12 Tips for Designing YouTube Thumbnails

Team Pepper
Posted on 15/06/225 min read
12 Tips for Designing YouTube Thumbnails
This blog offers helpful YouTube thumbnail design ideas that will help you attract more viewers to your videos and eventually grow your customer base.

Designers are constantly struggling to create something that will grab the audience’s attention. This is especially true of a space as competitive as YouTube. It takes dedication and creativity to create YouTube thumbnail art that will make people want to click on it.

Growing your YouTube channel will be difficult if you’re not spending time designing visually appealing thumbnails. This is because YouTube thumbnails are essentially a window into the video. They give the viewer the first impression of your videos.

Thumbnails are great because they can capture your audience’s attention in a split second before they click on the video to play it. The right YouTube thumbnail design can go a long way in making your video stand out among your competitors, thereby increasing your views and subscribers.

YouTube Thumbnails: 12 Design Tips to Get Started

Here are some YouTube thumbnail design ideas to help you create one that’s eye-catching and conversion-oriented.

1. Think of the viewer you want to attract

With nearly two billion active users each month, it’s important to focus on your target audience on YouTube. Once you know who you want to attract, use a professional thumbnail creator like Canva to create custom YouTube thumbnails. When creating your video title and description, remember that YouTube’s autoplay function means that many viewers will only watch a video for 10 seconds before skipping on—so keep it short and sweet!

2. Include text to deliver context


example of YouTube thumbnail text



There are many benefits of having text in your YouTube thumbnails. The most obvious benefit is that it gives context to your thumbnail and allows viewers to understand what they’re about to watch before they click on the video. Another benefit is that it allows you to include a call to action (CTA) in your thumbnail, leading to more views.

3. Include humans in the thumbnail image

This is a good tip for YouTube as well as other video hosting sites. You might want to include a person in your thumbnail image. This is helpful because people are more likely to click through and watch what’s going on when they see another human on screen. It helps build trust in the brand.

cooking shows featuring Rachel Khoo


For example, if you are uploading a video about cooking tips, showing a person using utensils or ingredients would catch their eye more than just an empty kitchen. If you don’t have access to anyone or anything that can be photographed, there are plenty of free stock images available online that can help you get started. Just make sure you are aware of all the copyright laws pertaining to the image before you use it.

4. Use bright colors

When designing a YouTube thumbnail, you need to add some color and ensure it’s pleasant and eye-catching. You want to draw viewers in as soon as they see your video in their feed. And colors work well for that purpose.

When you’re putting together a YouTube thumbnail, your goal is to grab people’s attention. Make sure your images contain bright colors that will appeal to YouTube users. Bright reds, yellows, blues, and greens work best. You can also play with different shapes—make sure they don’t take up too much space in your image, because you will have to fit some text in too.

5. Use suitable font styles


 a video by Nykaa Fashion

The fonts you choose in your thumbnails will greatly impact how viewers respond to your video. Many people consider a legible font key. When choosing font colors, remember that it is best to limit them to two or three. This way, viewers can take in all of your important information before deciding whether they want to watch ahead.

6. Try different layouts

Use different thumbnail creator tools like Photoshop or Adobe to test different layouts. Some of these tools also come with templates you can choose from. If you have more than one video on YouTube, pay attention to which thumbnail gets clicked on more than others. This will give you an idea of what your viewers want and how you please them better with your designs.

7. Use a powerful cover

Try to use a powerful image that represents what your video is about without giving too much away. If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas, check out sites like Pixabay or Adobe Stock for some creative and powerful stock images. Always use imagery that resonates with your audience.

8. Include your logo

Your logo represents your brand, so it should be present in your YouTube thumbnail. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of space—make sure you include it in a spot where it’s visible enough, but it doesn’t take away from the rest of the elements of the video. This can also serve as a reminder to viewers that they’re watching one of your videos.

9. Optimize your thumbnail for all screens

If you are trying to increase your YouTube channel subscriber base, one of your goals should be to create thumbnail designs that include a smaller screen size. Mobile phones and tablets are popular devices for watching YouTube videos, so it is important to make sure your design looks good on these devices. You can also use tools like PicMonkey to do this.

10. Be careful about the thumbnail size

It may be tricky to decide on an appropriate YouTube thumbnail size. But it is critical to get your YouTube thumbnail size right, because you will only have one chance to make a first impression. According to YouTube recommendations, it should be at least 1280px by 720px, with a width of 640px. You can also upload custom thumbnails up to 4000px x 4000px in size.

11. Analyze your competitors’ content

Conducting a competitor analysis is an important step in creating an effective YouTube thumbnail. Analyzing your competitors will give you insight into what people like and areas that could be improved upon. Spend some time observing your competitors’ thumbnails and understanding what they do well.

12. Make use of tools

There are many free thumbnail creator tools, including YouTube Studio, Canva, PicMonkey, etc. Choose one of these to create your own YouTube thumbnails that stand out. These tools also allow you to edit existing YouTube thumbnails if you have a video that’s alreadybeen published on YouTube. If you don’t want to use any of these services, then simply Google go with YouTube thumbnail templates provided by Adobe, Freekpik, and more.

If you’re creating a video or video thumbnail, it’s important to make sure that your design looks professional. The easiest way to do so is by using reputed design services. This will allow you to create high-quality thumbnails without investing hours into designing them yourself. Whichever path you choose, make sure you use high-quality visuals and follow the above tips to get people to watch your videos. Happy YouTubing!


1. Why are YouTube thumbnails important?

YouTube thumbnails give a sneak peek into your video. They give the viewer an idea of what they can expect if they click on the video. A unique thumbnail design will help you stand out from your competitors.

2. Why should you include humans in your thumbnail?

Including human figures or faces will build more credibility and trust in your brand. People are more likely to click on a video if it has a thumbnail including a real person.

3. What is the importance of color in thumbnails?

Colors, especially bright ones, help grab people’s attention faster. If you use brand colors, it will help create more brand awareness, and aid you in building a loyal viewership.