Thinking of designing your YouTube channel art? Here are the banner dimensions and size guidelines you can use as benchmarks.
Table of Contents
YouTube Banner Size: Quick Summary
YouTube recommends a banner image to have:
Ideal Dimensions: 2560 pixels wide by 1440 pixels tall
Image File Size: 6 MB or less
Recommend Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Minimum Resolution: 2048 x 1152 pixels
Safe Area (so your important text and visuals don’t crop on mobile phones): 1546 x 423 pixels
How To Add Your YouTube Channel Art
You can upload or edit the banner image for your channel from a web browser or the YouTube mobile app. Let me show you both the ways.
Uploading Your Banner Image From A Browser
To add a new banner image from a desktop, you’ll need to click on the “Customize Channel” button from your channel page.
If you don’t have any existing artwork on your channel, then you’ll get an option to “Upload”:
You can then upload the banner image from your computer to get the screen below for customizing your banner art.
Here, you can view the portions of your image viewable on all devices, on desktop, and on TV. You can crop the banner image by clicking and dragging. And resize it by using the square handles at the corners. Once the image appears as you intend to across devices, click on “Done.”
Next, “Publish” the changes on your channel from the top right corner:
You banner image will now be live on your YouTube channel page:
Once you’ve a banner image, you can always modify it by hovering on it and clicking on the Camera icon that appears appears in the top right corner:
Note: If you remove your banner image, it might take some time for it to clear from your channel.
Adding Banner Image From The YouTube Studio App
Note that the YouTube mobile app only allows you to edit your channel profile picture now. I couldn’t find the option to edit the channel art after downloading the YouTube Studio app (which is available on both App Store and Play Store).
I’ll update the article once YouTube puts back the option to upload your banner image from mobile phones.
“Adjust The Crop” Is No More
The option of adjusting the crop was available in classic creator studio which has now been retired by YouTube. Now you get the option to customize your banner art and glance at the viewable area of its banner image across devices. I’ve already shown you a screenshot of how it appears in the last section, but here’s another example:
Designing Your Channel Art
Your channel art is like the cover photo or header image on YouTube — similar to what you see on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Here are some tips to design a compelling one:
Make It Work With Your Channel Icon And Your Brand
Your channel art works in tandem with your channel’s profile picture (or channel icon) to communicate your brand’s identity. So don’t design an artwork in isolation — it needs to complement your icon.
Gary Vaynerchuk uses his photo with some social media icons as his YouTube profile picture:
The central aspect of his channel artwork is also the same photo from above:
If there are multiple characters that run your channel, then including them in your channel art could also work. As for your channel icon, it could simply be your logo. Dude Perfect is a great example of this. Here’s their profile picture:
And here’s their channel artwork with the five people that run their channel:
Leave Alone The Bottom Right Corner
While designing your channel art, ensure you don’t include any important branding elements in the bottom right corner. It’s where the external links (such as social media profiles and your website) you add to your channel appear.
Cathrin Manning runs a YouTube channel around her personal brand. So she uses a collage of her photos and her signature in the center of her channel art.
But the contents of the image at the bottom right corner are some red colored shapes which don’t convey any message. It ensures her website favicon and social media icons can reside in the corner comfortably.
Add Your Social Media And Website Links To Your Channel Art
When a viewer visits your channel page, they are generally curious about you. So sharing links to external sites here gives them additional context about you. It’s nice to cross-promote your other social media profiles and your website here. For instance, Veritasium shares links to their Patreon page, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook profiles.
You could even add one subscription link among these and get more subscribers. Ahrefs do this on their channel:
You can add links by clicking on the “Customize Channel” button from the channel page.
For some media links, YouTube automatically caches their icons. For example, adding the below Instagram link will automatically retrieve the app icon for showing in the channel art.
The icons that come with external links to your website or even other platforms could look unprofessional. Better Than Yesterday used a link to their Buy Me A Coffee profile for raising funds, but the icon for it is a “globe”:
This can confuse your channel page viewers as it doesn’t give any context to what they will see on clicking the link. While you can use descriptive anchor text for the links such as “Support My Work”, you can also change this icon — for your own site at least.
You just need to upload a favicon.ico file in the root of your web site directory. If you don’t have one, then generate one from here by uploading an image matching your brand. For example: Marley uses an “M” (recognizable for their viewers) as the favicon of their clothing website, so it appears on their channel art link as well.
Note: These external links don’t appear on mobile phones.
Add Logos, Text, And Important Elements In The “Safe Area”
Google in the channel art template it shares defines a safe area for your channel art where you should place your important branding elements.
This is an important zone because none of the information you put here will get cut across devices — even on mobile phones, YouTube will scale it down to the width of the screens.
So keep the essential dimensions of your channel art inside 1546 x 423 pixels.
At the minimum dimension, the safe area for your text and logos is 1235 x 338 pixels.
Dad V Girls uses a collage of the photos of their family members, which looks dapper on desktop:
But a couple of characters are cut from the corner on mobile phones:
Use A Channel Art Maker
Fotor, Adobe Spark, Placeit are great online graphic design tools that will only require you to use drag and drop features for crafting your YouTube banner image. You can also hire a freelance designer from Fiverr. Here are some more free YouTube channel art makers you can explore.
If you’re still looking for inspiration for designing your banner, the next section should get your creative juices flowing.
Responsive YouTube Banner Examples: Bad, Decent, And Good
If you only consider how your YouTube banner looks on desktops, then you’ll end up providing a bad experience to most of your audience. The two YouTube statistics below spell out why:
- More than 70% of watch time on YouTube comes from mobile devices.
- Television screens are the fastest growing market for the video platform.
For educational and business niches, viewers might prefer watching your videos and visiting your channel on a desktop screen. But your YouTube channel art needs to appeal to visitors across devices.
Let me show you a few examples of well-designed and not-so-great YouTube banner images. Our focus is on checking if these background images are responsive — thereby communicating a brand’s value proposition across screen sizes.
You can see the banner image of Daily Stoic below. Their brand’s name, “Daily Stoic”, and the name of the channel’s main personality, “Ryan Holiday” — are half cut.
The only branding element which looks fine is the small photo in the center of the screen representing a Stoic. Ultimately their uploading schedule “New Videos Every Sunday” is the only prominent message from the picture that’s likely to remain with a visitor.
The School of Life tagline “how to live” is clearly visible in their channel art which has a background picture of the mountains. Their uploading schedule “new films every week” is also great to know for a viewer.
But the part of the image mentioning “branches worldwide” got cut on my mobile screen. There are no other branding elements visible in the channel art either:
To not run into any kind of issues across screens, a simple design might work best.
HubSpot, a growth marketing platform, does this well. They use a background shade matching their brand and a two-word tagline “Grow Better” within the safe space of their channel to summarize the value proposition of their channel.
It looks professional on desktop:
And prominent on mobile screens:
Even MovieClips have done a decent job to ensure their logo, brand name, and tagline appear in front-and-center of their channel artwork.
And on mobile phones as well:
Simple branded backgrounds will work the best for you if you’re a recognized brand. Here’s the TED channel art using a red background and their tagline “Ideas worth spreading” to summarize what their channel’s all about:
CGP Grey keeps it even more simple. They splash their brand colors and replicate their channel’s icon in their channel art.
One of my favorite bands, Slipknot, does a great job with promoting their festival’s website in their channel art. Their site’s address is clearly visible with four words that describe what it’s about: “music, art, culture, media.”
Video Influencers teach creators how to grow their YouTube channels — so they seem to know the importance of channel art. Even on mobile phones, it stands out clearly communicating that two guys, Sean & Benji, are going to share “YouTube Secrets.”
Frequently Asked Questions About YouTube Banner Size
Let’s sum up what we’ve learned about YouTube banner size so far.
Since it’s the space directly visible to a viewer when they visit your channel page, it forms an impression about your brand. You can visually communicate what your channel’s about, share your uploading schedule, and persuade visitors to subscribe here. In its bottom right corner, you can share external links to your social media profiles and your website.
As per YouTube, the ideal banner dimensions are 2560 x 1440 pixels with a file size under 6 MB. The recommended aspect ratio for the image is 16:9.
People watch YouTube videos across devices: mobile, desktop, and televisions. So larger images can get cut on on mobile phones and even TV screens. If your text, logo, and key elements are optimized within the safe area, the channel art will be displayed appropriately. You’ll be able to convey the brand personality you want to.
Size your YouTube banner such that its main branding elements appear elegantly and convey your brand’s personality across devices. Successful channels tend to use the “safe space” well for representing their channel’s videos visually — sometimes even without using text.
Ultimately your channel’s banner image is just a branding tool. Coupling it with engaging videos and a cohesive video marketing strategy can only persuade your channel page visitors to subscribe.
I recommend you to check out my article with YouTube banner templates and ideas next.