Have you decided to start a YouTube channel? Great job—you’ve taken the first step toward making your big dreams a reality! Now, it’s important to ensure that you become visible on the platform.
High-quality videos and excellent thumbnails are the cornerstones of growing a successful YouTube career over the long run. But when people come to your channel, you’ll want to ensure that you capture their attention. Your channel header is a good place to start in that respect.
Creating an intriguing YouTube channel header doesn’t require fancy software. Canva is a user-friendly (and free) platform that allows you to make a whole host of designs, even if you don’t have graphic design experience. Here’s how you can create a YouTube channel thumbnail with Canva.
1. Starting With Your YouTube Channel Banner in Canva
You can choose from either making a YouTube channel banner from scratch or picking from a selection of pre-made options. We’ll show you how to do both.
How to Choose a Blank YouTube Channel Banner Canvas
If you want to design a YouTube channel banner from scratch, follow these steps after signing in to your Canva account:
- Select Create a Design, which you’ll find in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
- Start searching for “YouTube” in the search bar, and select YouTube Banner when it appears. This will ensure that you’ve got the correct dimensions.
How to Use a Canva YouTube Channel Banner Template
To use one of Canva’s YouTube channel banner templates, start by following the same instructions listed in the previous subsection. You can then stick with the walkthrough below to ensure that you find what you’re looking for:
- Click on the Design tab if you aren’t already on it.
- Select the Templates section. If you scroll down, you’ll find a wide selection of starting points for your YouTube channel cover art.
- To search for specific themes and niches, use the search bar that states Search YouTube Banner Templates instead.
- Click on a template you like, and the design will auto-populate your blank page.
Be aware that the whole design will only show up on larger monitors. Smartphones and similar devices may only show the center of your design, so make sure your channel name is featured prominently in the middle.
2. Upload Your Images to Canva
Knowing how to set up a YouTube channel for the first time is crucial if you want to engage your audience from the get-go. Even if you don’t show your face in your YouTube videos, including your face in your cover art can give your channel a degree of personality.
To add images to your workspace:
- Go to Uploads > Upload files.
- Choose (or search for) the file you want to add to your channel art, before selecting Upload.
Your photos will appear in the images section. You can then drag an image and drop it wherever you would like it on your page.
3. Add Frames
While you can drag and drop your images onto the canvas, you might want to make everything more presentable by using frames. To find these:
- Go to Elements > Frames.
- Here, you can choose frames in several different shapes. In this example, we’re going to use a circle.
- Resize your frame by dragging the corners in or out. Once you’ve done that, you can move it to wherever you want the frame to feature on your banner.
- Drag and drop the picture you want to include in your frame.
4. Include Other Elements
You may also want to include other elements in your YouTube channel art, such as logos. There are several places online to promote your YouTube channel, and social media platforms are an excellent way to grow your audience in particular. So, you might want to add the logos for the platforms you’re active on.
Part of making a great podcast can also involve being active on YouTube; if you have your own show, you can add logos for Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
To add these to your YouTube channel art:
- Go to Elements and search for the logo you want to add.
- When your search results appear, choose the one you want to include.
- Resize however you feel is necessary.
5. Include Text in Your Designs
In addition to adding images and elements, text is a crucial part of your cover art. You can use headings, subheadings, and many other text elements in Canva.
Here’s how to add text to your YouTube banner:
- Click on Text on the left-hand side.
- Choose from the default text styles or click Add a Text Box.
- Type the text you want to add to your banner. If you want to make your text look more interesting, you can change the font, adjust your colors, or go to the Effects tab.
If your text is hard to read, go to Elements > Lines & Shapes and create a block that you can put underneath your wording.
6. Download Your Design
If you like what you’ve created, download your image by clicking the Download button in the top right corner. At this point, you can choose your file type and proceed to download your image.
Remember that your file size must be less than 6MB. You may need to resize your image if it is larger than that.
How to Upload Your Banner Art to YouTube
You’ve learned how to make a YouTube banner. Now, you need to upload it to your channel.
- Log in to your YouTube channel and click Customize Channel.
- After that, click on the Branding tab.
- Look for Banner image and select Upload.
- Upload your banner to YouTube.
- When you’re happy with the positioning of your channel art, hit Done.
Canva Makes Desiging YouTube Channel Banners So Easy
Canva is creative, flexible, and affordable to use. It also offers many free images, templates, fonts, and backgrounds. Upload your own logos and images to keep your brand consistent across platforms.
Whether you use Canva’s templates or design your own banner, Canva makes it easy to design your YouTube channel art. Once you become a pro with YouTube banners, you’ll want to use Canva for all your marketing material too.