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How-To: Instagram Highlight Covers (+ Free Art Templates)

Your Instagram bio including the highlights is your Instagram business card. Using a beautiful and consistent set of Instagram highlight covers looks neat and organised and is also a great opportunity to show off your branding, colour palette and sense of style to your followers.

Beautiful highlight covers encourage profile visitors to click and view the stories within your highlights as it shows that you have put great effort into curating them. You have essentially pinned this memorable content to the top of your profile.

You can design personalised highlight covers from scratch or use these exclusive templates, designed in collaboration with graphic artist Yopie, for a truly artistic and unique look (download here). Let me explain how.

What is an Instagram highlight?

An Instagram highlight is a collection of Instagram stories that a user has saved under a certain category. Instagram stories can only be viewed for 24 hours, but adding a story to a highlight gives it a permanent spot on your profile. Read here how to use Instagram stories like a pro, and how to create highlights.

Consider an Instagram highlight cover exactly that: a cover for your story sequence. It is a photo or graphic that appears above the highlight name on your profile page.

On my profile, I use highlights to feature information relevant and important to my feed, and I use highlight covers adapted from artworks from the exclusive Whispering Bold x Yopie art collection, to showcase my sense of style.

Highlight covers aren’t essential, but they do provide your profile with a cohesive look. If you do not specify a cover, Instagram uses the first story in your highlight as default, which doesn't always look nice. Curated highlight covers make a great first impression on people visiting your Instagram page for the first time.

To create an Instagram highlight cover, first, you need to have an Instagram highlight. Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a highlight. If you already have highlights, great! Then you can go straight to the creative part.

How to create an Instagram highlight

  1. Open your Instagram account in the mobile app and click New in the highlights section below your bio (circle with a + sign).

  2. Scroll through your Story archive and select the Stories you want to include in your highlight. Then, tap Next in the top right corner of the screen.

  3. Type in the name of your highlight.

  4. Click Add. If you want, you can already edit your highlight cover during this step, or finish creating all your highlight content first. Up to you.

How to create your Instagram highlight cover

Once you create an Instagram highlight, the cover will generate automatically. But why not make it a bit more special?

To adapt your Instagram highlight cover to a personalised image, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the highlight from your Instagram profile.

  2. Tap More in the bottom right corner.

  3. Tap Edit highlight. Then, tap Edit cover, near the top of your screen.

  4. To choose an image from your camera roll, tap the photo icon near the bottom of your screen.

  5. Select your image and tap Done.

It's that easy.

Tips for effective Instagram highlights

Keep it simple

Instagram highlight covers are tiny, and you'll never see them enlarged. So don't bother with complicated details or complicated fonts, you won't see it and it looks messy.

Be consistent

Your covers don't need to be the same, but they should look as if they belong together. If you're a business or a brand, use your branding, products or colour scheme for example. Consider a theme.

Be creative

Use highlight covers as yet another spot on your Instagram page to showcase your creativity. Go for the wow factor and create something that makes people stop scrolling in their tracks.

Consider a colour scheme

Do you use certain colours for your feed? Is there a certain scheme that's recurring in your posts? Then use these for your highlight covers as well, to create consistency and brand awareness.

Use icons over words

Words can be very hard to read within highlight covers. You're better off using icons to convey your message.

Showcase your products

Use the little permanent circles on your profile page as extra advertising spots and show off your best sellers.


Highlight covers are super easy to change. There are infinite possibilities and the change is instant. So don't be afraid to experiment a little.

Stuck for ideas? Use my free templates.

It is no secret I love art, vintage home decor and travel, just like illustrator Yopie, a fellow art and culture lover with an amazing eye for beauty.

Combining my interior design style and Yopie's unique art, together we developed the exclusive Whispering Bold x Yopie Art Collection; 6 original works by Yopie, to suit different styles, with a Whispering Bold design signature.

Yopie is the Dutch Stephanie, a fan of the arts and culture, in love with boyfriend Jelle and beagle Bosco. Stephanie started painting commissioned portraits in her student days and has been addicted to her iPad and drawing pencil ever since. She hopes to fill many empty walls with her illustrations and immortalise the most beautiful personal memories with a touch of Yopie.

Did you know these artworks are FREE for you to use in your designs? Click here, and enter your email to receive free digital art files for mobile, screensaver & print.

These artworks are now adapted into Instagram highlight cover templates:

Good luck!

Show me what you've done with your Instagram highlight covers? Tag me on Instagram!


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Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.


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