I’ve been covering the changes to the Google Plus cover photo, specifically how it is handled by Google’s mobile apps and desktop site, since they announced in March 2013 that they changed the cover dimensions to 2120×1192. You can read about that here if you like.
After I/O 2013, Google made some adjustments to the way their profile pages, and consequently, cover photo, are handled across Google+. On the positive side, the cover photo displayed on mobile apps was much more consistent compared to previous versions, especially with respect to where the profile image was displayed (now they’re all in the center, as a circle).
On the negative side, the desktop profile page only shows about 1/3 of the cover image unless you scroll up. And the responsive design of the Google+ website means that you have little certainty over what parts of that cover would be obstructed by your profile pic, name, education, etc.
What the changes to the cover photo display means for marketers and brands
Since I started “covering” the Google Plus cover, my outlook has always been to see how brands and marketers could best leverage their cover photo to drive people to their business. I stand by that, despite the changes Google has made to the desktop site.
Why? Because your hovercard is now more important than ever. If you want, go read about the 16 (and counting) places your hovercard is displayed across Google and Google Plus, then come back here.
Back already? Great! You see, your entire cover continues to be displayed on your hovercard, which is displayed more frequently than your profile page. So, having the middle part of your cover hidden by the desktop site isn’t too big of an issue…if you did your job around Google+ with quality comments and engagement, by the time someone came to your profile they will have already been exposed to your cover photo, know who you are, and what you can offer them.
The changes to the Google Plus cover photo template
Yes, yes, I know, you were promised infographics and templates. And now that I’ve explained what you should be thinking about when embarking on a cover photo design, we can talk about the changes to the template. Although if you’d prefer to hire a professional, skip to the bottom of this page for more information.
Like I said above, the good news was more consistency across mobile apps. You’ll find that in the gallery below. The bad news is how different the desktop can be depending on the width of the user’s monitor. So I’ve created a series of photos showing that as well.
Download a Google+ cover photo template
I have lifted the registration gate on this template, in the hopes that more people can take advantage of properly-optimized Google+ covers and profiles.
In addition to this template, you should have a look at the Google+ Profile Optimization Checklist I have put together.
How to use the PSD file:
- Download it here
- Open it in Photoshop (CS5 or above)
- I would recommend designing your cover in layers below the folders
- Make each folder visible one by one, and change the opacity to 50% or so to see through to your own cover.
- The dark shaded areas with the striped pattern are “Visible” areas.
Professionally-designed Google+ cover photos
IMPORTANT: This post is not intended to be a sales page, so please don’t take my including this section as trying to do a “selly sell.” Okay that’s out of my system. So, if after reading all the above or tinkering with the template yourself, you would like to have your cover photo professionally-designed by someone who understands the complexities of cover photo design and branding, you can order one from me right here: