Visually, your YouTube thumbnail’s main purpose is to get your audience to click on it.
To do this, it has to be informative and attention-grabbing.
And in today’s post, we’re going to share an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to make YouTube thumbnail using Canva.
Let’s get started!
What Is An Effective Thumbnail?
Before we proceed to the design part of your thumbnail…
…you need to do your research and make a thumbnail headline optimized for YouTube keyword research,
Of course, aside from your thumbnail, this also needs to be done for your actual video content.
We have a full post on that subject so be sure you check that out to make sure your thumbnail and the actual video get noticed on YouTube.
It covers all the research you need to do, tools you can use…
…as well as factors you need to consider to determine your video content, title, and your thumbnail headline.
An effective thumbnail needs to be attention-grabbing and should at least contain:
- your keyword in the headline,
- subject image, and
- visually appealing, eye-grabbing design to compliment them both.
And for this guide, we’re going to create them in Canva.
Steps On How To Make YouTube Thumbnail
Step 1: Log in to your Canva account. Click on the Create a design button and type in “youtube thumbnail”.
Canva will then offer the exact resolution for YouTube thumbnail images, click on that, and wait for your design canvas to load.
Step 2: Once you’re in, you can start with any of the preset templates in Canva and edit them to fit your own brand.
Right off the bat, you can see some of these designs will not make a good YouTube thumbnail like this one…
…because there’s no subject image, the design will definitely fit something else.
But for a YouTube thumbnail, you want something a bit more dramatic because we do want our thumbnail to visually stand out.
So let’s go with this one as we think it’s a good starting point.
We will eventually be swapping out all elements here and changing them to what fits our video better so this design will serve as our placeholder.
Step 3: First, let’s change our headline.
Again when designing your thumbnail, make sure you’ve already done your research on what keywords to use.
And for our headline, for this guide, we’re typing in “Design YouTube Thumbnails”.
Let’s adjust the positions of our text, as well as edit the spacing of each letter otherwise known as kerning.
Step 4: Now you’ll want to upload your main image which can be your subject image.
Thumbnails with happy or animated faces get more clicks than serious faces, so keep that in mind when choosing the main picture for your thumbnail.
So we’re flipping it to point at our text and removing the background using one of the most useful Canva features which is the background remover tool.
Once the background is removed, keep adjusting the position.
Speaking of the background remover tool, here’s a tutorial on how to remove image background using this Canva tool.
Step 5: We’ll be duplicating it and creating a light blurred version of it to sit behind the subject image and outline it as sort of like this glowing effect.
We did that by setting the duplicate’s brightness and contrast to 100 and then setting the blur to at least 25 or 30.
However, it’ll depend on how much or how little you want the subject’s background to glow around it.
Step 6: Next, on the Elements tab, we’re going to search for “youtube” because that’s the subject of this video thumbnail.
We’ll want to add them around our thumbnail to help visualize that this video is going to be about YouTube.
Depending on your video content, you’ll want to add complementing elements for your subject on your design.
Step 7: Now, let’s move on to our background.
Here’s a little trick we like to use for thumbnails backgrounds which you can also apply to other designs.
When it comes to backgrounds, we don’t want them to be too noisy.
We’ll want to use something simple but not too plain.
What we do for this, is go to the Photos tab and type in “bokeh” in the search bar.
So a bunch of bokeh images will then show up, you can select the one you like and drag it into your design.
If the image is still too noisy, click Edit image, then “See all” in adjust.
Bring the blur dial-up until you have this blurry version of our background…
…that has just enough color in it to look dynamic but not enough to take our attention away from the headline.
You can also lower the layer’s opacity.
And we’re done!
Of course, you can pick any of Canva’s available templates to start with or start from scratch.
But, be sure you take the time to make sure that your design output looks personalized to you.
So add your personal or your brand colors in there, if you have a designated font be sure to use that as well.
If you still haven’t created a visual branding guide for your business, here’s a post that’ll show you how to create one.
And that’s it for today’s tutorial on how to make YouTube thumbnail.
For all your graphic design needs, head over to our graphic design services page today to see how we can help you.