New Google Plus Cover Photo Dimensions + Downloadable Photoshop Template

new google plus cover photo dimensionsNo sooner had we finished publishing our post on creating great looking Google Plus Cover Photos, than on March 6th, Google completely changes the layout of its user profiles and brand pages giving us a whole new set of dimensions (and headaches) to work with.

So we’ve spent the last few days reviewing these changes and as ever we’ve got some great tips AND a downloadable Photoshop Template to help you get the most from this new layout.

What’s New with Google+ Cover Photo Image Sizes?
Download Template

New Cover Photo Sizes: Minimum: 480px x 270px, Maximum: 2120px x 1192px
 

Well, in a nutshell, lots has changed!

  1. The most noticable change of course is the new size. When viewed on a widescreen monitor running a resolution of 1440x900px the new cover photo size fills the entire screen. See Example below.
    new-google-plus-layout-sm
    View Enlarged Version

    And compare this to the old layout below on a similar resolution…
      old-google-plus-layout-sm
       
    View Enlarged Version
       
  2. Unlike the previous layout (and that of Facebook’s Cover Photo) Google Plus Cover Photos now resize on the fly to fill the full width of your browser window, but not in the way you might expect.
     
    Ordinarily you’d expect your cover photo to be positioned at the top left of the screen and the amount visible would just depend on the resolution it’s viewed at. Indeed I think most of us web designers would have preferred it like that!
      
    Instead, Google resizes the actual image itself to fit within the available space; “hello 1999, long time no see!” This of course is fine for your average user who will likely be uploading a holiday snap as their cover photo, but for us web designers looking to brand a page its a problem, and a big one at that.Fluid layouts are of course beautiful when executed well, but with no real control over the dimensions that visitors will view our cover photos at, it makes branding Google Plus Business Pages really difficult. Perhaps that was the intention?
  3. The next obvious change is that Profile Picture has moved from right to left and is now displayed at just 120px x 120px; previously this was 250px x 250px.
  4. In addition, the Username, website address, location and other information is now displayed in white, to the right of the Profile Picture and overlaps the Cover Photo.
  5. Unfortunatley its not possible to change the colour of the Username so Google automatically adds a gradient to the bottom of the Cover Photo to try to ensure that this information is always visible

5 Tips for New Google Plus Cover Photos

  1. Download our Google Plus Photoshop Template. It includes layer masks and correctly sized slices so that you can simply paste in your cover photo and export it at the correct dimensions.google-plus-image-size-template-NEW-sm
    View Enlarged Version
    Download Photoshop Template 
       
  2. Getting a branded Cover Image to look consistent across all resolutions is practically impossible now thanks to the fluidity of Google’s new layout. With that in mind, try to create your image as large as possible (up to 2120 x 1192px) so that Google won’t need to enlarge it and cause it to become blurred.
  3. If you want to try to tailor your Cover Photo for a particular screen resolution, use Google Analytics to research which resolution is most commonly used by the visitors to your website as they are the most likely people to be viewing your Google Plus profile or brand page. If in doubt, check out these web browser resolution statistics from www.w3schools.com.
  4. The area at the bottom of the Cover Photo is tricky to utilise without obscuring the Username and other information. Why not make a feature of this area to separate it from the rest of the Cover Photo. This is particularly useful for brand pages and in our opinion gives a more corporate feel.
  5. Keep things simple! The fluid layout will soon put pay to any grand designs.

And To Sum Up…

When we first layed eyes on the new Google Plus layout I have to say we weren’t impressed. Not least because we’d just spent some considerable time working on them across our suite of websites!

However, seeing the two side by side the old layout already looks quite dated and the new layout certainly provides more space to promote your brand and if it wasn’t for the fluid layout, it would be a better solution.

One has to ask though, did they really need to change things? What do you think?

avatar Name: James Briggs
About: James is a Digital Marketing Consultant with over 12 years of design, development, search engine optimisation and project managment experience previously fullfilling a number of senior roles for two of the South's most well established and successful digital marketing agencies before setting up WebSafe Solutions Ltd in 2009. In his own words..."I've planned, designed and developed countless websites and am proud to have helped hundreds of clients to get the very best from their digital marketing campaigns. Some would say I have an unusual blend of knowledge, skill and experience and for my sins I'm an absolute perfectionist!"
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