Instagram Stories have become a popular way for users to share quick updates and moments throughout their day. One fun feature of Stories is the ability to use color gradients as backgrounds. Color gradients can add visual interest to your Stories and help them stand out in your followers’ feeds.
What is a color gradient?
A color gradient simply refers to a smooth transition between two or more colors. The colors blend seamlessly into each other. On Instagram Stories, gradients appear as colored backgrounds that you can add to your photos or videos.
Gradients create an ombre effect, where the color shifts from light to dark or one color to another. This technique can help add dimension and depth to your Stories. The blending of hues also creates a soothing, mesmerizing aesthetic.
Why use color gradients?
Here are some of the reasons you may want to use color gradients in your Instagram Stories:
- Visually appealing – Gradients look attractive and can catch your audience’s attention on Instagram.
- On-theme – You can pick gradient colors that match your brand or content theme. This helps create cohesive, consistent Stories.
- Direct focus – Gradient backgrounds put the focus on you or your products, since they don’t distract from the main visuals.
- Versatile – Gradients work for all types of content, from food photos to selfies and product shots.
- Mood setting – Depending on the colors, gradients can convey different moods and emotions.
How to add a gradient to Instagram Stories
Adding a gradient background to your Instagram Stories is easy and only takes a couple of taps. Here are the steps:
- Open the Instagram app and swipe to access the Stories camera.
- Take or select a photo/video for your Story.
- Tap the square smiley face icon at the top of the screen to access creative tools.
- Select the gradient icon (3 colored bars).
- Pick your first gradient color by tapping anywhere on the gradient spectrum bar.
- Choose your second gradient color by tapping again on the spectrum bar.
- Drag the center circle left or right to adjust the gradient placement and angle.
- Pinch to zoom in or out on the gradient to adjust the intensity.
- Tap “Done” to apply the gradient background.
Once applied, you can still edit your photo/video as needed by adding text, stickers, tagging people, etc. The colorful gradient will appear behind your content to add visual pop.
Choosing gradient colors
With endless color combinations possible, how do you choose gradient hues that look good together? Here are some tips:
- Match colors to your content – Pick gradient colors that complement what you’re featuring in the Story. For example, oranges and reds for food, cool tones for travel landmarks, etc.
- Consider color theory – Using complementary, triadic, or analogous colors together usually works well. This creates color harmony.
- Use brand colors – Gradient shades that incorporate your brand colors will maintain visual consistency.
- Vary lightness – Blending light and dark shades of one hue creates depth. Or go dark to light for ombre gradients.
- Try split complementary – A color and the two hues adjacent to its complement is a sophisticated combo.
- Go monochromatic – Different tones, tints, and shades of one color also make striking gradients.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the Instagram gradient tool and see which color combinations you like best!
Creative ways to use gradients
Beyond just colorful backgrounds, here are some creative ways to use gradients to enhance your Instagram Stories:
- Gradient text – Use the text tool to write words that blend colors for a cool effect.
- Gradient masks – Blend transparency gradients over part of a photo for artistic flair.
- Duotone – Use gradients with black and white or black and one color for a stylish duotone vibe.
- Layer gradients – Stack a couple translucent gradients for multidimensional backgrounds.
- Gradient borders – Outline images or video with a thin gradient edge.
- Color transitions – Switch between gradient hues quickly to pulse color.
Blending gradients with other elements like stickers, illustrations, and text provides endless opportunities for one-of-a-kind Stories.
Other Instagram Stories tips
In addition to using color gradients, keep these other tips in mind to create compelling Instagram Stories:
- Tell a story – Use multiple Stories over time to share an experience or event, not just isolated moments.
- Go behind-the-scenes – Give viewers insider access to your process, workplace, or everyday moments.
- Do collaborations – Partner with others to take over each other’s accounts or do a split-screen Story.
- Engage followers – Ask questions, run polls, or prompt viewers to respond in comments or DMs.
- Use fun effects – Stickers, gifs, drawings, and interactive filters can make Stories more lively.
- Check analytics – View Story insights to see what types of content resonate most with your audience.
Adding color gradients is an impactful way to quickly make your Instagram Stories stand out. With Instagram’s easy gradient tool, you can swiftly test different color combos and placements to find what works best.
Gradients look especially eye-catching behind text and when blended with other graphic elements. Take your Stories to the next level by getting creative with duotones, color transitions, gradient text, and more.
Along with utilizing gradients, focus on telling compelling stories, engaging your followers, and using interactive elements. With these tips in mind, you can take your Instagram presence to new visual heights.
|Example Color Combos
|Different tones, tints, and shades of one color
|Light pink to dark pink
|Opposite colors on the color wheel
|Orange and blue
|A color and the two hues adjacent to its complement
|Red, yellow-green, blue-green
|Colors evenly spaced around the color wheel
|Purple, orange, green
|Colors next to each other on the color wheel
|Blue, blue-violet, violet
This table provides an overview of some common types of color gradients and example combinations for each. Using harmonious gradients based on color theory principles can ensure visually pleasing results.
Try out complementary tones for bold, contrasting gradients. Or go for triadic combinations for a dynamic, vibrant look. Monochromatic and analogous options blend seamlessly for peaceful pastel gradients. The possibilities are endless!
Use this summary as a guide when exploring which gradient types suit your brand and content best. Whether you want a soothing ombre effect or eye-catching color pop, gradients are a fun way to make your Instagram Stories stand out.