Guide To Creating Branded Instagram Highlight Covers

An aesthetically appealing profile helps grow your account. Take it up a notch by creating your own Instagram highlight covers!

Get potential followers to fall in love with your profile at first sight. Creative highlight covers are an easy way to grab attention.

For Love and Lemons Highlights categories

Showcase your brand and keep potential followers interested.

This guide will help you create, upload, and edit your highlight covers. We’ve also added tips for creating on-brand custom covers.

But First, Why Use Instagram Story Highlights?

Ever since Instagram introduced Stories, the feature continued to grow in popularity.

In fact, Stories have over 400 million active users daily. It’s no wonder why brands love to use this feature.

It allows them to reach more audience without spending huge marketing costs.

You can use Instagram Stories for a number of marketing strategies. However, Stories only last for 24 hours.

Highlights allow you to re-purpose and preserve Stories. More importantly, with this feature, you can curate content into categories.

Banana Republic Instagram Highlight covers

These highlights appear on your profile, below the bio. If a user wants to know more about your brand, they can simply watch your highlights.

How are Story Highlights beneficial for brands?

1. You can keep Instagram Stories on your profile forever! Well, at least as long as they are relevant. Highlights have no expiry date!

2. When the audience watches your Story Highlight, the next story will automatically play. This means they’ll see more content!

3. Your audience can gather intel about your brand through Highlights. Here are some of the best ways to use them:

  • Short and concise brand introduction
  • Promote your latest marketing campaign
  • Share customer reviews
  • FAQs

Instagram Highlights should give your audience a glimpse of what your brand is about. Therefore, they must stand out and grab people’s attention.

4. Highlights can make the audience fall in love with your brand. Create a welcoming vibe with an attractive IG aesthetic. Achieve this through a stunning feed plus eye-catching Highlight covers.

Why Make Branded Instagram Highlight Covers?

Noticed how brands are using attractive icons for their Highlights?

Creating custom Instagram Highlight covers help in establishing a solid brand. Attractive and relevant icons help you:

  • Create a professional yet fun online presence
  • Give your audience a glimpse of what they can expect from your brand.
  • Set your brand apart from the competition.
  • Provide a positive experience for potential followers.

Tip: Custom Highlight icons add a cohesive look to your profile. It gives your feed a sleek and thoughtful look.

A visually-appealing Highlight icon can add value to your audience.

Take The Beauty Chef‘s profile as an example. They used clean, concise icons to showcase their Highlights.

The Beauty Chef's Instagram Highlight covers

How Do You Edit Instagram Story Highlight Covers?

When you add Stories in your Highlight, Instagram uses the first content and use it as a “cover”. Not aesthetic at all!

Here’s how you can quickly edit your Highlight covers- without uploading it to Stories!

1. Press and hold the Story Highlight you want to edit.

Step 1 Edit Instagram Highlight covers
2. Tap the Edit Highlight.
3. Select the “Edit Cover”

Step 2 Edit Instagram Highlight covers
4. Tap the “image” icon. It’s located at the beginning of the Highlight list.

Step 3 Edit Instagram Highlight covers
5. Choose a photo from your camera roll

Once you’ve chosen a cover, you can pinch and drag the image. This will make it bigger or smaller.

Additionally, you can also edit the Story Highlight title. Simply tap the “Name” field.

Step 4 Edit Instagram Highlight covers

Tip: The “Title” can only have 15 characters. Use a shorter name if you want the audience to read the whole title.

Tips For Creating Relevant Instagram Highlight Covers

Brand Identity

When creating Highlight icons, make sure it is in line with your brand identity. Are you fun and playful? Are you straightforward and professional? The Highlight cover should reflect who you are as a brand.

Take a look at Soft Swerve‘s Highlight icons. This company sells frozen hot chocolates, soft ice cream, and more! It is only fitting that their covers look fun and child-like.

Soft Swerve's Instagram Highlight covers

Converse‘ Highlight icons are also very on-brand. They used photos of their trademark shoes and placed their logo where they can.

Converse Instagram Highlight covers

Use Your Brand Colors

Another option is to use your brand colors. This way, your profile will have a cohesive look. Additionally, it also helps in brand recall.

Look at Little Damage Ice Cream Shop‘s profile. Their brand aesthetic is spot on, including their Highlights!

Little Damage Highlight icons

Black is their predominant color. From their Instagram profile icon down to their cones. Using a black background with white graphics for their Highlight covers is a great strategy.

Unleash Your Creativity

Use unique, custom Highlight covers. It’s okay to take inspiration from other accounts. However, don’t rip off other’s hard work. Showcase your team’s creativity!

Look at Sephora‘s fun and eye-catching Highlight covers. They used simple graphics set on colorful backgrounds.

Sephora Highlight icons

Tip: Consider using graphics in your covers. The text should only be found in the “Name” section.

Take the image below for example. Forbes used text instead of graphics in their Highlight covers. Although it draws attention, all those texts make their profile look cluttered.

Tip: If you want to use text in your icons, leave the Name section empty.

Choose The Right Image

Quickly provide the audience what they are looking for. Point them in the right direction by categorizing your Highlights! Use a cover image that best represents the topic.

Look at how Forever21 pulled this off. For their collaboration with Kodak, they used the latter’s logo. Additionally, they used a denim pants icon and a headset icon for denim and music categories.

Forever21 Highlight icons

Tip: Using appropriate icons make your profile easy to navigate. Once the audience finds the content they want, there’s a higher chance of engagement.

Popular Apps For Creating Custom Instagram Highlight Covers


This is a free app that’s available on both Google Play and App Store.

It is one of the most popular design apps today. To make a cover, open the Canva app:

1. Look for Instagram Story, then tap “See All”

How to use Canva Step 1
2. Select the blank template

How to use Canva Step 2
3. You can then add a background color.

If you want to add graphics, images, text, and more, simply tap the “+” icon.

How to use Canva Step 4

Tip: Keep the design simple. The image must be placed at the center. It must fit the tiny circle on your profile.

Once done, you can tap the “share” icon and select Instagram. This will share the image to your Stories.

How to use Canva Step 5

Once live, you can add it to the “Highlight” category you chose. From there, you can now edit the cover.

Another option is to save it to your camera roll. Simply follow the instructions listed above to edit your selected Highlight.

Logo Maker

Just like Canva, this app provides plenty of icons. This includes food, entertainment, and more!

This is a good option if you need unique graphics. This will make your covers stand out from the rest. However, you might want to consider the price.

Logo Maker offers a free 3-day trial. If you want to continue using it, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee.

A Design Kit

It is only available on the App Store and primarily marketed as a photo editor.

However, you can also use it to create stunning Highlight covers. This app offers a wide variety of background options. From metallic, to rainbow, to gemstone themes. Plus, they also have plenty of stickers and brush options to choose from!

A Design Kit

Just like Canva, once you’re done, you can share your design via Stories!


What to create custom Highlight covers from scratch? Consider using Photoshop.

This app is perfect for creating one-of-a-kind icons. Unleash your creativity. Customize the background color, use vector shapes, and more! You’ll be surprised by what it has to offer when you fully utilize it.

Highlight Cover Inspirations To Get You Started

Excited to start editing your highlight icons?

Before you get started, check out how these brands utilize IG Highlight icons.

Milk & Cream Cereal Bar is an ice cream shop in New York. We love how cute their highlight icons are. They perfectly match the brand’s white and mint green hues.

Milk and Cream Bar Highlight icons

Urban Decay Cosmetics used a bold purple background against bright graphics. The icons stand out even amongst their busy feed.

Urban Decay Instagram Highlight covers

This is a good strategy to draw the audience’ eye when viewing your profile. Don’t let your Highlights fade in the background.

ASOS, a clothing brand, also have visually-appealing Highlight icons. We love the simplicity of the white background and the bold black graphic line art. A clean and minimalist aesthetic.

ASOS Instagram Highlight covers

Tarte used emojis we all know and love. Set against a violet background, the colorful emojis pop-out, drawing the audience attention.

tarte cosmetics IG Highlight icons

ColourPop Cosmetics use custom graphics for their Highlight icons. They are one-of-a-kind and perfectly match the brand’s profile icon. Pleasing to the eyes, these icons only use two shades of purple.ColourPop IG Highlight icons

Take your Instagram experience to the next level. Know how to fully utilize features like Stories and Highlights. These are powerful tools for growing your brand.

Creating branded Instagram Highlight covers is a great way to attract attention. Invite your audience to take a closer look into your brand.

With these tips, your account will stay on-brand. Visually-appealing Instagram Highlight covers will showcase your valuable content to would-be followers.

By Rei

Writer by day, reader by night. Daydreamer for the rest of her life.

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