Optimize your YouTube banner with these dimensions: 2560 pixels wide by 1440 pixels tall. Keep in mind that banners look different on desktop, mobile, and TV displays.
Video is hot right now, and since it’s going to stay that way for the foreseeable future, YouTube is a fantastic platform that more businesses should be using.
While most businesses have optimized their Facebook Pages and Instagram profiles, a lot of small businesses neglect their YouTube accounts if they even actually have them. Fortunately, making your YouTube banner look incredible isn’t too difficult. The first step towards making your channel look great (and legitimate) is with high-quality YouTube channel art.
In this post, we’re going to discuss everything that has to do with these banners, including best YouTube banner sizes, examples, and practices.
YouTube Banner Guidelines
While it can be tiring enough to try to get your banner size just right on your desktop, you need to make sure that your banner looks great on multiple types of devices and browsers. Since it will be displayed differently on all devices, it’s a good idea to follow YouTube’s official size recommendations for the ideal YouTube channel art size.
According to YouTube, the best banner size is 2560 pixels wide by x 1440 pixels tall. There are however other sizing requirements to keep in mind. These include:
- Minimum file dimensions: 2048 x 1152
- Minimum safe area for text and logos: 1546 x 423 pixels, with larger images possibly being cropped on certain devices or displays
- Maximum width: 2560 x 423 pixels, meaning that the “safe area” is always visible despite the size of the screen
- Maximum file size: 6MB (but file sizes can be smaller)
While using the 2560px by 1440px size ensures your banner will fit properly on a TV screen, you also need to worry about how your banner will look on desktops and devices. Check out the template below which demonstrates how your banner will display across the varying devices. Again, these safe zones have been incorporated directly into Snappa.
How to Make a YouTube Banner with Snappa
Don’t want to deal with wrestling with your banner to get it to the right size? Snappa can help you there, and our drag-and-drop design software is easy to use even if you have zero graphic design experience. Here is a video we made to show you how to make a YouTube banner for your channel!
To make things as simple and painless as possible, you can choose one of Snappa’s customizable, pre-sized YouTube banner templates. These can be found under the “Headers” section in Snappa’s templates section, and will automatically be sized to the perfect YouTube channel art size. If you’re ready to create a free YouTube banner in less than 5 minutes!
There are hundreds of templates that you can choose from, all of which can be customized.
When designing your banner within Snappa, the software will automatically show you which areas will be visible on different screens. In the example below, you’ll see that the top and bottom portions of the screen are “TV Only Areas,” while the desktop safe areas are also indicated. This allows you to create designs that will look great on all devices. We suggest keeping your design within the inner safe zone like this example below, and you’ll never have to worry about your design being chopped off on phones or iPads.
These YouTube banner templates can be changed entirely. You can swap out stock photos, and add in (or eliminate) both design elements like shapes and graphics, and text. And while you can (and should) focus foremost on the visible-from-all-devices spaces in the center of the image, you can add nonessential design elements to the “TV only” or “desktop only” areas.
How to Upload YouTube Channel Art
Uploading your YouTube banner just takes a few seconds. To add a YouTube banner, navigate to your YT channel. You can also do this by going to your “YouTube Studio” by clicking the channel icon on the top right of your screen and selecting “YouTube Studio.”
From there, you can scroll down and click “Customization.”
Alternatively, if you’re already viewing your channel page, you can access the channel customization page by simply clicking the blue “Customize Channel” button:
On this page, you can click the heading “Branding,” and then scroll down to the Banner Image section. There you can click “Change,” where you’ll be able to upload your new banner image file.
Once you do this, you’ll be shown a preview of how the banner will appear on desktop, TV, and all devices (both tablet and mobile).
Snappa’s templates are designed so that the most important stuff will always be visible, but if you’re using your own image, you’ll likely want to manually adjust the crop. You can only adjust the crop, however, so that there is TV space above and below it; you can’t set the bottom left corner of an image as your desktop crop.
Once you’re happy with it, all you have to do is hit “done” and “publish,” and your YT banner will be live on your profile. It can be changed at any time.
What Should My YouTube Banner Design Be?
Your banner can be anything, but it should help users identify your business quickly. If your banner isn’t helping to establish brand recognition, it probably isn’t too effective. We’ve provided the best YouTube banner ideas & examples in a post to help get you started!
As seen below, Snappa’s own YouTube channel is fairly straightforward and to-the-point; it includes our logo (which is the the channel’s icon), the brand’s colors, and the word “TV” within an illustration of a TV. We’ve also included some squiggly lines which we use throughout our branding.
Most businesses typically benefit from using the same or similar colors, font, logos, and taglines from their business. If your small business is just you, you could even have a picture of yourself in the channel art to give users someone they can easily relate to. A great example of this is Haley Dasovich’s channel below.
You can change your banner to promote special events, like an upcoming webinar or an event your business is hosting. I’d recommend only doing this for major events that you really want to drive attendance to, and keeping your channel art consistent (and evergreen) the rest of the time.
YouTube Banner Best Practices
When it’s time to create your YouTube banner, the sky is the limit. That being said, there are a few best practices that you should keep in mind so that you create a strong banner that represents your business well.
These best practices include:
Don’t Neglect Spaces Outside Mobile-Only Areas
When you’re designing your channel art, it’s easy to focus on that one tiny rectangle in the middle of the canvas and ignore everything else. This is a mistake, though. While you want to make sure your banner has nothing cut out on the smallest screens, you also want to make sure it looks fantastic on the largest screens your content can be viewed on.
Using interesting but subtle background images is an easy way to make sure that the banner will look great on all devices. The art will take up the screen in a natural way, instead of looking like a bunch of empty space around a small rectangle of content. This is a good thing.
Account for Social Sharing Buttons
When you view a YouTube channel’s banner art, you’ll notice that the bottom right corner has a grey overlay containing your social sharing and website links, as well as the channel’s icon. You need to account for this when you create the image.
You want your social sharing and site links to be prominent and easy to spot so users visit you on other platforms, but you also don’t want them to cover any crucial information or design elements in the banner.
These links will appear in the right-hand bottom corner if you add them (which you should). Avoid putting any crucial information in these areas, and you’ll be just fine.
Only Use High-Quality Images
Remember when we all struggled with uploading Facebook or Myspace profile pictures? We got the thumbnail size right, but when someone clicked it and opened it to “full size,” it was blurry and didn’t scale quite right. You don’t want that to happen with your YouTube banner when it gets pulled up on a TV screen.
There are two ways to avoid this. The first is to always start with images that follow YouTube’s recommended sizing guidelines, which we’ve discussed in a section above. By using that exact size and not one smaller but equivalent in proportion, your image will scale well on large screens.
The second way to avoid this is to only use high-quality (and, if possible, high resolution) images. That’s why Snappa’s library of stock photos and designs are all extremely high quality.
Simple, Clean Designs Are Always Best
The vast majority of users will see your channel only on desktop and/or mobile devices, and they’ll only see a small sliver of rectangle. The last thing you want is that banner to be so overwhelming and cluttered that they can’t even make out your logo or your social links.
If you look at Snappa’s YouTube banner templates all in a row (some of which are pictured above), you’ll notice that we do this through heavy utilization of negative space and clean lines. Even when background images are complex, the banner is kept grounded and organized with clean, simple shapes and text somewhere on it.
Make Sure It Works with Your Channel Icon
Your YouTube profile picture is YouTube’s equivalent of a Facebook profile picture. It’s important to make sure that the channel icon works well with your channel art since they’ll be displayed at the same time. This can be seen in the example below on the TechLinked channel’s banner.
To change your channel icon, you can head back to the channel customization page. You’ll need to click the “Branding” heading again, and then at the top of this page you can upload your channel’s new profile picture. The best YouTube profile picture size is 800 x 800 pixels, but note that these are square dimensions and YouTube profile pictures are given a circular crop. For more information on YT profile pictures, we made a full guide to this here.
You can use identical colors from the icon in the banner design to give it a more seamless look. The banner below from Adidas Originals does this well. They use their classic blue branding color in their profile picture as well as their banner, which blends their profile art nicely.
Well-designed YouTube banners are necessary to fully brand your channel, making it look both distinctive and more credible. And now, thanks to easy-to-use tools like Snappa (which comes with fully customizable, pre-sized templates), anyone can make gorgeous, engaging channel art with no design experience needed. Remember to update your banner every so often to keep it looking modern, especially if you change your business’s overall branding or the look of your YouTube channel.
What do you think? What’s your favorite example of a YouTube banner? How do you make yours stand out? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!