The Secrets to Designing an Aesthetic YouTube Banner for Your Channel
YouTube algorithms work so that a person discovers a video first and then goes to its creator’s channel to learn more. And the first they’ll see there is an aesthetic YouTube banner (cover, header) — your instrument to engage and convince them to subscribe.
Not only does this banner serve as a design element, but it’s also a tool to increase your brand awareness, promote resources, share news, and call the audience to action.
In this guide, you’ll find all the information on designing an aesthetic YouTube banner, with some secrets and tools to make this work easier.
YouTube Channel Banner Requirements
It stands to reason that your YouTube channel cover will display differently on desktop and mobile devices. For it to look aesthetic, ensure to follow the below requirements:
- Recommended picture size: 2560 x 1440 pixels.
- Minimum size: 2048 x 1152 pixels.
- Minimum size for a so-called “safe area” displayed on all devices: 1546 x 423 pixels (mobile devices).
- Maximum width for a “safe area’s” full display: 2560 x 423 pixels (desktop).
- Maximum file size: 6 MB.
The maximum resolution of your image for a YouTube channel cover to look great on both desktop and mobile should be 2560 x 1440 pixels. You can check the display of your banner on all types of devices at any time: Just go to your channel and click “Customize channel” and “Banner image:”
Once you choose an image to upload, YouTube will show you how viewable it is on TV, desktop, and other devices:
The secret: For creating a banner that will display equally well on all devices, use a background template from Google’s official help page. That way, you’ll know for sure that nothing will disappear from your cover for tablet and smartphone users.
Ensure that all the essential information is in the “safe area:” Prioritize desktop minimum and mobile viewable area.
Designing Your Aesthetic YouTube Banner
The goal of a YouTube banner is to communicate the topic and the original nature of your channel, but its name and description aren’t the only things you can place there.
Here go a few more ideas for YouTube channel art:
- A schedule of video releases, which is the common practice among bloggers
- Information about promos, event announcements, etc.: But you’ll need to update a banner regularly to keep the information relevant.
- Badges: media mentions, awards, etc. They work as social proof and help you build brand loyalty and trust.
- Website and social media links: If you want to promote your other resources, you can create a block with clickable links at the bottom right side of your banner.
- Calls to action: subscribe, click, visit, etc. Not only can you add clickable links to banners, but you can also place arrows and pointers there to draw special attention to this.
The secret: Human psychology is that we subconsciously react to a picture with people in it (they drive 38% more engagement); plus, we can’t ignore eye gaze. With that in mind, you can place an image of a person looking at calls to action or clickable links on your YouTube banner: it’s creative, looks natural, and doesn’t annoy users as much as direct boring nagging.
It’s worth noting that aesthetic YouTube banners are all about consistency and holistic design:
Your cover’s fonts and color palette shouldn’t differ from those you use for avatars and video thumbnails. If you already have a brand style (colors, mascots, tone of voice), don’t change it when designing your YouTube channel: it will help increase the visual recognition of your brand.
How to Design a YouTube Banner: Examples from Brands
You can implement your idea as you like, but here go the types of banners the most-subscribed YouTube brand channels use:
Such banners have minimum design elements. They demonstrate a brand’s/crereator’s name, logo, or website address, sometimes including a short description for the audience to understand what they’ll find on the channel. The background is monochrome and straightforward — to focus a visitor’s attention on the text.
That’s precisely what Brian Dean did to his channel’s cover:
To craft a personalized and persuasive text for banners, you can use numerous writing apps: Choose those for title writing and then consider some for proofreading or editing your text to avoid embarrassing typos/mistakes and ensure readability.
Feel free to use brand colors or add some context (more on that below): If you’ve got a food channel, add a cover demonstrating your cookings; if you make analytical videos, consider minimalistic images with diagrams or graphics, etc.
The benefits of such an aesthetic banner:
- Fast and easy to create
- An extra chance to demonstrate your brand’s logo
- Easy to optimize for all screen sizes
2) A Creator’s Photo
Most vloggers use this banner type for their channels as it’s a perfect variant for those willing to promote a personal brand.
Some context besides such photos helps viewers understand the overall topic of your channel. Thus, the above cover from Lily Singh hints about the entertaining nature of her videos; the below one from Rhett & Link does the same, specifying these guys are about shooting something funny or even ridiculous:
3) A Brand’s Slogan or Mascot
It’s another popular type of YouTube banner, especially for those who are known and visible with slogans. We all can recognize a brand behind “Just Do It,” “Think Different,” or “I’m loving it,” can’t we? Placing brand slogans on YouTube covers serves for better visibility and recognition.
And again, they are easy to design and adjust to proper display on different devices. Feel free to choose this banner type for personal YouTube channels as well:
4) Context pictures
As already mentioned, YouTube banners demonstrating the context behind your channel are an excellent way to tell viewers about what you’re doing here. They work best for creatives like artists, designers, or handypersons as an opportunity to highlight their works.
Rosanna Pansino is a self-taught cook who’s among the most influential YouTubers now. She has published a cookbook, and she shares baking recipes and tips on her channel. By looking at her aesthetic YouTube banner, we immediately understand what we can find there.
Such banners work best for commercial brands organizing regular promos, contexts, or events for the audience. By placing the corresponding information to a cover, you make YouTube an extra channel to engage followers into action.
The secret: There’s no strict classification for YouTube banner types. You’re welcome to experiment with images and elements, creating new and exciting compositions. The only thing is that they should be relevant to your channel’s theme and appealing to a viewer’s eye.
Where to Create an Aesthetic YouTube Banner
The two most common methods are:
- Use graphic editors, including those online (Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Pixlr). They require some skills from a creator but make almost any idea implementation possible.
- Use online design tools like Crello, Snappa, etc. They provide limited design features but offer hundreds of ready-made aesthetic YouTube banner templates.
The second method is ideal for those with no design skills or budget to hire dedicated teams but they need to get an eye-pleasing YouTube channel art fast. All you’ll need to do is choose an aesthetic YouTube banner template and customize it in a drag-and-drop editor.
But there’s a catch:
Be prepared that your channel may become one of the thousands with a similar design. Besides, a free version of such online graphic design tools has no premium images and limits their functionality even further: Thus, custom fonts become unavailable, or, even worse, you can’t download your ready-made banner without the tool’s watermark on it.
And yet, the most convenient and user-friendly tools are worth mentioning here. All they have a massive and regularly updated library of professional templates and provide the completest functionality compared to others.
To be safe, get started immediately with a graphic design agency that can produce an aesthetic Youtube banner for your company in no time and make sure that your design is unique and attractive to start driving traffic.
Crello (now VistaCreate)
It’s one of the best-known online tools for creating graphics for social media, marketing ads, and more. Users often compare Crello to Canva as both editors look and serve like twins. To start designing your YouTube banner in Crello (now Vista Create), you need to register and choose an aesthetic YouTube banner template:
Here, you can change the font, shapes, stickers, and other template parts, add new elements, upload your own graphics, etc. The main drawbacks of this tool are:
- Limited choice of fonts.
- You can’t create a banner from scratch using a grid.
- Many templates have no optimization for the main types of devices.
The secret: Try choosing templates with no text beyond the “safe area.” As a rule, they are easy to recognize at once (those with words in corners, not center), but you can always check their display by uploading any to your channel.
This one is probably the most comfortable one on the list because it provides a build-in layout for creating YouTube banners from scratch, which noticeably simplifies the work and ensures you don’t exceed the frames.
As well as Crello, Snappa has an extensive library of free templates, optimized and fully customizable for designing aesthetic images for YouTube and other social media, blogs, ads, and more.
The secret: There’s one alternative way to create an aesthetic YouTube banner for your channel: Google Slides. Open the tool at your computer, create a new slide, remove titles and subtitles, and change its size via Page Setup → Custom.
Then, download a background template from Google’s official help page to ensure all the banner elements display correctly. Now take a picture you want to use as a YouTube banner, adjust its transparency to see the layout, and edit the image accordingly, with the focus on its “safe area.”
Once finished, delete the background template by resetting it and restoring your image’s transparency. Save it in JPG or PNG formats — and download it to your channel whenever necessary.
Ready to Craft Your Aesthetic YouTube Banner?
Now that you know and have everything you need for creating an aesthetic YouTube banner, why not give it a try? Remember that it’s an essential part of your brand’s marketing, so do your best to make it relevant to your brand identity (story, values, visual cues, tone of voice) and engaging for your viewers.
Take some time to design your YouTube banner that best represents your business. It’s your extra instrument to reinforce the content strategy and communicate meanings to your target audience.