Given YouTube’s inherent visual nature, your content needs to have a whole lotta spark to it. Before you even put something on film, let’s think about your channel. It all starts with your YouTube channel art, which is why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide on using the right-sized images and designing a banner that’s guaranteed to wow your audience.
YouTube recommends an image that’s 2560 x 1440 pixels. That size is considered the best size for computer desktops, but your channel image has to look good on all sorts of devices, so you'll want your design to accommodate those smaller sizes. The good news? Our premade designs account for all of these sizes, so that you never have to worry about uploading your banner to YouTube and being met with disaster. Now let’s get started.
P.S. Is there something specific you’re looking for? Find it below:
Create YouTube channel art with a pre-sized blank canvas
If you want to design your banner (we’ll use this and channel art interchangeably) from the bottom up, grab one of PicMonkey’s pre-sized blank canvases. These super stars make customizing your image easy breezy. In PicMonkey’s editor, simply click Create new → Canvas → YouTube Channel Art. After that, you’re cleared to start designing! Add text, graphics, and photos to the "safe area" in the middle of your design.
Crop an existing image to the right YouTube channel art size
When you have the perfect image but need to resize it, you can use PicMonkey’s Crop Canvas tool. Just upload your image (make sure it’s high-resolution), click Crop Canvas in the Edits tab, and set your aspect ratio to YouTube Channel Art.
Move the crop target to position it correctly, then click Apply. Congratulations, your YouTube banner is now sized correctly! If your image already has the right aspect ratio but is simply too small or too large, use our Resize tool. Click Edits > Resize.
Of course, if the image you've cropped is a photo or texture that's the background for your design, go ahead and add graphics and text to the "safe area" in the middle.
Make YouTube channel art with a design template
We highly recommend starting with one of our YouTube channel art templates, and not just because we’ve put so much TLC into crafting them. Templates are a great place to begin your design journey (you’ll end with an incredible, jaw-dropping design).
Click Create new > Templates. Once you’ve found your favorite template, give it a click and you’ll be redirected to PicMonkey’s editor. If you’re already in the editor, just hit Templates and search for YouTube Channel Art. Then, you can customize however you want. Replace images and text with your own, and match colors and fonts to your brand.
Using Smart Resize to output your image to other sizes
Smart Resize is a Pro feature that lets you turn one image into several, instantly. Click Smart Resize and check off whatever sizes you desire. Then click Copy & resize to keep your current image as is and create your new images. They’ll all appear in your Hub (PicMonkey's cloud storage).
More YouTube image sizes (2021)
|Social media image type||Dimensions in Pixels|
|YouTube Banner / Cover||2560 x 1440|
|YouTube Thumbnail||1280 x 720|
|YouTube Channel icon||800 x 800|
|YouTube Display Ad||300 x 250|
|YouTube Display Ad Long||300 x 60|
|YouTube Overlay Ad||480 x 70|
YouTube channel art in action
YouTube banners are multi-functional. They can accomplish a number of goals for your brand. Let’s take a look at a few banner examples and see why they work so well:
Sarah Beth’s yoga videos are a one-woman show, so she appears on her channel’s banner. It makes the image personable. In addition to a logo, she employs short, informative copy (it’s not just yoga...it’s yoga that can be done at home) and offers a lead magnet (Free 7 Day Yoga Challenge). Also visible is her phone with an open app. Her yoga app. It’s a strong visual precursor to the channel’s welcome video which details the app and how to download it.
2. Food Network
YouTube banners can be used to showcase products or services. Food Network does this, advertising its Kitchen app for at-home cooking. The app name is also cleverly branded with Food Network’s logo, so we always know who’s responsible for this product.
HubSpot keeps things simple and minimalistic. Worth noting is its banner colors, which match HubSpot’s brand. Always important. HubSpot uses its copy to compel viewers and, really, capture the essence of who Hubspot is. How do you grow better? By letting HubSpot help.
4. 5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts is an incredibly successful YouTube channel and, like Hubspot, adopts minimalism into its banner design. It works, largely because the channel’s subdued design is made to look like a craft itself. Color and texture play big roles here, effectively branding 5-Minute Crafts.
5. Dude Perfect
Ever seen these guys throw ping pong balls into solo cups? They’re pretty good at it and, although they’ve become a massive success over the past decade, their banner captures exactly what their About section says: “5 best buds just kickin’ it.” In this case, all 5 buds are featured, combined with a few Dude Perfect-specific photos and their logo.
Effective banners give your audience a sense of who you are and what you do. When done well, they are huge branding assets.
So, ready to design something awesome?
How to create unforgettable YouTube channel art with PicMonkey
When you use PicMonkey’s editor, you can turn any idea into an awe-inspiring design. Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating your banner:
1. Be your brand
Don’t let your YouTube channel art furrow eyebrows or lead to a ton of chin scratching. Like the examples above, you want to show your audience who you are. With one of our professionally designed templates, you can accomplish this in a heartbeat.
Customize your selected design with on-brand photos, fonts, and graphics. On-brand is the million dollar word, here. Whatever you design, make sure it channels (no pun intended) your brand’s voice and style.
2. Opt for simple over complex
Another word for complex in this case is convoluted. Try to do too much, and it’ll turn against you like that time you did back-to-back full body workouts at the gym because you were “feeling it.” We don’t want you to wake up tomorrow morning unable to move from designing a YouTube banner.
Look back at HubSpot and 5-Minute Crafts. Both of their banners are simple in design, but speak to their respective brands. You don’t have to overdo it with channel art design.
3. Use your space wisely
YouTube banners offer a fair amount of design space. And while you want your image to translate well on mobile devices, it should pop on larger screens too. Keep this in mind. Also be cognizant of your social media and website links, which show up as an overlay in the right hand corner of your banner.
4. Make sure your banner and channel icon can co-exist
Your channel icon might not technically be part of the banner, but it’s still close enough to interact with your design. So, make sure both banner and channel icon can live in harmony. If possible, keep them stylistically similar. Using your logo is a safe choice.
5. Size correctly
One more time for good measure: Size your images correctly! Nothing’s more disappointing than uploading gorgeous YouTube channel art only to have it display blurry.
We hope this guide has given you all the deets you need on YouTube channel art size. Once you’re done designing something amazing in PicMonkey’s editor, learn how to export it directly to YouTube!