Make a Kickin’ YouTube Banner

Make a Kickin’ YouTube Banner
September 21, 2017 PicMonkey


YouTube banners display at different sizes on tv screens, monitors, phone screens, etc.

Who doesn’t love the spotlight? Introverts, agoraphobes, masked vigilantes, people with light sensitivity, moles, and bank robbers on the run, but that’s not the point.

Okay, different question: Who wants to learn to make a spectacular YouTube banner?

Boom! There it is. How to make a YouTube banner in easy steps. YouTube is a mega-giant on the social media stage, and an effective YouTube profile can attract more views to your channel. Read on for everything you need know about achieving YouTube banner excellence.

Best YouTube banner size: 2560 x 1440

Making your YouTube banner the right size is essential—if it has the wrong dimensions, it’ll display kinda funky and all of the time you spend designing it will be for not. YouTube recommends these pixel dimensions: 2560 x 1440.

Because there are a ton of devices on which your video might play, you need to take extra care to make sure your most essential information sits in the “safe area.” The safe area is a space within your banner where your content/image will appear correctly, no matter where it plays.

  • Minimum width: 1546 X 423 px. This is the safe area, where text and logos are guaranteed not to be cut off when displayed on different devices.
  • Maximum width: 2560 X 423 px. This means that the safe area is always visible; the areas to each side of the channel art are visible depending on the viewer’s browser size.
    Our ace designers have come up with this handy guide to show exactly where the sweet spot is.

When you make a youtube banner, be sure to put important things in the mobile safe area. Size of the area and overall banner size are illustrated here.

You can make slight adjustments to the crop when you upload your banner in YouTube, you can’t reposition the selection. Which means ensuring that your desired content lands in the safe zone can be a highly strategic process, not unlike parachuting from a plane and hoping you land on-target.

In addition to pixel dimensions, keep file size in mind. Save your banner at the largest file size you can for max sharpness on retina devices, but no bigger than 4MB. YouTube cries if it’s more than 4MB.

How to make a YouTube banner

Here’s how to make a spiffy new YouTube banner in PicMonkey, then upload it to YouTube:

  1. Head to and hover over Design.
  2. Click Templates to start with a ready-made design, or Blank Canvas > YouTube Cover to start from scratch.
  3. Create your YouTube banner with our collection of fonts and graphics. Bring in your own images and fonts, too!
  4. Click Export to save your banner to your computer, and click Save to stash a re-editable version with PicMonkey’s storage feature.
  5. Log into your account on and click My channel from the top-right menu.
  6. Click Edit layout, then Add channel art.
  7. Select your new banner. YouTube will present a preview of how it will look on different devices.
  8. If your banner looks the way you want it to, click Select. Otherwise, click Adjust the crop to crop your banner in YouTube, then click Select.
    Your banner will load with a Saved! message on top of it. Now it’s ready for its debut!

If you already have a YouTube banner, step 6 will be slightly different. Click your current banner, then choose your new banner when the Channel art window pops up. That’s it! Easy peasy. The rest of the steps stay the same.

Design the easy way with YouTube banner templates

PicMonkey's Youtube banner templates help you make a Youtube banner in no time.

Struggling to find your design inspiration? Kickstart your creativity and start your masterpiece with a template! Cruise our selection of designer-crafted YouTube banner templates and find one that speaks to you. Click to preview it, and if you like what you see, click Customize to open it in the Editor.

Each and every one of our templates is fully changeup-able, so you can type in your own words and call it a day, or give your chosen template a full-on makeover by swapping in your own pics, altering all the colors, using completely different fonts—whatever you wanna do. We show you how to do it all in our short video tutorial.

And if starting with templates isn’t your jam, you can of course make a YouTube banner by cropping or resizing a photo, or designing with a blank canvas.

YouTube channel icons and why they matter

Learn to make a YouTube banner that displays at the right size with PicMonkey.

“Channel icon” is just a froufrou way of saying “profile picture” or “avatar.” The reason you want to spend a moment thinking about it is that your icon will appear on or under your banner.

So if you’re working up a stellar YouTube banner that’s all in line with your brand and creative vision, but still have your Google account picture (that’s where your channel icon is pulled from) set to that blurry selfie from the office party where you were inspired to belt out “Firework” while sporting a boa, well, might be time to swap it out. If you’re building a brand, you may want to use your logo as your channel icon. And if you’re going the photo route, check out our tips for acing profile pics on every social network.

YouTube icon sizes are illustrated with the shape of a female head and a pink background.

The best size for a YouTube channel icon is 800 x 800 pixels, which you can whip up in PicMonkey using custom sizing in our Design tool. (For pixel geeks, your profile pic will render at 98 x 98 pixels.)

On a desktop, your channel icon will appear as a circle underneath your banner. On Android and iOS devices, it will appear as a circle overlapping the banner’s lower left-hand corner.

And then your social media buttons

If you’ve added a website URL and/or links to your social media accounts, just remember that those puppies will appear in the lower right-hand corner of your banner when viewed on a desktop. Of course you, YouTube banner superstar, have kept all your important info in the safe area, but it’s something to keep in mind.


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This article was written by PicMonkey Staff, a multicellular organism of hive-minded sub-parts who just wanna get you the ideas and information you crave, so you can make good pictures and take over the world.