How to create a great iPhone contact poster

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Text: “Make a killer contact card” next to a screenshot of an iOS 17 Contact Poster
When I say “killer,” I mean in the awesome way. I do not endorse committing murder with your contact card. But if you can figure out how that works, I’d be curious.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Contact posters let you customize how your Apple contact card looks to other people. If you call someone — and they have your contact info in their address book — your customized contact poster will appear on their screen. If you’re running iOS 17 and don’t know how to create a Contact Poster, let us show you how. (The process might look familiar if you’ve set up a custom Lock Screen.)

Done right, contact posters look great — way better than the old thumbnail images that preceded them. Plus, it’s really easy to turn an ordinary picture into a gorgeous-looking contact poster. And once you set it up, everyone with your matching phone number and/or Apple ID will see your chosen contact picture and personalized contact poster.

How to create a contact poster in iOS 17

As mentioned, Apple added contact posters to the Contacts app in iOS 17. (If you haven’t already updated your iPhone, head to Settings > General > Software Update to get the latest iOS version.) Also, contact posters work hand-in-hand with another new iOS 17 feature: NameDrop, a faster way to swap contact info with other iPhone owners. NameDrop lets you hold two iPhones together to quickly exchange the name, number and email address of your choosing. (Read more on NameDrop here.)

Set up your contact poster

Create a contact poster from Contacts or Phone app
Find your contact in the Contacts app or the Contacts tab of the Phone app. Your contact card will be at the very top.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

To make a contact poster, open the Contacts app (or go to the Contacts tab of the Phone app, where you’ll find your contact card at the very top). Tap My Card and tap on Contact Photo & Poster. Tap Edit to create or change your contact poster.

Create a Contact Poster
Create a contact poster with one of three styles.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You will see three slots for creating a contact poster. Tap the + to create a new one. You can create three kinds of contact posters in iOS 17: Photo, Memoji or Monogram. (Tapping Camera on this screen will create a photo poster with a picture you take on the spot.)

How to make a photo contact poster

Creating a Photo Contact Poster
I like the photo-style contact poster with an iOS 7-thin font for the name.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

This interface looks very similar to creating a custom iPhone Lock Screen. You pick a photo — preferably a vertical one — from your library. Photos taken with Portrait mode work great because your phone can easily separate you from the background to apply color effects. Just don’t crop yourself out of a group photo — everyone can tell when you do that.

Next, it’s time to edit your photo so it looks great in the new contact poster you’re creating. Swipe left and right between various filters on the image to help separate your face from the background. You can tap on the color circle in the bottom right to pick an accent color.

Then, tap on your name at the top of the screen to customize the font, color and weight. With two fingers, you can zoom and drag the picture around on the screen to achieve the perfect position that works with the other elements of your custom contact poster.

Bonus tip: Update your contact photo while you’re at it

Update your contact photo.
You might as well update your contact photo while you’re at it.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Tap Done and you’ll see a preview of your contact picture. Tap Crop to reposition the image. Or tap Customize Photo to pick a different one. When you’re done, tap Update — or tap Skip to leave it as the default. When you’re done, you’ll get a pop-up asking if you want this new contact poster and image to sync across all your devices. If you’re happy with it, I recommend that.

How to make a Memoji contact poster

Create a Memoji contact poster.
I don’t like it.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

If you don’t want to present an actual picture of yourself, you can use the Memoji contact poster. Pick a Memoji from the list — one of the animals or one you created of yourself. (We have some tips on creating a great Memoji for you, too.)

If your Memoji has fallen out of date, you can update it with these instructions. You can pick a preset face — winking, tongue out, thumbs up, etc. — or capture an expression from your own face. A few of the Memoji have torsos and arms, and while these are marginally less weird than the floating heads, I find the poses to be a bit awkward.

As before, you can customize the background color and your name. I picked the best color approximation of my office wall color, Milk Toast 2000.

How to make a Monogram contact poster

Editing a Monogram contact poster
I don’t like this one even more, somehow.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Want something that’s more typeface and less of your face? With the Monogram contact poster, you enter simply your initials — only two, not three — and pick a color. The font of your initials that appears front and center on the Monogram contact poster matches whatever you set for your full name up top.

When creating a Monogram contact poster, you have a limited font selection — even more than with the custom Lock Screen feature. You can choose from the system font, a rounded version, a condensed version and a nice serif font. If you’re pretentious enough to make a monogram of your name, just go ahead and use the fancy serif font.

The two-character limit seems weird. I’d like to write my monogram as “DGJ,” or perhaps even “D.G J” or some variation on that. (Monogrammed Apple Watch faces allow three characters, so who knows why the iPhone contact poster doesn’t.) Still, no matter how you tweak it, this variety of contact poster looks pretty ugly.

Use the iOS 17 contact poster you just made to share your contact info

The new iOS 17 AirPlay feature called NameDrop will help you easily share your contact info and more.
The new iOS 17 AirDrop feature called NameDrop will help you easily share your contact info and more.
Photo: Apple

You’ll see your freshly created contact poster in a few different places. If you meet someone else who’s on iOS 17, you can bring your phones together to quickly exchange contact info — and you’ll see each other’s contact posters. (You can also start SharePlay using the same feature.) When you get a phone call from someone you know, and they set up a contact poster, you’ll see it on a beautiful new incoming call screen.

Over time, this will contact posters will become a killer iOS feature.

See our master list of other great iOS 17 features here.

How to create a contact poster in iOS 17

Here’s a recap of the steps required to make your custom iPhone contact poster in iOS 17.

  1. Open Contacts or Phone and tap My Card > Contact Photo & Poster > Edit.
  2. Tap + to create one and pick between Photo, Memoji or Monogram.
  3. Pick a great portrait photo or Memoji pose.
  4. Swipe between color filters, tap the color button at the bottom to pick a background.
  5. Tap your name on the top to customize the font, color and weight.
  6. Adjust the crop on your contact photo or pick a different one.
  7. You’ll be asked if you want to use this photo everywhere for your Apple ID.
  8. Your contact poster will show up when you share contacts or call someone — if they’re also running iOS 17!

We originally published this how-to on creating iPhone contact posters in iOS 17 on June 14, 2023. We updated the info.

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