What are Instagram Aesthetics?

Ever wondered how to create an Instagram icon aesthetic? What about Instagram aesthetics in general? Having a great aesthetic is one of the best ways to build your brand’s presence on social media. In fact, your aesthetic is the first thing potential customers will notice when they visit your brand’s profile! On Instagram, an aesthetic that is unique and stands out from the crowd can help you to define your brand and draw in new visitors to your site. A well-thought-out and cohesive aesthetic can also help to turn those visitors into new followers!

What is an Instagram Aesthetic?

First of all, what exactly is an aesthetic? When brands post on Instagram, they want to make sure that they have creative content that showcases their brand’s message. Creating an aesthetic means tailoring all of these posts to create one cohesive feeling that leaves an impression on visitors. You could try to stick to one or even a few colors, use the same filter, or trying to post your content in a certain order. An aesthetic can be anything as long as it fits together. Even when someone views your profile with Instagram Dark Mode (or Dark Theme), your aesthetic will remain cohesive.

How to Make an Instagram Icon Aesthetic

Part of creating a great aesthetic for your Instagram is designing attractive aesthetic icons. Underneath the bio on your Instagram profile, there is a section where you can post Instagram story highlights. The process of creating highlights is pretty simple:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the “new” button (the big plus sign under your bio).
  2. Pick from the stories that have previously posted that you want to add to your new highlight reel.
  3. Tap next and give your highlight reel a name.
  4. Choose either a picture or graphic for your highlight cover and click done.

Sometimes these highlight cover icons can be overlooked, but they are an important part of creating a cohesive style for your aesthetic. If you want to create them yourself, you can use apps like Canva Stories or Adobe Spark. Both of these apps have tons of pre-made story covers that you can use. If you don’t like any of the choices, you can also use these apps to create your own unique design. Just make sure you choose colors and patterns that align with the rest of your page’s aesthetic. Remember, you want your icons to add to your profile, not distract from it!

Tips for Creating a Cohesive Instagram Aesthetic

Creating an Instagram aesthetic might feel like it takes a lot of effort at first. However, once you get started, you should get a sense of what looks good on your profile and what doesn’t. Plus, it will make creating content much easier in the future. There are several easy tips to follow that will help you get started creating your aesthetic.

#1: Know Your Brand Identity

The biggest part of your aesthetic will come from having a clear brand identity. You can start by asking yourself a few questions. What are your brand’s core values? What is your brand’s personality? Who are you trying to reach? Answering these kinds of questions first will help you create a plan. Create a unique identity for your brand and use your social media profiles to help show it off.

#2: Determine Your Target Market

When using Instagram for brand marketing, one of the most important parts is knowing who you are trying to reach. After all, the main purpose of having a great Instagram profile is to attract and engage with new and existing followers. After you determine your target market, do some research and find out what kind of content they like. Find brands similar to yours and see how their followers engage with their content. Use this as inspiration for your own feed’s aesthetic.

#3: Pick a Theme

Your theme is the main idea that you will use to create an aesthetic and build up your profile. Themes can be very niche-specific or just a general idea. Some examples of common Instagram themes include:

Single or Double Color: Just as the name suggests, pick one or two colors and stick with them throughout your theme. You might choose an all-white layout or mix and match with complementary colors.

Minimalist: These kinds of themes post pictures that have one simple subject and tons of open space. These kinds of profiles give off a really clean and concise look.

Repetition: Profiles with these themes post the same type of image but slightly different each time. Repetition is really pleasing to the eye and helps to create a cohesive design.

Layout: Layout themes take advantage of the way posts are organized to create one cohesive image. One of the most popular layout themes is the “puzzle layout,” which uses posts to create one giant image. There is also the “quote layout,” where every other post is a quote on a solid background.

#4: Choose Your Colors and Filters

Once you’ve come up with a theme, you need to choose what colors and filters you’ll use to create it. Different colors can convey different feelings for your brand. For example, colors like red and orange give off a bright and cheerful feeling. Colors like green and blue can be more calming and peaceful. A black and white theme can be clean and concise. Many brands with a recognizable image will try to stick to just one or two colors. Don’t forget to incorporate these choices when you create your Instagram icon aesthetic.

Along with colors, you may want to use filters on your posts. Instagram offers tons of filter options. If it fits in with your brand, you could give all of your posts a vintage look or oversaturate the colors to create a bright appearance. As a rule, try to stick with 2-4 types of filters for your feed. Too many different filters can make your feed look disorganized. You even have the option to create a unique look by rotating filters in an even pattern. Whatever you choose, be sure to be consistent.

#5: Plan Ahead

Creating a content calendar and planning your posts ahead of time is key to any good social media strategy. Your Instagram aesthetic is no exception! This is especially true if you’ve decided to follow a pattern. Missing a post or creating something off-brand can throw off your whole profile and ruin your plan. To keep up with the theme you’ve picked, make sure you have a constant supply of content to post that fits in with your aesthetic.

Instagram Aesthetic Ideas and Examples

One of the best ways to get great Instagram aesthetic ideas is to find brands that have already made them! Research brands with great aesthetics and check out what they’ve created. You can also search for brands similar to your own. Use their profiles as examples and see if you can create something similar for your own brand. Below are some examples of brands that have been able to create some of the best and most cohesive aesthetics for their Instagram feed.

1. GoPro (18M Followers)

GoPro’s brand is all about action and adventure, which is something they convey perfectly through their Instagram profile. Their feed is full of colorful, dynamic pictures and videos taken using their products. All posts are seen through the lens of a GoPro. They have even found a clever way to use an Instagram icon aesthetic. To make sure that their icons don’t distract from the rest of their posts, GoPro’s icons are in black and white. They also use simple, clean graphics to make their story icons easier to navigate.

2. Megan Hess (398K Followers)

It’s no surprise that designer and illustrator Megan Hess has been able to create a fantastic Instagram profile. Her artwork and fashion illustrations are already aesthetically pleasing and she arranges them in a way that brings them all together perfectly. Since her work is so visual, she uses Instagram as her main way to share her art with her fans. She also makes great use of her own logo, which she posts often. Her Instagram feed is a great example of how to create an aesthetic that helps to build up and show off a brand.

3. Nike (156M Followers)

If there is one brand that knows how to be instantly recognizable, it’s Nike. In fact, the brand’s “Just Do It,” mentality is the main inspiration for their Instagram profile aesthetic. Their page is full of inspiring videos of some of the world’s biggest athletes performing while wearing Nike products. In this case, Nike doesn’t need flashy graphics or bold colors. They have been able to create a cohesive style that fits together perfectly with their brand voice.

Creating Your Brand’s Instagram Aesthetic

Knowing how to make an Instagram icon aesthetic is an important step in creating a cohesive profile. Having a great aesthetic in general will help you to build your brand’s social media presence. Attractive and well-organized posts can also help turn visitors into new followers.

Not sure where to start? SEO Design Chicago’s Social Media Content Creation team can help. They will work with you to plan ahead and create custom content that showcases your brand’s identity. With multiple plans to choose from, they can help build your brand’s perfect Instagram aesthetic!


  • What is an Instagram icon aesthetic?
  • How do you create an Instagram aesthetic?
  • What are some Instagram aesthetic examples?
  • How do you post an Instagram highlight?
  • How can you find your brand identity?

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