Designing the Perfect YouTube Channel Art: Amazing Tips and Tricks

You can think of your YouTube channel art as the unsung hero of your YouTube channel. The majority of your channel visitors are obviously there for the video content that you upload, but it’s the YouTube channel art itself that really goes a long way toward successfully selling your channel. That means drawing in and engaging your audience…if you do it right.

The channel art is really branding; if you take the opportunity to make it an extension of your brand, then you’ve just boosted your channel into a viable, marketing hotspot instead of just a channel that shows some videos. Design is the key behind turning your channel art into something that supports your brand and communicates with your visitors, leads and customers.

When you invest time into the design of your channel art, you stand to increase get better results in terms of engagement and conversions—two of the biggest reasons you have your own YouTube channel to begin with.

Here, you’ll learn incredible and actionable tips and tricks that you can apply in no time to design the perfect channel art.

What Is YouTube Channel Art?

Also known as a cover, your channel art is the first thing that anyone sees when they land on your brand’s YouTube page. That’s because it’s the huge banner that virtually stretches across the entire page and sits right on top of your channel. YouTube purposely designed this section this way: By reserving so much screen real estate for channel art, the website actually encourages its users to take the opportunity to use the area for branding.

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According to YouTube’s Help section:

“You can use it to brand your channel’s identity and give your page a unique look and feel.”

Now that we’re 100% sure that channel art needs to be used for branding purposes, it all comes down to the design of your channel art. Remember that channel art is really a huge, hero image that splashes across the top of your channel. Therefore, much of the success of your channel art will depend on either the picture you select (if you don’t want to customize your image) or how you design an image or illustration from scratch.

You’ll definitely want to make it count, as studies show that the right image does wonders for branding.

How Images Help Branding

Your channel art is a huge image…so how exactly does it help your branding?

Besides providing brand consistency—your followers, leads and customers will know that it’s your brand if, say, your logo appears on the channel art—it offers measurable and positive results for your marketing efforts.

Consider the following.

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According to Kissmetrics:

  • 65% of folks are visual learners
  • 90% of the info that goes to your brain is visual
  • Presentations featuring visuals are 43% more convincing
  • Articles featuring images get 94% more views compared to ones without

The majority of the info that we as humans absorb is visual content; the majority of people learn better by seeing stimulus (as opposed to reading about it or hearing it). Content with visuals does better than content without it. Since this data proves that your audience wants to absorb visual content, it makes sense to give it to them, as it’ll have favorable results. By presenting people with visual content, you’re not having to persuade them to take it in. They’re already programmed to do that, by nature.

Let’s tie this back to branding again. By giving your audience visual information about your brand in your YouTube channel art, you’re communicating with them in a language that they already speak and understand well. Consequently, they’re going to be more receptive to it, too.

So give it to them by taking care to design a well-crafted banner.

To ensure that your design hits the mark, you’ll first have to get your channel art’s sizing right.

What You Need to Know About Sizing

I can’t stress this enough: If you don’t get your sizing right, then all your design efforts will be for naught. You should know that the channel art will not display the same way across all devices. This is vital in today’s world when more people are accessing the web from their mobile phones. In other words, a banner that looks good and “fits” on your desktop may not on mobile devices or tablets—and vice versa. To avoid any branding mishaps due to this, keep the following in mind:

  • YouTube recommends that you upload one 2560 X 1440 px image for the best results across all devices
  • The absolute minimum dimension for an image upload is 2048 X 1152 px (any smaller than this, and you’ll run into problems!)
  • The absolute minimum safe area for text or logos in your banner is only 1546 X 423 px
  • The maximum width for an image is 2560 X 423 px (here, the safe area will always be visible on any screen size, but, depending on your browser size, the sections on either side of the channel art will be viewable or cropped)
  • Your file size has to be no greater than 4 MB

Keep these crucial pieces of info in mind before you begin designing your channel art.

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With that out of the way, let’s look at the design side of things.

Designing Your YouTube Channel Art for Maximum Impact

Implement the following, actionable tips and tricks to have the best results from your channel art.

Minimalism

Everything on the web works better when it’s less cluttered, including your channel art. Minimalism means that your viewers won’t get distracted by any elements they shouldn’t be distracted by; it also means that they can home in on your branding in your channel art, whether that’s a logo, tagline or unique value proposition.

Design reasons aside, there’s also a practical reason why you should go with less is more: Sizing. Your channel art won’t size exactly the same across all of your viewers’ devices—desktop, tablet and mobile—so using a simpler image with fewer elements means that it’s going to scale properly on each device. Put another way, if your image is too complicated, it may show up in a weird way…such as with an important element or two missing or otherwise askew when your audience lands on your channel on a different device.

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Can you imagine how badly that’ll fare for your branding, which is the whole point of this section of your channel? If your logo or tagline fails to show up on a specific device due to an overly complex image or banner design, that’s a possible, lost lead, which results in a lost conversion or client.

That’s why it really pays to err on the side of simplicity.

It’s All About the Middle

Because of YouTube’s special sizing requirements, the middle of your channel art takes on special significance. As mentioned above, there’s a so-called “safe area” that’s only 1546 X 423 px. This area is guaranteed not to get cut off on any device.

Therefore, you ought to put the most important part of your branding right here in this sweet spot. If there’s absolutely anything branding-related that you just can’t bear not to have show up properly, then make sure it’s in this safe area. That can be a logo, tagline, headline, illustration—whatever.

Ensure that this middle area stands alone. When you go into YouTube to upload an image and then click on “edit,” you’ll see that your image can only be cropped all around this middle area.

Using High-Quality Images

On the web and on YouTube, using high-quality images that look attractive and sharp can do wonders for your conversion rate because people are more likely to pay attention to them and engage with them. Studies have been done on this.

ConversionXL has a whole analysis of this phenomenon, where high-quality images help online stores sell more and increase their conversion rates. That’s because on the web—where people can’t palpably interact with anything—having sharp pictures that give you an excellent sense of a product (almost like you’re able to turn it over in your own hands) is extremely reassuring and trust-boosting.

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So, too, it is with your channel art. Your audience can’t interact with your brand upon first impression—but they can get a very good feel for your brand based on the banner that you use. Using a low-quality image that’s hazy, out of focus, and otherwise unclear isn’t going to make a good impression or build trust for your brand. On the other hand, using a sharp image that puts your branding—logo, colors, tagline, etc.—front and center and makes it accessible greatly helps your engagement with your audience.

Product Showcasing

Your YouTube channel art is prime real estate on your YouTube page because it’s right on top of everything and spans, for the most part, the entire width of the screen. Its placement means that anything you put in that banner will capture the attention of your audience.

If you’re a designer who produces creative products as the main component of your business, you may want to consider actually advertising your best product in this area. Alternately, you could advertise a new product each month—or something to that effect. YouTube channel art makers let you get pretty creative with how you design your banner. A mockup kit like the one below can help you produce visually stunning product shots inexpensively:

In this way, your channel art then not only features a stunning graphic or image, but also showcases the products that you create, for the ultimate one-two punch of marketing on your channel.

YouTube Templates

When you don’t want to bother with designing your own banner from scratch or using an existing image from your own collection, you can always get help from a template. Templates are readymade and pre-designed graphics for your banner that you can still customize a step further to add your own personalized take on it. In essence, they’re the fastest way to get personalized YouTube channel art up on your channel.

The beauty with templates is their WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) approach: You already know, for the most part, how your channel art will look, barring any customization touches that you add, usually surrounding the typeface and colors. You do have to work within the existing framework of the design, but this actually works out to be quite freeing, as you won’t get bogged down with too many design choices.

At Creative Market, we offer a range of attractive YouTube templates that’ll take the hassle out of designing your own channel art and have you set up and ready to go in no time:

Getting Composition Right

Your channel art is an image, and images work best with audiences when they boast great composition. According to Merriam-Webster, composition is defined as:

“The act or process of composing; specifically: arrangement into specific proportion or relation and especially into artistic form”

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With that in mind, there are ways to lay out your image and design for your banner in such a way that it’s especially pleasing to the eye, which boosts audience engagement. Here are some tried, tested and true composition tips to apply to your YouTube channel art:

  • Keep your image as bare-bones as possible
  • Fill up the frame as much as possible (remember that you only really have the sweet spot of the “safe area!”)
  • Use some leading lines (these can be converging or curved, just as long as they lead the audience’s eyes around the frame)
  • Incorporate some diagonal lines instead of always just vertical or horizontal ones
  • Use visual cues like people looking at a certain point in the image
  • Add a sense of speed by including dynamic or moving objects
  • Control the background and make it part of the entire image
  • Get creative with bold and vibrant colors

A Rundown of Useful YouTube Channel Art Makers

If you are going down the very design-involved route of creating channel art from scratch, then you’ll want to check out the available channel art makers on the web. These are all free tools that you can use to design your banner to your heart’s content.

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark lets non-designers go to town on their banners and explore their creativity. Starting the process is as easy as signing up to this tool and then selecting the typography, choosing from stock photos or uploading your own, or using a pre-designed theme that’s fully customizable.

Fotor

Fotor lets you design from scratch in just a few steps. After you open its design tool, you can manage the layouts, drop in text and images that you like, and tweak the background. Finally, save your new design and preview it before it ever goes live on YouTube.

Canva

Canva is another tool that doesn’t require you to have masterful design skills to create your YouTube channel art virtually from scratch. In only a few minutes, you’ll be able to design your own banner by selecting from its premade layouts and tweak the typeface, colors, and illustrations or images to your desire.

Bannersnack

You won’t be creating your channel art from scratch here, but you’ll get a selection of premade templates to begin your banner creation. Designed to have your banner done in a short time, simply choose your template, then add any shapes, clip art and stock photos that you want.

Snappa

If speed’s what you’re looking for, then you’ve got to try Snappa, the channel art maker that promises results in less than one minute. You don’t need to be a designer to create professional-caliber channel art by using Snappa’s library of templates, high-resolutions images, and graphics. In only a few steps, you have the chance to create a vibrant design for your channel art.

Crello

Thanks to Crello, you’re able to design YouTube channel art without any friction. Simply dive into its deep resources of thousands of templates and stock photos to create the ideal banner that you want. You can also personalize your design by switching out backgrounds, adding or removing text, and tweaking the typeface exactly how you see fit.

Make It About the Brand

The overarching theme with your channel art is the tie in to branding. While the channel art involves design and creativity, it’s primarily a marketing tool to help your channel receive more views and grow a bigger audience. In turn, these two positive developments will help your business sell more of its creative products or services.

There’s so much potential you have at your disposal when you operate a YouTube channel. Based on the quality of your videos, the consistency with which you release them, and your understanding of branding on YouTube, you have the potential to turn your channel into a producer of steady stream of traffic for your website. More traffic means more sales.

So set the right tone right from the beginning when your audience lands on your channel. With well-designed and on-point YouTube channel art, you won’t just grab their attention from the get go. You’ll ensure that your brand is advertised front and center, which is the first step in moving your audience down your conversion funnel.


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This Week’s Fresh Design Products: Vol. 96

Fresh Design Products is a regular series in which we highlight and celebrate fantastic new products that have been recently uploaded to the marketplace by new and seasoned Creative Market shop owners. It’s sort of like a quick stroll through a farmer’s market of design and creativity. Enjoy the sights, pick up new products, and follow talented shop owners. The products and shops curated for this series are selected by our Community Curator, Matt Borchert.

Brand New Shops

Talented designers are opening shops in the marketplace each week. We’re spotlighting a few promising new shop owners who are knocking it out of the park by uploading beautiful new design products to launch their shops! The previews you see here are often just a small taste of each shop’s full future offering, so be sure to follow them to stay tuned for more amazing assets.

thetravelingfox

Merk of The Traveling Fox has a splendid mixture of fonts available for sale.

TMint

TMint Creative creates awesome handcrafted Tumblr themes.

dotana.van.lee

Dotana captures simply marvelous equestrian photographs.

LittleTiger

Leslie has a love for making fonts with a childlike style.

macintosh

Jennifer of Inkberry Creative designs stunning templates.

wedraw

Andrii’s shop offers several different pattern sets to choose from.

Debut Uploads

In this section, we highlight new shop owners who have recently uploaded their very first product. If you like what they have to offer, encourage them to add more products for sale by commenting on and purchasing their first product.

Seasoned Veterans

Some of our shop owners at Creative Market have been in the marketplace and our community for quite some time. We want to recognize these hard working creators by sharing select new products as they release them. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the latest offerings from our popular and up-and-coming shops.

Free lettering worksheets


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Download these worksheets and start practicing with simple instructions and tracing exercises.

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Tycho European Dates + Glider Music Video

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Tycho Europe tour kicks off 19 October in Ireland and continues through 09 November in Russia!

19 OCT – Dublin, IE – District 8 – SOLD OUT
22 OCT – London, UK – The Roundhouse
24 OCT – Barcelona, ES – Razzmatazz 2
25 OCT – Toulouse, FR – Bikini
27 OCT – Bologna, IT – Estragon
28 OCT – Turin, IT – Movement Festival
30 OCT – Basel, CH – Kaserne
31 OCT – Zurich, CH – Plaza
01 NOV – Antwerp, BE – Trix
02 NOV – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli
04 NOV – Copenhagen, DK – DR Koncerthuset
05 NOV – Stockholm, SE – Nobelberget
09 NOV – Moscow, RU – Izvestia Hall

Tickets and more info http://ift.tt/2atmTGQ

Live visuals for Tycho – Glider by Scott Hansen (Tycho)

As an homage to the visionary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, Scott incorporated elements of Tarkovsky’s 1972 film Solaris into these visuals for Glider which we will be performing in Moscow.

Triangle element by Bradley Munkowitz


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New variable fonts from Adobe Originals

Photoshop and Illustrator announced plenty of new features at Adobe MAX this week, include some exciting typographic features we’ve been anticipating: support for OpenType variable fonts.

This new font format allows users to customize the styles within a typeface design, effectively giving them an entire family of fonts in a single file. We’ve included a few Adobe Originals families with this release of Illustrator and Photoshop to make it easier for you to explore what variable fonts can do.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of this week’s typographic updates from the Photoshop team.

Don’t miss the Illustrator announcement, either, which introduces its own nifty typographic controls.

variable font weight adjustment in illustrator

We chose six families to best show what the new format will allow, and how the possibilities may differ from one typeface to another. Five of these are from our Variable Concept font collection, allowing you to play with the full variable design space on some of our most popular Adobe Originals families (although you’ll only have a limited character set for now).

  • Myriad Variable Concept allows you to see how the weight and width styles of Myriad Pro can interact as you adjust each property.
  • Acumin Variable Pro allows you to adjust weight, width, and even the slant angle, combining all of Acumin Pro’s 90 variants in a single dynamic font file.
  • Minion Variable Concept is a special treat — a preview of a major update to the Minion family that will be released in the near future. Although you won’t yet get to see all the features of the new Minion, you’ll be able to adjust its revamped weight and optical size settings with this version.

Acumin, Minion, and Myriad Variable Concept fonts

From the Source superfamily, Source Sans Variable, Source Serif Variable, and Source Code Variable all allow you to play with the weight range in each design, and they also contain the complete character set of the Pro versions.

Source superfamily variable fonts

In addition to using the Source Variable families in Photoshop and Illustrator, you can download them from our GitHub page so you can try them out in other applications and environments as the support for variable fonts becomes more widespread. We’ll keep you posted as that support develops! Check out our roundup of variable fonts news and follow the discussions on TypeDrawers.

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Sébastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Filled with muted colors and old-fashioned technology, Sébastien Plassard’s illustrations have a vintage flair. The nostalgic imagery often turns surreal and dreamlike as he depicts melting automobiles and horse-car-robot amalgamations. His alluring pieces have added a dash of whimsicality to popular publications such as The New York Times and Télérama.

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

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Also worth viewing:

Shawna X
Karolis Strautniekas
Sarp Sozdinler

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Sébastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Filled with muted colors and old-fashioned technology, Sébastien Plassard’s illustrations have a vintage flair. The nostalgic imagery often turns surreal and dreamlike as he depicts melting automobiles and horse-car-robot amalgamations. His alluring pieces have added a dash of whimsicality to popular publications such as The New York Times and Télérama.

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

Sebastien Plassard

——————–

Also worth viewing:

Shawna X
Karolis Strautniekas
Sarp Sozdinler

Follow us on RSSInstagramPinterestWanelo

——————–

 

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Thanks to this week’s sponsor: The A’Design Awards – Click here to learn more about the prestigious event and how to register your work.

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Introducing visual search on Typekit

Whether your inspiration comes from signage, posters, flat artwork, or that weird billboard you drive by all the time, our visual search feature brings a new dimension to the way you find type with Typekit. We launched an Early Access preview for visual search back in September, and today we’re very proud to announce that we’ve rolled these capabilities out to everyone.

Start with a photo of type you’ve seen, and send it through visual search to find the fonts in our inventory that are visually similar to it. From your desktop or your mobile device, you can highlight a specific line of type from your photo to control the search, and then sync the fonts you like best right away.

Want visual search from Typekit in your app?

We’ve made the APIs available, too. Learn more.

Start a visual search from any page on Typekit — drag & drop, or upload directly on mobile.

Adobe Capture CC also got a makeover for MAX and now includes Type Capture, a new feature powered by the same Adobe Sensei technology as the new visual search on Typekit. Now as you snap pictures of type on the go, you can save similar fonts as character styles and use them in your favorite desktop apps like Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign.

Use Adobe Capture to find similar fonts

Adobe Capture uses the same Sensei technology as Typekit to find similar fonts on the go.

Get started now — on Typekit, either look for the camera icon in the search box to find or capture your photo, or check out the Discover page for tips and even more inspiration.

Visual search on a string bean

You might start noticing type in more interesting places!

Need a walkthrough? If our Early Access blog post doesn’t clear things up, reach out to us directly at support@typekit.com and we’ll help you out.

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Adobe Sensei as a service: Visual search APIs released for developers

If you’re a developer who loves type, and you want to share that love with the people using your apps — we’ve got great news. Starting today, we’ve made the API for our visual search feature available on adobe.io.

Visual search from Typekit pairs our team’s typographic savvy with Adobe Sensei’s machine-learning technology, and in fact is the first Adobe Sensei capability to be released to the public as a service. With these APIs, your users can upload any photo of lettering or type and visual search will return a list of similar typefaces on Typekit.

When you enable visual search from Typekit in your own apps, you’ll be engaging with your users from the very beginning of their creative process — regardless of typographic skill level. Consider the initial design research phase of a creative professional. It’s impossible to know where and when inspiration will strike, but it’s pretty likely that user has a camera-enabled smartphone. An integration with our visual search means they can tap into a vast network of typographic knowledge early on.

In addition to the updated APIs, we’ve continued with our policy of providing fully thought-out documentation to accompany this new feature. You’ll find well-organized design patterns, API reference materials, and full endpoint documentation at your disposal on Adobe.io. Have a look, and eliminate the guesswork in your development cycle.

Our visual search documentation includes well-organized design patterns.

We believe there is immense value in enabling customers to find, get, organize, and use fonts from Typekit without ever leaving the application they’re working in. That’s why we’ve been hard at work on reimagining how we support integrating the Typekit service into apps. Got questions? Get in touch with us about what you’re working on, and how you’d like to integrate type. We’d love to hear your ideas.

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15 Downloadable Color Palettes For Fall

Can you feel it? There’s a nip in the air pointing to yet another changing season. The emergence of Fall means it’s time for layers, golden red leaves and pumpkin spice. Whether it’s for graphic design, fashion or home decor, these 15 color palettes will guide your hues.

Love what you see? Download our fall palettes below paired with their hex codes for use in your next project!

Download our Fall color palettes


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Add a splash of color to your next project.

Download our set of color palettes to get their exact hex codes!

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Download our Fall color palettes


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Add a splash of color to your next project.

Download our set of color palettes to get their exact hex codes!

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