New Google+ Profile & Cover Photo Style Guide

New Google+ Profile & Cover Photo Style Guide

Take your Google Plus marketing up a notch with the Google+ Pro Tips ebooks series.

Take your Google Plus marketing up a notch with the Google+ Pro Tips ebooks series.

On March 6th, Google unveiled a new profile design for Google+. Among the new features…you guessed it, a new cover photo! (If you want to read more about what’s new and changed, go here, here and here).

Their updated cover photo is a behemoth of a graphic that was definitely going to require me to rethink my covers for various clients (including myself).

I was already in several threads with other “Plussers” about the changes, so I created a “style guide” that highlighted some of the sections of the new cover photo that would get covered by apps and the responsive layout of the desktop site. For me, the goal was to emphasize what a marketer would need to be aware of when designing their cover photo.

New Google+ Cover Photo Walkthrough for business

NOTE: This walkthrough has been updated to take into considerations from an update on March 25, 2013. For access, as well as a downloadable style guide, visit this post. Or, better yet, read the latest update with a downloadable template.


The infographic points out key areas where the cover photo requires a thought-out design:

  • It shows the problem areas that will arise with respect to the responsive desktop layout
  • It shows (roughly) the “sweet spot” for desktop and mobile
  • It has enough technical elements to give you a starting point to decide how to lay out your graphic and message
  • You might want to consider combining two graphics into one: the orange area that’s designated as “mobile” actually gets cut off as you visit a profile on the web. You would have to scroll up to see it. Why Google did this? No clue, but a stacked cover graphic could be both cool and “Cross-platform”

What marketers need to know about adapting their new Google+ cover photo

Remember, companies pay money to have cover graphics designed for their brand identity. Changing things up this drastically could put a monkey wrench in marketing budgets, and cause customers to see old identity graphics that now had parts covered up by the profile photo (Google moved it from the right side to the left).

This is why it’s so important to keep resources set aside for changes in social media…they happen a lot, and often without notice. To adapt quickly is to capitalize on opportunity, like I did with my style guide.

Want a professional to redo your cover?

I set up a resource for business pages and profiles who would prefer to have a professional tackle the nuances of optimizing their cover photo for conversion and marketing purposes. Head to for details. The original infographic is also available, or you can pin it directly to your Pinterest account here:

About Stephan Hovnanian

I own Shovi Websites, a website design and email marketing company located outside Boston. I spend my days managing websites and staying up to speed with all the latest trends across the web so you don't have to.

NOTE: If you're commenting on the Google Plus Comments, please add +Stephan Hovnanian so I can follow up.

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