June 25, 2023

How to make a YouTube banner that attracts an audience, with examples

Your YouTube channel needs to give visitors a clear, enticing reason to stick around and hit subscribe. Your YouTube banner can do just that — as long as you follow some simple rules.
June 25, 2023

How to make a YouTube banner that attracts an audience, with examples

Your YouTube channel needs to give visitors a clear, enticing reason to stick around and hit subscribe. Your YouTube banner can do just that — as long as you follow some simple rules.
June 25, 2023
Ayush Sood
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When someone stumbles upon your YouTube channel, how do you turn them from a brief visitor into a loyal subscriber? With a staggering 114 million active channels out there, there’s a lot of content to lure them away. Your channel needs to give them a clear, enticing reason to stick around and hit subscribe. 

Your YouTube banner or channel art, the cover or background image at the top of your channel's home page, can do just that — as long as you follow some simple rules.

Whether you’re just starting a YouTube channel or you’re a veteran YouTuber, this article will give you the tips you need to level up your YouTube channel art — along with recommendations for some intuitive YouTube banner-making tools so you know how to make one on your own. You'll also get to see some standout examples for inspiration. 

Table of contents:

5 reasons a good YouTube banner is essential

Think of your YouTube banner as your channel's digital billboard. The visual pitch is a first impression that tells visitors, "Here's what we're all about — and here's why you should hit that subscribe button." When you keep people on your channel, you get more views on your YouTube videos. A well-made YouTube banner also:

  1. Shows professionalism: A slick, high-quality banner tells first-time visitors you're serious about your content and know your stuff. 
  2. Communicates your brand: Your banner is among the first things viewers see when they visit your channel. It's your chance to cement your brand identity with striking visuals, excellent typography, and a catchy color scheme. A unique and consistent brand stands out instantly in the bustling YouTube universe.
  3. Gives people a reason to stick around: The banner isn't just about looking pretty; it's a golden chance to hook viewers. Include details about the type of content you produce, your posting schedule, and any other info that could tell a passerby that your channel is for them.
  4. Cross-promotion: Trying to grow your followers on other social media platforms or direct traffic to your website? Your banner can do that, too with a snappy call-to-action. Add your social handles and/or website URL and urge visitors to head in that direction.
  5. Highlight important information: Got a milestone to celebrate or big news to share? Your banner is your billboard to spotlight that! Same goes if you’re hosting a major event, you won an award, or you’re about to launch your first book. Let your banner do the talking and share your achievements with every visitor. 

What is the ideal YouTube banner size?

YouTube suggests keeping the following guidelines in mind while creating a banner image:

  • Minimum dimension of 2560 x 1440 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:9
  • At the minimum dimension, the safe area for text and logos is 1235 x 338 pixels
  • Make sure that your images can fill the entire screen on larger devices and still look good when cropped for smaller views and devices
  • Avoid adding extra embellishments to your image files, such as shadows, borders, or frames
  • The file size of your banner image should be 6 MB or smaller
Diagram of YouTube banner dimensions.

What are the best YouTube banner makers?

Just because you make videos doesn’t mean you’re a graphic design pro. That’s okay: With the right design tools, even design beginners can create a stellar YouTube channel banner.

Canva

Canva's YouTube banner maker is a popular tool for creating professional-looking banners. Here’s why:

  • Customizable templates: Offers thousands of free YouTube channel art templates and layouts you can tailor to your style and branding 
  • Integrated photo editor: Allows you to upload and edit stock images or your own photos directly
  • Perfect dimensions: Automatically fits your design to YouTube's banner requirements
  • Brand assets: Easily upload and incorporate your brand assets into your design
  • One-stop solution: Create all your YouTube channel art in one place and easily update your designs
  • Pricing: Free; paid plans for individuals start at $12.99/month

Adobe Express

A more lightweight, beginner-friendly app from the design heavyweight, Adobe Express shines as a YouTube banner maker for its:

  • Ease of use: Designed for all skill levels
  • Customizable templates: Offers a variety of free YouTube banner templates
  • Online creation: No need to download software, so you can go from start to finish in minutes
  • Integration with Adobe Suite: Adobe Express integrates seamlessly if you already use Adobe products
  • Pricing: Free; paid plans for individuals starts at $9.99/month

Picsart

Picsart offers a more cost-effective solution for YouTube banner creation, making it a strong contender against Canva and Adobe Express. Picsart's YouTube banner maker stands out for its:

  • Creativity: Offers a wide array of stickers, shapes, and effects for a unique banner
  • Font variety: More than 200 unique fonts to choose from, allowing for a personalized look
  • Free-to-edit images: Provides a vast library of images for use as banner backdrops
  • Easy saving and sharing: Allows for easy download and sharing of your banner
  • Pricing: Free

Nailing the art of YouTube banners: 7 best practices to remember

1. Showcase your unique selling proposition (USP)

Your banner should be a snapshot of your channel's vibe. If you're a creator, your personality, style, or unique approach could be your USP. Operating a channel in the traveling niche? Create a banner bursting with globes, maps, or you in travel gear. 

Got a traditional business but want to scale up via video content? Add your mission statement to your banner to align viewers with your brand. Give your audience a reason to hit that subscribe button.

2. Entice viewers to return

Your channel art is also your bulletin board. Share housekeeping details like your upload schedule or recurring themes. Have a hot event or series launch? Splash that on your banner too. It'll give viewers a reason to keep coming back for more.

3. Use consistent branding

Your banner should be a mirror image of your brand. Is your vibe playful and energetic? Go for vibrant colors and fun fonts. More serious? Stick to more subdued colors and clean fonts. The channel art should echo your brand's persona.

4. Make it visually appealing

Balance is crucial. Play with colors, text, and imagery (within your brand guidelines) to craft a visually captivating experience. Ensure it looks professional across all devices by using high-resolution images. And remember, no one likes a cluttered space — keep enough breathing room between text, logos, and icons.

5. Optimize for different devices

YouTube banners appear differently on desktop, mobile, and TV. Preview yours on various devices to confirm it looks good on all of them. Also, stick to YouTube's recommended banner size guidelines and include essential information within the "safe area" for text and logos: 1235 x 338 px. 

You can see the safe area on the YouTube banner uploading page. 

6. Add a call-to-action (CTA)

Want to steer your viewers towards a particular action? Add a CTA. Whether you want them to subscribe, register for an event, or follow you elsewhere, let them know that right on your YouTube banner. But keep it simple — one clear CTA is often more effective than several competing ones.

7. Build trust by showing credibility 

If notable brands or publications have endorsed you, display their logos on your banner. It's an instant credibility boost. For example: 

  • If you're a software startup, featuring quotes from customer testimonials, ratings, or logos of renowned companies that use your application would show authority in your niche
  • A content creator could add logos of publications they’ve been featured on: Forbes, New York Times, or any niche-specific journal, for example

These types of tactics are massively helpful in attracting more subscribers, especially if you're still building your subscriber base.

Bonus tip: Don't let your banner gather dust. Refresh it occasionally to draw attention, celebrate achievements, or add a seasonal touch. Even if you're not posting regularly, updating your banner signals that your channel is still kicking and ready to surprise viewers with something new.

5 killer YouTube banner examples

For creative inspiration, check out these five outstanding YouTube banners that beautifully demonstrate creativity, strategy, and style.

1. Alex Cattoni 

Alex Cattoni is a popular content creator educating viewers on how to make money as a freelance copywriter and sharing marketing and copywriting tutorials for businesses. We like her channel art because it tells us what to expect and when — not only by the copy, but by the design. The vibrant colors on a black background, the marker-like font of her name, and the leather jacket all tell us that these won’t be your father’s marketing tips. 

In the bottom right corner, she uses the links on banner feature (which works only on desktop) to connect viewers to her other social media accounts, and she’s added a persuasive CTA for a lead magnet.

We’re not in love with the “subscribe” CTA in the top right, though. While it does appear over the subscribe button on desktop, the other graphic elements make it look crowded and it gets truncated on mobile. Even a font or color revamp of the 'Subscribe' CTA could have been a standout addition to the banner.  

2. Hotjar 

Hotjar is a platform for website analytics and product experience insights that helps you understand how people interact with your website.

Their YouTube banner image has a clean design and highlights how someone can benefit from the tool while also putting the spotlight on its free plan. It also has a clear “Sign up for free” CTA link that encourages visitors to sign up for the software. 

But what really stands out is Hotjar's brand consistency. Their channel art incorporates the colors, fonts, and imagery of their official website and YouTube videos. It's a subtle but powerful way of reinforcing their brand identity.

3. Ali Abdal

Ali Abdal is a famous creator in the productivity space, with some of his videos garnering around 10 million views. His channel art encapsulates his identity: ex-doctor turned YouTuber and podcaster. Ali's warm vibe is palpable in the picture, which matches the eye-catching aesthetics and color schemes of his YouTube thumbnails.

And don't miss those clickable links he's included — a subtle nudge to explore his website and social channels.

4. The Office

The Office has a huge cult following. The series' official YouTube channel invites you in with a snapshot of beloved characters and teases you with promises of episodes, extras, and exclusives — a recipe for binge-watching.

The design smartly places characters within the YouTube-recommended safe area, ensuring no awkward cropping on mobile devices. It also includes the streaming partner's icon and a clickable link, tempting you to sign up to get more of The Office. Subtle, yet effective for the show's fans. 

5. My First Million

Rather than displaying polished headshots, My First Million's banner shows hosts Sam Parr and Shaan Puri in action, right from a podcast episode. You see them the same way they’ll appear in any video you watch, which makes it feel genuine and authentic.

The sophisticated addition of the hosts' autographs, mingled with icons representing their prestigious sponsors, elevates the banner's allure — these aren’t your run-of-the-mill podcasters. The clickable links tucked in the corner send you straight to the show's social media platforms, making this banner a fantastic gateway to everything “My First Million.”

FAQs

How do I add a link to my YouTube banner?

The links on a YouTube banner are only visible on desktop. Follow these steps to add up to five links to your banner image:

  1. Open YouTube Studio after signing in to your Gmail account. 
  2. Navigate to the Customization section from the menu on the left-hand side, then select “Basic info.”
  3. Click “Add link” and enter your desired website's title and URL
  4. Choose the specific links you want to display on your channel's banner by selecting “Links on banner.”
  5. Finally, save and make your changes public by hitting “Publish.”

Why does my YouTube banner not fit?

It's crucial to follow the banner size guidelines provided by YouTube if you want your banner image to fit correctly. These guidelines suggest a minimum dimension of 2560 x 1440 pixels with an aspect ratio of 16:9. You should also ensure that any text and logos fall within the safe area of 1235 x 338 pixels.

What is the size of the YouTube banner for mobile?

The size of the YouTube banner that appears on mobile devices is 1235 x 338 pixels. However, YouTube requires a minimum dimension of 2560 x 1440 pixels so the banner will appear properly on any device.

Ayush Sood
Ayush is a freelance writer and marketer who loves writing about video marketing, the creator economy, and the software tools used in these industries.
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How to make a YouTube banner that attracts an audience, with examples

Abstract rectangles emblazoned with a repeating YouTube logo floating in the air with a red computer keyboard beneath

When someone stumbles upon your YouTube channel, how do you turn them from a brief visitor into a loyal subscriber? With a staggering 114 million active channels out there, there’s a lot of content to lure them away. Your channel needs to give them a clear, enticing reason to stick around and hit subscribe. 

Your YouTube banner or channel art, the cover or background image at the top of your channel's home page, can do just that — as long as you follow some simple rules.

Whether you’re just starting a YouTube channel or you’re a veteran YouTuber, this article will give you the tips you need to level up your YouTube channel art — along with recommendations for some intuitive YouTube banner-making tools so you know how to make one on your own. You'll also get to see some standout examples for inspiration. 

Table of contents:

Our full-featured video editing tool is as powerful as it is easy to use.
Look for our all-in-one audio & video production that’s as easy as editing a doc.

5 reasons a good YouTube banner is essential

Think of your YouTube banner as your channel's digital billboard. The visual pitch is a first impression that tells visitors, "Here's what we're all about — and here's why you should hit that subscribe button." When you keep people on your channel, you get more views on your YouTube videos. A well-made YouTube banner also:

  1. Shows professionalism: A slick, high-quality banner tells first-time visitors you're serious about your content and know your stuff. 
  2. Communicates your brand: Your banner is among the first things viewers see when they visit your channel. It's your chance to cement your brand identity with striking visuals, excellent typography, and a catchy color scheme. A unique and consistent brand stands out instantly in the bustling YouTube universe.
  3. Gives people a reason to stick around: The banner isn't just about looking pretty; it's a golden chance to hook viewers. Include details about the type of content you produce, your posting schedule, and any other info that could tell a passerby that your channel is for them.
  4. Cross-promotion: Trying to grow your followers on other social media platforms or direct traffic to your website? Your banner can do that, too with a snappy call-to-action. Add your social handles and/or website URL and urge visitors to head in that direction.
  5. Highlight important information: Got a milestone to celebrate or big news to share? Your banner is your billboard to spotlight that! Same goes if you’re hosting a major event, you won an award, or you’re about to launch your first book. Let your banner do the talking and share your achievements with every visitor. 

What is the ideal YouTube banner size?

YouTube suggests keeping the following guidelines in mind while creating a banner image:

  • Minimum dimension of 2560 x 1440 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:9
  • At the minimum dimension, the safe area for text and logos is 1235 x 338 pixels
  • Make sure that your images can fill the entire screen on larger devices and still look good when cropped for smaller views and devices
  • Avoid adding extra embellishments to your image files, such as shadows, borders, or frames
  • The file size of your banner image should be 6 MB or smaller
Diagram of YouTube banner dimensions.

What are the best YouTube banner makers?

Just because you make videos doesn’t mean you’re a graphic design pro. That’s okay: With the right design tools, even design beginners can create a stellar YouTube channel banner.

Canva

Canva's YouTube banner maker is a popular tool for creating professional-looking banners. Here’s why:

  • Customizable templates: Offers thousands of free YouTube channel art templates and layouts you can tailor to your style and branding 
  • Integrated photo editor: Allows you to upload and edit stock images or your own photos directly
  • Perfect dimensions: Automatically fits your design to YouTube's banner requirements
  • Brand assets: Easily upload and incorporate your brand assets into your design
  • One-stop solution: Create all your YouTube channel art in one place and easily update your designs
  • Pricing: Free; paid plans for individuals start at $12.99/month

Adobe Express

A more lightweight, beginner-friendly app from the design heavyweight, Adobe Express shines as a YouTube banner maker for its:

  • Ease of use: Designed for all skill levels
  • Customizable templates: Offers a variety of free YouTube banner templates
  • Online creation: No need to download software, so you can go from start to finish in minutes
  • Integration with Adobe Suite: Adobe Express integrates seamlessly if you already use Adobe products
  • Pricing: Free; paid plans for individuals starts at $9.99/month

Picsart

Picsart offers a more cost-effective solution for YouTube banner creation, making it a strong contender against Canva and Adobe Express. Picsart's YouTube banner maker stands out for its:

  • Creativity: Offers a wide array of stickers, shapes, and effects for a unique banner
  • Font variety: More than 200 unique fonts to choose from, allowing for a personalized look
  • Free-to-edit images: Provides a vast library of images for use as banner backdrops
  • Easy saving and sharing: Allows for easy download and sharing of your banner
  • Pricing: Free

Nailing the art of YouTube banners: 7 best practices to remember

1. Showcase your unique selling proposition (USP)

Your banner should be a snapshot of your channel's vibe. If you're a creator, your personality, style, or unique approach could be your USP. Operating a channel in the traveling niche? Create a banner bursting with globes, maps, or you in travel gear. 

Got a traditional business but want to scale up via video content? Add your mission statement to your banner to align viewers with your brand. Give your audience a reason to hit that subscribe button.

2. Entice viewers to return

Your channel art is also your bulletin board. Share housekeeping details like your upload schedule or recurring themes. Have a hot event or series launch? Splash that on your banner too. It'll give viewers a reason to keep coming back for more.

3. Use consistent branding

Your banner should be a mirror image of your brand. Is your vibe playful and energetic? Go for vibrant colors and fun fonts. More serious? Stick to more subdued colors and clean fonts. The channel art should echo your brand's persona.

4. Make it visually appealing

Balance is crucial. Play with colors, text, and imagery (within your brand guidelines) to craft a visually captivating experience. Ensure it looks professional across all devices by using high-resolution images. And remember, no one likes a cluttered space — keep enough breathing room between text, logos, and icons.

5. Optimize for different devices

YouTube banners appear differently on desktop, mobile, and TV. Preview yours on various devices to confirm it looks good on all of them. Also, stick to YouTube's recommended banner size guidelines and include essential information within the "safe area" for text and logos: 1235 x 338 px. 

You can see the safe area on the YouTube banner uploading page. 

6. Add a call-to-action (CTA)

Want to steer your viewers towards a particular action? Add a CTA. Whether you want them to subscribe, register for an event, or follow you elsewhere, let them know that right on your YouTube banner. But keep it simple — one clear CTA is often more effective than several competing ones.

7. Build trust by showing credibility 

If notable brands or publications have endorsed you, display their logos on your banner. It's an instant credibility boost. For example: 

  • If you're a software startup, featuring quotes from customer testimonials, ratings, or logos of renowned companies that use your application would show authority in your niche
  • A content creator could add logos of publications they’ve been featured on: Forbes, New York Times, or any niche-specific journal, for example

These types of tactics are massively helpful in attracting more subscribers, especially if you're still building your subscriber base.

Bonus tip: Don't let your banner gather dust. Refresh it occasionally to draw attention, celebrate achievements, or add a seasonal touch. Even if you're not posting regularly, updating your banner signals that your channel is still kicking and ready to surprise viewers with something new.

5 killer YouTube banner examples

For creative inspiration, check out these five outstanding YouTube banners that beautifully demonstrate creativity, strategy, and style.

1. Alex Cattoni 

Alex Cattoni is a popular content creator educating viewers on how to make money as a freelance copywriter and sharing marketing and copywriting tutorials for businesses. We like her channel art because it tells us what to expect and when — not only by the copy, but by the design. The vibrant colors on a black background, the marker-like font of her name, and the leather jacket all tell us that these won’t be your father’s marketing tips. 

In the bottom right corner, she uses the links on banner feature (which works only on desktop) to connect viewers to her other social media accounts, and she’s added a persuasive CTA for a lead magnet.

We’re not in love with the “subscribe” CTA in the top right, though. While it does appear over the subscribe button on desktop, the other graphic elements make it look crowded and it gets truncated on mobile. Even a font or color revamp of the 'Subscribe' CTA could have been a standout addition to the banner.  

2. Hotjar 

Hotjar is a platform for website analytics and product experience insights that helps you understand how people interact with your website.

Their YouTube banner image has a clean design and highlights how someone can benefit from the tool while also putting the spotlight on its free plan. It also has a clear “Sign up for free” CTA link that encourages visitors to sign up for the software. 

But what really stands out is Hotjar's brand consistency. Their channel art incorporates the colors, fonts, and imagery of their official website and YouTube videos. It's a subtle but powerful way of reinforcing their brand identity.

3. Ali Abdal

Ali Abdal is a famous creator in the productivity space, with some of his videos garnering around 10 million views. His channel art encapsulates his identity: ex-doctor turned YouTuber and podcaster. Ali's warm vibe is palpable in the picture, which matches the eye-catching aesthetics and color schemes of his YouTube thumbnails.

And don't miss those clickable links he's included — a subtle nudge to explore his website and social channels.

4. The Office

The Office has a huge cult following. The series' official YouTube channel invites you in with a snapshot of beloved characters and teases you with promises of episodes, extras, and exclusives — a recipe for binge-watching.

The design smartly places characters within the YouTube-recommended safe area, ensuring no awkward cropping on mobile devices. It also includes the streaming partner's icon and a clickable link, tempting you to sign up to get more of The Office. Subtle, yet effective for the show's fans. 

5. My First Million

Rather than displaying polished headshots, My First Million's banner shows hosts Sam Parr and Shaan Puri in action, right from a podcast episode. You see them the same way they’ll appear in any video you watch, which makes it feel genuine and authentic.

The sophisticated addition of the hosts' autographs, mingled with icons representing their prestigious sponsors, elevates the banner's allure — these aren’t your run-of-the-mill podcasters. The clickable links tucked in the corner send you straight to the show's social media platforms, making this banner a fantastic gateway to everything “My First Million.”

FAQs

How do I add a link to my YouTube banner?

The links on a YouTube banner are only visible on desktop. Follow these steps to add up to five links to your banner image:

  1. Open YouTube Studio after signing in to your Gmail account. 
  2. Navigate to the Customization section from the menu on the left-hand side, then select “Basic info.”
  3. Click “Add link” and enter your desired website's title and URL
  4. Choose the specific links you want to display on your channel's banner by selecting “Links on banner.”
  5. Finally, save and make your changes public by hitting “Publish.”

Why does my YouTube banner not fit?

It's crucial to follow the banner size guidelines provided by YouTube if you want your banner image to fit correctly. These guidelines suggest a minimum dimension of 2560 x 1440 pixels with an aspect ratio of 16:9. You should also ensure that any text and logos fall within the safe area of 1235 x 338 pixels.

What is the size of the YouTube banner for mobile?

The size of the YouTube banner that appears on mobile devices is 1235 x 338 pixels. However, YouTube requires a minimum dimension of 2560 x 1440 pixels so the banner will appear properly on any device.

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