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MARKETING SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

YouTube Channel Art Size

Presentation is everything, and your channel art can play a huge role in how potential new viewers perceive your channel.

If you are running a channel aimed at businesses, having unprofessional-looking channel art could put your target audience off. Similarly, if you are running a comedy channel, your channel shouldn’t look too formal.

On a more fundamental level, having your art be too small will affect the quality it displays at, making it blurry and generally giving the impression that you perhaps don’t care about your channel. There are other factors to consider, such as the placement of your art within the overall image, and how it will display on various different platforms. Remember, YouTube can be watched on a plethora of devices these days, from desktop computers to television sets to mobile phones.

YouTube Channel Art Size

So what should your YouTube channel art size be? Well, there are a few figures to take into account here;

  • 2560 x 1440 is the recommended dimensions of your YouTube channel art. Remember; YouTube makes these recommendations for a reason, and you really should treat this as an ideal size.
  • 2048 x 1152 is the minimum resolution you should make your channel art image. Below this size and YouTube will not allow you to upload it. The aspect ratio must be 16:9.
  • 1546 x 423 is the safe zone for any critical parts of your channel art if you are using the recommended YouTube channel art size. If you are using the minimum size, the safe zone would be 1235 x 338. What this means is that anything you want viewers to be able to see, you should keep within an imaginary rectangle of this size that is centered within the overall channel art image. Anything outside of this safe zone may get cut off or hidden on various devices. That is not to say you shouldn’t put any effort into the rest of the channel art, but don’t put anything outside of that area if it is vital that it be seen, such as social media info, or schedules.
  • 6MB is the maximum file size your channel art can be. Anything larger and YouTube won’t accept it. You can, however, upload smaller channel art images.

If you need some examples of what a YouTube channel banner can look like I have pulled together a list of some of the best, worst and weirdest youtube channel banners in my blog.

The part that can be tricky to wrap your mind around is the different platforms, and how the sizes apply to each. So let’s take a look at that.

How Channel Art Displays on Different Devices

For the rest of the article, we’re going to assume we are working with the recommended YouTube channel art size. If your channel art is a different size, you will have to scale the dimensions we discuss to suit.

The first device we are going to talk about is TV. Televisions—or, more accurately, devices that use the YouTube app designed for televisions—are the only ones where the full 2560×1440 will show. Televisions tend to have a lower pixel density due to being much larger screens, which may explain why YouTube treats it more as a background than a header on this platform.

For every other device, there is one crucial number to remember; 423. This is the height of the displayed area of your channel art regardless of the platform it is being shown on. The width, on the other hand, depends on the device. The maximum width that will be displayed on desktops is the full 2560, whereas the maximum on a tablet, like an iPad, is 1855. For mobile phones, it is 1546. It is also worth noting that the desktop size is scalable, and can be anywhere between the maximum 2560 and the minimum 1546.

And this is the reason there is a safe zone of 1546 x 423, because that area of the channel art will be shown regardless of the device, so it is the only part of the channel art you can guarantee will be seen no matter what platform the channel is being viewed on. You can, of course, put whatever you want outside of that safe zone, but be aware that some people may not see it. And, given that mobile phones are among the most popular devices to view YouTube on, there is a very good chance anyone looking at your channel will only be seeing that minimum safe zone.

YouTube Channel Art Size 1

What Should I Put in my Channel Art’s Safe Zone?

Now you know which part of your channel art can be relied on to always show, what should you put in there? The answer to that is one that deserves a post of its own, as there are many ways to play the channel art game. You could have a humorous slogan, a matter of fact statement about what the channel does, an upload schedule, or really anything.

One solid piece of advice for what you should be showing in the safe zone of your channel art is information that accurately conveys what your channel is about. At the top of the post, we mentioned a formal, business-orientated channel having unprofessional channel art not being a great idea, and that about sums up this advice. Try to accurately represent your channel at every level, not just in any words that are said in the channel art, but in the tone of the image.

It’s not uncommon to see social media information in YouTube channel art, but don’t assume it’s right for your channel art automatically. Remember, there are no links in your channel art. If you are going to include your Twitter or Instagram, you will have to write out username on that platform in the channel art. If it is a long and complicated handle, it may not be the best fit. You can always link to them in the header links that YouTube lets you place on your channel page.

How to Set YouTube Channel Art?

Setting the art for your channel is extremely easy. Firstly, make sure you are logged in to YouTube and head over to your channel. You should see a “customize channel” button in the top right-hand side, just under the channel art. If you are on a phone or tablet, you are looking for a little cogwheel icon instead, but the location should be roughly the same.

Once you have clicked that you should be presented with a screen that looks like your channel with the exception that hovering over different elements of your channel page reveals a little pencil edit icon. Clicking on one of those icons will allow you to edit the element in question, so head on up to the channel art and click on the edit icon in the top right-hand corner of it.

From here, you can choose to upload a new image, select one your previous headers in “Your photos”, or choose something from the gallery that YouTube offers. Once you’ve chosen an image—assuming it is not too small in dimensions or too large in file size—you can then crop it to suit, click done, and that’s all there is to it.

How do I Change my Channel’s Icon?

Since your channel is tied to a Google account, you have to go there to change your channel icon. It can help to understand why this process is the way it is if you think of the channel icon as more like a user profile picture.

Fortunately, getting to the right place to change this icon is not that difficult. If you are logged in, you should be able to go to your channel hover over the channel icon, which will reveal a little camera icon. Clicking that will take you where you need to go, allowing you to upload a new image. If it doesn’t show up straight away, don’t worry. Sometimes it can take a little time to update on other services, and YouTube technically counts as a different service to Google.

Branding

It can be easy to overlook branding on YouTube, particularly if you are not the kind of YouTuber that thinks in terms of marketing.

It is worth wrapping your mind around the concept of branding; however, as it can make a significant impact on your channel.

If possible, try to incorporate a consistent theme to your online presence. It may be a logo or icon, but a colour scheme works surprisingly well, too.

The goal is to have viewers associate your branding with good content so that, when they see it in other places, they recognise it almost immediately as something they will like. It is much easier to pick up on a particular combination of colours that you are familiar with than it is to remember the name or recognise the face of someone you are not familiar with.

Once your branding is established in the mind of a viewer, it will draw their attention in thumbnails, and any other places your branding appears. And, as many of you will know, getting a viewers attention is a significant part of the battle. Once you have them looking at your thumbnail and title, you are well on your way to getting a view.

And, of course, your channel art is one of the primary places to show that branding. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the centrepiece of your channel art—though it certainly can be if you prefer—but it should be incorporated. From there, you can go on to include it in other places, but the main area you should try and tie in is your thumbnail because that is the spot where your branding will be recognised the most, and where you will be able to attract the attention of those who are familiar with you.

It’s worth noting that branding sentiment can work against you if your content is good. Viewers will associate your branding with the experience they had watching your content. And, if the experience was bad, that is the emotion that your branding will conjure up. As always, good content is fundamental to success on YouTube.

Other Uses for Channel Art

Your YouTube channel art doesn’t have to be a one-trick pony. In fact, as mentioned in the branding talk above, it would actually be better if it wasn’t just used on your channel page. Using your channel art in other places helps with that branding, but it also allows you to focus extra time or money on making one good piece of channel art without worrying about having to do the same for other places.

Some of those other places include the header image on social media sites, artwork for things like stickers, and even overlays for streams. Of course, a purpose-made YouTube channel art image won’t necessarily drop into all of these roles without any effort. In the case of social media headers, you should be able to get away with just cropping the image to suit, but there may be a bit more work involved with something like a stream overlay.

Conclusions

The ideal YouTube channel art size can be seen as something of a misnomer, given that YouTube has a minimum size and will not allow you to upload channel art that is smaller than that. Still, the difference between the minimum size and the recommended size is enough that you could see significant degradation of your channel art if it is stretched to fit wider screens. For that reason, we would always recommend uploading your channel art at the recommended 2560×1440 resolution.

You can, of course, create a larger channel art image; however, the cropping process that your image goes through after upload will produce an image of the size YouTube wants regardless of what size it was going in, so you none of that extra resolution will make it to your channel page. That being said, it can’t hurt to have a higher resolution version of your channel art available. It could come in handy for things like printing on merchandise. And, of course, with screen resolutions continually increasing, the day will come when YouTube decide to increase their recommended channel art sizes.

Now, if you’re ready to get making your channel art, there are plenty of tools to help you make excellent channel art, not to mention services to make your life easier, and resources to help you learn.

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SEO TIPS & TRICKS YOUTUBE

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas

When it comes to your YouTube channel banner, you can take a great deal of guidance directly from any marketing 101 advice available on the Internet.

You want something eye-catching yet not overpowering—something that conveys the purpose of your channel in the purest, most digestible form possible, and gets the message across quickly.

Your YouTube banner tells new visitors to your channel what you are about, and in more ways than you might think. It can give subtle cues to your potential viewers that you might not have intended to give.

The banner on your channel is unlikely to be the first impression someone gets of your channel, but that doesn’t make it unimportant.

We’re going go into detail about some YouTube channel banner ideas, explaining why they work, and who they can work for. But first, let’s talk a little about why banners are so important.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas 7

Why are YouTube Banners Important?

A common—and incorrect—way to think of a YouTube banner is like a storefront. If you were running a brick and mortar store, you would want the sign out front to draw in passing shoppers where they would hopefully spend money on your products and services.

That is not what a YouTube banner is. Your channel is not a storefront in that sense, as very few people will come across it organically. You could funnel people to your channel page from other sources, such as your website, but then, if you can do that, you have already grabbed that person’s attention in some way.

In truth, hardly any of the visitors to your channel will arrive there not knowing anything about you. If someone is looking at your channel page, they will almost certainly have seen at least one of your videos already. In fact, the typical behaviour of a YouTube viewer is to subscribe to channels they are interested in from the video itself.

A good deal of your subscribers might never see your channel page at all! And for those who visit your channel that are already subscribed, the banner is less critical, since they are already on board.

For the most part, non-subscribers who visit your channel are people who have seen one or two of your videos and are on the fence about whether to subscribe to your channel or not. These are the people your banner is really for since they are the ones who could potentially hit subscribe—or not—based on what they see when they land on your channel.

Do Dislikes Matter on YouTube? 2

Dos and Don’ts

As with many creative endeavours, there isn’t really a hard list of things you must do to succeed.

We could lay out a comprehensive set of rules that would be true for 99% of YouTubers out there, and there would undoubtedly be someone who breaks all of them and is a wild success. Bear that in mind when reading these dos and don’ts.

Professional Quality

One of the first things that will strike new visitors to your channel is how professional your channel banner looks. Does it look like it was made by a graphics designer who takes pride in their work? Or does it look like five minutes spent in Microsoft Paint?

Having a professional banner shows that you care about your channel, which tells potential subscribers that you take things seriously.

Nobody wants to subscribe to a channel in the hope of future content, only for that content never to come, or for the channel to get shut down by YouTube because of unnecessary community guideline strikes. It is a subtle cue, but if your banner suggests you might be a bit frivolous with your channel, they might decide against clicking that subscribe button.

Information

If a non-subscriber visits your channel page while deciding whether or not to subscribe, one of the first things they are going to want to know is information about your channel.

We would recommend an accurate and up to date “about” page for this reason, but before they get to that point, they will see your channel banner.

Having relevant information in your channel banner is a great way to get the essential details across to potential subscribers quickly. For example, do you have a regular upload schedule? Many viewers like to know that they are subscribing to a channel that puts out new content on a regular basis. It can also help to state—in as concise a way possible—what kind of content your channel produces.

One of the main things potential subscribers will be looking for is the assurance that there will be more of the type of content that brought them there in the first place.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas 9

Branding

Establishing an identity on YouTube is an essential step towards success, as it puts you or your organisation in people’s minds. This is especially important if you are running more than just a YouTube channel. If you have developed branding, it should be clear for all to see on your channel page, which means in your YouTube banner.

This does not simply mean having any logos or icons in the banner.

Make full use of any colour schemes that are part of your branding. If you have a website that has been styled in red and white, consider making your banner red and white also.

Of course, the logos and icons should be incorporated, but don’t stop at that. These subtle visual cues can be very effective, and help to establish your brand so that it can be recognised in other places, and hopefully associated with some good YouTube content.

Represent Your Niche

One thing that can be overlooked surprisingly often is the inclusion of themes that are relevant to a channel’s niche in the channel banner. This may come in the form of a game controller motif on a channel about gaming, or dumbells in the banner of a fitness channel.

Things like this offer quick visual cues that reassure viewers as to what the channel is about. To that end, you should avoid including anything that might confuse the issue, and this is where things can get a little nuanced.

As an example, say you are running a YouTube channel about programming video games. You could include the game controller motif we mentioned above, but that might confuse some people, leading them to think the channel is about gaming. Think carefully about the themes you include in your banner, even if they seem relevant, and try to avoid incorporating things purely because they “look cool” unless they fit with the content you produce.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas

We promised you some ideas, so let’s get into those now. Here we will show a few different common styles of channel banner, highlighting the common themes in these styles and giving a few examples along the way.

The Informative Banner

You don’t want your banner to be a wall of text, but carefully dropping relevant information in there is a great way to give new viewers all they need in one quick glance.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas

The most obvious information to slot in here is the upload schedule, as it is something that viewers generally want to know, and can be conveyed clearly and concisely. One example of this is popular vlogger, David Dobrik.

David’s banner clearly states that he puts out new videos a few times a week, what days he puts those videos out, and even manages to fit his social media in there. All of this without making the banner look cluttered.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas 1

Another excellent example of this is gaming YouTuber, Barbara, whose banner not only conveys the upload schedule, the time of day, the type of videos but even incorporates art themes from the game she plays most.

While this may not mean much to many viewers, the viewers who know the game and want to see that type of content will recognise it instantly.

Note that in both of these examples, the YouTuber themselves are the brand, and they have made sure they appear in their banner.

The Straight to the Point Banner

If your channel has a specific aim in mind and a no-frills approach to getting there, you may want to take a similar tact with your channel banner. A good example of this is Mango Street, a YouTube channel that offers photography and video tutorials.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas 2

In Mango Street’s banner, you see a nicely shot photograph of the YouTubers themselves, illustrating what it is they do on the channel. You get their logo, and you get the tagline; “Photography + filmmaking tutorials that don’t waste your time”. And, in perfect keeping with that ethos, the banner doesn’t waste your time either.

While it may not set out the upload schedule for you, it does tell you everything you need to know about the content of the channel, as well as fitting in the branding and even an example of their work in the form of that photograph.

The Quirky Banner

Even a banner that seemingly contains no useful information at all tells viewers something about your channel. For example, incredibly popular YouTuber, MrBeast, has a channel banner that is plain white text on a featureless black background, with the text simply reading, “subscribe with notifications or i will take all your cookies”.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas 3

Of course, there is a call to action in there, demanding that people subscribe to the channel, but it is clearly a tongue in cheek statement.

This banner says a lot about the tone you can expect from the channel, which is playful, and a little cheeky. Granted, it tells you nothing about the type of content you will get, but it tells you how that content will be delivered.

A banner like this is ideal for a channel where the YouTuber’s personality is a significant factor in their success. With channels like that, people tend to subscribe for the YouTuber more than the content, and would likely watch a video from them regardless of what the video is about.

The Plug Banner

We don’t have an example of this because, by its very nature, these banners change often. The plug banner is a banner that includes information about upcoming events that the YouTuber will be involved in. The most obvious examples of this are musicians or comedians who have live shows coming up.

This kind of banner should include any branding—such as a band logo or a headshot—as well as the dates of the event that you are promoting. Sometimes the channel exists purely as a promotional tool, such as would be the case for an established band who just need somewhere to upload videos. In those cases, it will likely not be a great example of how to put your banner together.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas 4

If you are a YouTuber, however, you should include some hint as to what it is you do. If Eminem is promoting a tour, he can just have his face and some dates on the channel banner, and that would be enough. But if you are an up and coming comedian, you should give some indication of that in the banner, so new viewers know what they are getting from your channel.

Don’t Do This!

When looking for the key to success on any platform, it is natural to look at other people who have been successful there and try to emulate what they do. And, on YouTube, it doesn’t get more successful than PewDiePie. Having broken countless YouTube records, and currently being the most-subscribed individual on the platform, PewDiePie is easily the most successful YouTuber in history.

But…

PewDiePie’s immense success allows him something of a free pass when it comes to how he runs his channel. We’re not saying he doesn’t have to work at his content, but he could probably upload twenty minutes of a blank screen with no audio and still get millions of views.

YouTube Channel Banner Ideas 5

This translates to his channel banner as well. Other than a slight nod to the black and red wavey lines that are associated with PewDiePie, there is nothing in his banner that tells new viewers anything about the channel or type of content you would find on there.

However, this can work for PewDiePie because, at this point, the chances of someone being on YouTube and not knowing who he is are pretty slim. But you shouldn’t do this when you’re just starting out.

If you need ideas for banners or you are like me and just want to start with a template, check out placeit – they have a wide selection of templates on their website for banners, intros, end cards and more