How to Create the Best YouTube Thumbnail?

How to Create the Best YouTube Thumbnail?

Around 500 hours of videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. That equates to 30,000 hours of videos every hour and 720,000 hours of video every day.

As you may have noticed, that is a lot of competition.

On the bright side, YouTube has provided the creators ways to grab the audience’s attention.

One such way is to use a great thumbnail. Thumbnails are pictures that allow the user to have a quick snapshot of your video before watching it.

Let’s look at how you can create the best thumbnails for your YouTube videos.

The Thumbnail Must Complement Your Video Title

The thumbnail and the title are inseparably linked. A good thumbnail must be an accurate and attractive reflection of the title and vice versa.

When the thumbnail and title work together can’t resist clicking on the video.

Make sure the video Thumbnail is the right size. 

Often beginners are not aware of such parameters but, it is extremely important.

YouTube’s Thumbnail Parameters are as follows: 

  1. The video thumbnail size should be 1280 x 720 pixels which is a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  2. The file size should not exceed 2 MB. 
  3. The thumbnails can be in JPG, GIF, or PNG formats.

Creating a thumbnail of the wrong size would be the same as opting out of optimization for the platform you are uploading your content.


Use a High-Quality image. 

As mentioned above, the file size of the thumbnail should not exceed the 2MB limit but, this shouldn’t stop you from doing the right thing.

Using a high quality would allow you to do the following –

  1. Give your audience a better view of your video.
  2. Make a good impression.
  3. Most importantly, grab their attention and make them click on your video.
YouTube Thumbnail
YouTube Thumbnail

Include the title in the video thumbnail

A thumbnail is a tool whose sole purpose is to attract viewers and click on the video.

Often, only images are not enough to portray what is happening in the video. Especially when dealing with complex topics.

To overcome this scenario, you can add the title to your video thumbnail. This would add an extra layer of elements to your thumbnails which would make them more attractive.

In fact, you can use text other than the title in your thumbnail too. There is no right or wrong way; keep experimenting.

Use Contrasting Colors

From a design standpoint, the purpose of using contrasting colours is to establish hierarchy. Simply put, it helps you decide which part of your design you want to gather attention to.

So, when talking about using contrasting colours in your thumbnails, the purpose is the same. It is to gather attention.

Using colour combinations like Yellow, Red, Orange, etc., has proven to work well for video thumbnails.


Analyze Your Competitor

This might be the most underrated tip for your channel in general. People often overlook easily available data and do not value it enough. 

Knowing your competitors and analyzing them would help you in the following ways – 

  1. Understand what types of videos are working. 
  2. Understand what their audience likes.
  3. Understand what kind of thumbnails work.

If you can take advantage of this information and carry that over in your videos, then it would help you grow faster.

Bonus Tips

Create a Branded Template for YouTube Video Thumbnails

Creating a branded template would lead to higher brand visibility and recognition. Wouldn’t it be nice if people can know that it’s your video just by looking at your thumbnail?

Here are some excellent examples for you to take inspiration from.

Optimize For Different Screen Sizes

Over 4 billion people actively use the internet on their mobile devices.

This is a reminder that you should optimize for smaller screen sizes.


These tips are something we have noticed over the time we have spent creating on the platform. Here is a quick rundown of what we discussed:

  1. The Thumbnail Must Complement Your Video Title
  2. Make sure the video thumbnail is the right size. 
  3. Use a High-Quality image.
  4. Include the title in the video thumbnail
  5. Use Contrasting Colors.
  6. Analyze Your Competitor.
  7. Bonus Tips

We hope this helps you to create better video thumbnails and grow your channel further. Have fun creating!

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