Facebook’s 1.91:1 Aspect Ratio and Grid Tool Simplified

Have you noticed that your Facebook news feed has been looking different recently? In the last few months, Facebook has made some updates to the layout of their platform, as well as their advertising requirements, which impacts the way that Facebook ads can be built.

Desktop and Mobile SizesIt is important to consider the context and placement of your Facebook ads in the design process, which is why I, as a designer (and stat geek), can appreciate Facebook’s new specifications. Page post link and offer ads are now 1200×627 pixels, which allows images to scale appropriately based on the resolution of the device being used. Additionally, Facebook has specified that desktop, mobile and sidebar ad sizes, all are the same aspect ratio of 1.91:1.

Height x 1.91 = Width

So, what can you do if you do not have the resources available to revise your existing Facebook ads? Here is your ‘cheat sheet’ for minimum image sizes that will still work

  • Desktop News Feed: Facebook will resize the image to 154×154 or 90×90
    if it isn’t at least 400×209.
  • Mobile: Facebook will resize the image to 100×100 if it isn’t at least
    560×292 (The mobile image is bigger than the Desktop News Feed
    because of no mobile sidebar).
  • Sidebar: There are no changes here the size of 100×72 is already 1.91:1 aspect ratio

In addition to making ads consistent via aspect ratio, Facebook has also started limiting the amount of text that can be placed in image ads. Many people call this the “20% Rule”—meaning that your ads can contain a maximum of 20% text (approximately 25 title characters and 90 text characters). It seems that it would be easy to remain in compliance, right?


So, why do your ads keep getting rejected?

After much research, I found that Facebook uses a Grid Tool to determine what comprises 20% of ad real estate. Specifically, the tool they use is a 5×5 grid with a total of 25 boxes. So, even if your image only contains 5 words, if those words span through more than 5 of the 25 boxes (20% of 25 is 5), your ad is in violation of the 20% rule.

Below is an example of my initial testing to remain in compliance with the 20% rule.

My first test looked like this:

Visually Enabled

While the text in this ad may appear to comprise less than 20% of the banner ad, it actually spans through 8 boxes in this grid- meaning that the text makes up 32% of this ad. After a few tries, I was able to build an approved image ad, but this method took too much time, trial, and error.

Enter Photoshop.

If I have learned nothing else from Photoshop, it is that there is always an easier way. And that is definitely the case when it comes to creating your own Grid Tool. This requires a one-time setup of a 20% grid in Photoshop with an on/off function. Here is how to do this:

In the file menu at the top, go to:

  • Photoshop > Preferences > Grids, Guides & Slices
  • Set your Grid to show a gridline every 20 percent with 1 subdivision.


To show the grid within Photoshop, go to:

  • View > Show and Select Grid (Or just use Ctrl + to toggle it on and off)


My first Photoshop version looked like this:


Simply moving the text and CTA buttons to fit within the grid, aids in the creation of a good Facebook ad—every time.

Still have questions about how to make a create Facebook ad? Here are a few additional tips:

  • Line it up. Lay out the grid first, then refine your text and design the ad.
  • Be concise. Streamline content and grab attention with action oriented words.
  • Use quality graphics. Be sure to use a hi-res photo that’s not cluttered.
  • Keep it small. Try to keep your file size to less than 100K.
  • Make it intuitive. No QR codes, or nonexistent functionality
    (like play or close buttons)
  • Save it right. Save your Image as a JPG with an sRGB color profile.
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  • tara

    Very Useful to note thanks for posting

    April 30, 2015 at 6:44 am

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