Stand Out With These Unique Instagram Highlight Cover Ideas

April 29, 2022
Kyra Goodman

Showcase your business in short style!

It’s 2022, so it probably isn’t news to you that social media is a powerful tool for connecting with new customers and growing your brand. But did you know that Instagram highlight reels are an excellent way to showcase your business? Your Insta feed and profile are often your first impression with potential customers on Instagram, so nailing the first impression is key.

When it comes to Instagram, it’s the small details that separate the rookies from the true social media pros. Instagram highlight covers make the most out of your Instagram account by making it engaging and visually appealing. 

Saving your Insta stories to a highlight with an aesthetic cover gives you the opportunity to showcase your top-performing content, FAQs, customer reviews, team updates, and more. They can even be used to highlight special offers or promotions, converting your followers into loyal customers. By using Instagram highlights, you can give followers a better understanding of what you do and what you stand for and keep your Instagram profile feeling fresh and up-to-date. 

Trust us: Instagram Highlights are a feature that should not be overlooked. Unlike Instagram stories which disappear after 24 hours, your highlights remain on your profile permanently. This means potential customers can learn more about your business at any time, even if they don't follow you. 

Below, we’ll share our favorite Instagram highlight cover ideas, and review the best tips and tricks for creating highlight covers that will elevate your Instagram feed. Even if you’re a graphic design newbie, don’t stress. We’ve got you covered!

Quick Tips for Creating Captivating Instagram Highlight Covers

Keep it simple

When it comes to Instagram highlight covers, less is definitely more. You want your cover to be eye-catching and easy to understand at a glance. That means no busy patterns or overly complicated designs.

Use strong visuals

Since your Instagram highlight cover is essentially an advertisement for your highlight, you want to use visuals that will grab attention. Bright colors, interesting fonts and compelling photos are all excellent options (examples below!)

Highlight what makes you unique

What sets your business apart from the rest? Your Instagram story highlight covers should communicate what makes you unique, whether that's your amazing products, exceptional customer service or something else entirely.

Be consistent

Your Instagram highlight icons should fit into your feed aesthetic and color palette and have a similar look and feel. This helps create a cohesive aesthetic for your business account and makes it easier for people to identify your brand.

Experiment and test

Change isn’t always a bad thing! Don’t be afraid to edit highlight cover icons as much as you want to find what works best. Switch between cover images or simple minimalist designs, and try using emojis in your titles! There’s no limit to what you can create — so long as it fits your brand tone and style.

Best Tools For Designing Instagram Story Highlight Covers

Even if design isn’t your forte, there are tons of tools out there to help beginners create gorgeous Instagram highlight covers. Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud Express (formerly Adobe Spark), and Visme are three popular platforms that offer a variety of templates and design options for your Instagram highlight icons.


Creating Instagram highlight covers with Canva is easy, even if you're not a graphic design expert. Canva is a user-friendly design tool with a vast library of cover templates for all types of Instagram posts. Just pop “Instagram highlight cover” into the search bar and you’ll be greeted with hundreds of preset templates for story covers. Plus, their templates are fully customizable, so you can tailor them to fit your brand perfectly.

Adobe Creative Cloud Express

Adobe is best-known for their suite of amazing creative tools. With a wide selection of templates, you can find the perfect Instagram highlight cover design for your business instantly.
Their Instagram Story option on the Resize menu makes it easy to create covers that are the perfect size for your highlights. Adobe Creative Cloud Express also offers a handy Instagram post maker so you can share your highlights easily with your followers.


Visme is another simple, easy to use platform for creating Instagram highlight covers. They offer a variety of templates that include high-quality images for you to use on your blog posts, Instagram highlight covers, and other social media platforms, Plus, Visme offers several videos and tutorials teaching you how to use the platform to its full extent.

Best Instagram Highlight Cover Ideas and Examples

If you're looking for some fresh and stylish Instagram highlight covers, look no further than these six brands. From Sephora to Dollar Shave Club, these businesses know how to make an impact with their highlights.

Use icons & emojis

Icons and emojis are a great way to add visual interest to your highlight covers and help communicate what your highlights are about. For example, if you have a highlight reel of your product in action, you could use an icon or emoji of a camera to indicate that.

There are tons of places to find free icons on the internet, including the apps we already mentioned above.

A few other places you can find free icons include:

  • Flaticon
  • Freepik
  • IconArchive

Big brands like Sephora and Dollar Shave Club are both great examples of how to use icons and emojis for your Instagram highlight covers.


Sephora's highlights are always on point, whether they're highlighting new products or giving followers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making their products.

Their highlight cover designs reflect the content of their highlight stories with cute icons and emojis set on top of pastel colors for a trendy and eye-catching look.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club's highlights are all about their brand identity – from their clever use of humor to their focus on quality products.

Similar to Sephora, Dollar Shave Club also uses icons for their highlight covers, but have opted for a more minimalist design by using line drawings and the same background color for each icon. Notice how their earthy tones fit in well with their brand color palette!

Showcase product images

If you're highlighting a particular product on your Instagram page, showcase images of that product on your highlight covers. This will help people quickly identify which highlights they're interested in watching.


Reformation kills the game on social media. Whether it’s through clever influencer marketing or witty captions, they’re a great brand to look to for Insta inspiration. It’s no surprise that their highlight reel is on point.

Reformation switches it up from previous examples by using photography instead of graphic icons. As seen above, they showcase their products using real product images for the thumbnail on their IG highlights.

We love this approach because you can edit your highlights each time you launch a new product. This keeps the new highlights coming and gives your followers constant fresh content to scroll through.

Use bright color palettes

Bright colors are eye-catching and will make your highlight covers stand out from the rest. Choose a color palette that reflects the tone of your highlights. For example, if they're light-hearted and fun, go for brighter colors. If they're more serious or informative, opt for a more subtle palette.


Postmates is a food and grocery delivery service, so they don’t necessarily have any products to display on their highlight covers. What do they do instead? They go for a colorful and simple approach, with bright colors that catch the eye and the highlight title written in a simple font. 

This is a great option if you want to skip the time needed to design an icon or find an appropriate image.

They also use emojis for the highlight titles under the icon, which is another fun aspect of this cover choice.

Keep it simple

Sometimes, less is more. Don't try to cram too much information into your highlight covers - keep them clean and straightforward. Let the content of your highlights do the talking!

Many brands turn to the minimalist design for their highlight covers, including TenTree.


Sustainable clothing brand TenTree decided to take minimalist highlight covers to a whole new level on their Insta profile. They’ve opted to use zero photos or icons, and instead use their brand colors as their highlight cover icons for a look that’s easily recognizable and evokes earthy vibes.

Turn to humor

A little humor can go a long way in making your highlight covers more engaging. If you can make people laugh, they're more likely to watch your highlights all the way through. Just be careful not to overdo it - you don't want your covers to come across as cheesy or unprofessional.

Now it’s your turn!

Ready to get out there and experiment with your own Instagram highlight covers? Remember, get creative but don't overdo it on the design — oftentimes simplicity is perfection. And finally, try to have some fun with it. After all, social media should be enjoyable!

Create a visually stunning, cohesive look for your Instagram account with a tool like Sked Social. With our easy-to-use platform, you can get ahead of the competition by planning your posts weeks in advance. Plus, our visual Instagram feed planner makes it easy to see how your posts will look before you publish them.

Ready to get started? Sign up for Sked Social's free 7 day trial to start using the visual Instagram feed planner today!

Spend less and get more with Sked Social

Get everything social schedulers are missing without writing a blank check for an enterprise platform. AI-integrated tools, custom collaboration and approval workflows, deep analytics and insights, and real auto-posting to more platforms — it’s all here.

Get Started for FREE


What to read next

Instagram marketing

8-Step Guide to a Watertight Instagram Bio Audit in 2024

May 23, 2024

An Instagram bio is the top half of your Instagram profile, and it’s the first thing people see when they land on your page. Think of it a little like a boutique’s window display on a busy shopping street — it has to be sparkly enough to attract attention, while offering an intriguing hint as to what people can expect inside. So where do you begin when making sure your bio is pulling its weight? Follow this step-by-step guide to conduct a thorough Instagram bio audit.

Instagram marketing

The Best Instagram Image and Video Size Recommendations for 2024

December 15, 2023

The ultimate guide on Instagram image and video sizes for 2024.

Get the visual content planner for visual brands and agencies