When users first hit your YouTube channel, your channel art is their first impression. It’s a visual summary of your brand and what users can expect from your video content.
Think of your YouTube banner a bit like the front cover of a book. If your banner artwork isn’t up to scratch, it can deter users from clicking on your videos. Here are a few best practices to follow when creating artwork for your YouTube channel.
The first thing to think about when creating your YouTube banner artwork is the dimensions. The important thing to consider when creating your banner is how it will display on different devices. To make sure you’re creating artwork that meets YouTube's guidelines, here’s a checklist of dimensions.
- YouTube’s Recommended Banner Size is 2,560 x 1,440 pixels
- Minimum image dimensions: 2,048 x 1,152 pixels
- Minimum image safe area for text and logos: 1,546 x 423 pixels
- Maximum image width: 2,560 x 423 pixels
- File size limit: 6MB
So now you know what the key dimensions are, I want to go into a little more detail about the display. Whether a user views your banner on a TV, desktop or smartphone, it will look different each time. The smaller the screen gets, the more your banner is cropped, so it’s important to focus logos, text and imagery into the ‘safe area’.
Here is a template I use when creating YouTube channel artwork for myself and my clients. It’s a brilliant visual guide to help put those dimensions into perspective. As you’ll see below, there are several sizes and ways YouTube will display your banner.
Here are a few examples of banners to take inspiration from and understand how each banner will display on the different devices.
Just like all marketing material, whether it’s your website, social media graphics or YouTube Channel art, it has to be in line with the rest of your brand. Think carefully about the colours, imagery and fonts you will be using.
Try and match your banner artwork to your thumbnails, so there is some form of consistency on your channel. Having consistency within your branding will strengthen your brand and increase brand recognition amongst your target audience.
What to Include on Your Banner
Less is more when it comes to your YouTube banner artwork. The temptation is to try and describe everything you do, but you’ll be doing more harm than good.
Include your logo and even your business strapline on your banner but remember, make sure it’s concise.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so use imagery that instantly tells viewers what services or products you provide. For me, including imagery of me filming or cameras works well, as it illustrates what I do without over-explaining.
Don’t be afraid to update your banner regularly, either. Your banner is prime real-estate on your channel and the perfect place to advertise key messages.
You can also tell visitors when you will be publishing your videos, tell them about a big offer or include a strong call to action directing them to your website.