Over the years, we've all seen the same old Instagram feed ideas, from brands and influencers alike, time and time again.
There are the black and white themed accounts, those using puzzles as a theme, and of course, there's the 'every-second-upload-is-a-quote' approach.
But let’s be real - they’re all a bit stale now.
There’s a bit of an art to creating an inviting, attention-grabbing Instagram theme, and starting off without clear guidelines can make the whole process even more tricky.
So to help, I’ve pulled together a list of 13 of the freshest Instagram themes of 2019, and fleshed out exactly how to recreate them for your own business account. And even if you don't see something you like here, they're sure to get you thinking on your own approach.
So, let’s get started.
Instagram themes are a great way to curate beautiful Instagram feeds - but remember to keep your overall brand experience in mind.
If you’re looking to implement a new theme, ask yourself:
You should use Instagram themes to help enhance your brand aesthetic on the platform - but not to completely change it.
Here are some rising themes to consider.
Like the warmth of summer, and shimmering exclusive jewels, the 'Golden Minimalism' Instagram theme shines with feelings of unique beauty, luxe experiences and simple statements.
Example: Stevie Jean Jewellery
“We plan out our weekly schedule by using a template which allows us to see the week at a bird’s eye view,” says Stevie Jean Jewellery Co-Founder, Samara Baunach. “This allows us to place each image in the best-suited order according to previous posts and colourways. We try to keep a good mix of images flowing or a ‘pattern’ so we will either post 3 of a similar image or rotate between, say, a hand shot, flat lay and then a campaign image. Our colour schemes are kept earthy and minimal always ensuring that the jewellery is the focal point of the image.”
This theme cleverly combines soft textures and structured shapes, all brought together by imagery incorporating golden hues. By ensuring each image has one focal point, a minimal look is achieved. It’s a good idea to keep backdrops block light or white colours to give a more minimalist feel to the grid. Mix human elements with lifestyle posts and product showcase for the ultimate effect.
Teaming fresh blushes with earthy browns and fresh teal coloring, the 'Sunset Tones' theme offers Autumnal vibes, natural motifs and creative product focus.
Example: Spell & the Gypsy Collective
“We plan our feed based on lots of different content,” says Mel Carrero, Spell & The Gypsy Collective’s PR and Marketing Manager. “…Our campaigns, flat lays, influencer and community content! Images are coming from all over the world and if we have a collection where the tones can blend together as our print colors do, we do that. We love to be always mixing it up so there’s lots of different content not just visually but in substance too.”
This is one of the Instagram themes that has a big focus on the curation of content and color. To replicate this theme, opt for imagery with the tones of sunsets for a natural and effortlessly fresh look.
Fresh, bright and airy. There's a real art to achieving the 'Modern and Clean' Instagram theme. Using light colors, contrasted with bright examples, this theme mixes product photos, quotes and a few human elements.
Example: Smack Bang Designs
“As a design agency, the way we visually communicate our brand is always at the front of our mind when scheduling our socials,” says Smack Bang Designs’ Marketing Coordinator, Emma Camden. “Although, we do love to push the boundaries of our minimal and clean approach of our aesthetics by providing a bold pop of color – or even the occasional meme. Ultimately, our feed is thoughtfully curated with input from both our design and marketing teams. This allows us to employ the two most influential aspects of Instagram; aesthetic and strategy.”
This theme works best for pastel and light color schemes. Create branded graphics with bold backgrounds and avoid patterns. By ensuring that each image has negative space around a single focal point, this will achieve a minimalist look, while placing emphasis on the content within an image.
The 'Movement' Instagram theme is comprised of bold imagery captured in motion. With a strong focus on the human element, each image is inspired by dynamic and active content.
Curate a collection of imagery that captures people moving, in action and mid-task. For every second image, post content with text to give the cross-section look - like in the example above. For content that doesn’t include a human element, share content that has been in movement (for example, the cooked casserole post, instead of raw ingredients before being cooked.
There are many things I love about Frank Body’s Instagram presence, and their Instagram theme is one of them. The 'Textured Beauty' theme mixes a range of surfaces to give audiences and almost ‘three-dimensional’ experience.
Example: Frank Body
Mix imagery and video with a range of textures - think water, skin, earth, packaging, animals. Depending on your particular industry or brand, these textures may vary, but I encourage you to get creative.
Since Instagram is a highly visual platform, playing with color can have a pretty impactful effect. Mixing black and white photos with subtle pos of color help to emphasize specific elements of posts without taking away from the overall aesthetic. It also helps to extend your brand’s messaging, with quick reminders of your branding elements such as branded colors.
Example: Damn Write
“For me, it’s super important that I provide valuable, useful advice to people”, says Damn Write founder, Ami Williamson. “So I tend to focus on copy and marketing tips when planning content”, she continues. “The pops of color were an intentional choice to stand out in the feed, and links back to the Damn Write brand personality.”
In every second post, have a single pop of color on a plain background. For other posts, play with black and white imagery, with more distinctive fully black or slightly grey backgrounds.
For some brands, a consistently similar Instagram theme just isn’t enough. To keep content fresh, they explore transitional content - by teaming neutral backgrounds with colored focal points which change throughout the theme, interesting aesthetics take flight.
This is one of the Instagram themes where you’ll need to truly be prepared in advance. Color transitions could be used to reflect seasons, new collections, settings and more.
Make sure the background or general scene is consistent for at least three posts, then gently guide the transition by integrating new, but similar, color compositions. For example, Birkenstock uses green grass in some images, before transitioning to more luscious forest green hedging.
Whether you regularly host three-post series, or just love the effect of repetition in your content, the 'Content Rows' Instagram theme sure packs a punch on the grid.
Example: Zeppelin Barbers
Keep the colors used in your imagery consistent. If you’re feeling creative, this could mean that you use transitional colors as your feed continues on.
Simply by keeping these consistent colors, and posting three of the same or similar photos in a row, you’ll achieve this effect.
A special note must be made to ensure that each individual post has different types of value. For example, labeling each ‘PART 1’ through to three, with fresh content across each post. This way, your engagement rate shouldn’t be affected too harshly for posting similar content multiple times.
If Instagram’s usual square photo format just isn’t doing it for you anymore, a 'Frame Play' Instagram theme could be right up your alley. Mixing different shapes and types of frames will leave you with an alternative, and interesting look.
Experiment with different types of frames, and scatter them throughout your feed to achieve this look. From just away from the edges, right through to portrait and landscape options, mix and match as you please.
As you can see in the example above, Givenchy has played with three of the same frames in a row, then an alternative one in the bottom left corner. Givenchy also has similar locations showcased in each row - another consideration to keep in mind when planning your content.
Blanketed by a dreamy pastel hue, the 'Pastel and Pretty' Instagram theme combines a soft color palette with natural textures and structured lines.
Example: The Indigo Shop
Mix soft textures and pastel colors with natural structures and the softness of nature for a feminine yet fierce look.
Inspired by the colors of pop art and the 80s, the Instagram theme using 'Block, Bright Backgrounds' celebrates all that is filled with color, personality and fun.
Example: Boost Juice
Post bold, bright backgrounds in every second photo to evenly spread the colors around the grid. For all other imagery, have at least one key bright color included - this will give the grid flow and distribution of colors that aren’t too overwhelming.
As you can see in the example above, Boost Juice has chosen to use ingredients in their block color background posts, and more promotional, personal and interactive content on the other days.
This theme is for brands who are clear about their visual representation, and confident that their brand message is easily associated with their individual color choice.
We can learn a lot from super-brand McDonald’s use of a 'Single Focus Color' in its chosen Instagram theme. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the McDonald’s logo color is the exact same as its cheese? I don’t.
If your brand chooses to use this theme, scatter your exact branding color throughout your feed. McDonald’s logo also appears in seven of its nine posts (couldn’t find the seventh? It’s under the burger – clever).
For smaller brands, this could be logo overload, but for aspiring brand-builders, this Instagram theme could be a goal for the future.
One of the more creative Instagram themes, 'Redefining Frame' repositions the way we share content by incorporating human elements and interesting ways of presenting imagery.
Example: Smalltown Artlab
Print out the content you'd like to share, and position it in creative ways - or have other people hold it, as you can see in Smalltown Artlab’s example above.
Inspiration for your Instagram theme can be found anywhere you look, but to truly stand out, your Instagram theme should be unique to your business or brand. This will help you extend your brand story, and show what makes you different from others in your field of expertise.
Some questions to ask yourself when developing your Instagram themes are:
Now run wild and explore the land of Instagram theme integration.