The New Flickr Cover Image – Templates

We’ve produced a couple of free templates for creating cover images for Flickr’s new-look interface. If you have a Flickr photo-sharing account hopefully by now you’ll have seen the new interface and heard about the new free account’s one terabyte photo-storage limit.

About The Flickr Cover Photo

We’ve not heard anything official from Flickr but from a few tests we’ve determined that a good image size that works is 2560 x 2560 pixels. Flickr shrinks and grows the image to match the width of browser window being used. This has the result that the amount of the image to be seen varies with the browser window width. The top and bottom areas of the image are overlaid with semi transparent menus and buttons, and the whole image is covered by a graduated vertical fade to black from about the image’s mid-point.

Although the actual cover image is only around 234px high, it is essential to have an image over 2000px high. If you don’t the Flickr cover picture looks awful on wide displays, and it can also be cropped in width on smaller displays. This is why this template uses an image size of 2560 x 2560 pixels. I tried over twelve different cover image sizes to see what works and what doesn’t.

How to Update Your Flickr Cover Photo

  1. Put your cursor over the current cover picture in Flickr. An ‘Edit Cover Photo’ button will appear. Click it and the ‘Choose Cover Photo’ pop-up will appear.
  2. You can select an image from your recently uploaded public and Safe photographs. If your picture doesn’t show up or no pictures show up, check your account settings. Click on the photograph you want to use.
  3. You can now re-position your picture to suit. If you’ve used the templates I’ve supplied there’s no need to re-position the picture.
  4. Press ‘Save’.
  5. Important Navigate to another page, and then return to your Photo-stream. Use your browsers refresh button to reload the page. Flickr creates a new cover image file – which is why you have to refresh the page.
  6. You can now delete the cover picture from your Photostream if you want.

If you choose to upload a cover photo when the ‘Choose Cover Photo’ pop-up appears there is a bug in the system (as of May 22, 2013). To get around it: upload your picture, making sure it is public and Safe. Now you’ll have to re-select the ‘Edit Cover Photo’ button by putting your cursor on the existing cover image. This time when the ‘Choose Cover Photo’ pop-up appears your latest picture will be at the top of the list. Can’t see it? You did remember to make the picture public? Now you can follow the steps above starting at step 2.

Links to the Flickr Cover Image files:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Film Strip Template

Flickr Film-Strip Template

Flickr Film-Strip Template


A revised version of the Film Strip template, including complete Photoshop, png and jpg files can be found here

Sign up to receive post announcements by email


Once you verify, you’ll get an email each time I write a new post.
You can unsubscribe anytime.

50 thoughts on “The New Flickr Cover Image – Templates

  1. Pingback: Flickr has a new look – And you need a new cover image! | The Blue Bottle Tree

  2. Andre Fortier

    I can’t figure this out at all. I used one of your templates (tried the JPG and PSD also), replaced the image with my own. After uploading the photo, I navigate away and then back to my photostream. When I select the edit cover photo, no pictures at all show up even though I finished uploading it and it shows up in my photostream (public). I confirmed that my final image that I uploaded is 2048 x 492 and yet, it doesn’t show up at all in ‘Recent photos’ within the ‘Edit cover photo’.

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Hmmmm. Just a thought, I’m guessing that they must not only be Public but also marked as ‘Safe’ too – could that be the problem? What’s your Flickr User ID? Email me if you’d rather not put that in here – gary@davis-allman.com

      Reply
        1. Gary Post author

          Let’s take the conversation over to your Water cover image on Flickr – Nice picture by the way!

          Update: I’ll post the solution here too. The photograph is marked as ‘Restricted’ It has to be marked as ‘Safe’ to be used as a cover picture. Change it to ‘Safe’ and it will appear in the ‘Choose Cover Photo’ Pop-up. Problem solved 🙂

          Reply
        1. Gary Post author

          Yes they do. Makes life difficult for people who have had their accounts marked up as restricted. I updated the text to cover this.

          Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      It’s a big change, and it takes a fair bit of getting used to. The first impression is that tucking the comments ‘below the fold’ where they’re not obvious will reduce the social interaction.

      However, the new look has had quite a big positive impact too. I’ve read lots of comments from my Flickr contacts about how much they’ve enjoyed looking back at their and their contacts’ pictures with the new format. The emphasis is now back on the pictures – given that Facebook is winning out on the social side, Google+ is trying to earn a niche as a haven for photographers, and SmugMug is positioning itself as a good commercial outlet that presents pictures well, this just might be a very canny move by Flickr.

      I’m giving myself and Flickr a bit of time to become reacquainted, and I think it’s going to work out.

      Reply
  3. swazidarron

    Thanks Gary… the trainee graphic artist in my office has really been struggling to keep me happy with his attempts to make a decent cover image… and your template I think is going to help him immensely.

    Reply
  4. mercypercydesigns

    I just found your templates, great idea! However, I am wondering if you have checked to see if they still work, since I believe Flickr has made some changes to the display. They did this sometime in the last day or two.

    A couple of days ago I spent a couple of hours reading threads and fooling around with my cover photo; and the one for the one group I administer. I finally got them to display pretty close to how I wanted them. Today I discovered that Flickr has apparently changed it somehow. I now have white at the top of both images, and more of the picture is displaying in the visible area. I am using the same computer, and same browser I used the last time.

    You might need to redo your templates.

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll update the template on Monday July 29 if this rolls out to everyone. It looks like they’ve changed the rules again. 🙁 The version I have it appears that they’ve changed the image anchor point and how it scales. Ho hum…

      Edit. Checking Ginger’s (my wonderful wife) Flickr account – it hasn’t changed, so this is obviously a limited roll-out thus far. I’m going to hold-fire on making any changes util it’s clear what’s happening.

      Reply
    2. Gary Post author

      I’m working on new templates. It took ages for the light to dawn. The reason why my wife’s cover image is looking fine, is because she hasn’t updated it. It’s the function that saves and makes a copy of your cover image that’s going wrong. From my experiments you need an image of around 2000px high to stop the Flickr cover uploader from creating an enlargement of the cover image.

      Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Sorry Julieanne, for some reason I only saw the first sentence of your message. Here’s a more detailed response.

      You are right you’ve been changed over to the new format. I just checked my wife’s Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebluebottletree/ and her’s is *still* on the old layout (August 28).

      I’m not sure what they are doing – switching everyone over of not. I’m going to have to come up with a new template. It is going to be difficult to tell people which one to use until Flickr switches over completely to one or the other! 🙁

      Reply
    2. Gary Post author

      I’m working on new templates. There’s a problem with the Flickr function that saves and makes a copy of your cover image. From my experiments you need an image of around 2000px high to stop the Flickr cover uploader from creating an enlargement of the image. They’ve also changed the way the image scales. It used to scale from the center left side Now it scales from the center.

      Reply
  5. Brais

    Hi Gary!,

    I follow all the steps of your tutorial and I can not place correctly the image of 2048 X 493 px at the cover. Also I would like to know which format (dimensions) do you use for the pictures normally. Please, Could you help me?.

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Flickr appear to be in the process of changing the header image layout again (see mercypercydesigns message above from July 2) I checked my wife’s account again today, and her’s is still on the original ‘new format’.

      Give me a link to your Flickr account and I’ll take a look. I’ll also start working on a new template.

      Reply
      1. braisremeseiro

        Hi Gary!,

        many thanks for the reply.

        I can´t provide you a link to the Flickr because I have nothing in it. I have a new account. Please, Can you upload the new templates?. I asked in the forum of Flickr and they told me to use a picture directly from the camera, without resize or crop.

        Reply
        1. Gary Post author

          The advice is good, I’ve been doing some research and the bigger the image the better it works. I’ll be creating new templates asap, but it’s an interesting and involved process to work out exactly what’s going on. Sign up for updates by post and you’ll get an email when I post the new templates.

          Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      According to my experiments 2560px x 2560px is the smallest size of image that seems to work adequately. Bigger images will also work.

      Images with less height are cropped in width for some reason. This appears to be a bug introduced in the cover image upload software shortly after the release of the new layout (end June/begining of July).

      I’ve created some screen grabs to illustrate what happens if your image isn’t tall enough:

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsallman/9627005042/ (What it should look like)
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsallman/9627005872/ (What it ends up looking like)

      I hope that helps.

      Reply
      1. BraCom

        The new layout is now already there, I don’t like this Gary.
        So many things are changed, but the worse idea is the comments.
        Almost impossible to read the comments in this very small box.

        Reply
        1. Gary Post author

          You can go back to old layout (for the moment at least). Click on ‘Help & Feedback’ and then on ‘Opt out of the new Photo Experience’ Also I’d recommend that you leave feedback on what you don’t like. A lot of people are requesting that the comments are moved back under the picture.

          I checked a picture with a lot of comments – and for short snappy comments it wasn’t too bad. But longer comments are going to be an issue.

          Reply
          1. BraCom

            I am still working with the old layout Gary
            I don’t like the new version.
            But I think one day there will no opt out option available.
            And I think it is much better to leave the comments under the picture.

  6. Jan

    Thank you for wonderful and sooo useful post!
    However, it seems sth is wrong with .jpg and .png files – after clicking you don’t reach the destination. After downloading them using right-click my Windows cannot open them 🙁
    Is it possible to fix this?

    Reply
  7. Anna

    Thank you! I’ve been fighting with the Flickr header all morning. Followed your advice, downloaded your template and it worked like a charm. Thank you! Now I can eat lunch in peace! : )

    Reply
  8. Cassie

    Hi Gary, quick question! I’ve recently created a flickr account to store recent travel photos. The account settings are all set to private, but I’d like to update the cover photo? I’ve changed the settings for that photo to public and safe, however whenever I refresh, it reverts to the default image. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Check your account settings – Click on your user icon (top right of the screen), then select ‘settings’. On that screen there should be a line there that reads:

      “Your safety level Your account has been reviewed as safe by Flickr staff. (What does that mean?)”

      I suspect that because you’ve had all your images set to private, your account may be currently rated as “unsafe” Which prevents you from setting a cover photo.

      That’s the only thing I can think of. The ‘Safe’ status can take a little while to kick in. Having a few ‘safe’ public pictures might help.

      Reply
  9. Teri

    Thank you SOOO much. Why Flickr couldn’t provide this information (and why they made it so complicated) is beyond me. Thank you for solving this problem!

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      Thank you Teri, I’m glad to be of help. I thought this post would be redundant by now – but for some reason Flickr do not seem to have got round to posting cover image guidelines.

      Reply
  10. richardreeleder

    Thanks for doing this, but I’m confused. You state that an image size of at least 2560 x 2560 px is required, but your templates don’t have same height and width dimensions – they are narrow-height rectangles.

    Reply
    1. Gary Post author

      I just downloaded the linked files to check and they all appear to be the size they should be. 2560px square… How odd. What links did you follow?

      Reply

What do you think?