What is YouTube channel art?

YouTube channel art is the large image at the top of your channel’s home screen. It’s the first image viewers see when they visit your channel. Effective YouTube channel art communicates the tone of your videos in the image itself. By looking at it, visitors know if your videos will be light-hearted, funny, fast-paced, serious, or something else. You can also identify your industry or product if your channel promotes a business.

How to create engaging YouTube channel art using templates in Shutterstock Editor

If you have an idea how you might like to style your YouTube channel art, we have ready-made templates that you can customize quickly and easily using Shutterstock Editor. You bring the creativity, and we’ll bring the design so you can create the perfect art for your channel.

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Step 1:

Browse our YouTube channel art template by mousing over the “template” icon in the toolbar on the left side of the screen. Explore the available templates until you find one that matches the style and feel of the videos you feature on your channel.

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Step 2:

Select the text editor icon from the toolbar, and add any text you’d like to include on your channel art.

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Step 3:

Using the elements icon in the toolbar, try adding shapes, icons, or emojis to personalize your image and your channel.

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Step 4:

Explore the Shutterstock library using the search icon at the top of the toolbar. Experiment with different search terms until you find the perfect image.

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Step 5:

Set the photo as your background in the template, and position it for maximum visual appeal.

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Step 6:

License the image quickly and easily by clicking on “download”.

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Step 7:

License and download the photo and upload your new image to your YouTube channel.

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5 simple tip to get the most out of your YouTube channel art

Tip #1: Design smart YouTube offers some guidelines for how to design your image for different screens. If you’ve gone to the creative trouble to customize your design, you want to be sure that as many people as possible will see your message. That means you shouldn’t put important aspects of your channel art at the edges of the image. The dimensions of the safe zone are 1235 by 338 pixels. The total dimensions of your image will be 2560 by 1400 pixels. If you want to know how large the “unsafe border would be,” we can do a little math. Width: 2,560 – 1,235 = 1,325 1,325/2 (because two sides) = 662.5 That is between 20-25% of the total width on each side, pushed to the edge of the image. Height: 1400 – 338 = 1,062 1,062 /2 (because two sides) = 531 That is a little over 30% of the total height, pushed to the edges of the image. So keep your most important image elements out of these zones at the edges of the image. This will help viewers on all devices see the YouTube channel art messaging the way you intended it. Tip #2: Simple is better Since the channel art is the first thing your visitors will see when they land on your YouTube page, you want to make sure they are directed to your videos fast. An overly complicated image with too many elements may be distracting. If your visitor has to spend time figuring out what kind of channel the image represents, they could lose interest and move to another channel. Competition for viewers is stiff on YouTube, so do yourself a favor and feature a clear, eye-catching image, rather than a complicated motif that might be too small to see on smaller screens. Tip #3: Don’t design in halves If you’ve ever heard of the Rule of Thirds, then you know it’s not always a good idea to design directly in the middle of things. This rule has guided artists and architects for thousands of years. It tells us that our eyes move naturally to things that are off-center. It creates more visual impact, and a sense of movement that can draw your eye through an image and onto an endpoint, like your videos down below the channel art. The Rule of Thirds divides your image into nine segments — positioning your most important design elements along this grid is a good way to make your image stand out and catch a viewer’s eye. Tip #4: Do yourself a favor YouTube channel art and video thumbnails that feature images of people do well on YouTube. Trust us — we keep an eye on these things. Luckily, you’re a people, so not only can you take advantage of this trend when it comes to channel art, you can also improve your branding by letting your viewers see who you are. You can be your own best asset when it comes to creating your channel art — an image of yourself communicates authenticity in your content. Just be sure that the image of yourself that you use matches the tone and vibe of the channel. If your content is lighthearted and fun, don’t use a moody, contemplative photo of yourself on a lonely clifftop. If your content is serious and professional, don’t use your goofiest selfie. Take some time to think about how you’d like to present yourself. Tip #5: Don’t get stuck So you’ve designed your YouTube channel art, uploaded it, and you’re off to the content races. That’s great, but don’t stop there! YouTube channels are dynamic, and as you add content, your channel will become richer. You’ll probably need to change your channel art now and then. It doesn’t need to happen too often, but at least once a year, stop and look at your image. Is it still conveying the personality of the channel? Have you thought of a new image that might do it even better? Does it look like you’re uninterested in maintaining your channel because you never update the art? These are all good questions to ask. If the answer to any of them is “yes,” get back to work, and create another great image.

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Design your own custom YouTube banner and attract more subscribers

Solidify your branding and build your YouTube community

Drive more people to that red “Subscribe” button or that “Follow” button on other social media networks when you design your own channel art and show the platforms people can find you on. Just like a YouTube intro, your YouTube banner art is the first impression viewers (and hopefully soon, subscribers) get when they visit your channel.

With over 100 different content creation features and a vast library of copyright-free images, videos, and GIFs, Kapwing gives you full creative control to make your own YouTube banner. Don’t lose any potential subscribers or followers on other platforms. Make a solid impression on YouTube now.

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  1. Open Kapwing

    Open Kapwing.com to start making your YouTube banner image. Resize your canvas to the recommended YouTube banner size: 2560px by 1440px.

  2. Design your custom YouTube banner

    Add stylized text, your brand colors, drop shadows, and countless other effects to your canvas. Use the social media text presets to write your usernames so people can find you on their favorite platforms.

  3. Export and upload to YouTube

    Export your project as a JPEG and download a file. Upload directly to your YouTube channel and watch your community across channels build up.

Level up your YouTube channel with digital marketing banner art

Set yourself apart from other YouTubers and make your YouTube channel art memorable. Use Kapwing’s YouTube banner maker to make your own YouTube banner image and guide your subscribers (or new viewers) to your community on other social media networks like Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Patreon.

With over hundreds of templates and a huge library of videos, images, and GIFs at your fingertips, Kapwing equips you with exactly the tools and features you need to create compelling YouTube channel art. Use a template or the canvas resizer in the editor to fit the recommended YouTube banner size, which is 2560px wide by 1440px height.

Design the perfect YouTube banner to give you brand consistency and build your community up. Don’t just focus on one platform. Lead your viewers to your other channels and social media networks to give them something they want that’ll have them keep coming back.

Discover even more features on Kapwing


Kapwing’s customizable waveforms let you bring your audio or podcast content to life.

Our Waveform tool creates an automatically-generated, animated graph showing the frequency and amplitude of your audio over time. Choose between a classic waveform style and a stacked “bars” style to bring your own touch to your project.

Add a Waveform

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How do I resize a picture to fit a YouTube banner?

Make sure your picture fits the YouTube banner size by resizing it at or within 2560px by 1440px. You can use any image editor to resize anything to fit your YouTube banner perfectly. Most image editors are easy to use, with flexible transformers for you to simply click and drag how big or small you want your picture. Just make sure you can export and download your art design as an image file type that’s compatible with YouTube.

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