How to Design for Instagram - January 2018


On a platform all about images, you better be sure you're optimizing yours so they look their best. Let me show you how.

Note: this is specifically about uploading images to Instagram, and does not cover video content.


Profile Picture

When uploading a profile picture, you have to use a .jpeg if uploading from desktop, and .jpeg or .png if uploading from mobile. For ideal resolution, make sure the image is at least 1080 by 1080 pixels.

As far as the layout of the image, be sure to choose one that works in a round icon. 



Images for your Instagram feed should always be 1080 pixels wide to display at their highest resolution without compression. They can be anywhere from 566 to 1350 pixels tall. Just remember when someone visits your profile, the image will be cropped to display as a square.

If you're uploading from desktop (I'll tell you how to do that at the end of the post) you have to upload as a jpeg. From mobile you can upload either .pngs or jpegs.


Don't Forget Your Profile View


If someone sees a post from you and considers following you on Instagram, they're most likely to visit your profile and browse to see if your other content is appealing.

So don't forget to check to see how each photo you all will look on your profile in a three by three grid.

There are tools you can use to help plan your Instagram posts to create an appealing grid, such as Planoly.



Instagram Stories are images that disappear after 24 hours. They're great for information you want to share with your audience, but not to keep on your profile permanently.

If you take a photo directly from the Instagram Stories menu, you don't have to worry about specs.

But if you want to upload a photo or graphic you've already made, you'll want the image to be 1080 by 1920 pixels.

To upload an image to stories, click on the square gallery button, and choose any image from your photos, .png or .jpeg.

If posting from desktop, you'll have to use a jpeg, and it will automatically open a file where you can choose an image to upload from your computer.


Bonus Tip: Instagram on Desktop

Now the big question: how do you post on Instagram from desktop? Magic, my friends.

On Google Chrome, open up Instagram, then hit Control+Shift+I. That'll open the responsive mobile view of Instagram. Then if you hit refresh.. poof! It'll be just like Instagram on your phone, where you can upload photos and stories.

Next Week

3 Things You Have to Communicate
in Your Visual Brand



I'm a brand designer who helps business owners who are tired of their marketing efforts just pulling "okay" results. I help them stand out and be remembered online by designing them a Noteworthy Visual Brand that attract their ideal clients - effortlessly.