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How to improve your Instagram grid aesthetic

close up of a hand holding a iPhone showing an Instagram grid
Improve your Instagram grid aesthetic

Eurgggh, as if creating content for your social media wasn't enough, you also have to make it look pretty for Instagram.

As a small business owner, who has to wear a lot of hats, and someone who relies on Instagram to generate leads... I know how hard it is to consistently create engaging content that also looks good for the grid.

Well, I'm going to share with you my top tips to improve your Instagram grid aesthetic which will make your life easy when it comes to creating aesthetically pleasing content for Instagram.

Use correct sizing for images - cropping is ugly

For photos or graphics always use the square format (1080 x 1080 px) or portrait format (1080 x 1350 px). If you have a landscape photo it would be better to crop it to square or portrait size.

If you need to share something such as a menu that is likely not set up as a square then either try resizing the content or use a cover image for the first photo.

Also, remember that if you're posting content in portrait format or a Reel, the post will still be cropped as a square for your grid - so make sure the main content fits within a square.

Create balance for better grid aesthetic

The easiest way to create balance is to rotate what you post e.g. image, quote, reel, carousel, repeat - so you alternate the styles of content which will create contrast and let each piece of content have some breathing room. But if you only post images/videos then maybe consider using a mix of close ups and full shots etc to create balance.

Utilise Stories and Archive to improve your Instagram grid aesthetic

Want to share some info but know it’s going to spoil your grid? Use Stories to share the info instead. Stories often get more engagement, so share the info there and consider adding polls and question boxes to make it more interactive.

You could also use the 'Archive' function on Instagram to tidy up your grid once the content is not needed any more e.g. if an event is over or you've ended a giveaway etc ask yourself "can this content be archived to make my grid look better?"

Add highlight covers

Adding highlights is great, highlights without covers is not great. It's like displaying books on a coffee table with the cover removed. You just wouldn't.

The easiest and quickest way to add a highlight cover is to use a solid colour. You could literally Google any colour, screenshot an image that comes up and use that as your highlight cover.

Want it to be more on brand? Use one (or more) of your colours from your brand colour palette.

Another option is to purchase minimal illustrations to use as identifiers for each highlight. Whilst this is a cute addition, it is sometimes hard to keep up with this style if you decide to add a new highlight and you don't have that particular icon.

Of course if you have your designer on speed dial, I'm sure they could knock something up for you!

Use the right logo or small icon

Ok, this is a pet peeve of mine. A company has a logo so they use their logo as their Instagram profile icon. Problem is, their logo doesn't scale down very well, so they have a tiny, tiny logo that just looks a bit shit and is bringing down the overall aesthetic.

I mean this is why I provide all my clients with an alternate logo, a submark or favicon so then they have choice and flexibility and can choose the appropriate logo for small spaces.

Need help to create a better brand and Instagram presence?

Please get in touch by either filling out a brand identity enquiry form or for anything more general, just drop me a message on my contact form - both can be found here 👇

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