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9 Instagram Stories Design Hacks to Make Your Stories Stand Out

9 IG Stories Design Hacks.jpg

I must admit, it took me quite a while to become an advocate of Instagram stories. As a lover of all things visually pleasing, I admired the beautiful image feeds of Instagram so much that I wondered why people would choose to embrace the raw, uncut snippets of videos and images that were once hardly ever found in the popular Instagram accounts. I was never a Snapchat user you see. (Oops… I may just have revealed my age here.)

Now that Instagram stories have evolved, people started creating more visually appealing stories in various content forms while being raw and authentic to stand out in the crowded stories feed. 

If you’re overwhelmed by all the features that Instagram stories has to offer, or don't have the time to create stories with elaborate visuals, here are a few tricks you can use to whip up a story in no time.

1. Use Your Brand Colours

Frustrated that you can’t find your brand colours for texts and drawings? I thought so too, till I found out that you can actually achieve it (well, close).

  1. Hold down any of the colours from the default colours.
  2. A colour slider will pop up.
  3. Choose the colour closest to your brand colours. Ta-da!
How to choose your brand color in Instagram stories


2. Use Solid Backgrounds 

Sometimes we just want to draw or write on a plain canvas without the distraction of a background image.

  1. Select the pen icon in the top right corner of the screen and select the colour you want.
  2. Tap and hold on the screen for about 3 seconds, and the screen will be transformed to a solid background colour.

Bonus tip: Select the chisel-tip pen icon for a translucent background.

How to create a solid background in Instagram story. How to create a transparent background in Instagram story.

3. Add Shadows to your texts

With the simple little trick, you can make your texts pop with a drop shadow. 

  1. Create a text in the colour of your choice.
  2. Duplicate it, and change the text colour. 
  3. Overlap the two texts to create a shadow.
How to create a text with shadow in Instagram stories

4. Use the Hidden Version of Stickers

Even if you’ve been consistently using the text stickers in Instagram stories, you may have overlooked that some stickers have the option for different colours and shapes. Here's how:

  1. Add a text-based sticker like "location" or "day of the week" sticker. 
  2. See the little ‘tap for more’ note above the sticker? Tap on the sticker and it will change to a different colour or shape.
How to change color of Instagram story stickers

5. Tell a Story with GIFs

Get creative with GIFs. It’s entertaining, quick, visual, and it helps people know about you and your brand in a fun way.

  1. Go to Stickers in your story screen.
  2. Select the "GIF" option and type in a keyword to search an GIF. I searched for "party" to get the GIF below.
Instagram story GIFs

8. Use Canva Templates

If you’re not a Photoshop user, Canva is a great alternative option to create instagram stories templates that match your brand which you can reuse over and over again. There are various templates within the Canva app that you can use by replacing with your brand colours and images.

Create Instagram stories with Canva

7. Create your Own Templates

Canva's ready-made templates are great if you're not design savvy. But the options are limited and overused. If you don't want to virtually bump into someone else using the exact same templates, I recommend creating a few templates that suit your brand and the type of business you're in. The great thing about templates is that it's a one-time effort you need to invest in, and they can be used over and over again.

I have created 4 Canva Instagram story templates for you. These templates are ideal for blog post announcements, quotes, and promotions. Feel free to download and use them by replacing with your brand colors and images.

8. Record in Rewind, Boomerang and Stop Motion mode

Have you explored all the recording options within the Instagram stories? Add some fun to your videos by recording in rewind, Boomerang and stop motion mode. These options are available when you’re recording in Instagram story camera mode.

  1. When you first open the Instagram story recording screen, you’ll see the normal video recorder mode.
  2. Select your recording option by swiping to the left. 
Rewind, boomerang and stop-motion options in Instagram stories

9. Pin a Sticker in a Video

Add some sticker fun to your videos. You can attach a sticker to a certain point of the video by using the pin feature.
Add a video in the Stories screen.

  1. Go to the sticker icon on top of the screen and add your sticker.
  2. Press and hold the sticker that you’ve selected. The video will stop and will prompt you to locate the point of the video where you want the sticker to appear.
  3. Once you’ve located the sticker, tap ‘Done’.

The sticker will start appearing at your preferred location/ timing of the video.


Pin a sticker in your Instagram story video

Do you use use any of these elements in your Instagram stories? I'd love to know!