Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Apr 18, 2012
I have to face this fact; I’m not the most creative guy in the world. I know what I like, but I’m bad at figuring out how to create images and the like. Heck, it took me more than 2 years to figure out a title for my first book. I can write almost anything at almost any time, but I do have my limitations.
Thus, I came into this thing about Facebook, timelines and cover photos with a lot of trepidation. Lucky for me, my personal page hasn’t gone the timeline route yet, but my business page had. And when one came to it and looked at it, there was this major gap in the upper middle that just looked horrible.
I knew I had to take care of that at some point so last night I decided it was time to try to do something. I had saved a great number of pages that all said they were going to teach me how to create a cover photo, which you’ve probably seen on a lot of pages already, but every page was lacking. Most didn’t have anything at all for me. A couple mentioned to use Photoshop or Adobe something, which I can’t remember since I don’t have those programs. And one other site said I could download a template to help me, but only if I subscribed to a newsletter; that wasn’t happening.
So I used Microsoft Publisher to help me out with it, and I’m going to tell you what I did. First, let me show you the image I created:
It might look a little strange, but the explanation is coming.
I opened up my Publisher program, and instead of going through all the gesticulations of trying to remember how to landscape the thing I just made it bigger on my screen. I initially set it to a 150% view, which helped me to start putting things together.
I started with a text box and elongated it into a triangular shape. You’re trying to get to an image size of around 851 x 315, which is odd, but that’s Facebook for you. Then I went to the picture box and selected my business logo to start with because I thought that would work well. The problem is that in reality it’s only 639 pixels wide, and if I was looking at a 100% normal view it would look great. However, at 150% it was smeared and looked lousy, so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to use it.
I deleted the picture box and decided to just type in my business name in my business title font, which is Imprint MT Shadow. I added my favorite color, then increased the size. I centered the image as well because I needed to make sure that once I copied and pasted the image into my photo program that I wasn’t going to have to worry about those editing lines that always exist in Publisher.
Once I did that I did a screen print and copied it into Microsoft Photo Editor, the program I like to use for pictures. I cropped around it so I only had my business name showing, then I saved the image. I did that because I figured the first thing to do was see if I could get close to the width required by Facebook. It was way too large, and I had two choices; reduce the size of the font or reduce the size of my view, since I was doing print screen images.
I decided to reduce the size of my view, and I dropped it to 125%. When I tested it again, the images was around 830; I figured that was pretty close as a starting point.
Next, it was time to add images. I knew I was going to frame the bottom with two professional images I have of myself, but wasn’t sure what I’d put in the middle. I tested the two images first though, putting each one on the outside, and then did a series of tests trying to get close to the 315 width. I had to alter the size of the images about 5 times, but I got it to 302 and figured that was close enough for the moment.
Now, which other two images? As you can see, in the end I decided on one with my dad and one which was an actual image that I “cartooned up” to create something different that I liked from years ago. I saved and tested everything, then decided to increase my view size from 125% to 126%, a very minor increase but it brought my image to 852 x 314; almost perfect! Just to let you know in case you don’t already know this, when you save the image you can look at it in Explorer, hover your mouse over it, and it’ll tell you the dimensions. That works for all images on your computer, just so you know.
Now it was time to upload my image to my Facebook business page, which I did, but it didn’t work out. Why not? Here’s the original image:
The problem is that Facebook business pages have this logo box that pops up to the left side. If you don’t have an image in there the box remains with a big question mark, so you have to put an image there. With that box, it completely covered the bottom half of my image; that wouldn’t do. So I had to come back to the drawing board and resize an image, and I decided I didn’t want to shrink my professional image, done by my friend Kelvin by the way, so I reversed the order of the first two images and shortened the cartoon version instead. Here’s what it looks like on the page now:
There you have it. Now, you can obviously go your own route in the type of image you wish to use, but I found for this task that Publisher worked well for me, and doing screen prints also works well for me. Of course, if you have those other fancier programs you can go a much different route. It’s even possible that if you don’t have those programs OR Publisher that you could do the same thing with Word. The problem with Word is that it doesn’t have the image or text boxes to help you out.
There you have it; a true tutorial, even if you can’t use it. Good luck!