Thursday, August 19, 2021

Safe Zone Resource Guide: How to Optimize Creative for Instagram Stories, Reels & TikTok

Written by
Lucy Phipps-Kaye

You’ve been there — meticulously planned out your content strategy, curated a whole creative shoot and generated a slew of compelling multichannel assets only to find that when you’re finally ready to go live, your creative’s copy is awkwardly cut off, or the crop of your video is completely off-center. What a pain!

Not designing according to Instagram or TikTok “safety zones,” aka channel-dependent areas where your creative is guaranteed to be seen across all devices, can cost you time, money and, perhaps most importantly, your patience.

Our Ascenial Safety Zone guide is meant to serve as a quick resource to check formatting or reference for specs...because one can hardly be expected to keep up with the constantly changing channel and post dimensions with each update.

We’ve created three downloadable templates outlining the designated “safety zone” for different ad channel campaign types; TikTok and Instagram Reels & Stories being the most popular. Each asset is available in both .jpg and .svg formats.

To do this yourself (fore free), use our downloadable assets. We recommend decreasing the opacity of the .svg file to 40-50% over the completed creative to identify any design/layout issues before going live. These assets can be imported into most image & video editing software. Using the guide ensures key elements like text and logos are within the safe zone; this way, elements appearing outside the safe zone that are covered or cropped can be easily identified.


If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it — TikTok definitely has their bases covered when it comes to their own safety zone assets so we’d be remiss not to mention you can see the complete list of TikTok safety zone dimensions right on their website. You can also use their preview tool as well.

Here we are focusing on In-Feed Ads (Diversion): A storytelling video ad embedded in the ‘For You’ feed that boast multiple clickable elements to increase traffic and conversions. Users can engage with your ad via like, comment, and share and this format also supports external and internal landing pages, as well as APP downloads and deep-link.

TikTok Safe Zone Template


Instagram dimensions for Reel and Story ad format are the same as Tik Tok’s, but due to the channel’s design, your elements do need to be placed differently so you can’t use the exact same creative in both places. One size doesn’t fit all in this case!

Instagram users can be served your Reels ads in a few different places, including:

  1. In the Reels tab, accessible via the home screen
  2. On the Explore page
  3. In their newsfeed
Instagram Story Safe Zone
Instagram Reel Safe Zone

Ready to get started? Here's a link to the safe zone resources once more ICYMI! Getting creative with your TikTok and Instagram ads should be fun; avoiding common design pitfalls is key to maximizing efficiency and running successful campaigns your whole team can be proud of. Have you had any ad creative or campaign fiascos? Get in touch and we’ll see if we can help sort you out.

If you're trying to advertise on Twitch, they have their own creative team that will edit assets, so only reach out if it's on Instagram or TikTok!

Need more help? 

Here's the Step-By-Step Use Instructions: 

1. Download the Safe Zone Resources Folder.

2. Import your desired tool asset into your creative editing software along with your creative.

3. Overlay the tool on top of your creative.

4. Check that both the creative and tool are scaled to fit accordingly.

5. Change the opacity of the tool to 40-50%

6. Adjust length of the tool to the same as the creative (if video.)

7. Play, adjust elements accordingly, export and upload accordingly!

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