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Current YouTube Image Sizes Made Easy

Designing branded art for your YouTube channel is a must when you want to establish yourself as a serious content creator. Make your main channel page look cohesive with right-sized page covers and thumbnails, both of which you can easily create in PicMonkey with our templates, graphics, and editing tools. Plus, when you’re finished you can export directly to YouTube. How cool is that? Read on for a complete rundown on owning YouTube image sizes and creating stellar designs.

We have a bunch of wisdom to share, like:

1. The current YouTube image formats and their sizing.

2. The difference between YouTube channel art and YouTube thumbnails, and how to size properly.

3. Creating right-sized designs to upload to YouTube.

4. Sizing and cropping images for YouTube.

5. Using PicMonkey’s Smart Resize tool to make multiple versions of a design.

6. How to use the PicMonkey mobile app to create perfectly sized images for YouTube.

7. Creating YouTube channel art and other designs using templates.

8. How to export designs directly to YouTube


1. YouTube images sizes and formats for 2021

Social media image typeDimensions 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

2. The difference between YouTube channel art & YouTube thumbnails, and how to size

YouTube channel art and YouTube thumbnails are two very different things, which is why we’ve chosen to highlight them here. Each is super important in its own right as far as your channel is concerned.

Thumbnails are what a viewer first sees before ever clicking on your video. Think of it like a sneak peek, a flash of a look at what your video will entail. P.S.: It’s a small design, unlike YouTube channel art, which is the top banner that greets viewers when they visit your YouTube channel homepage. This banner should be brand-focused and captivating, giving viewers a clear picture of who you are and what your channel is all about. Note that this banner does not include your channel icon or the subscribe button, but does include social media link icons.

We have some great reading if you’d like to explore YouTube thumbnails and YouTube channel art further. Check out:


3. Creating right-sized designs to upload to YouTube

We have templates for any YouTube occasion, so if channel art or thumbnails aren’t what you need, fear not! Browse in-video essentials, like YouTube intros or YouTube end screens. If you see a template you like, but it’s not for the function you need, you can always use our Smart Resize tool to easily scale your image appropriately, while keeping the design intact (more on this later).

Just getting your feet wet with YouTube? Woohoo! Check out a couple of our tutorials on using videos in your designs:


4. How to size YouTube designs in PicMonkey

If you have a photo of your own that you’d like to start with, you can easily size it correctly using the Crop tool. Just click Crop, then choose the pixel dimensions yourself or use the Aspect ratio drop-down list to find the exact right size. Remember — you also have a handy dandy sizing chart in this article that’ll serve you well.

Now, crop will potentially take elements of your picture away. Depending on what you’re designing, you might want to keep all hands on deck. If so, use the Resize tool instead. After clicking Resize, enter the correct dimension requirements. Make sure the Keep proportions box is checked to prevent stretching. 

Pro tip: Is your image out of focus? Check its original size. If the dimensions are smaller than your chosen pixel dimensions, the size increase might cause it to look a bit out of focus.


5. Use Smart Resize to create multiple sizes of a design

We name dropped the all-powerful Smart Resize tool earlier...it really is the pinnacle of amazingness. Available to Pro Subscribers, smart resize lets you create multiple versions of a design in a matter of seconds. This is perfect if you want to see how a design looks in various formats and employ across different platforms. To use it, just:

  1. Click Smart Resize in the top toolbar.

  2. Select the sizes you want.

  3. Click Resize to alter the original image to its new size, or Copy & resize to keep the OG image as-is.

  4. Check your Hub — all new images will appear there!


6. Sizing designs with the PicMonkey mobile app

On the go? You can edit YouTube thumbnails, channel icons, and channel art right from the PicMonkey mobile app. Start with a pre-sized blank canvas, or begin with your photo, click Crop, and find the correct YouTube crop size. Once you’re all done, tap the checkmark.

Get the PicMonkey mobile app!


7. How to create YouTube images using design templates

In PicMonkey we’ve already got the right sizes for YouTube ready to go! Browse our template library to start designing, and be sure to read our in-depth design tutorials that will help you create like a pro. 

Design a YouTube cover with a template

Customize this template

Design a YouTube thumbnail with a template

Customize this template

Design a YouTube intro or YouTube end screen with a template

Customize this template


8. How to export directly to YouTube

You can share your YouTube thumbnails or channel banners (a.k.a. covers or banners) directly from the PicMonkey editor to YouTube. To do this you must:

  1. Have a verified YouTube account. If you do not, this feature will not work for you. Learn more: Verify your YouTube account (via Google support)

  2. Connect to your YouTube account from PicMonkey. You will be prompted to do this when you select the YouTube option from the Share drop-down menu. 

  3. Your thumbnail or channel banner must be the right size, or else the option to export will be grayed out.

For detailed step-by-step help on exporting from PicMonkey to YouTube, please see: Sharing to YouTube as a Thumbnail or Banner in our support section.

A PicMonkey subscription is always the right size. Get one today!

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 powerful images that level up your business.