Instagram Highlight covers make a great first impression.

Located just below the bio section of your Instagram profile, they provide a flashy display for your Instagram Highlights and draw attention to your best Instagram Story content.

And you don’t have to be a hip influencer to use them. Organizations of all types, from government agencies to Fortune 500 companies, use them to great effect.

Lids are an easy win for any brand that relies on aesthetics. (And that’s it for everyone on Instagram.)

The good news is that these are easy to do even if you don’t have access to a graphic design team.

We will walk you through all the steps to create your own Instagram highlight covers. As a bonus, we have a free icon pack to get you started.

How to create an Instagram highlight

Create highlights to keep your best Stories content permanently at the top of your Instagram profile.

1. Tap on your story. Emphasize in the lower right corner.

2. Select the Highlight you want to add your story to.

Add Instagram Highlights

3. Tap Or. new Create a new Highlight and type a name for it. then click Add.

New Highlight

And that’s it! You just created an Instagram highlight.

How to create a new Instagram highlight from your profile?

Have an idea for a new highlight? Or maybe you want to add several different Stories at once?

To create a new Highlights from your Instagram profile, follow these steps:

1. Go to your profile and +New button (big plus sign).

Create new Instagram highlight

2. Select the Stories you want to add to your new Highlight. Pro tip: Instagram gives you an archive of your stories going back many years. So don’t be afraid to do some research for these Story gems.

3. Tap Next and name your new Highlight.

4. Select your highlight cover and tap . Completed.

Don’t have a featured cover yet? Continue reading.

How to create your own Instagram Highlight covers?

Instagram will let you use any image you want for your featured covers.

BUT your brand deserves better than “any image”.

This area is the prime real estate for converting lurkers into followers. You want to make an impression.

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If you’re short of time, Adobe Spark has pre-made covers that you can customize and use.

But if you want more control over your Instagram brand, these steps will show you how to easily create a great Instagram highlight cover from scratch (or almost from scratch).

Step 1: Sign in to Visme

Login to your account at Visme or create a free account at

Step 2: Create a new sized image for Stories.

From the main Visme dashboard, click custom size In the upper right corner, then type the Instagram Story image dimensions (1080 x 1920 pixels). click Create!

Creating new Story view in Visme

Step 3: Get our free icon set

After finishing the download, open the file and select your favourites. (You can use it with or without our professionally designed backgrounds.)

Download the free customizable Instagram Stories Featured Icons pack

Step 4: Upload your icons to Visme

go my files click in the left menu To uploadClick and select the icons you want to add.

After uploading the icon image, click on it. If you don’t see your icon on your canvas after uploading it, don’t worry. This is most likely because the icon has white lines on a transparent background. We’ll fix this in the next step.

Step 5: Create your background

Right-click anywhere on your image and click Background. A quick access background will appear distorted in the upper left corner of your workspace. Here you can choose a background color or add a brand color in the HEX code field.

change background color in visme

When you change the background color (to anything other than white, your icon will appear).

Creating a highlight cover in Visme

Give your project a name. then click download in the upper right corner. Choose your file type (PNG or JPG are both ok). then click download button.

download from visme

Your cover will download to your hard drive.

Repeat this process with other cover designs.

Pro tip: Now is the time to make sure your Stories archive is enabled on your Instagram account. This is essential if you want to go back and see your old Stories without downloading them to your phone.

Step 7: Edit your existing highlights to add your new covers

You no longer need to add an image to your Story (which all your followers will have to scroll through) to make a featured cover. Instead, you can edit the highlighting directly:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile.
  2. Tap the highlight whose cover you want to change.
  3. Faucet More in the lower right corner.
  4. Faucet Edit Highlight.
  5. Faucet Edit Cover.
  6. Select the picture icon to access your phone’s photo library.
  7. Choose your beautiful cover.
  8. Faucet Completed (actually, tap it three times.)

Do this for each of the stories you want to add covers.

Request! Your brand-specific Instagram highlights now adorn your profile and unify your look. Wonderful.

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5 tips for using Instagram highlight covers and icons

Now that you know how easy it is to make your own unique highlight covers, we have some time-saving tips for making them as effective as possible.

Show your brand’s aesthetic

Your brand has favorite colors, font, capital letters and possibly even some favorite emojis. Your featured covers are definitely the place to show them off.

However, remember that less is more. After all, these little portholes are pretty small. Clarity is key.

Don’t be afraid to try

Your Instagram highlights don’t have to do it all. They can do one thing very well.

For example, Red Bull’s highlights used to be quite traditional (eg Events, Projects, Video, etc.) but now they give their own emphasis to each of their athletes. All we get is a face, a name, and an emoji. Interesting.

Red Bull athletes Instagram highlights

Meanwhile, The New York Times is taking the Stories literally. They fill the highlights with comprehensive yet readable background information on complex political issues. They also create fun, snackable Stories about appealing topics.

NY Times Instagram highlights major political topics

Either way, their cover styles are perfectly consistent, which helps make the wide reach of their subjects more manageable.

Be consistent in your organization

There are absolutely no rules when it comes to organizing your Instagram highlights. (Brb, my internal librarian needs to go on antacids.)

However, some brands organize highlights as they do on their website (eg About, Team, FAQ). Some brands organize by collection or product (eg Winter ’20, New Arrivals, Makeup Line).

I’m here to tell you that no matter how you choose to organize it, remember to approach it from your target audience’s point of view.

In other words: if they know what to see, they are more likely to touch it.

Highlight the most important Stories

Ask yourself what is most important to your target audience. What are they here to see? This season’s collection? Today’s schedule? Or something useful in the longer run, like how to pair your flagship headphones?

The Met, for example, prioritizes potential visitors. At the top of his highlight reel is a helpful guide to this week’s exhibits.

The Met prioritizes potential visitors

Turn your audience into customers

With the right covers, you can get new looks and scroll through your best shoppable Stories (if you have an Instagram for Business profile with over 10,000 followers). For example, try using our shopping bag icon.

For more tips on selling products using your Instagram Stories, check out our complete guide to Instagram shopping.

Save time managing your Instagram presence using Moyens I/O. You can schedule posts and post directly to Instagram, engage with viewers, measure performance, and run all your other social media profiles from a single dashboard. Try it for free today.