In the dynamic world of social media, your Instagram profile is often the first impression you make on new followers. With the rise of visual storytelling, leveraging every aspect of your profile, including Instagram story highlight covers, becomes crucial. These small yet powerful icons not only add a touch of personality to your page but also enhance the aesthetic of your account, making it more cohesive and appealing.

Instagram highlights offer a unique way to showcase your best stories long after they’ve disappeared from your feed. However, creating beautiful highlight covers isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about smart Instagram marketing and playing nicely with the Instagram algorithm. Whether you’re using Canva, Adobe Illustrator, or other graphic design tools, the process of making custom Insta highlight covers is simpler than you might think.

In this article, we’ll take you through a step-by-step guide on how to create your own highlight covers. From selecting the perfect template to making sure your highlight covers reflect your brand’s identity, we cover everything you need to know. So, whether you’re a seasoned content creator or new to the world of IG stories, get ready to learn how to make engaging, aesthetically pleasing highlight covers that will transform your Instagram page.

How to make instagram highlight covers

Introduction to Instagram Highlight Covers

As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of social media in 2024, Instagram highlight covers have emerged as a crucial element in personalizing and enhancing IG profiles. These small, circular icons sitting atop your profile page do more than just look pretty; they serve as gateways to your curated IG stories, allowing you to permanently showcase what you deem most important. This year, the trend is all about making these highlight covers not just visually appealing but also reflective of one’s personal or brand identity.

The importance of highlight covers for IG profiles

It cannot be understated. They are the first thing a follower or potential follower notices when visiting your profile. Well-designed covers can intrigue visitors, encouraging them to explore your highlights and, by extension, your brand or personal story. They are an integral part of creating a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing Instagram presence. A cover that aligns with your overall aesthetic can elevate your profile’s overall look and feel, making it more professional and attention-grabbing.

A notable case study in 2023 revealed how a lifestyle influencer increased her profile’s engagement by redesigning her Instagram highlight covers. By aligning the covers with her brand’s aesthetic and incorporating current design trends, she not only enhanced her profile’s visual appeal but also saw a 20% increase in highlight views and a 15% increase in follower engagement. This case study demonstrates the power of effectively using Instagram highlight covers as part of a comprehensive social media strategy.

Trending Styles in 2024

There’s a noticeable shift towards more personalized and creative designs. Generic, repetitive covers are being replaced by unique, custom-made designs that reflect individual personalities or brand ethos. This year, the focus is on custom IG designs that stand out. Whether it’s through bold colors, minimalist patterns, or incorporating elements of one’s brand logo, users are getting more creative with their highlight covers.

The use of tools like Canva, with its plethora of free templates and customization options, has made it easier for everyone to design highlight cover templates that resonate with their brand or personal style. There’s an increasing preference for designs that are not just visually pleasing but also tell a story, encapsulating the essence of the highlights they represent.

Moreover, the integration of themes and elements from popular culture and other social media platforms, like the “Always Knew TikTok” style, is also gaining traction. These trends indicate a broader movement towards more dynamic, interactive, and personalized highlight covers.

In conclusion, as we continue to witness the evolution of Instagram’s aesthetics in 2024, it’s clear that highlight covers are no longer just an afterthought. They have become a key component of one’s online persona and branding strategy. By keeping up with the latest trends and leveraging the right tools, anyone can create highlight covers that are not only beautiful and aesthetically pleasing but also an effective tool in enhancing their Instagram profile.

Choosing the Right Template for Your Instagram Highlight Cover

The journey to crafting the perfect Instagram highlight covers begins with choosing the right template. This choice is more than a mere design decision; it’s about finding a template that resonates with your brand identity and appeals to your audience. With the evolving trends of Instagram, what are the popular templates this year, and how can you utilize them effectively?

The journey to crafting the perfect Instagram highlight covers begins with choosing the right template.

Exploring Popular Templates in 2024

This year’s trend in Instagram story highlight cover templates is a blend of minimalism and bold creativity. Templates featuring sleek lines and understated colors are popular, as they offer a clean, professional look that complements a variety of content types. These minimalist templates are perfect for brands or individuals seeking a sophisticated, elegant aesthetic.

On the other hand, there’s a growing trend towards more vibrant and eclectic templates. These designs often incorporate vivid colors, playful patterns, and unique fonts, catering to a more dynamic and youthful audience. They are ideal for creators who want their Instagram profiles to exude energy and excitement.

When choosing a template, consider how it will fit with your existing Instagram content. A good template should not only be visually appealing but also cohesive with your overall brand’s aesthetic. It should enhance, not detract from, the stories you are highlighting.

Utilizing “Always Knew TikTok” Inspired Designs

An interesting trend surfacing in 2024 is the influence of TikTok aesthetics on IG highlight cover designs, known as the “Always Knew TikTok” inspired designs. These templates are characterized by their vibrant, playful, and sometimes quirky elements, mirroring the creative and spirited nature of TikTok.

To incorporate this style into your Instagram story highlight covers, look for templates that use bold and unconventional layouts. These may include asymmetrical shapes, animated elements, or even meme-inspired graphics. The key is to capture the essence of TikTok’s spontaneous and engaging content.

These TikTok-inspired templates are particularly effective for brands or individuals who want to showcase their trendy, up-to-date nature. They can make your highlights stand out, attracting a younger demographic that resonates with the high-energy, creative vibe of TikTok.

In conclusion, the template you choose for your highlights cover can significantly impact how your profile is perceived. Whether you opt for a minimalist design or embrace the boldness of “Always Knew TikTok” inspired templates, the right choice can elevate your Instagram game. It’s about striking a balance between staying on-trend and staying true to your brand’s identity. By carefully selecting and customizing your template, you can ensure that your highlight covers are not just visually appealing but also a true reflection of what you and your brand stand for.

TikTok-inspired templates

Creating Custom Instagram Highlight Covers with Canva

In the digital age of 2024, where personal branding and visual storytelling are paramount, Canva has emerged as a go-to tool for creating custom story highlight covers. Whether you’re a budding influencer, a small business owner, or just someone looking to jazz up their Instagram profile, Canva offers an intuitive and user-friendly platform to design highlight covers that truly stand out.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Canva

Getting started with Canva is straightforward. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you create stunning highlight covers:

  1. Sign Up/Log In: If you’re new to Canva, sign up for an account. Otherwise, log in to your existing account.
  2. Choose Your Template: Browse through Canva’s vast library of highlight cover templates. You can choose from free templates or opt for more sophisticated designs from their premium collection.
  3. Customize: Once you’ve chosen a template, the real fun begins. Customize it by adding your own text, changing colors, and uploading images or icons. Remember to keep your design cohesive with your brand’s aesthetic.
  4. Download and Upload: After designing your cover, download it in the recommended size (1080 x 1920 pixels for Instagram). Then, upload it directly to your Instagram highlights.

Designing Aesthetically Pleasing Highlight Icons

The icons you choose for your highlight covers play a significant role in attracting viewers. Canva offers a wide range of icon options, from minimalist line drawings to more elaborate illustrations. When selecting icons, consider the following:

  • Relevance: Each icon should clearly represent the theme of your highlight.
  • Style Consistency: Ensure that the icons match the overall style and color scheme of your covers.
  • Visibility: Icons should be easily recognizable and visible against your cover background.

The beauty of Canva lies in its ability to democratize design. You don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to create beautiful Instagram highlight covers. With its drag-and-drop interface and plethora of design elements, Canva empowers anyone to unleash their creativity and make custom highlight covers that truly reflect their personality or brand.

In conclusion, Canva is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to elevate their Instagram game. By following these simple steps and tips, you can design highlight covers that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also meaningful and reflective of your content. It’s a way to make a statement on your Instagram profile, telling your story in a visually compelling way.

You can design highlight covers that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also meaningful and reflective of your content

Leveraging Instagram Story Templates for Your Highlight Covers

In the ever-evolving digital landscape of Instagram, story templates have become a pivotal asset for crafting visually cohesive and striking story highlight covers. These templates are more than just design aids; they’re a medium to ensure your Instagram highlights not only captivate but also cohesively represent your personal or brand narrative.

Benefits of Using Instagram Story Templates

The advantages of using story templates for your highlight covers are numerous:

  1. Consistency: Templates help maintain a uniform aesthetic across your highlights, crucial for building a recognizable brand on Instagram.
  2. Efficiency: With pre-designed layouts, you can create professional-looking covers quickly and easily, saving time for other aspects of your Instagram content creation.
  3. Customization: Most templates are highly customizable, allowing you to tweak colors, fonts, and graphics to match your brand’s style.
  4. Accessibility: Many platforms, like Canva and Adobe Spark, offer a range of free and premium templates, making professional designs accessible to all users.

Tips for Integrating Story Elements into Covers

When using Instagram story templates for your highlight covers, consider the following tips to ensure they align well with your content:

  • Choose Complementary Designs: Select templates that complement the type of stories you’re highlighting. For example, a travel blogger might choose adventurous or scenic templates, while a fashion influencer might opt for more stylish and chic designs.
  • Incorporate Brand Elements: If you’re using these covers for a business profile, incorporate your brand’s colors, logos, or other identifying elements into the design.
  • Be Mindful of Text and Graphics: Ensure that any text or graphic elements in the template don’t overshadow the cover icon. The focus should be on the icon that represents the highlight.
  • Test on Mobile Devices: Since Instagram is predominantly used on mobile devices, preview your covers on the phone to ensure they look good on smaller screens.

By leveraging Instagram story templates, you can create highlight covers that are not just aesthetically pleasing but also cohesive and reflective of the content they represent. It’s a smart way to enhance the visual appeal of your Instagram profile and make your highlights more enticing for your audience.

A smart way to enhance the visual appeal of your Instagram profile

Employing Instagram Story Templates Effectively

By leveraging these templates, you can craft highlight covers that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also reflective of your content. This approach enhances the visual appeal of your Instagram profile and makes your highlights more engaging.

  • Editing Highlights: Don’t be afraid to edit highlight or edit cover to better represent your content. Use the “edit” feature on Instagram to customize your Instagram highlights.
  • Creating Personalized Covers: Take advantage of the ability to design your own Instagram highlight. You can use pictures from your photo library or free icons available on design platforms.
  • Showcasing Top Stories: Use highlight covers as a way to showcase your top stories on your profile. This not only adds a visual element but also makes it easier for viewers to find and view the stories you want to include.

In summary, utilizing story templates for your highlight covers is a strategic approach to unify your Instagram aesthetic and showcase your content in a visually engaging way. With the right templates, you can transform your highlights into an attractive and cohesive part of your Instagram profile, making them a compelling aspect of your social media presence.

As an Instagram user focused on travel content, I found that customizing my highlight covers with thematic icons and vibrant colors significantly increased the engagement on my profile. It was a simple change, but it made my highlights more appealing and easier to navigate for my audience.

Another instance was when I revamped my Instagram business profile for my handmade jewelry shop. By using highlight covers that featured my brand colors and logo, I created a more cohesive and professional look. This small step noticeably improved the user experience and brand recall.

Advanced Techniques: Making Custom Instagram Highlight Icons

In 2024, the trend of personalizing your Instagram experience with custom highlight icons has become a key differentiator for those looking to make their Instagram profiles stand out. Far from just being decorative, these icons are a visual narration of your story, whether personal or brand-related. Utilizing advanced techniques in icon creation not only adds a unique edge to your profile but also engages and captivates your audience.

The trend of personalizing your Instagram experience with custom highlight icons has become a key differentiator for those looking to make their Instagram profiles stand out

Crafting Unique and Beautiful Instagram Highlight Covers

The journey to crafting unique highlight icons blends artistic creativity with technical prowess. Embracing tools like Adobe Illustrator allows for the creation of crisp, scalable vector graphics, perfect for the varying display sizes on Instagram. Beyond static imagery, introducing animation into your icons can bring a dynamic flair – think of subtle movements that bring life to your profile. For a truly personal touch, custom illustrations or graphics designed specifically for your brand outshine standard offerings, infusing your highlights with individuality.

Moreover, the inclusion of 3D elements in your icons can make a world of difference. Even a hint of three-dimensionality adds depth, making your covers more visually intriguing and stand out from the typical flat designs.

Incorporating Personal Branding into Your Designs

When it comes to Instagram highlights, personal branding is not just about being seen; it’s about being recognized. Integrating your brand’s colors and fonts into your icon designs is a foundational step in maintaining visual harmony across your profile. Your icons should be an extension of your brand’s signature style – whether that’s through a consistent color scheme, recurring motifs, or a particular imagery style.

Equally important is ensuring that your highlights align with the branding on your other digital platforms. This holistic approach to online branding strengthens your identity, providing a unified experience across all touchpoints with your audience.

Utilizing Instagram’s Features for Your Highlight Covers

Instagram offers a range of features to further enhance your highlight covers:

  • Edit Highlight and Edit Cover: Use these features to tweak and refine your covers directly in the Instagram app.
  • Highlight Button and Upload Your Highlight: Easily manage and upload new covers to your profile.
  • Story Archive: Delve into your past stories to find perfect moments to include in your highlight.
  • Hold on the Highlight: This simple action lets you quickly access editing options for each highlight.

In essence, creating custom Instagram highlight icons is an art that requires a blend of creativity and technical expertise. By harnessing these advanced techniques, you can transform your Instagram highlights into more than just a part of your online presence; they become a compelling aspect of your digital narrative, showcasing your story in a visually stunning way.


As we’ve explored throughout this article, creating Instagram highlight covers in 2024 is more than just a trend; it’s a strategic element of building an engaging and visually appealing Instagram profile. From choosing the right template to employing advanced techniques in crafting custom icons, each step is an opportunity to showcase your unique brand identity or personal style.

Creating Instagram highlight covers in 2024

Highlight covers are a small but powerful tool in the vast arsenal of Instagram marketing and branding. They offer a window into your world, inviting followers to explore your stories and connect with your content on a deeper level. In an era where social media aesthetics are constantly evolving, staying updated with the latest trends and leveraging platforms like Canva and Adobe Illustrator can significantly enhance your Instagram presence.

Remember, your highlight covers should not only be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing but should also resonate with your audience. They should reflect the essence of your stories and complement your overall Instagram aesthetic. By doing so, you create a cohesive, visually captivating profile that captures the attention of viewers and leaves a lasting impression.

In conclusion, whether you’re a business, influencer, or just an Instagram enthusiast, taking the time to design thoughtful and creative highlight covers can transform your profile from ordinary to extraordinary. It’s a step towards not just beautifying your space on Instagram but also strategically positioning your content in a way that captivates and retains your audience’s interest.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use my own photos from my photo library or camera roll for Instagram highlight covers?

To use your own photos for highlight covers, first, ensure they are saved in your photo library or camera roll. When editing or creating a new highlight, tap “Edit Highlight,” then “Edit Cover,” and select the photo you want to use. You can zoom in or adjust the photo to fit the highlight cover circle.

Are there any free resources for creating Instagram highlight covers?

Absolutely! There are a ton of free resources available for creating Instagram highlight covers. You can find free templates, icons, and design tools on platforms like Canva and Adobe Spark. Additionally, various websites offer free downloadable icons and images specifically designed for Instagram story highlights.

Can I customize highlight covers directly in the Instagram app?

Yes, you can customize highlight covers directly in the Instagram app. To do this, hold on to the highlight you want to edit, tap “Edit Highlight,” and then “Edit Cover.” You can then choose from existing story images or upload a new image from your camera roll.

What are some creative ways to showcase my top stories using highlight covers?

Creative ways to showcase top stories include using thematic icons that represent the story content, incorporating brand colors or elements for consistency, and experimenting with different design styles to capture your audience’s attention. Animated covers or custom illustrations can also add a unique touch.

How can I effectively utilize Instagram highlight covers for my business or personal brand?

For businesses and personal brands, Instagram highlight covers can be used to categorize and showcase different aspects of your offerings or experiences. Use them to highlight customer testimonials, services, behind-the-scenes content, or personal milestones. Ensure that the covers align with your brand’s aesthetic and messaging for a cohesive look.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

As a seasoned author and communication expert, Ellen specializes in Instagram with a deep understanding of the platform. Her expertise has enabled her to produce captivating and impactful content for both businesses and individuals.

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