Update 03/07/13: Google announced new cover photo sizes and profile enhancements for Google+. The new cover photo size is 2120 × 1192 pixels. We wrote a follow-up post with inspiration, tips, and another template that you can see here. […]

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