YouTube creators only have a few branding tools to personalize the viewing experience. Your YouTube channel art is one of them. It’s the image visible at the top of your channel page.
As this graphic makes a prominent impression on a first-time viewer, you can use it to convey your channel’s personality.
For example, when I visit AJ Shabbeel’s channel, the red colored background in his channel banner pops up with the message “subscribe for good luck lol.” It suggests that his channel has a fun and entertaining tone.
- What are the ideal YouTube banner dimensions?
- How can you create your channel art?
- What are the best ways to use this YouTube artwork to brand your channel?
You’ll find out the answers to these questions in this article through examples of successful YouTube channels. Let’s begin with the basics.
Recommended reading: YouTube Banner Size And Layout Guide
What Is Channel Art?
It’s the horizontal background that a user can see at the top of a channel from their YouTube page. Generally creators use it to visually establish their channel’s identity. It also contains space at the right bottom corner to share links to your presence on external websites.
Here’s an example of the channel art used by Lofi Girl. The image elicits a soothing feeling and the text on the top “lofi & chill beats to relax/study to” sums up their value proposition aptly.
YouTube Banner: Dimensions And Size Guidelines
While uploading your banner image, the video platform recommends the minimum dimensions for YouTube art to be 2048 x 1152 pixels. In its banner image guidelines, the recommended aspect ratio is 16:9.
The maximum banner size is not limited by dimensions, but by the file size — at 6 MB.
The ideal dimensions for the banner though are 2560 x 1440 pixels. The message below popped up when I tried my luck with a low-resolution image.
Ensure Responsive Banner Image Dimensions
While designing your YouTube artwork, it’s important to upload and check their layout and dimensions — else it could get cropped on different devices. For example: On my mobile, the vidIQ logo and the text in the bottom line got cut from their channel art.
Larger images especially might need adjustments to ensure your message is clearly displayed on mobile, desktop, and TV screens. Viven Reis does a great job of ensuring her channel’s tagline is visible clearly in her banner — even on mobile phones.
So how can you ensure that your banner image looks good across devices?
It might involve trial and error.
It’s not the answer you expected, but the YouTube banner customization feature isn’t intuitive (not for me at least). So you might need to design your banner and upload your image multiple times to make sure your text, logo, and overall image work as expected.
When I uploaded a 3000 x 2000 pixel image from my desktop, for instance, I was presented with the following screen to customize banner art.
As you can see, the viewport area is adjustable for cropping and choosing the viewable space on different devices. But you’ll need to try a few times when you bring text and logo in this mix — so that the final image looks good.
How To Get YouTube Channel Art Right
Now that you know the basics, here are some tips and best practices to use channel art effectively for your channel. I’ll include examples of some of the best YouTube channel arts to illustrate my ideas. Here’s my first tip:
“Show” What’s Unique About Your Channel
Dean Schineder uses a picture of him having a good time with two lions. It accurately represents the subject his channel revolves around: how a human being can integrate into a lion pride and care deeply for wild animals.
While Dean’s channel is unique by a mile, it reflects an important tenet of channel art: show what your channel is about visually — don’t tell it through text alone.
Leave Space For External Links In Your YouTube Channel Header
On desktops, the bottom right corner of your channel art can display social media icons and clickable external links. So it’s important to not add any text or visual elements in this area.
Funny Or Die shares their website as the first link, followed by their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Amazon store’s links.
For adding these links from your desktop, you’ll need to click on the “Customize Channel” button, available below the channel header image. Then under channel customization, use the “Links” section to add up to five external links.
Adding your social media addresses will automatically change them into their social media platform icons. If you add a link to your website, the favicon.ico file from your root directory will get displayed. Not having one could lead to icons like the globe or even the WordPress logo.
Hook’em With Your Tagline
Anne Dube invokes curiosity with the tagline in her banner: “start building the tomorrow you want today.” While you ponder on how to build that tomorrow, her photo holding a laptop with a video editing software open communicates her focus — helping YouTube creators.
Using such attention-grabbing phrases is nice, but your text should be legible on mobile phones. If the font size is small and unreadable in the channel art like BBC Earth, then you’ll end up annoying the viewers.
At the very least, you can brand your channel art with your logo, colors, photos, and other personalizable elements.
Refinery29 does this well with their simple artwork with their name written on a plain color. Oh, and each character in their name has a small photo showing its female-focused lifestyle focus.
Request Them To Subscribe
Noah Kagan even uses a “Subscribe” link in the right corner of his channel art.
This makes it easy for viewers to subscribe to his channel because clicking on “SUBSCRIBE” generates a pop up link like the one below:
Want to create such a subscription link?
Append “” to the end of your channel’s URL.
Share Your Publishing Schedule
If you’re okay with changing the YouTube channel art from time-to-time, it will not turn into a blind spot for your recurring viewers as well. It could be a place where you share your uploading frequency.
Here’s how an Indian storytelling channel, Tape A Tale, share their weekly schedule of live streams and new real life stories:
You can also announce new shows to create anticipation. For instance, HISTORY channel is using their artwork to publicize their new documentary series “History’s Greatest Mysteries.”
Make It Personal
It’s called YouTube artwork for a reason. Consider all of the above tips as guidelines and have fun with your banner. That’s how you’ll stand out from the creators that are hell bent on following “best practices.”
Indian comedian, Abhishek Upmanyu, became a viral sensation through a couple of his YouTube videos. His channel art is the cat’s picture below:
Blends with his brand, huh?
Ultimately your videos are the products that need to engage viewers — the channel art is merely a supporting tool for your video marketing efforts.
How To Make YouTube Channel Art: Five Ways
To create a spanking new artwork, here are four YouTube channel art makers (and another quicker strategy) you can try. They all have a bunch of templates you can get started with:
It has its own library of free images you can begin designing your channel art with and add photo effects, stickers, text, background, and more. It’s a drag and drop tool you can get around quickly.
The graphic design tool has a range of templates for channels in niches such as gaming, crossfit, daily Vlogs, and more. You can tailor them using its drag and drop features, upload your logo, and customize it to your branding requirements.
Yep, the search giant offers channel art templates to get started with designing one. Clicking on the link will automatically start the download of a zip file. It contains both PNG and PSD formats, so you can edit them on Photoshop, Preview, Microsoft Photos, or other desktop photo editing software of your choice.
Here’s a preview of the channel art template file Google shares officially where it displays the text and logo safe area with a dimension of 1546 x 423 pixels:
If you know your way around graphic designing and like Photoshop, then use the templates that come with Spark tool. It has an extensive feature set, so could overwhelm beginners — but advanced customization of banner images is a matter of a few clicks.
You get a 14-day free trial, beyond which you’ll need to pay for the removal of the brand’s watermark though.
5. Freelance Designer
Unless you’re a professional graphic designer, the fastest way to design a channel art is by hiring one. Freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr and Upwork will provide numerous affordable options.
You’ll need to share guidelines about your brand and possibly a few channels whose channel art the designer can refer to for inspiration.
Frequently Asked Questions About Channel Art
Before we conclude the article, let’s recap everything we learned about the channel header image in the article. A few new aspects of this branding tool are also addressed below:
2560 pixels wide by 1440 pixels tall is the ideal YouTube banner image dimension that the video platform recommends you to adhere to. Large images may get cropped on smaller devices, so upload and check how your channel art looks on mobile.
Impact, Bebas, Bangers, Budmo, and Ultra are few great fonts you can consider starting with. Choose fonts that are legible, even on mobile phones. They should also reflect your brand’s style and fit with the subjects you create videos around.
Unfortunately, you can’t. Even if you upload a GIF image file for the banner art, it’s displayed as a static image.
You can put your logo and brand’s tagline on an image that represents the topic of your channel. It can also contain your publishing schedule and sum up the uniqueness of your YouTube videos. Ensure you leave space at the bottom right corner where you can put links to your social media profiles and your website.
There are numerous YouTube channel art makers such as Canva, Placeit, and Fotor. You can also go the old school way by designing images in Photoshop. As a last resort, you can hire professional help from Fiverr or Upwork to save yourself some time.
The external links to your social media profiles and website are overlaid on top of your banner image. They are editable from channel customization under the “Links” section.
Your channel art (also called “YouTube cover photo” or “Channel header image”) should make an impression on your viewers and persuade them to subscribe. It’s also a great branding tool to show off your brand’s personality.
But successful creators know producing engaging videos consistently is more important than having a spunky channel art.
Hope the examples and tips in the article will help you to come up with creative ideas for your YouTube banner. Next, I recommend you to check out my YouTube banner templates, examples, and ideas.