How to Make YouTube Thumbnails: A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome to the world of YouTube! As a content creator, it’s important to catch your audience’s attention in a matter of seconds. That’s why having eye-catching and attention-grabbing thumbnails is crucial for your videos. In this article, we’ll be discussing the 12 steps to creating amazing thumbnails, explaining various techniques and tools you can utilise, and sharing some tips and tricks for creating a thumbnail that your audience will love.

Steps for Creating Amazing Thumbnails

Step 1: Choose a Clear and Relevant Image

Your thumbnail should clearly represent what your video is about. Choose an image that will pique your audience’s curiosity and make them want to click on the video.

Step 2: Use Bold and Contrasting Colors

Bold and contrasting colors such as red, orange, and blue grab attention and make your thumbnail stand out amongst the rest.

Step 3: Select an Eye-catching Font

Your font can help convey your message and arouse interest. Choose a font that is easy to read and matches the tone of your video.

Step 4: Incorporate Your Branding

Include your branding elements such as logos, colors, and fonts to establish your brand and make your videos more recognizable.

Step 5: Add Text to Your Thumbnail

Add text to your thumbnail that complements the image and gives context to your video. Keep it simple and easy to read.

Step 6: Use High-quality Images

Ensure that your images are of high quality and resolution so that they look professional and eye-catching.

Step 7: Utilize White Space

White space, or negative space, can be used to highlight your image and text, making it stand out even more.

Step 8: Consider Your Thumbnail’s Size

Keep in mind that your thumbnail will appear on various platforms with different sizes, so make sure it is readable and appealing on all devices.

Step 9: Emphasize the Value of Your Video

Why should people click on your video? Highlight what makes your video unique and valuable to entice viewers to click.

Step 10: Test and Refine

Experiment with different thumbnail designs, A/B test your thumbnails, and analyse your results to see what works best for your audience.

Step 11: Keep Up with Trends

Keep up with the latest trends and styles to ensure that your thumbnails look modern and relevant.

Step 12: Take Inspiration from Others

Look to other successful YouTubers in your niche for inspiration and guidance. Take note of the elements that make their thumbnails successful and incorporate them into your design.

Explanation of Various Techniques and Tools

There are many tools and techniques you can use to create stunning thumbnails. Canva, Adobe Photoshop, PicMonkey, and Crello are a few examples of thumbnail-making tools. These platforms offer various layout options and templates to help you create beautiful thumbnails effortlessly.

Another technique is using emotion-filled images, such as images of people with facial expressions that match the tone of your video. These types of images are effective when you want to convey a particular mood, such as excitement, fear, or happiness.

You can also take advantage of background blur or color overlays. Background blur can help separate your image from the background, and color overlays can help your text stand out.

Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Be Consistent

Consistency in your thumbnail design can help your audience recognize your content and your brand.

Tip 2: Keep It Simple

Simplicity is key when it comes to thumbnails. Avoid overcrowding your thumbnail with too much information.

Tip 3: Use Attention-grabbing Headlines

Use headlines that are engaging and intriguing to your audience. Keep them short and to the point.

Tip 4: Consider Your Audience

Think about your target audience when designing your thumbnails. What will appeal to them? What will they find interesting?

Tip 5: Stay True to Your Brand

Stay true to your brand’s style, voice, and aesthetic when creating your thumbnails to maintain consistency.

Tip 6: Keep It Relevant

Make sure your thumbnails are relevant to your video’s content so that viewers aren’t misled.

Tip 7: Use Seasonal and Holiday Themes

Seasonal and holiday-themed thumbnails can help you stay current and engaging.

Tip 8: Make It Pop

Use pops of color, bold text, and imagery that are contrasting to make your thumbnail “pop.”

Tip 9: Keep It Professional

Make sure your thumbnail is high-quality and professional-looking.

Tip 10: Analyze Your Results

Analyze your click-through and engagement rates to see which thumbnails are the most effective and adjust your design accordingly.

In conclusion, creating amazing thumbnails doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these steps, utilizing various techniques and tools, and incorporating our tips and tricks, you can create thumbnails that stand out and grab attention. Remember to stay consistent, stay true to your brand, and keep your audience in mind. Happy creating!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Making YouTube Thumbnails


1. Increases Click-Through Rates: Creating a good thumbnail for your YouTube video can increase the number of clicks and views on it, making it more popular.

2. Conveys the Content: The thumbnail gives a glimpse of the video’s content and helps the viewer understand the video better.

3. Branding Opportunity: A thumbnail with consistent branding can help create a brand identity and increase brand recall.

4. Creativity: Thumbnail creation allows for creative expression and can be used to represent a creator’s style and personality.

5. Differentiation: With millions of videos available on YouTube, creating a unique and visually appealing thumbnail can help differentiate your video and make it stand out.

6. Increased Engagement: A good thumbnail can also increase engagement as it draws in viewers and keeps them interested in the video.

7. Increased Watch Time: An engaging thumbnail can lead to extended watch time for a video, which is an important factor in YouTube’s algorithm.

8. Versatile: Thumbnails can be used beyond YouTube, such as on social media and other online platforms, for cross-promotion purposes.

9. Educative: Thumbnail creation can be a learning experience for creators to improve their graphic design skills.

10. Cost-Effective: Making YouTube thumbnails is relatively easy, and creators can use free tools and software to create their thumbnails, making it a cost-effective marketing strategy.


1. Time-Consuming: Creating a good thumbnail takes time and effort, which may not be feasible for creators with a tight schedule.

2. Image Copyright: Using copyrighted images on thumbnails may lead to legal issues and copyright claims.

3. Design Skills Required: Not all creators have the necessary design skills to create an effective thumbnail, which may require them to hire a designer or outsource the task.

4. Inaccurate Representation: If the thumbnail does not accurately represent the content of the video, it may lead to disappointed viewers and damage the creator’s reputation.

5. Ambiguous Guidelines: YouTube’s guidelines for thumbnails can sometimes be vague, leading to confusion for creators on what is allowed and what is not.

6. Overreliance: Sometimes, creators may over-rely on thumbnails to attract viewers, neglecting the quality of the actual video content.

7. Algorithm Changes: YouTube’s algorithm can change at any time, affecting the effectiveness of a creator’s thumbnail strategy.

8. Thumbnail Accessibility: Some viewers may have visual impairments, and having a visually-intensive thumbnail design may make it harder for them to click on the video.

9. Aesthetics: Not all viewers may appreciate a creator’s aesthetic choices, leading to negative feedback and criticism.

10. Competitive Environment: With millions of videos available on YouTube, creating an effective thumbnail and standing out from the competition can be a challenging task.


1. What are youtube thumbnails?

Youtube thumbnails are the images that represent your video on the Youtube platform. They are the first thing people see when browsing videos and are key to catching viewers’ attention.

2. Why are youtube thumbnails important?

Youtube thumbnails are important because they can influence whether people click on your video or not. Great thumbnails can entice people to click, while poor ones can turn them off.

3. What makes a great youtube thumbnail?

A great youtube thumbnail typically includes an eye-catching image, a concise title, and some text or graphics that explain what the video is about. It should also be relevant to the video’s content and style.

4. Can I use any image for my youtube thumbnail?

No, you cannot use just any image for your youtube thumbnail. The image you use must comply with Youtube’s community guidelines, which prohibit certain types of content. Additionally, you should make sure that your image is high-quality and relates to your video’s content.

5. How can I create a youtube thumbnail?

You can create a youtube thumbnail using a graphic design tool like Canva, Adobe Photoshop, or PicMonkey. Many of these tools have pre-made thumbnail templates that you can customize with your own images, text, and graphics.

6. What size should my youtube thumbnail be?

Your youtube thumbnail should be 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall, with a minimum width of 640 pixels. This is the ideal size for Youtube’s video player and will ensure that your thumbnail displays correctly on all devices.

7. How can I ensure my youtube thumbnail stands out?

You can ensure your youtube thumbnail stands out by using bold colors, high-quality images, and clear text that summarizes your video’s content. Additionally, you can experiment with different styles and formats to find what works best for your audience.

8. Should my youtube thumbnail match my video’s content?

Yes, your youtube thumbnail should match your video’s content. This will help viewers understand what your video is about and determine whether they want to watch it or not. Misleading thumbnails can result in negative feedback and fewer views.

9. Can I change my youtube thumbnail after uploading my video?

Yes, you can change your youtube thumbnail after uploading your video. Simply go to the video menu, select “Custom Thumbnail,” and choose a new thumbnail from your computer or from Youtube’s thumbnail library.

10. Should I use text in my youtube thumbnail?

Yes, using text in your youtube thumbnail can help viewers understand what your video is about and increase engagement. However, keep your text short and simple, and make sure it’s readable at all sizes.

11. What if I don’t have a good image for my youtube thumbnail?

If you don’t have a good image for your youtube thumbnail, you can search for copyright-free images on websites like Unsplash or Pexels. Alternatively, you can create a simple graphic using Canva or a similar tool.

12. Can I test different youtube thumbnails to see which one performs best?

Yes, you can test different youtube thumbnails to see which one performs best. Youtube allows creators to change their thumbnails as often as they want, so feel free to experiment with different images, styles, and formats.

13. What are some common mistakes to avoid when creating youtube thumbnails?

Some common mistakes to avoid when creating youtube thumbnails include using misleading images or text, using low-quality images, and cramming too much information into the thumbnail. Additionally, make sure your thumbnail doesn’t violate Youtube’s community guidelines, as this can result in your video being removed or your channel being suspended.

Conclusion: How to Make Youtube Thumbnails

In this article, we’ve discussed how to make Youtube thumbnails that stand out and attract viewers. By following the tips and techniques outlined above, you can create an eye-catching thumbnail that will make people want to click on your video. Remember to keep your thumbnail relevant to your content and use bold, easy-to-read text.

One of the key factors in creating a great Youtube thumbnail is choosing an attention-grabbing image. Whether you use a screenshot from your video or a custom graphic, make sure it stands out and accurately represents your content. Additionally, using contrasting colors and bold text can help your thumbnail pop.

Another important consideration is the size of your thumbnail. Youtube recommends using a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, with a minimum width of 640 pixels. This ensures that your thumbnail looks great on all devices, from desktop to mobile.

It’s also a good idea to stay consistent with your branding. Use the same color scheme, font, and style across all of your thumbnails to create a cohesive look. This can help build brand recognition and make your content more recognizable to viewers.

Overall, creating high-quality Youtube thumbnails is an important step in attracting viewers and growing your channel. By following the tips and techniques outlined above, you can create thumbnails that stand out and make people want to click on your videos.

Closing: How to Make Youtube Thumbnails

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how to make Youtube thumbnails. We hope that these tips and techniques have been helpful in improving the quality of your thumbnails and attracting more viewers to your content.

Remember, creating eye-catching thumbnails is just one part of building a successful Youtube channel. Be sure to create engaging content, promote your videos on social media, and interact with your audience to build a loyal following.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. We value your input and are always happy to hear from our readers.

Good luck with creating your Youtube thumbnails, and we’ll see you in the next article!