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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
Hello and welcome back to another installment of Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley and this week we're talking about Facebook cover photos. And if you don't know what a Facebook cover photo is, it's basically the big, giant photo that goes at the top of a Facebook business page. So for instance if I went over to my Facebook page. You would see here at the very top this large image that goes across. And this is something called the cover image. And so this cover image represents you or your brand or in some way tells the story about you or what you're doing online.
And so this photo is very important for brands that are using Facebook. And so that's what we're going to be talking about in this creative quick tip. I'm going to go back over here. And if you go to the facebook.com website and search the help files, you can actually find the guidelines for your Facebook cover photo. And there are some very specific things in here that you need to pay attention to. It tells you that it's a unique image that represents your page, it might be a photo or it might be an album artwork picture, whatever the case may be. It does tell you here, that the photos can't be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else's copyright.
And you may not encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal timelines. It also tells you some guidelines for, how to make a cover photo. So cover photos must be at least 399 pixels wide. The problem with that is, they're going to scale them up if you don't get them to the proper width. The proper width is actually 851 pixels by 315 pixels. It also tells you it needs to be less than 100 kilobytes, which is not hard to do. An it tells you that images with logo or text content, you may get higher quality results using a PNG file. Now that's helpful advice, but let's take a look at some of the things that I've developed inside of my own Facebook cover photo templates, that make it a little bit easier for you to understand what we're looking for here.
I'm going to jump over into Photoshop and this is not necessarily a program that you have to use. You can use any type of program to create this, but you're basically trying to create three basic areas, in your Facebook cover photos in my opinion. Inside of this Facebook cover photo, if you are a brand or a business, you want three basic areas. You want a tag line, you want a large visual, and you want what's called a CTA, or a call to action. As of this year, 2013, Facebook has actually relented on the policy, that before prohibited you from having a CTA or call to action in your Facebook cover photo.
Now, you can have one. So a call to action is something like, click like now, or click here to like us or click to download your free eBook, or something like that. So you want these three areas inside of your Facebook cover photo. You also want to make sure that you leave ample space for your Facebook profile picture over here on the left. That's why the layout of this looks a little weird. So my tagline is always going to be somewhere prominently displayed like this. I'm always going to keep my call to action button somewhere towards the bottom, because chances are that's going to be pointing towards one other aspect of my page.
Either a tab or the like button or something like that. And then my visual is usually offset to one side, but it's big enough so that people recognize what it is. In this case it's the alien face, the logo for whatever this fictitious company is that I might be working with. And then I've left ample space down here on the left hand side for the actual profile photo to go in there. All of these mixed together accompanied with the fact that I've maxed it out to the correct size, by going to the image dialog box here. You can see 851 pixels by 315 pixels. So everything is dialed in perfectly, ready to go.
If I want to save this out, I'll just use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Opt+Cmd on a Mac. Shift+Alt+Ctrl on a PC and the letter S. And then since it does have text and logo elements, I'm going to switch it to a PNG. You'll notice here that it says it's going to be 31k. That's well below the guidelines for 100, and so I'll just save this out. And I'll just save it to my desktop, Facebook Cover. And there we go, now I just upload that into Facebook and I have a nice new cover photo ready to go to showcase my brand, or whatever it is that I might be creating a page for.
Now if you want more information about how to use Facebook for business purposes. I highly suggest that you check out my course on lynda.com called Facebook for your business. Wherein I talk about building an asset package and developing your own presence online using Facebook as your social platform, for marketing your business. So be sure to check that out in the lynda.com library. And until then be sure to take some of the guidelines that I gave you here in this little tip, to create yourself a better Facebook cover photo. And be sure to send me some examples of your Facebook cover photo either on Twitter, I'm at justinseeley or on Facebook at facebook.com/seeleyfb.
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