Use a Simple Background to Optimize Your Flickr Profile

By Janine Warner, David LaFontaine

Even if you don’t have lots of great images for your banner, it’s easy to dress up your Flickr banner with a basic background. When you set up a profile with Flickr, you can choose from any of the default images as a way to get started.

To keep things interesting, author Janine Warner changes her banner image regularly. Here are a few different approaches to creating a background and how to work around the inherent design elements in Flickr.

Because social media sites (like Flickr), change their design so frequently, you may need to adjust your approach based on their latest guidelines.

Choose a pattern or an abstract image

You don’t have to use photographs in your cover image. Indeed, some of the nicest cover photos are made up of a simple gradient, pattern, or abstract image.

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Design a filmstrip

One way to fit photographs into the long, narrow space provided by Flickr for the cover image is to create a filmstrip composite that showcases multiple images one after another.

[Credit: Janine Warner]

Credit: Janine Warner

Make your cover photo disappear

Although there is no way to completely delete the Flickr cover, here’s a nifty workaround. Upload a plain white image that fits the space, and — ta-dah! — the cover image all but disappears.

Substituting even a pure white image as a mask won’t look completely white. That’s because Flickr places a gray gradient over the bottom of the image, which darkens any image you use as your cover. Flickr does this to ensure the white text with your name is readable against the image.

Any image you upload as your cover will appear darker than it actually is because of the overlay gradient that Flickr adds.

[Credit: Janine Warner]

Credit: Janine Warner

Settle for Flickr’s cover photos

Even if you’ve never added a cover photo to your profile, there will be an image inserted in this space because Flickr automatically adds an image by default. There seem to be at least a few different images Flickr uses, including a photograph of fall leaves, as well as colorful doors.

[Credit: Janine Warner]

Credit: Janine Warner

See how the buddy icon is too small. This is what can happen if you haven’t updated your photo in a while.

Currently, you can’t select one of the default Flickr cover images. And if you replace the image that Flickr applies to your profile with your own image, you can’t change back to the Flickr image.