Story Highlight Covers: Everything You Need To Know

Discover the importance of Story Highlight Covers on Instagram, a way to brand your profile and make your highlighted stories stand out.

What Are Instagram Story Highlight Covers?

Instagram Story Highlight Covers are custom graphics or images that serve as the front-facing visuals representing the saved collections of Instagram Stories. These covers are used to categorize and present past Stories in a more organized and aesthetically pleasing manner on a user's profile. They are essentially the "book covers" for the Highlights on your Instagram profile, giving a hint about the content within each Highlight reel. Users often design these covers to match their branding or personal style, contributing to a cohesive look on their profile.

For example, a fashion influencer might use icons of dresses, hats, or shoes as Highlight Covers to represent different types of apparel they've showcased. Similarly, a travel influencer could use landmarks or airplane icons to differentiate their travel stories by destination.

How Do You Create and Customize Instagram Story Highlight Covers?

Creating and customizing Instagram Story Highlight Covers can be done using various graphic design apps or Instagram's native editing features. Influencers often use design platforms like Canva or Adobe Spark to create custom covers that align with their personal brand. Once created, you can add a new cover by going to your Instagram profile, pressing and holding on the Highlight you want to edit, and then tapping 'Edit Highlight.' From there, you can tap 'Edit Cover' and select the custom image you've uploaded to your camera roll.

Many influencers ensure their covers are visually consistent, using the same color palette or design motif across all covers. This consistency helps with brand recognition and makes their profile look more professional and curated.

Why Are Instagram Story Highlight Covers Important for Influencers?

Instagram Story Highlight Covers are important for influencers as they contribute to the first impression potential followers or brands get when visiting their profile. Well-designed covers can convey professionalism, a clear brand identity, and can make content more discoverable and accessible. They also provide a way for influencers to showcase their best work or favorite moments that they want to keep visible beyond the 24-hour limit of regular Stories.

For instance, an influencer specializing in cooking might have Highlight Covers for recipes, cooking tips, and food reviews, making it easy for new visitors to find and engage with their content in a structured way. This not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also serves a practical function in content organization.

Dos and Don'ts of Story Highlight Covers


  • Do ensure your highlight covers match your brand aesthetic for a cohesive Instagram profile.
  • Do use simple, recognizable icons or images that quickly convey the content of your highlights.
  • Do keep the design clean and uncluttered to maintain visual appeal and readability.


  • Don't overcrowd your highlight covers with text or complex graphics that can be hard to decipher.
  • Don't frequently change your highlight covers, as consistency helps followers easily find content.
  • Don't use low-resolution images that can appear pixelated and reduce the perceived quality of your brand.

How to Create Semantically Relevant Instagram Story Highlight Covers

1. Choose a Theme

Decide on a cohesive theme for your Instagram Story Highlight Covers, such as colors, patterns, or icons, to maintain a consistent aesthetic.

2. Design the Covers

Use graphic design tools or apps to create visually appealing covers that represent the content of each Story Highlight.

3. Use Consistent Elements

Include consistent elements, such as fonts, colors, or icons, across all your Story Highlight Covers to create a cohesive look.

4. Optimize Image Sizes

Ensure that your Story Highlight Covers are optimized for Instagram by using the recommended dimensions of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels.

5. Upload the Covers

Upload your designed Story Highlight Covers to your Instagram account by selecting the "Edit Highlight" option on your profile.

6. Organize the Highlights

Arrange your Story Highlights in a logical order that makes it easy for your audience to navigate and find the content they are interested in.

7. Update and Refresh

Regularly update and refresh your Story Highlight Covers to keep your profile visually appealing and relevant to your current content.

What Are Ideas for Story Highlight Covers on Instagram?

1. Minimalist Covers

If you prefer a clean and simple aesthetic, minimalist covers are a great choice. These covers typically feature simple shapes, lines, or typography that create a sleek and modern look. Some ideas for minimalist covers include solid color backgrounds, geometric shapes, or minimalistic illustrations.

  • Abstract shapes
  • Monochrome designs
  • Typography-based covers
  • Iconic symbols
  • Simple illustrations

2. Pastel Covers

Pastel covers are perfect for creating a soft and dreamy vibe for your Instagram story highlights. These covers often feature delicate pastel colors such as light pinks, blues, and yellows. Some ideas for pastel covers include pastel gradients, watercolor textures, or soft illustrations.

  • Gradient backgrounds
  • Watercolor textures
  • Floral patterns
  • Clouds and sky
  • Whimsical illustrations

3. Nature-inspired Covers

If you love the outdoors and want to bring a touch of nature to your Instagram story highlights, nature-inspired covers are a great choice. These covers often feature elements such as plants, flowers, landscapes, or animals. Some ideas for nature-inspired covers include botanical illustrations, scenic landscapes, or animal silhouettes.

  • Botanical illustrations
  • Forest landscapes
  • Flower patterns
  • Animal silhouettes
  • Nature textures

4. Retro Covers

If you're a fan of vintage aesthetics, retro covers can add a nostalgic touch to your Instagram story highlights. These covers often feature retro colors, typography, or patterns reminiscent of different eras. Some ideas for retro covers include retro color schemes, vintage typography, or retro-inspired illustrations.

  • Retro color schemes
  • Vintage typography
  • Old film camera icons
  • Vinyl records
  • Retro patterns

5. Abstract Covers

If you want to add a touch of creativity and uniqueness to your Instagram story highlights, abstract covers are a great choice. These covers often feature abstract shapes, patterns, or textures that create visually intriguing designs. Some ideas for abstract covers include abstract art, geometric patterns, or experimental textures.

  • Abstract art
  • Geometric patterns
  • Fluid shapes
  • Textured backgrounds
  • Collage-style designs