Geofilters are ace.

Everyone loves ’em.

Especially the community ones – you know, the ones that aren’t promoting a business, but instead say something about where you are.

But did you ever wonder where they come from?

(And we’re not talking about the ones that are *obviously* from a business.)

Well, it just so happens that *anyone* can design and submit a design for Snapchat to use.

And – even better – it’s a free way to get some practise in creating Geofilters before you shell out some hard cash on promoting your business.

Here’s a worked example using one of our favourite towns, Knutsford.

(Honestly, it’s awesome. You should visit. And go to The White Bear while you’re there. Tell ’em I sent you.)

OK. Here’s what to do:

1. Create a Custom Size image in Canva

Open up Canva (the free version will do), and create a new image using the dimensions 1080 x 1920px.

How to create a Snapchat Community Geofilter - Dimensions

This is your canvas for the overlay.

2. Get designing

So, here are some rules you need to stick to (when creating a Community Geofilter, that is – if you’re going straight for the paid stuff, you’re allowed to use your logo.)

  • All graphics used must be 100% original.
  • No logos or trademarks. The only exception is that we will accept college and university logos submitted by authorized officials from those schools.
  • No photographs.
  • No hashtags.
  • Be creative and make it visually compelling.
  • Don’t cover up too much of the screen.
  • Make sure it’s relevant to the location and something that people will want to use.

We’ve gone for a simple leaf design for good old Knutsford.

How to Create Snapchat Geofilters - Knutsford Example

That’s because it’s all leafy and awesome at the moment.

We’ve also done one for another of our favourite towns, Altrincham.

Because we’re hilarious, we’ve included everyone’s favourite new landmark, the “Altrincham Totem“.

How to Create Snapchat Geofilters - Altrincham Example

Amazing.

3. Check the template with images

OK, so it’s probably a good idea to check the design looks ok over the top of an actual image, so experiment by adding some images in the background.

How to Create Snapchat Geofilters - Knutsford Test

That. Looks. Awesome.

AND SO DOES THE DESIGN.

4. Download the image as a transparent PNG

Make sure you select “Download with a transparent background”, and select “Image: High Quality (PNG)”.

How to Create Snapchat Geofilters - Download Settings for Canva

5. Check the filesize

Chances are, Canva has thrown a MASSIVE file at you.

THANKS CANVA.

To meet the Snapchat submission guidelines, it needs to be under 300KB.

If it’s smaller than this, great – go to step 7.

If not…

6. Use Photoshop or TinyPNG to shrink the file

In Photoshop, use the Save For Web option to play about with the settings to get the filesize down (here, we’ve gone for a PNG-8 file, with 128 colours, dithering, and transparency – resulting in a filesize of just 79KB. Lovely.)

How to Create Snapchat Geofilters - Reduce Filesize

Or, if you don’t have Photoshop, use the web service TinyPNG.

7. Create the Geofence

Now, go here on a desktop browser, and draw a fence around the area you want your filter to cover.

How to Create Snapchat Geofilters - Create a Geofence
I like to call this the “Shit PacMan”.

Don’t get too greedy and cover an entire country, they’ll just reject your submission.

8. Upload your artwork

Add your template, as well as your details, to the form on the right-hand side of the page.

9. Submit and wait for confirmation

Now we wait.

How to Create Snapchat Geofilters - Submit Geofilter

If it’s approved, you’ll get an email notification telling you it’s gone live.

So head out to your Geofence area, and check it out.

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Also published on Medium.

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David has worked with countless UK charities, businesses, and schools - with a brilliant track record of helping them with their biggest challenges. David is the founder of the Impact group - including Impact Charity Advisors, Impact Business Advisors, and Impact Education Support.