Custom Instagram Layout

Instagram is a popular social media platform and creates a unique creative opportunity. As a graphic designer, my favorite aspect of Instagram is being able to create unique picture layouts within Instagram’s grid. The most popular layout showing this is having one picture cut into three pictures. When the three pictures are then uploaded to Instagram it will create the original image. An example is shown below:

There are many apps available that will crop pictures for you to make a grid layout such as above. An app that I personally use to plan my Instagram is “Planoly”. This app has the option to cut images into grid layouts. The only downfall to this app is that it will drastically shrink your original picture.

Since I am a graphic designer and like to be creative in my media, I love to take advantage of this unique layout. I personally like to use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. If you know these programs it’s relatively easy, you just need to know the pixel sizes and some simple math. Below is a simple grid layout I have previously used for my Instagram.

Illustrator and Instagram

Creating custom grid layouts for Instagram is simple when you have great quality photos and know the dimensions of the Instagram pictures. Below are the current pixel dimensions for Instagram pictures.

Pixel Dimensions:

Square Image: 1080px in width by 1080px in height

Vertical Image: 1080px in width by 1350px in height

Horizontal Image: 1080px in width by 566px in height

Previous Image Size (That still works and is great for smaller pictures)

Square: 640px in width by 640 in height

When creating a layout that uses three pictures across I call this 1×3 Grid, which is demonstrated above. When using Illustrator create a new document with this dimension:

Smaller Pictures: Width 1920px ; Height 640px

Larger Pictures: Width 3240px ; Height 1080px

After doing this use vertical guides at:

Smaller Pictures: 640px and 1280px

Larger Pictures: 1080px and 2160px

These guides demonstrate the edges of the three pictures, I like to then draw a gray line so it will be easier to crop the image later. Shown below is a blank 1×3 Grid layout with guides, created in Illustrator.

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 10.36.33 PM.png

You can get very creative using this layout and make all kinds of collages and artistic photos. When used right this can make your Instagram page stand out and gain followers. When posting a grid layout like this typically they do not get as many likes because followers will only see 1/3 of the full picture at a time. However, new followers that come to your profile page will see the full picture first and then later see each individual section of the pictures. Using this grid will make your Instagram page stand out to new users who go to your profile.

Below are a few different way I have used grid layouts on my Instagram.

After creating the desired image in Illustrator save the document as a PDF, then open in Photoshop. Once the document is opened in Photoshop, crop the photo on the guidelines to create three individual pictures and save as a JEPG. This can be complicated to people who have never used these programs, however, if you know these programs it can be great fun creating multiple grid layouts that can be very complex.

Happy Instagramming!


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