When four times as many customers would rather watch a YouTube video about a product than read about it, the marketing vision for your company should start to shift a little bit. YouTube has been a powerhouse of a company for years, capitalizing on the content that companies and individuals are pumping out. In fact, YouTube revealed that more than 250 million hours of content are currently watched every single day, up from 180 million hours in June 2018. That makes YouTube one of the main sources of media consumption in our culture today.
If you’re working on great video content and serious about growing on YouTube, one way to up your subscriber count quickly is to work on the visual branding of your YouTube Thumbnails and Channel Art. Today we’re focusing on Thumbnails, because they’re what entice a viewer to watch a video (and click through to your Channel to hit that Subscribe button!). Lucky for you, with the collection of YouTube Thumbnail templates in BeFunky’s Graphic Designer you have access to all the perfectly sized, pre-designed templates you could need for your videos! They’re fully customizable to suit your brand, and will make your YouTube Thumbnail design workflow easier than ever.
YouTube Thumbnail Design Tips
YouTube Thumbnails have been likened to how you would pick books based on their covers. The colloquial “don’t judge a book by its cover” doesn’t apply here - people will judge your videos by your thumbnail first, so it is best to create thumbnails that look appealing and can deliver the click-throughs you need in order to succeed. We’ve gathered all our best tips for designing YouTube Thumbnails that up your views below:
Use the Optimal Size
The optimal size for a YouTube thumbnail is 1280 x 720 px, so it’s important to start with a design template that’s sized accordingly. All of our YouTube Thumbnail templates are already perfectly sized and optimized for your videos, all you have to do is customize the visual elements to suit your content!
If you’d rather start your design with a blank template, you can also choose the Custom Template option in the Templates tab of our Graphic Designer, which allows you to type in your own dimensions. Just make sure you type in 1280 x 720 and you’ll be good to go.
Use a Great Photo
You will notice that a lot of YouTubers will take a still from their video to use as their thumbnail. You can either do this or use a photograph you shot yourself of the content you are showcasing. No matter what photo you use, make sure that it is relevant to the content you are putting out. There is nothing that will cause someone to click off faster if their expectations aren’t met from what your thumbnail suggested.
One of the coolest parts about BeFunky’s web app is that while working in Designer, you can access BeFunky’s Photo Editor with just the click of a button. The platforms are seamlessly integrated! If you feel you need to make your photo a bit more punchy with some extra saturation or more vibrancy, you can easily make this adjustment and go right back to your design afterward.
Include Title Text (In as Few Words as Possible)
Keep in mind that the title of your video is always listed next to your video, so any text used on your thumbnail should be succinct. Using text on your thumbnails is a quick way to add in some extra design aesthetics or descriptors that didn’t come across in your written title or caption.
Remember that people need to know exactly what your video is about at first glance, so it’s crucial that you use as little text as possible and utilize design elements to communicate your message visually.
Use a Legible Font
This isn’t to say that you can’t use decorative fonts, but you need to make sure that the font is legible. That means choosing a font that's easy to read and making it large enough for first glance. There is nothing worse than someone taking the time to decipher your thumbnail and losing interest because they cannot make sense of it quick enough.
BeFunky has hundreds of free fonts that you can use in your design projects, plus the ability to add your own fonts in case you’ve got one that you use throughout your branding.
Make it Branded
Branding is key when creating any digital element for your business. Keeping every photo, design, and piece of merch “on brand” is essential to strengthening your image and following. People love to follow and subscribe to something that they can expect consistency from. With BeFunky’s ability to add watermarks to your final designs, you can include your own personal logo or name in your final thumbnail and ensure that your branding is on point!
The best part about using BeFunky to create YouTube Thumbnails is that you can save your designs in editable format. That means you can essentially create your own working template and swap out the images and title text to suit future content! Consistency is key, and this is just one way that BeFunky can help you save time and energy in your creative workflow.
How To Use BeFunky’s YouTube Thumbnail Maker
To get started with your YouTube Thumbnail design, head to BeFunky’s Designer and navigate to the Templates tab in the menu on the left. Click the Search Templates button to find the perfect layout for your thumbnail.
Once you’re in the Template Library, click YouTube Thumbnails from the menu on the left, located under Social Media. Click on any of the YouTube Thumbnail templates to see a preview of the layout a bit closer, and once you find one you love, click Select Template to load it onto your canvas.
First, you’ll want to customize the photo in your thumbnail. An easy way to do this is to click on the existing image in your template and click Replace from the Image Properties menu that appears. Simply locate the image file on your Computer to replace the existing image.
If you’ve got a few images you want to try out in your YouTube thumbnail design, open the Image Manager tab (the first icon) in the menu on the left. Here, you can upload multiple image files or click the Search Stock Images button to browse millions of free stock photos to use in your projects! Whatever images you upload will appear as thumbnails in the Image Manager, and you can drag-and-drop them into the existing image on the template to replace it until you find the perfect look.
Next, it’s time to add some title text. Simply double click any textbox on your template and type in your title text. Any time a textbox is selected, a Text Properties toolbar will appear allowing you to choose a new font, adjust the line spacing, line height, font size, color, and so many more options. Be sure to play around with different fonts to see what will be most legible and eye-catching.
Adding shapes and design elements to your thumbnails can help to separate text or add a little dimension to your look. To add graphics, open the Design Elements tab (the heart icon) in the menu on the left. Once there, you can click the Search Graphics button to search our wide variety of vectors and icons, or add elements from the Basic Shapes section.
Any Basic Shape you add is completely customizable with its own menu. For example, we’ve chosen to add a line to separate our text, and in the Line Properties menu that appears we are able to change the pattern of the line (dotted, dashed, or solid), adjust the line stroke (or thickness), and choose a Color Overlay. Be sure to experiment with any design element you add to get the look you want!
When you’re finished creating the perfect Thumbnail, click the Save menu at the top of the screen. Once there, you can choose a destination on your Computer for saving your thumbnail and even add a watermark as a final step.
If you want to use this YouTube Thumbnail design as a template in the future, we highly recommend choosing the Save As Project option in the save menu as an additional step. This will save your design in editable format, so you can quickly swap out the photo and text to use as thumbnails for future videos. It’s the perfect way to stay consistent with your YouTube Thumbnail branding!
And there you have it. The perfect, eye-catching YouTube Thumbnail that will help you skyrocket those views! The best part is that BeFunky’s YouTube Thumbnail Maker makes it simple to create imagery that looks professional and on-brand.
Creating custom YouTube thumbnails for your videos is one of the easiest changes you can make to improve your channel’s performance. Not only does it increase click-through rates, but it gives people the ability to know what your video is about before even reading the title of your video. Make sure to adhere to the tips that we laid out in this post to create your own custom thumbnail!