Cool Facebook Timeline Cover Photos

By Rob McNair

Facebook recently rolled out their new Timeline platform to brands. Whilst you can read about our opinions on all of the changes here, in this post we’re going to focus on the aspect that’s taking proud place at the head of your new profile, the cover photo.

Standing 850 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall, the cover photo is the first thing to make an impact when someone lands on your Page.  Whilst generally a blank canvas, there are some rules that brands must abide to when creating their own that we’ve already outlined in a previous post. Brands have been using a number of creative ideas to squeeze the most out of this space by having the cover image crossover into their display picture, and even into thumbnail images used for apps.

Without further ado, here are 10 of my favourite examples of branded cover photos:

1. Captain Morgan USA

There are a number of examples of brands merging the creative across both the display and cover photo, however none of them have managed to do it with quite the flamboyance that Captain Morgan has. Set to the background of what appears to be Captain Morgan himself enjoying one on the rocks (enough to conjure up the appetite of any spiced rum fan), they’ve managed to make their product break free from the constraints of the cover photo by having the image of the Captain Morgan’s bottle merge in with the image of their logo used as the display picture. Most impressive is that even when the display picture is taken from these surroundings it’ll still be perfectly presented.


2. Sharpie

What I like the most about this effort from Sharpie is that the finer details not only show off how nimble their pens can be, but it hooks you in and encourages you to spend time uncovering some of the artistic nuances. No one expects a paper cup to be such a cleverly used canvas, nor a sharpie an artistic tool, never mind creating such delicate productions as the ones seen above. It’s this unexpectedness that makes it such a pleasure to view.


3. Livestrong

Strong, focussed and bold, everything an athlete should be. Whereas brands like Captain Morgan have merged their cover and profile pictures, Livestrong have continued their synonymous yellow bands right through to the thumbnail of their Blog application. Not only does it look great, but it also really draws your attention to the Like button, serving as a visual call-to-action and easily overcoming Facebook’s new rules.


4. Red Bull

Red Bull somehow managed to capture the feel of travelling at a 1,000mph in a static photograph. If Red Bull’s intentions are to portray the increase in focus their caffeinated drinks can give you, the piercing, resolute gaze of this skier (or cyclist?) says more than any words can.


5. Monster Energy

In some sort of peculiar coincidence, Monster Energy’s cover photo is second best to Red Bull’s. Whereas Red Bull’s is a much more complex approach, Monster show off a cyclist flying through the air holding on to a sideways motocross bike, screaming a sort of senseless machismo that will have much appeal to today’s generation of youngsters.


6. GoPro

GoPro are fast becoming one of my favourite brands. Interestingly, the business themselves has almost nothing to do with it. Producing a product that allows people to capture some of the most breathtaking moments in often-unwelcoming environments (anyone fancy being 30,000 feet in the air holding a camera? Thought not) has had predictable consequences. YouTube is now full of people back flipping, freefalling and pogoing through life and the device they unanimously choose to film this on is always the same, a GoPro. What their cover photo does is to perfectly say  ‘get a huge mountain, cover it in snow, hurtle down it as fast as you can on a snowboard and let your GoPro capture the rest.’


7. Manchester United FC

Manchester United are not only one of the biggest brands in the UK, but the entire world. Sometimes design elements aren’t needed when a well shot picture can capture the essence of your brand perfectly, and what better says “champions” than the Manchester United team holding aloft last year’s Premier League trophy? Nothing.


8. SportsCenter

ESPN puts you behind the cameras of their infamous SportsCenter show. This glimpse into the other side will no doubt conjure up the same nervous excitement inside every sports fan as we wait to hear our favoured team’s results.


9. Toyota

The simple joy of watching a dog enjoy the wind rushing past their face as they hang precariously from the window of a car is unmatched. Lush green meadows, a long open road and the squinting eyes of a well-groomed pooch will do much do to de-arm even the most vitriolic heckler intent on disrupting the harmony of the Toyota Facebook Page.


10. Manchester City FC

Whatever you may think of their purchasing policy, Manchester City are flying the flag for British football at the moment in an era of uncertainty for giants of the past. Giving post-match interviews via Twitter, a well put together website and this cover photo has made me a big fan of their digital work. However, at a combined cost of over £160.5million to feature Aguero, Dzeko, Nasri, Silva, Y. Toure, Joe Hart and the ever-effervescent Mario Ballotelli, it’s perhaps not the most cost effective solution.

Still looking for more inspiration? As the savvy social media agency we are, we’ve put together a board on Pinterest featuring over 35 of the best and worst Facebook cover photos. Take a peak and let us know which your favourite is by commenting below…

This post was written by Rob McNair

Rob has experience advising some of the worlds most iconic brands. He thrives on helping improving social media knowledge within organisations with the ultimate goal of making theirs brands more social, transparent and accountable.