There are plenty of YouTube banner templates you can use for free, but if you want to create something from scratch, you’ll need to know the right channel art size.
First thing’s first— what is a YouTube banner? It’s the image found on the top of your YouTube channel page and it’s also often called channel art. It’s similar to a cover photo on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin.
Now that it’s clear what we’re talking about, it’s time to dive right into the topic of how to customize your channel with a perfectly designed YouTube banner.
Channel art size, safe area and aspect ratio explained
Imagine uploading your custom YouTube channel banner on your laptop and it looks great. But when you open the channel page on your smartphone, key design elements like your logo or channel name get cut off. Or your Youtube banner image gets stretched out and pixelated on large TV displays.
The reason for this is that YouTube channel art displays differently on different devices people use for watching. So if you want to make sure that your banner image displays correctly across the board, you should stick to the recommended size guidelines.
Banner image size
Since you can only add one banner image, you have to make sure that your banner design is fitting to any screen size. It would be bad marketing practice to have viewers see a non-fitting image when they first discover your channel otherwise.
Making your banner image at least the minimum dimension of 2048 x 1158 pixels will prevent it from stretching out on TV displays, where it shows up as a background image. That’s why the best size for Youtube banner images is 2560 x 1440 pixels since this is suitable for larger images on TV displays.
Of course the higher the quality of the image the better, so long as the file size is under 6 MB (which is quite generous, so most high-quality images should fit into that range).
If you want to use a larger image, you can always try making it smaller or converting the PNG file into a JPG file.
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The safe area (or safe zone) on your channel banner is the area where you should place all the key information (logo, channel name, tagline) so that it’s visible with all screen sizes.
With standard channel art size (2560 x 1440 pixels) safe area should be 1540 x 427 pixels, placed centrally. This will ensure that the key information is visible on mobile devices.
If you’re using an online graphic design tool like Canva or Snappa, and aren’t sure whether you’re out of the safe zone, create a simple rectangle frame and check.
You can also try some more extensive DIY design solutions, such as Glorify. There are thousands of handy templates as well as customizable 3D mockups. Branding tools, such as a logo maker, brand kits, and template bundles are also included, if you’re building your YouTube channel from scratch.
Aspect ratio is related to image size, so if you decide to experiment with YouTube banner sizes (go up or down a few pixels), make sure you’re using the right aspect ratio (ratio of width and height).
The best aspect ratio to use for banner design is 16:9 (same as for YouTube thumbnails).
How to add channel art to a new channel
To create your new channel on YouTube, you first need a YouTube profile. You can easily create one by clicking on the “Sign in” button in the top right corner.
Now, click on your profile picture in the top right corner to open a drop-down menu.
Tap “Create channel” and then the “Get started” button.
You can use your name (the one used for your Google account), or you can opt to use a different one (for example your brand’s name).
In the next step, you may add additional information, such as links to your social media profiles and website.
Tap ‘customize channel’ and you will be taken to your homepage. You can edit your channel icon or click "Add channel art".
Make sure you’re using your computer to add channel art, as it’s no longer possible to edit channel icons and channel art from mobile devices.
Further tips on creating the perfect YouTube channel
We hope you found this article on the best sizes for your YouTube channel art helpful. If you want to create banner art yourself, make sure to stick to the recommended size guidelines. That way your banner image will display perfectly on all devices.
If you have some graphic design knowledge, you can try to create a banner design in a program like Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Or you can try ManyPixels and have one of our talented graphic designers create the perfect YouTube channel banner for you.