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By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Creating an Optimal Facebook Cover Image in Photoshop

In this week’s Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows you how to create a perfectly spaced, sized, and positioned Facebook cover image. Sure, you could take your chances and upload a carefully selected photo for your cover image, then hope limited repositioning controls in Facebook let you adequately present your creative vision. Or you could watch this week’s movie and find out how to craft your cover in Photoshop ahead of time, to present a vision that’s exactly what you want for your Facebook page.

The key to getting things positioned precisely is creating a template that allows you to plan your composition exactly. Specifically, here are the dimensions that you want:

Template of a standard Facebook cover with dimensions marked

Although the 851 x 315 dimensions of the standard Facebook cover is fairly common knowledge, the key to ultimately having your cover and the smaller inset profile picture work together with technical accuracy is to anticipate in Photoshop how the two will visually interact. In this project, Deke’s goal is to have text that spans across the cover photo actually look as though it begins inside the smaller profile photo. (His kooky brush tiki man also spans across both images.) This requires some deft use of smart objects, layer masks, duplication, trimming, and of course, the Save for Web command. Here is the result of Deke’s project:

Final Facebook cover art with text spanning seamlessly from inset into banner

Of course, you can extrapolate from this technique to create your own professionally crafted cover photo for your own personal or business page. And members of lynda.com can watch this week’s exclusive video, in which Deke continues the project by showing you how he got his inset profile image to work as part of the larger cover photo, replete with letter D and the handle of the brush character positioned so that they flow from one image to the next.

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