Whether you’re just starting out or polishing a YouTube channel that you’ve been growing already, you can use these examples to inspire your look. Deciding to throw your name in the hat with millions of YouTube contributors likely took a lot of thought, so why treat your channel’s design as an afterthought?
Standing out in a huge crowd takes some effort. Creative image choices, legible-but-fun (or interesting) typography, and good color schemes are all important elements of a good header image for your channel. Here are our suggestions for how you might refresh several different types of channels.
YouTube Channel Art Size
Before we get to the cool stuff, you need to know a few image rules. These banners all look slightly different on desktop, mobile, and TV displays — images scale to the size and format of these screens. For the most versatile appearance on all devices, the 2560 x 1440 px image size works the best.
- Minimum dimension for upload: 2048 x 1152 px.
- Minimum safe area (aka live area): 1546 x 423 px. To get the best appearance for your graphics, logos, and titling on any screen, set those elements in the very middle of the image.
- Maximum width: 2560 px. This means that the “live area” is always visible, regardless of screen size. The areas to each side of the channel art are visible or cropped, depending on browser size.
- File size: 4MB maximum.
The image below demonstrates the total and live safe areas. Background images, colors, or any non-primary imagery can extend beyond the safe area.
This image demonstrates how a lifestyle blog banner sits on the page. There is more background area than you’re seeing, but it’s designed to show the important stuff. No matter the degree of zoom, or type of screen, you’ll see the title and imagery — without the social icons obscuring anything.
You should also leave some room in the bottom right for the gray box with the social icons. These can overlap your imagery; you just don’t want to cover any type or any important images — like someone’s face. If you stick to the middle of the live area, you’ll be fine.
1. Health or Lifestyle Blog
One of the hottest types of channels is lifestyle blogging. From cleansing toxins to reviews of products to health and beauty choices — lifestyle blogging is huge. In our example below, a woman with glowing skin preparing vegetables communicates that she successfully implements her own tips. Soft, green implies organics. The typeface is DIY/hand-drawn and contrasts against the background for legibility.
The imagery used for a Photography channel should be striking, and it should represent outstanding technique — otherwise, why watch the channel? Whether you focus on landscapes, portraiture, or just general photography, the imagery should be the primary focus. In this example, a photo of a photographer against an exotic, famous locale indicates that this is the channel is the real deal. The typography accents the photo in a clean, sans-serif font.
This type of channel features DIY and maker videos, so in this instance, we see supplies atop a rustic, “repurposed” wood table and hands at work — both visual tropes of maker culture. The titling is scripty, as is the scene style, but it’s in an elegant font that doesn’t distract or obfuscate the name.
4. Gear Reviews
A gear review channel can showcase equipment that people commonly search for. You can personalize the rest of the image with colors, text, or topics. Below is a film-strip collage with iconic shots of cameras and video gear, all of which would be familiar to those communities.
5. Streetwear Blog
Streetwear is current, hip, and vibrant. Whatever angle you choose for your streetwear channel (which can depend on budget or location), you can reflect that vibe in your header graphics. Here we have a clean, urban style that uses pink as a base color for that bright, pastel feel. Slick, modern-but-zesty type complements the stark shadows in the image.
6. Music Lessons
This banner, made in Editor, is a good example of a friendly face for a channel featuring music lessons. Unless you’re the type who likes to berate your students (no judgement), a pleasant demeanor is probably the best way to attract loyal followers. In Editor, we can directly access a huge library of images and fonts — and control the dimensions — for free.
7. Wedding Photography
Another popular type of channel is wedding photography. This industry can be a serious source of income for working photographers, so a competitive channel (and an ever-expanding skill set) is a must. For a banner of this type, stick with wedding photography itself — soft colors, elegant type, dreamy bokeh. We also created this image in Editor, which allows you to add an elegant wedding typeface and a drop shadow to make the branding sit just right.
Makeup channels are sleek and modern. They might feature models or even the channel’s owner — or even some makeup products. What matters is great, natural-looking makeup. A minimal style with solid background not only makes layout easy, it also creates a fashion vibe. Use a straightforward typeface with a touch of class (like italics).
9. Food Blog
Food blogs come in a wide range of styles. The banner images are usually flat with symmetrical arrangements and clean type — modern but homey. You can either showcase a particularly photogenic meal, or you can just represent food more generally — like some beautiful avocados with their soft, green gradients.
The typography should support the imagery, so choose something modern and readable. If your perfect backing image doesn’t accommodate type very well, a slightly transparent container can be a great way to float your titling.
You don’t need much to brand a travel blog. You need an image of yourself or someone else in an exotic location. In the example below, the traveler is overlooking Hong Kong with a backpack, signifying urban exploration. Use whatever theme you wish, but make sure to capture that exploratory vibe, with a typeface that leaves something to the imagination.
Cover image via Georgejmclittle.
For more design tips and tricks, check out these articles: