Review the handy tips on designing attractive and effective YouTube thumbnails.

The first disclosed picture while browsing youtube videos is a film thumbnail and probably your best bet after you attract or buy YouTube subscribers. Although a dull picture takes us backward, an eye-catching picture pulls us in. YouTube will send you some kind of choices when uploading a video to set a frame from your submitted video, but wait a moment and rewind your thinking; is it tempting enough to freeze your audience?

It’s important to have great content of course (read more about the current visual trends here), and solid video intros and end screens but none of that will matter if you’re thumbnail can’t attract clicks – this is the key objective of a video thumbnail. Get the crowd, more traffic, view our content and go on to view our other material. There are certain guidelines that make it happen. To accomplish the purpose of your YouTube thumbnail template, here are five laws that you would better remember.

  1. Content should be represented accurately
  2. Make the crowd excited about a video
  3. Draw interest from the audience
  4. Take advantage of the room in white
  5. Get templates with thumbnails

Here are some ways you can create the perfect thumbnail for your channel.

youtube photo

Get The Right Size

If you’re going to spend time designing a thumbnail that looks professional, start with the correct size and proportions.

Your thumbnail image should be 1280 x 720 pixels, with a minimum width of 640 pixels, per YouTube guidelines. As it’s most commonly seen in YouTube players and previews, an aspect ratio of 16:9 is optimal.

It is a huge mistake to make a thumbnail picture that’s too little. However, the YouTube search results display thumbnail images that are relatively thin, while you can also embed youtube videos if you like.

For this reason, instead of a small size that will be scaled up, you want a greater image size that can be scaled down. This will guarantee top quality. In addition, you need to save the image format as JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG, and keep the file size below the 2 MB limit.

It’s not to say that the panel is going to be 1280 x 720 pixels. Most of the time, in reality, it won’t. In many of the displays and lists on the YouTube platform, it is far larger than is specifically needed; the larger size retains versatility when the video is embedded on external websites as well as raising the probability that it can remain bright and crisp on high-density displays such as Retina screens.

If you were to get a lower resolution image, certain displays might end up being pixelated and blurred.

The option of 1280 by 720 pixels is not just any arbitrary scale that they have chosen. It is the 720p video size, which is known as HD video (although the lowest threshold of what is known as HD video) and is often the default playback resolution.

Pick the Right Picture

To capture the attention of your viewers, strong visuals are essential. Not only can a high-quality illustration that serves as a preview for the video provide meaning, but it is also a chance for the viewers to get acquainted with the look.

For example, Matt Komo is a videographer, and he is doing very well with his content on YouTube. He uses pictures of high quality to give consumers a taste of what the next 10 minutes could be like. Adventurous pictures are all that Matt needs to reveal to draw clicks to his video as a traveling cinematographer.

matt como youtube channel

Need some lovely free stock pictures to use for the thumbnails? Numerous technical solutions offer variety right within the app.

Be aware that for each use, many of the images in Canva will cost you a buck. Snappa, on the other hand, includes over 60,000 royalty-free images that you can use at no additional cost, as many times as you would like. You may also like the free Lunacy editor that offers a variety of photos and illustrations built-in into the software.

Are you aware of how they say first impressions matter? Ok, your thumbnail is your first experience of YouTube. While also using your thumbnail to tell a potential viewer what the video will be about, it is important to make your thumbnails as engaging as possible.

Find a Consistent Thumbnail Template

To create a creative thumbnail, you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer. You will simply use Canva or other graphic software to choose and use a pre-made design. So, the artistic part of making a thumbnail doesn’t have to be rough. What can be challenging is to make sure that the pictures you pick are all lit in the same way. To make all of your thumbnail images look the same, you may need some image editing tools.

You can edit your thumbnail images by using PicMonkey or Lunacy to make them all look alike, or you can use Photoshop or even VSCO on your mobile device.

Another technique is really shooting a photograph versus using a screenshot from your film to ensure that your thumbnail pictures all look the same. Overall, a picture would be crisper and also higher res so that you can properly edit the file.

Second, if you use text (and you can, but we’ll talk about it later) on your graphic, make sure you use the same color scheme and clear fonts.

Get Inspiration from Experienced YouTubers

All successful thumbnails have certain things: crisp, high-res pictures, and descriptive fonts, for example. However, to your thumbnails, you can apply your own special spin, so they are familiar to your subscribers. A positive improvement may be the use of additional images, such as emojis or product images.

Go to YouTube and check out some thumbnails from some of the best YouTubers you love, try to find a similar thread. For instance, are their photos all bright with white undertones and high contrast? What kind of text does your thumbnail contain? Do some analysis to see what you want and what seems to fit for those YouTubers, and add your own spin based on the most inspirational kinds of thumbnails you found.

Here are a few trends that are currently dominating thumbnails:

  • Using a very expressive picture of yourself (i.e., a surprised, depressed, or elated face) that will pique the attention of a prospective audience. They’re going to want to know why the smile is made by you.
  • Using a photo on the thumbnail of the object (or products) you are using in your video to give audiences an indication of what to expect from your video.
  • In the text you use on your thumbnail, ask a quick question or teaser. Again, these are all strategies that would pique a future viewer’s curiosity. With just a single pic, you want to make your thumbnail as exciting as possible.
youtube videos photo

Make Use of a Good Thumbnail Maker

For hassle-free thumbnail construction, you can try online thumbnail creators. Tools like Canva, Adobe Spark, Lunacy, and Snappa have great preset collections and editors that are user-friendly. Most of these instruments have royalty-free stock picture libraries. Some apps, such as Snappa, provide add-on functionality to create cover images for Facebook and covers for Instagram Highlights. You won’t have to think about your thumbnails by choosing the best colors, fonts, or proportions.

Using deceptive titles and pictures in thumbnails will do you more harm than good by baiting viewers. Not only can audiences leave the video in a huff, but YouTube also will not favorably view elevated bounce rates. Your platform search rankings may suffer. For a long time, a strong first impression remains. The first impression of your videos is given to viewers by your YouTube thumbnails. They may either pressure audiences to press or just overlook a video. There are some other explanations why thumbnails from YouTube are important.

Create Emotion

The best way to do this is often by displaying faces. We’ve learned as humans to search for eye contact. A saddened, elated, angry, or irritated face will lead us to that emotion and stimulate interest.

If the text in your thumbnail includes the word “you,” it’s much more powerful. It’s someone looking at you, talking to you, talking about the effect that viewing their video could have on you.

Emotion formation can also be achieved with paint. To make your images pop and easy to read, you’ll want to use contrasting colors. Some points to keep in mind are:

  • Red also means love, rage, or ambition.
  • Orange often expresses hope and inspiration.
  • Yellow conveys vitality and youth.
  • Blue is synonymous with harmony and relaxing.
  • Green is synonymous with the creation and with design.
  • With comfort and creativity, Purple is linked.

When you make your thumbnails, keep this color psychology in mind.


Thumbnails will improve your branding in a major way, albeit a minor portion of your overall video marketing campaign. If your thumbnails include a signature theme, viewers will start associating your brand with it. You can enhance the recall value of your brand by creating stunning thumbnails using appropriate YouTube thumbnail maker. We can’t overestimate the significance of YouTube thumbnails. Literally, they can make or break your videos. They will improve the rating of your platform and compliment your branding efforts in a great way. To remove the guesswork from thumbnail development and produce super-successful thumbnails, use the tips, examples, and tools listed in this article.

About the author: Jeremy Collins is a Chicago University graduate who has been working in advertising for the last ten years. He is an expert designing and marketing specialist in most social media platforms.

Title image from Pablo pack on Ouch illustration library

Learn how to refresh older content on your website and how to use photos for marketing, review how to build a social media conversion funnel, and read about the CRO tactics for SaaS company website.

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