How to Create Your own Styled Instagram Feed

Not sure where to start when it comes to creating and curating your business’s Instagram grid? Here’s how to style yours with templated examples.

The examples of swoon-worthy Instagram grids I shared just go to show how much creativity the platform allows and encourages, so the ways in which you can create your own Instagram aesthetic are limitless.

But to help you get started with your own feed, think about the first 9 posts of your feed, as these will set the tone for your profile initially. Over time, and as you get more comfortable and confident with your creativity, you can begin to further develop the style you originally set out, or – for maximum impact – cut to a completely new style on your feed.

Here are 9 types of Instagram grids that you can begin with:

  1. Checkerboard
  2. Quote tiles
  3. Diagonal theme
  4. Puzzle
  5. Horizontal focus
  6. Vertical focus
  7. Framed
  8. Rainbow
  9. Split photo

Checkerboard

Follow The Female Entrepreneur Movement‘s example and work with two key colours to create a checkerboard effect on your Instagram feed. In this example, the contrast really helps the pink squares stand out.

How to create a checkerboard theme:
Follow the pattern in the template below to help you create and upload your design in the right order.

All the pink images (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th images to upload) will have one background or predominant colour, and the blue images (2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th images to upload) will have another colour.

You can try bold contrasting colours for these, but on a smaller mobile screen, competing hues can look harsh. Pastels work well with white!

Instagram checkerboard layout

Quote tiles

Whether you go full on quote central like Beaming Design has done here, or decide to keep it simple with the odd quote tile, there’s now doubt they are super effective on Instagram thanks to how relatable quotes are.

How to create quote tiles:
How you lay these out is up to you, but a checkerboard effect works well – as does the random quote post scattered here and there. Just make sure that they’re not ‘touching’ horizontally or vertically when you plan your grid.

Diagonal theme

The diagonal theme takes on one (or more) focal points and places them on the grid in diagonal patterns. On my personal Instagram feed, I have made a point of using diagonals, which you can see on the images of coffee going from bottom right to top left. It adds visual interest to profile, without feeling too repetitive.

How to create a diagonal theme:
Follow the pattern in the template below to help you create and upload your design in the right order.

All the pink images (1st, 5th and 9th images to upload) will be themed in one way. These could be your user generated content posts.

The blue images (2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th images to upload) will have another theme. These could be product shots.

The green images (3rd and 7th images to upload) will have another theme. These could be reviews or quotes.

Puzzle

The Creative Boss‘s feed is an impressive example of the puzzle grid. Similar to the split photo (see example 9), the design in one post will overflow into the posts around it.

How to make an Instagram puzzle grid:
For this, you’ll need to come up with your overall design first, then split up into 9 (or more – as long as you’re in sets of 3s) using your image editing software. Just remember that you still want a point of visual interest in every post, just like The Creative Boss has done in hers.

Horizontal Focus


Want to highlight something important on your feed? The horizontal layout, used here by HBO Max, could be ideal.

Use this to focus on a limited time offer or to break up one campaign from another.

Horizontal-Instagram-Example

How to create a horizontal break in the grid:
Use whatever scheme you’d like for the other images, but the aim here is to make sure you have three consecutive posts – like the 4th, 5th and 6th images that are in blue in the template below – that are linked in style.

You could create one long image and break it up into 3 equal 1080x1080px images for example.

Vertical focus


This is similar to the horizontal template, but needs a bit of longer term strategy in place to be really effective, as you can keep the focal point going for ages! Quotes look great when styled like this, as do timelines.

How to create a vertical theme:
Follow the template and you’ll see that every 3rd post on the feed is your focal post for the vertical style. Make sure these posts are linked in their style somehow.

Framed

Adding a frame to your posts gives your feed a sophisticated edge that also helps to direct the eye to the focal point within the frame.

Gucci’s posts alternate the orientation of the frames for extra impact.

How to add a frame:
Many mobile apps, like VSCO, let you add a frame while editing. Play around with the settings until you find a look you like.

Rainbow

Planoly‘s feed is a masterclass in rainbow colour, as seen here. Every 9 posts, they switch up the colour, not straying too far from the rainbow. It keeps the feed feeling fresh.

How to create a rainbow feed:
Plan your feed every 9 posts in advance with 1 predominant colour. After the first 9, choose a colour next to it in the colour wheel and use that as the predominant colour for the next 9 posts.

Split photo


You can take one image and split it across your grid of 9. The split photo is commonly used on new accounts to launch their profile with strong first image – but be warned, as soon as you add a new photo after the initial 9, these can quickly look a bit messy as they’ll be pushed out of alignment.

Instagram Split Photo Template

How to create a split photo:
Many Instagram filter/creative apps now offer the ability to split an image for this very purpose. If not, your photo app or image editing software of choice will be your best friend here! Download your chosen photo, then cut into 9 separate images. Remember to upload the bottom images first!

How to upload images

Once you decide on the style you want to go with, I recommend sketching your grid idea out on a piece of paper first, then numbering the images from 9 to 1 as your first image you upload will effectively be the bottom right, like this:

987
654
321

This will help you upload your images in the right order and give you a chance to play around to get the final look you want.

Schedulers like Later and Planoly let you visualise the final look and feel of your feed before publishing, while allowing you to move them around, so take advantage of any tools if you can too.

Bonus: 7 Instagram feed tips

Whatever feed style you decide to go for, keep these guidelines close by when creating and curating your Instagram profile:

  • Your brand colour should be prominent
  • Don’t be too precious on the creative, after all one post could knock them out of alignment temporarily
  • Post-by-post, keep the content for each one varied
  • Use typographic-led posts to break up the busy
  • If relevant, ask your customers for UGC – and use it!
  • Keep content informative and engaging to work towards your marketing KPIs
  • Match your Instagram Stories highlights to your feed aesthetic
  • Enjoy it!

The brilliant thing about Instagram is that if a post doesn’t fit your look and feel any more, you can simply archive it, which will hide it from the feed – but you’ll still have a record of its engagement and comments.

Want more advice on getting started with your Instagram feed? I love auditing feeds and making recommendations, so get in touch and see how I can help you!