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YouTube Thumbnail: The Ultimate Guide

YouTube Thumbnail

YouTube Thumbnails are the small clickable images that viewers can click to watch the video. These are essential pieces of any YouTube channel. When a video uploaded to YouTube, the platform automatically provides three choices of images to be used as a thumbnail. These are from out video. But, if the YouTube channel verified a custom thumbnail, then it could be used to get additional benefits. YouTube Thumbnail is the key aspect to clutch the attention of the audiences.

YouTube Video Thumbnail Size Dimensions

Using a better thumbnail for the video will ensure it, gets more views. Thumbnails are as important as the title, description or the keywords in them.

As recommended by Google, the YouTube thumbnail should have a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Its width should be 640 pixels. The ideal ratio is 16:9.

Thumbnail appears very small in search results, but when expanded to full video size they look as suggestions for next watch.

Therefore use a larger size that can be scaled down but a not small size that can be scaled up.

The image formats that can handle as thumbnails are jpg, gif, png. It must be under 2 MB.

Tips for a Perfect YouTube Thumbnail

YouTube is the second largest search engine and is also the best tools for content marketing. Thousands of hours of videos are posted on the platform every hour.

Standing out from the crowd and competing with other videos is a challenge for every video creator. Building consistent audience is the best bet. Apart from this, there is needed to attract the fan base, catch the eye of the people.

For this, attractive and memorable thumbnails need to create. Here are few tips to create perfect thumbnails.

  • Choose the thumbnail that connects visually to the content or brand. The thumbnail should be recognizable, and people should remember your name when they look at it.
  • Do not use thumbnails that have nothing to do with the content of the video. Thumbnails might make the viewer angry.
  • YouTube thumbnail style should be consistent. Thumbnails help for the branding of the image and connect an audience to the channels.
  • Using a human face showing expressions in the thumbnails is sure to attract more viewers.
  • Choose something that is recognizable and memorable.
  • Use the ideal size of thumbnails. The thumbnails of size 1280 x 720 are excellent.
  • Use text in the thumbnails and make them pop.

YouTube Thumbnail Maker & Tools

All the verified accounts in YouTube can use custom thumbnails for their videos. There are many free and paid tools available for making thumbnails.


Similar to Canvas, Fotojet also has its own YouTube thumbnail layout. The users can choose from the many pre-made designs available. Fotojet is compatible with Google Chrome too.



This tool allows uploading the images and custom text, the select icon from the build in a library of the device. Fotojet is compatible with web, iPhone or iPad.

Download Canvas from AppStore


Abode Spark:

This is another free graphic designer tool. The pre-made thumbnail layouts can access for free. These can be customized by changing colors, background components, texts and others and can be downloaded.

adobe Spark


Snappa also offers free and paid options. YouTube thumbnail and other social media templates are available. Sign up for a free account and start using the premade YouTube thumbnail layouts or create one. There is visual icons built-in library also.



This is a necessary YouTube thumbnail maker tool. Choose the premade layout and customize it.



This tool allows designing professional looking thumbnails with effects such as Ombre, premium fonts, mirrors, etc. there is need to register to premium membership to access some exclusive features.



This offers the best-advanced features to help create attractive thumbnails. Fotor is a straightforward tool with luxurious features.


YouTube Thumbnail Best Practices

There is only a split of the second to catch the attention of the viewers with thumbnails. Thumbnails are like book covers seeing at which the audience will imagine what is there in the video. If the thumbnail is attractive, then they will click and watch it. Here are some best practices for creating a YouTube thumbnail.

  • Before making a thumbnail, understand your audience and their interests. Based on the intended viewers, create thumbnails that appeal to them.
  • Thumbnail should be bright, attractive and relevant to the content. Use legible and large text on the thumbnail.
  • YouTube videos accessed on different devices – from large-screen televisions to smartwatches. Therefore design your thumbnails that can be seen even on smallest possible screens.
  • Do not mislead users with your thumbnails.
  • Use only one single center of focus instead of cluttering the image.
  • Use eye-catching colors to attract the attention of people.

A thumbnail wills either make the people click the video and watch it ignore and scroll past it. Thumbnail feature was available to only a few partners, but later YouTube is offering this feature all the verified users.

A great looking YouTube thumbnail will attract more viewers and more subscribers. If the thumbnail is perfect, it will result in more clicks, and this also boosts the search engine ranking.

Remember the recommended format and size for the thumbnails and use accordingly. Upload the thumbnails in the prescribed image formats. Adding text to the images boosts the clocking rate. Also, concentrate on the background color, colors o the book, etc.

10 YouTube Thumbnail Tips for 2020

  1. Use the right photo as the YouTube thumbnail.
  2. Include the Title text on the Thumbnail image.
  3. Use bright backgrounds and closeup faces, preferable eye contact.
  4. Use the right thumbnail image size.
  5. Use the proper font for the thumbnail images.
  6. Include the brand logo on the thumbnail photo.
  7. Use contract colors while creating the thumbnail image.
  8. Be accurate and honest in your thumbnails.
  9. Make sure to use the right thumbnail maker.
  10. Make sure to maintain consistency on your thumbnails.

Also, Check out “50 Tips For Creating Perfect YouTube Video Thumbnails

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