Youtube Size Guide: How To Create Beautiful Youtube Thumbnails & Profile Pictures

youtube thumbnail size

Youtube Thumbnail and Channel Size Guide

If you want to make and share video content online, you’re probably going to be using YouTube.

It can be a lot of work to set up a channel, and the standard for high-quality video content is only getting higher and higher.

But it’s not enough to just make engaging and relevant video’s (though that should always be your first priority) - you also need to have static images that represent your channel’s brand accurately and are engaging and attractive to your audience.

A successful YouTube channel needs to have thumbnails that will grab a user’s attention and make them click on your video instead of the dozens of others.

Your custom YouTube thumbnail also shows up in Google search results. If you go to the trouble of using good search engine optimization practices to get your video to rank highly in Google search results, but don’t invest the time to make sure your custom thumbnail image is the right size, you might be missing out on clicks that could otherwise be yours. Especially if you want to scale up your video marketing with teaser videos of your product!

That’s why we made this guide. We’ll show you the correct image size for your YouTube video thumbnails and Channel art.

And if you want to make it even easier for yourself, you can make thumbnails of exactly the correct size with the Vectornator presets! No Photoshop, Canva, Snappa or any other tricky design tools needed!

Youtube Thumbnail Size

According to Google’s support page, the ideal YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels with a minimum width of 640 pixels, at a 16:9 aspect ratio in most youtube players.

youtube thumbnail size

That might seem bigger than you’d think for an image that is usually displayed so small, but it makes sense: At the end of a video, when new videos pop up as recommendations for what to watch next, the thumbnail is displayed at a larger size. The preview image will be also used for the embedded player on websites.

So ideally, you want to create a YouTube thumbnail image that looks good at both sizes.

It should be designed to catch the eye (clickbait) at a small size, but it should also be created at a high enough resolution that it still looks clean and crisp when it’s blown up to a larger size.

Your thumbnail must also be in one of the following image formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, BMP or PNG, and the file size must be no larger than 2MB.

How to create your next Youtube Thumbnail

If you don't set a thumbnail for your video, Youtube will simply take a random screenshot inside your video and use it. We really recommend using your own attention-grabbing custom thumbnail. We will now give you a little tutorial on how to create a super cool one easy and fast!

First, you need a design tool to create the design. Many YouTubers such as Will Paterson are using Vectornator and we can only recommend to give it a try!

But good news - making a YouTube thumbnail in Vectornator is really easy! When you create your new project, just choose the YouTube Thumbnail template under the Social preset options, and your artboard will be automatically set to the ideal thumbnail dimensions.

Now you can really let your creativity flow. Some best-practices you could keep in mind: Use the video's title on the image to also visually communicate the content of the video. And using contrasting colors or even whitespace combined with a still image from the video can make your thumbnail stand out at the first impression.

Once you are finished with your image file you can select one of the many file types to save your thumbnail.

One last note: Always make sure to follow the Youtube community guidelines when creating and uploading your thumbnails!

Youtube Channel Art Size

The other important static image for your YouTube channel is your channel art (sometimes called a YouTube banner).

As the main piece of art on your channel’s homepage, it’s really important that your channel art is eye-catching and high-quality.

Ideally, your YouTube banner dimensions should be 2560 x 1440 pixels (and yes, we’ve got a preset for it).

Now, it’s important to keep in mind that your banner will be displayed at different widths depending on which device someone is viewing it.

Make sure that the important information in your banner is located in the center. If you put information too close to the edges of your image, it might be cut off when viewed on mobile devices.

If you’re using Vectornator to make your banner image, it’s easy to try out different versions of your banner to make sure that your information is visible on all devices.

Youtube Profile Picture Size

Finally, you’ll need to make a YouTube Profile Picture, also sometimes known as a channel logo. This is the circular icon that displays on your channel homepage, but also shows up next to your channel name under your videos, and next to your name in your subscribers’ sidebar of subscribed channels.


youtube profile picture size

The ideal size for this photo is 800 x 800 pixels, but it will display as a circle with those dimensions rather than a square. So make sure that your YouTube channel logo takes this into account.

Your icon should be centered, with nothing important in the corners, otherwise they’ll be chopped off. It should also be fairly simple - ideally you want people to be able to remember and identify your channel from just glancing at your icon.

So if you haven’t made a logo for your channel, now’s a great time to do so! Whether it’s a small icon variation of your main logo, or a brand new logo, Vectornator is the perfect tool to create a vector logo that will establish an iconic look for your brand’s channel. We’ve got a template for your YouTube profile picture as well, so after you’ve made your logo, slotting it into a perfectly-sized image takes only a few seconds!

Besides using the correct image dimensions you should also not forgot to apply a good Youtube SEO strategy to get your videos rank in Youtube's search. Don't forget! It is the second biggest search engine in the world!
If you want to share your videos on other social media channels as well, be sure to check out our other templates.

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