Plan Your YouTube Channel Art and Grow Your Brand
You have put time and effort into creating a YouTube channel that features catchy and professional-looking videos of your products and services as a way to attract customers and grow your brand. But did you take the time to create an effective, eye-catching YouTube banner design? When users seek out your YouTube channel page, you want your image to quickly convey your brand and make a great first impression. A well-designed YouTube banner will make sure users know who you are, and it will also aid in their wanting to come back your way for more YouTube videos.
What Makes a Great YouTube Banner?
A great banner needs great graphic design. (Here are some hints on graphic design mistakes to avoid and types of graphic designs.) But when it comes to a YouTube banner, what does great graphic design mean?
Online content is all about holding the user’s attention. YouTube competes with other social media sites, and, in a way, everyone uploading content to YouTube is also competing with one another for users’ attention. When someone lands on your YouTube channel, then, you want to make sure you’ve done everything you can to keep them there.
YouTube can be accessed from desktop computers, iPads, smartphones, televisions, and more. If you’re not careful in how you create it and format it, your banner may appear different on different types and sizes of screens. With the right design, however, your banner will still look good on any screen.
Include these key characteristics in your YouTube banner design for screen compatibility across sizes and brands.
Clean and Clear
Too many images or text will clutter your banner. Give users a clear focus with a minimalist design. Use large, legible fonts and a maximum of four colors. In other words, keep it simple.
Use High-Quality Profile Pictures
Your YouTube banner will show up as the background image at the top of your YouTube homepage, so you need to make sure any cover photo you use really pops. Although Google gives minimum image requirements (see below), you can maximize your impact by using header art that is clear and bright.
Highlight Your Brand
Users need to know what you are offering at a glance. Whether you include your logo, a photo, or a tagline, it should be obvious to visitors who you are. Keep the banner consistent with the tone of your brand.
Link to Your Website
Embed a link in your banner to your website and other social media platforms. Use the bottom right corner for your links, or use a “subscribe” button.
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YouTube Banner Size Guidelines and More
Remember, your banner will look different on different media, so you must follow the standard requirements for your banner art to protect the integrity of your design. Using industry-standard YouTube banner dimensions, fonts, and image sizes will help you create a YouTube banner that works across screen sizes and types. Here are some specifics to help ensure your YouTube banner is in line with YouTube guidelines.
YouTube Channel Art Size
There are specific design criteria and image dimensions to which your YouTube banner must adhere. Google describes the YouTube banner requirements as follows: Minimum dimension for upload: 2048 x 1152 px [pixels] with an aspect ratio of 16:9. At the minimum dimension, the safe area for text and logos is 1235 x 338 px. Larger images may get cropped on certain views or devices such as mobile devices. Make sure your file size is 6 MB or smaller. Google’s suggestion around the recommended YouTube banner size is 2560 pixels wide x 1440 pixels tall.
Adhering to these dimensions will help make the image viewable across devices. Pay special attention to the “safe area”. Elements outside the safe area are at risk of being cropped. That means at the very least, make sure your logo is inside the safe area.
Templates are Your Friend
There are a plethora of templates available across the internet. If you want to highlight your logo with a basic design, using a free or low-cost YouTube banner template can be a good choice. Template apps adhere to YouTube requirements and allow you to view your design across all devices, ensuring an accurate design. Do your research first, and find a channel art template on a site like Canva that is fast and easy to use.
Consider Hiring a Graphic Designer
Unless you are a Photoshop expert, consider hiring a respected graphic designer who will save you time and money. The right designer will have the skills to incorporate all the YouTube design requirements and highlight the best of your brand. A designer will be able to resize images for proper viewing across devices, understand when to use GIFs, BMPs, or PNGs, and should also have the skills to create your video thumbnails and other graphics used on YouTube Studio (YouTube’s content manager.)
Get Noticed with the Right YouTube Banner
Don’t underestimate the power of your YouTube channel banner. Ensuring users come back time and again, subscribe to your channel, and share content can be tied back to your banner image. Turn first-time visitors into loyal viewers and customers with a banner that represents your brand and stands out from the rest.
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