How to Design Board Cover Images for the New Pinterest Boards (2017)

Note: This blog post is kept as up to date as possible. However, with the frequent changes to the Pinterest board cover sizes and it being brought to my attention that some users are experiencing completely different sizes, there may be a slight delay in the accuracy of this information.

As a designer and blogger, control over my branding is very important to me (as it should be to you!). That’s why I put forth the extra effort to create an aesthetic for my Pinterest account which mimics my branding: the same colors, fonts, and general style. One way I do this is through the use of the Pinterest Board Covers, which I am going to show you how to make for yourself.

How to Design New Pinterest Board Covers in 2017 plus a set of 30 free Pinterest templates for Photoshop users.

 

What is a Board Cover?

A Board Cover is an image that best represents the content of that board. It’s a way to visually show your followers what they should expect to find when they view that board. You could choose from one of your pinned images, or even upload a whole new image if you wanted to customize them (which is what we’re doing today).

 

The Board Cover Size Issue

Before I get into the current size and how to create these images for yourself… a little background story. In 2016, Pinterest saw a lot of user interface changes, including a fluctuating layout, and multiple changes to the board cover sizes (not to mention a heck of a lot of confusion).

It was common for users to experience any of 3 different layout sizes – 2 differently ratioed rectangles, or the square size Pinterest seemed to settle on by the end of 2016. For more information about the 2016 board sizes, you can read this post.

Here is an example of the older size from 2016. Some users may still have this size.

New Pinterest Board Covers 2016

 

Current Board Cover Size (Square)

Most users now have a square image for their board cover. The official size is 200×200 px, but for the sake of image quality, you should create a template that is 833×833 px minimum. That’s because Pinterest scales and compresses images, and you don’t want to end up with a fuzzy board cover!

 

Designing Board Covers

For the majority of my web graphics, I use Photoshop (but Illustrator would be perfect for this project). Today, I’ll be showing you how to design your boards using Photoshop, and how I use Text Boxes to make it super easy to edit later. There are other programs you can use to design your board covers such as Canva, GIMP, PicMonkey, etc.

 

Step 1

Open Photoshop and create a New File. We want our board covers to be high quality images, we we will set this new file to the following:

  • 833×833 pixels in size
  • 300 Pixels/Inch
  • RGB Color Mode

Pro Tip: I like to go ahead and name the file so that I can find it easily among any other work I have open.

 

Step 2

Click on the Rectangle Tool and select a Fill Color in the top bar. I’ll be using one of my signature branding colors, #f9c2a4. Using the Rectangle tool, draw a box that is the full size of the 833×833 square.

This will be the background color for our board cover. More advanced users might use pictures or patterns for their background.

Pro Tip: Hold down the Shift key while dragging the Rectangle tool and it will force a 1:1 ratio for easy box drawing.

 

Step 3

Click on the Rectangle Tool again and draw a rectangle approximately 833×300 in size. A Properties Box will appear and you can select the Fill Color. I’ll be using a light gray color, f6f8f8.

Pro Tip: Drag the rectangle until it’s centered. You can use the guides to be sure like what you see in my picture!

 

Step 4

Create a new layer by going to Layer >> New >> Layer in the top navigation. We’ll be using this new layer to create a Text Box – a special feature of Photoshop that only shows your text within the boundaries of that box. You can learn more about Text Boxes with my 3 Easy to Follow Photoshop Tutorials for Beginners.

This text box will have “dancing ants” around it as you create it – the moving dashed lines. Once you are satisfied with the size, let go and you’ll have a box with a dashed line around it like mine:

Pro Tip: Type something immediately into the Text Box or it will vanish and you’ll need to create it again.

You can adjust the size of the text box so long as you are still in text mode. This way, you can make the available space larger or smaller to suit your needs.

 

Step 5

At this point, you should have 4 different layers – the original white background, a colored square, a lighter rectangle, and a text box layer.

From here, you would choose a font and decide on the size and color your text should be. I will be using the Lato font in color #272727.

Pro Tip: Start with the longest board name first, and center your text. This will assure that you you always have enough space, and all of your board names will be the same size.

This is also a good time to adjust things like your tracking. Learn more about Tracking – the space between your letters.

 

Step 6

Remember I said those text boxes were easy to edit? All you have to do from now on is click, delete, and type a new word! You won’t have to make any arrangement to the text or any additional formatting.

 

Step 7

Want the background to be a different color? No problem! Click on the layer of the box we created in Step 2. Click on the Rectangle tool to bring up the color selection options again in your top bar. Select a new fill color, and it’ll change.

All that’s left at this point is to save your images (I recommend as .png) and repeat the steps necessary to create a cover for each board.

 

Setting Board Cover Images

There are two ways you can set an image for your Board Cover. Since we just created our own, we’re going to use the upload method and set our cover using our new image.

 

Step 1 – Upload Your Design

Select the board you want to upload a board cover to and find the Save Pin button at the left-hand side as seen in the picture below. Clicking it will allow you to upload a design – either from your device or from the web. We’ll be uploading the image from our device, and selecting to add it to the board you want to change the cover of.

Pro Tip: Take advantage of the image. While it’s unlikely to get pinned, people viewing your profile directly might see it. Make the image clickable – leading to your website. You can also add some keywords.

 

Step 2 – Changing Your Board Cover

Go to your profile page (mine is https://www.pinterest.com/theblogdept) and find the board you added the board cover pin to. Click “Edit” and you a screen will pop up where you can edit the details of the board itself.

Click on Change in the Cover section.

 

Step 3 – Selecting Your Board Cover

You can select any of your pins of that board to act as the Board Cover. Your most recent pin will show as seen below. You can flip through and choose something else, or just click Save Changes.

Your board cover will now be updated with your new design. Just repeat the steps to change them all.

Note: Sometimes Pinterest misbehaves and brief caching issues will cause your covers to appear as if they have reverted to a previously selected board cover.


 

Don’t want to design your own?

No problem! You can download my set of 30 differently colored Pinterest Board Cover Templates for Photoshop absolutely FREE by clicking the image below.


  • orana velarde

    Great article Kimi! I have been meaning to refresh my board covers and I just couldn’t make up my mind cause things keep changing! I shared your article in my Rock your Visuals Facebook Group, I’m sure the people there will find it helpful. Have a great week!

  • Cricket Aldridge

    Thank you Kimi. I’m trying to wrap my head around Pinterest. I appreciate your help. Great instructions. I’ll start on this and come back with questions if I get in a bind.