Tips for Working With the New Massive Google Plus Cover Photo

Google Plus has introduced a new cover photo. And when they say “Cover photos just got bigger” – they weren’t kidding. Today we’ll take a look at the new cover photo and tips on how to create one that will work.

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The biggest problem I’ve had with the new cover photo is that it scales based on which part of a profile a user is viewing – and there is little control over this. This can be confusing when trying to design a cover photo that will work in all three sizes.

There are three possible sizes, which are listed below (values are approximate).

  • Largest: 1000×581
  • Medium: 1000×385
  • Smallest: 1000×70

Designing Tips

If you want to have the largest possible size available, the way to design a cover photo for the new Google Plus layout is to start with the biggest image that will be seen. Below is an image of the three sizes superimposed on top of each other, to give you an idea of how their scaling works (click the image to enlarge it to full size):

Click to enlarge to full size.

The black boxes in the sample above are where Google places logos, so you’ll want to avoid putting anything in those areas.

This is truly an understatement.

Just remember that the image is clipped from the top down – and the small version isn’t really big enough to show much detail – so you’ll probably want to focus your design area on the medium size of 1000×385, but allowing enough room for the full 1000×581 version.

Designing an Image Smaller than Maximum Size
If you don’t want your cover photo to be a gigantic image, rather than uploading it from the “Change Cover Photo” option (which will force you to stick to the proportions of the largest option), simply upload an image of your desired size (minimum 270px high) into one of your photo folders and then choose it from there when changing cover photos. Another option is to upload a 1000×581 (or larger) image and crop it from within Google Plus.

What do you think of the changes to the Google Plus cover photos? What have you done to account for the various sizes, and do you plan to use an image as large as they allow?

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