How to Create Better YouTube Thumbnails in Minutes

marketing + sales

How many times have you heard the phrase, “It’s just a graphic, don’t overthink it!”? We’re willing to guess it’s happened at least a time or two — and you may have even said it to yourself.

We’re going to give you a hard truth friend, but it's because we love you and want to see your business succeed. Ready?

Your business visuals, no matter which platform they’re on, are never just a graphic. 

Sure, graphics won’t make or break your business. It’s not a life-threatening situation if you don’t have the best content out there. But when you think about brand consistency and visual identity, graphics are incredibly important. Plus, we live in a very visual world and people are drawn to images and graphics that stand out.

These same principles apply to your YouTube channel. 

YouTube thumbnails tend to get overlooked because it’s a video-based platform, but thumbnails can be the thing that separates your video from the others and gets people to click. 

Want to know how to create eye-catching YouTube thumbnails that drive views and help you grow your reach? Keep reading, love!



Why thumbnails are the VIPs of YouTube 

Whether you’re considering starting a YouTube channel OR you already have one, it’s important to know how to create amazing YouTube thumbnails. Why? Because if no one clicks to watch your video, then the content inside doesn’t really matter.

Of course, what you have to say is important! But if no one is around to see it, it doesn't matter how helpful your content is, how crystal clear your messaging is, or how much you pour out your heart into your videos. They won’t do much to help out your business. 

That's why YouTube thumbnails are so important!

You need to get people to stop their scroll and become intrigued enough to click on your video. A YouTube thumbnail can grab their attention and let them know more about what they will be gaining from your video. 

And because we are visual beings at heart, having a beautiful thumbnail that clearly conveys your message and incorporates key branding elements and consistency is critical.

So, how do you ensure that your thumbnails truly stand out in a sea of online noise? 


3 secrets for making your YouTube thumbnails pop

Thumbnails are easily one of the most important parts of your YouTube videos, and it’s time to give them the attention they deserve! Here are three of the most important tips for creating YouTube thumbnails that work for you (and don’t take forever to create!).


Make thumbnails easy-to-read

You want to use your brand fonts in your thumbnails — but stay away from accent or cursive fonts. They tend to be less legible and that isn’t something you want working against you when you’re trying to get someone to watch your video. 

It doesn’t matter how gorgeous the font is. If you can’t read it, neither can your audience. Stick with fonts that are easy to read.

You also want to keep from making your thumbnail text too small. Nobody wants to squint to read text. A good rule of thumb is to keep the text as large as you might make your headers. 


Keep the video title out of your thumbnail

Text on thumbnails is important, but you don’t want to repeat the title. Your audience can already see the video title right next to the thumbnail. Use this opportunity and valuable real estate to expand on your message and generate some interest!

For example, if your YouTube video title is “How to Create Better YouTube Thumbnails in Minutes!” your thumbnail might say something like “3 expert tips to help you get more clicks!”


Use whitespace

Say it with us…”White space is a good thing!” Nothing will make people scroll past your video faster than an overcrowded thumbnail. Eek!

Well-designed graphics, even on YouTube, have plenty of breathing room, making everything else much easier to read and process. An overcrowded design is not only less appealing, but it can be difficult for your audience to get to the main idea. 

And if the thumbnail can’t convey to them what they’ll be learning, they aren’t going to want to watch your video. 


Show your beautiful face

Maybe you feel awkward or out of place for adding a picture of yourself on your thumbnail graphic. But your audience will see your face in the video anyway, so now isn’t the time to be shy!

People are more likely to click on a video with a warm, friendly, personable vibe than ones with stock photos or no photos at all. You’re the face of your business and we promise people want to see your lovely face. 


Want to design YouTube thumbnails in minutes?

Hopefully those three tips come in handy the next time (or first time!) you’re designing a YouTube thumbnail. Of course, we know that designing anything from scratch can be overwhelming and, well, tedious.

That’s why we want to let you know we have a YouTube thumbnail Canva template collection for you — and it’s a crowd favorite! 


Meet our Melanie YouTube Canva Templates!



This collection includes:

  • 10 YouTube Channel Banner graphic variations
  • 13 YouTube Video Thumbnail graphic variations
  • INSTANT download to get started whenever your heart desires
  • A customizable mood board template to help you keep your visuals on brand

If you want to get serious about standing out on YouTube, this bundle is the way to go. You can grab these templates here for just $29 — or if you want to get serious about standing out on YouTube and other platforms, this bundle is included in the All-Access Pass (and hundreds of others, too!). 

With The Canva Template Shop All-Access Pass, you’re not getting access to a few generic templates that feel like the same old graphics you’ve already seen a hundred times online. 

This library of graphics keeps things interesting in your biz and builds that oh-so-valuable brand recognition, without the extra costs and hours normally associated with it.



Sign up for The Canva Template Shop All-Access Pass today and get instant access to all these fully-customizable goodies for just $147 per quarter!

Learn more about the All-Access Pass here!

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