Our top 4 Instagram grid styles

why we love them, and why we… don’t.

If you’re new to the ‘gram, or you’re wanting to revitalise your grid, the chances are you’re feeling pretty overwhelmed, drowning in the words theme, aesthetic and grid-style…


And you’re right to seek some help – your grid is the first thing potential followers see when they click on your profile. In other words, your grid aesthetic is pretty darn important. 


Before you go choosing your grid style you need to know a few things: the first step is to know your brand, what your niche is, who you are and what audience you want to reach. Once you have these elements answered you can go ahead and choose a grid style. Below, we have listed our favourite four and outlined why we love them, what they accomplish and the restrictions they impose. 

1. Image Only

Image Only is the standard grid style and is, perhaps, the easiest to navigate. Essentially, Image Only is exactly as the name suggests: you post pictures, just as you did when you first downloaded the app in 2011 (except your grid has probably had a serious glow up since then). 


With this grid style it’s super important to have great quality images, have chosen an image theme relevant to your niche AND stick to a clear aesthetic. What do we mean by aesthetic? Think light and airy or dark and moody; a clear style. 

Having a few staple colours that are showcased throughout your page does wonders for your overall aesthetic. @JasmineDowling (left) does this perfectly and we urge you to use her as an example if you go with this grid style.

With her aesthetic, ocean photographer @Katnielsencreates (right) has absolutely nailed it.

Benefits: Looks fab if it’s done right and is generally easier to plan out – this is the lowest maintenance style. 


Drawbacks: Requires a lot of imagery (particularly if you are using original content).

Considered attending The Travel Bootcamp – Virtual Edition?

2. Checkerboard

Typically, checkerboard utilises an image/quote tile rotation and looks a little something like an actual checkerboard – it’s a really effective use of visuals and, when done right, looks fantastic. 

It’s pretty easy to implement too – all you have to do is rotate between two post types: image, quote card (or similar), image, quote card. Voila! 

We love this one so much, we used to use it ourselves! 

Take a look at our past grid and at the fab checkerboard display on @GloGraphics profile👇

Benefits: Checkerboard offers a great way of breaking up content and looks really aesthetically pleasing. It also requires less photographic content creation, substituting half of the images with quote cards made on design platforms (like Canva!). 

Drawbacks: The only negative to this grid style is that, typically, quote cards don’t perform as well as photographs. What can we say? People love seeing faces and places on the ‘gram.

3. Diagonal

Diagonal grid-styles are eye-catching, and give you a more versatile (and flexible) grid theme when it comes to planning. In most cases, the Diagonal theme operates in groups of 4 images.


For example, you would order your photos like so:

😀 😎 🥳 🤩 😀 😎 🥳 🤩 😀

and it would look like this in your grid:

An added benefit of this style is that you can do a more relaxed version, where only one of the four tiles is repeated – this creates one diagonal line per 9 posts. This gives you more flexibility with the other three images, whilst still maintaining a theme.

Relaxed diagonal is the design style we have opted for at the moment, as it gives a clear structure and theme, without being too stringent. 


Benefits: Looks GREAT and offers more flexibility for content. 


Drawbacks: If you and your brand, like us here at The Travel Bootcamp, have a very clear design aesthetic (pastels, baby!), this design makes choosing your imagery really important. The only drawback for the diagonal, therefore, is the planning required to keep the theme looking fresh. 

4. Rainbow


We have saved the best for last.


In the rainbow grid style, images are posted in blocks of colour. The colours may change with the seasons, with new places or even just ‘cause. It’s often split up into blocks of nine to twelve images before a colour shift (but really, the numbers don’t matter as long as they are a multiple of three).  

When a user scrolls through a profile that uses this style, they can see a clear transition between focal colours in the images and it looks magic ✨.


We mean, look at @Karl_Shakur‘s rainbow grid 🤩.

Benefits: Hands-down, a brilliant looking grid style. 


Drawbacks: This style requires the most planning, the most content creation and the most attention to detail. If you’re thinking of using this grid-style (Kudos!) you should be looking at the colour wheel to make sure that your blocks of colour blend seamlessly into the next block. 

There you have it …


… our fave grid styles and why we love them. It is SUPER important to remember that there is no right or wrong when it comes to the style you choose (and there are plenty more than these four). Ultimately, it often comes down to trial and error and its completely okay for you to change your grid pattern if you find an option is not working for you or your brand. 


Instagram is a living beast and every-now-and-then we need to do some renovation work on our own profiles to keep them fancy and fresh. 


So, go forth and implement! We are keen to see your updated grids 😍. 

Considered attending The Travel Bootcamp – Virtual Edition?