Optimizing images on YouTube is a must. Indeed, it allows to improve the popularity of its channel, to optimize its click rate and to increase its audience as well as the number of subscribers. Here is how to proceed to create banners and thumbnails in the right dimensions.

Founded in 2005, YouTube stands out today as the first video sharing site. The American platform allows its user to upload their own content or view those of others. In addition to being able to rate the videos, you can also share them on other sites and social networks. Formerly reduced to purely recreational use, the service is of increasing interest to companies and professionals. Indeed, the video hosting medium proves to be a fairly powerful communication tool via organic or sponsored videos. Thereby, it is essential to optimize elements such as the size of your YouTube banner and other images to launch his own channel and put the odds on his side.

YouTube banner and channel artwork

Yes, YouTube is a video sharing platform, but it also has a lot of photos. These are mainly used to improve the display or the presentation of your channel. An original profile photo and cover will, for example, allow users to recognize a channel.

In addition, illustrations directly impact the audience of a video or channel. YouTube offers a main page where users are presented with a large selection of videos. These usually come from different popular accounts or followed by the Internet user. How do you get people to click on a video from your channel? On this main page, the Internet user only has 2 important pieces of information: the title of the video and its visual. His choice will thus be made according to his 2 elements.

Thus, one can opt for a catchy title to attract the attention of visitors. However, it is quite common for several videos to have identical titles on YouTube. In order to stand out from the crowd, it is therefore necessary to bet on the visual and to optimize it. By offering an original and striking illustration for his video, his chances of convincing users are better. The same principle applies to the YouTube banner to increase the audience of his channel.

The ideal size of YouTube banner and other images in 2021

A little less than 2 years after its launch, the video sharing platform becomes a property of Google. In October 2006, the online search giant bought the service for $1.65 billion. In addition to having welcomed new functionalities, the site is now accessible from different devices. To watch content, Internet users can actually go through the computer, smartphone, tablet or Smart TV. This context makes it all the more necessary adjusting the size of images to optimize display on various media.

What are the ideal dimensions for the cover image (banner) of YouTube channels?

Then there are several parameters for optimize the dimensions of the YouTube cover or banner. In order for the illustration to be displayed properly on all terminals, Smart TV included, it is officially recommended by YouTube to choose an image .jpg or .png from:

  • 2560 x 1440 pixels : this is the banner size that YouTube recommends so that it is then displayed correctly on all devices without problems (Smart TV, laptop or desktop computer, tablet and smartphone)
    • The part still visible to Internet users will be in a safe zone of 1235 x 338 pixels in the center of your image (it was 1546 x423 historically, so you must now take these new dimensions into account), as the screen size grows, more of your YouTube banner will be visible. On Smart TV, the full 2560 x 1440 pixels will be displayed to the user. On Smartphone, only the safe area will be visible and resized by YouTube according to the screen size of the user’s smartphone.
    • YouTube recommends that uploaded images (.jpg, .png) do less than 2 Mb
    • The minimum dimensions of the image to import are as follows: 2048 x 1152 pixels
  • On tablet, 1855 x 423 pixels of the YouTube banner will be displayed to the user
  • On a computer (depending on the size of the screen), approximately 2560 x 423 pixels will be displayed to the Internet user

Here is the official YouTube template to download to make a perfect banner with the right dimensions >>

The .zip file to download above includes the various official Youtube templates (MAC and Windows) to create perfect channel banners (don’t forget that the change in format of the safe area must be taken into account, this is no longer 1546 x 423 but 1235 x 338 pixels).

To modify or add a banner with the right dimensions on YouTube, simply follow these steps:

  1. Log in to YouTube Studio.
  2. From the left menu, select Personalization > Branding.
  3. Click on TO MODIFY and choose the image to embed. You can modify it, select a preview or crop it then click on OK to validate.
  4. Finally click on the button PUBLISH to save the changes.

What size and dimensions are ideal for the profile picture (icon of the YouTube channel)?

profile icon youtube channel

When you go to a YouTube channel, the illustrations visible at the top of the display are profile picture and cover.

We can also designate the first by YouTube channel icon “. In order to obtain an optimal display for this one, it is recommended to integrate images (.jpg, .png, .bmp or .gif) of 800 x 800 pixels.

With this size, the image offers a good rendering whether on computer, tablet or smartphone and displays in 98 x 98 pixels on most devices.

Format level, you can either opt for a square format which will be truncated most of the time (profile, feed or video only for example), or create your image directly in circular format since the latter will now be displayed most of the time as well on YouTube Desktop and the mobile app.

Attention, if the .gif format is tolerated, you will however not be able to add an animated GIF as a YouTube channel profile photo, the social network does not tolerate it.

What are the ideal dimensions for YouTube video thumbnails?

Always to take care of the presentation of the content of his channel, the addition of a custom thumbnail on each of his videos is strongly recommended. This will show up as a preview of the video in the embedded player and will promote a higher click-through rate on YouTube.

Therefore, the image used should be as large as possible. However, Google Support / YouTube recommends a resolution of 1280 x 720 (minimum 640) pixels. Then, you have to respect a ratio of 16:9, this is the usual format of YouTube players and previews. The size of the image must also not exceed 2 MB.

Important and good to know : Your account must be verified in order to use this custom thumbnail feature. The feature will therefore not be available from the creation of its YouTube channel.

What dimensions for watermarks to add to videos?

If you want to add a watermark to YouTube videos, it must be created in a specific format of 150 x 150 pixels. It must weigh less than 1 Mb.

As for the other images, the accepted formats are .jpg; .png, non-animated .gif and .bmp.

Dimensions of YouTube images: the final word

For the illustrations in his channel, one can use JPG, GIF, BMP or PNG files. Small precision concerning the GIFs format, the images must not be animated because they will not work and are not supported. For the channel icon or the thumbnail of the video, we also make sure to select files with a size of less than 2 MB. As for the YouTube banner, we can go beyond this value, without however exceeding 4 Mo.

Design and adjust the size of images for his YouTube channel sometimes turns out to be a complicated operation. And indeed, the latter requires great precision. Fortunately, there are tools to simplify the task. First, there’s the Canva app for quickly creating designs with the right sizes. Then, you can also use Photoshop or an equivalent to quickly design optimized publications on YouTube (as long as you have downloaded the template above).

Find an illustration school

Illustration is a profession that can be learned, where you have to be trained in a school. There are many in France, but if you are looking for a school with a very good training in illustration, we recommend that you find out about the Pivaut school. You can train in this school in Rennes or Nantes for three years, with compulsory internships in companies during your second and third year. A great way to meet professionals and start filling your contact book. An optional specialization year is possible in comics, painted decoration and motion graphic design.

Do you want to use your artistic qualities to complete texts in the most beautiful way possible? Do not hesitate to join the school of illustration to learn how to sublimate a writing. You will have training in both traditional drawing and digital. Projects will take place throughout your course and will be presented to real professionals to give you the best possible chance of finding recruiters allowing you to live from your passion. You will develop artistic but also entrepreneurial, managerial and industrial skills. A complete and balanced training.

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