The exact importance of YouTube video thumbnails is still debated. But all the statistics point to the same general fact: YouTube thumbnails are a key aspect of your success on YouTube.

For the vast majority of YouTube users, your thumbnail is the first introduction to the video. This is true of new viewers browsing their home screen or results pages. But your subscribers are also influenced by thumbnails; their power cannot be underestimated.

A YouTube study found that 90% of the best-performing videos on YouTube had custom thumbnails. Clickable thumbnails in large part determine how people behave on the platform.

A Few Things You Should Know About YouTube Thumbnails

Beyond being the determining factor of your click-through rate (CTR), thumbnails offer content creators a lot of power. They should always be designed strategically, as well as creatively.

Important Trends

If you browse on YouTube yourself, you will notice a lot of attention-grabbing thumbnails on high-view videos. Those thumbnails were designed to attract attention, often by being extreme, flashy, or even downright controversial in some cases.

These decisions are normally made by content creators and their marketing professionals. Attention-grabbing graphic elements are important, but so is the power of staying on brand. Many successful YouTube channels make flashy thumbnails, but most also maintain a general aesthetic that sets their thumbnails apart from others. One great way to do this is to design your own default templates to edit with each new video.

Another important trend that has picked up based on past successes is thumbnail text. Thumbnail text offers a kind of "secondary video title" to that of the actual video. This text deserves even more attention than your video's title, as people will often notice your thumbnail text before your title's text

Lastly, of course, you want to make sure your image quality is as close to perfect as possible. For this reason, let's give some special attention to the creation, size, and other important factors of thumbnail images.

How to Add YouTube Thumbnails to Your Videos

It's easy to add your thumbnail to your videos from your YouTube channel. The hard part is creating the best one!

  1. Sign into your YouTube Studio account
  2. Navigate to the left menu and select Content
  3. Click on the video you want to add the thumbnail to
  4. ​Click Upload thumbnail to find the custom thumbnail on your device
  5. ​Click SAVE when you find and upload the thumbnail image

While you're doing this, during step 4, you will have an opportunity to use the automatic thumbnail generator. Auto-generated thumbnails can be impressive, but you're unlikely to consistently produce stunning thumbnails by asking YouTube to do all the creative work for you.

YouTube Studio Content how to find - Learn to make your YouTube thumbnails high-quality, relevant, and visually appealing - Image

YouTube Thumbnail Specifications

Custom thumbnails are the more versatile alternative to the YouTube thumbnail generator. But you need to follow a few general rules to ensure a high-quality image.

The YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720. You must provide a minimum width of 640 pixels.

The acceptable file types for YouTube thumbnails are JPG, PNG, and GIF. Your thumbnail image size cannot exceed 2MB.

The most used aspect ratio on YouTube is 16:9. In general, this is the aspect ratio we recommend you stick to.

If you follow these practices from the start, your image quality will be high. The best way to ensure an ideal YouTube thumbnail design is to start by using a template with the above specifications built-in. Check out this Design Wizard YouTube image and the many others available in our Template Library.

Also, note that Design Wizard's templates follow the above specifications and YouTube's content moderation guidelines. While our templates are fully compliant, it's your responsibility to ensure the edits you make follow the.

The Community Guidelines are:

If you break YouTube's Community Guidelines, they will remove your right to upload custom thumbnails for 30 days. YouTube has become more strict in the enforcement of its guidelines over time. In some cases, content creators complain of sporadic punishments and "censorship". We recommend that you observe the guidelines with some level of caution to avoid strikes and delays to your content schedule.

YouTube Thumbnail Tips

Have Personal Templates

You can add one template for all subsequent videos. If you create video series or videos with different themes, multiple templates are in order.

This practice helps organize your thumbnails by topics and helps your subscribers and channel visitors navigate your content. This also provides a powerful method for establishing your brand.

Catchy Thumbnail Text

As we mentioned, your thumbnail text is a prominent thumbnail trend and they can easily grab more attention than your video's real title.

The most popular font for YouTube videos is Impact. Bebas Neue and Chicken Pickle are among the other most popular choices.

Design Wizard has a large selection of fonts to choose from.

Cross-Channel Considerations

To get the most out of your YouTube videos, you will want to share them on other social media channels.

Your thumbnails should be designed with your broader brand image in mind. That way, your social media posts are recognizable as on-brand.

Color Scheme

Stick to your brand's colors, but make sure the appearance is cohesive enough for all image formats. In some cases, it may make sense to slightly deviate from your regular color scheme.

Design Element Experimentation

Apart from a background image and text, there are many design elements to choose from. Try adding a range of features, including icons and other illustrations. Get creative and rearrange these elements; you never know when genius will strike.

Download Now: YouTube Thumbnail Templates

Here are some great awesome designs for you to upload custom thumbnails based on tried and tested concepts.

Fortnite is still going strong with almost 3 million players logging in daily. YouTube content for the game is still very popular as well, but many channels cover gameplay.

To stand apart, try getting really creative with color schemes, text color/font, and other important design elements.

Interior decorating and other handiwork at home demand a constant stream of video content. Jump into the theme with a video snapshot alluding to painting. Or, check out our other templates for eye-catching thumbnails on interior design topics.​

Food channels need foody thumbnails. Design Wizard has many different food channel templates set to YouTube's specifications. You are then left to edit them all you want. Add some foody design elements and creative fonts to add a personal touch.​​

Food YouTube Channel Video Thumbnail - Learn to make your YouTube thumbnails high-quality, relevant, and visually appealing - Image

Book clubs call for an eye-catching YouTube thumbnail. Ditch the simple stock photos and add some excitement to your channel's design. With this simple template, you can add your channel name and choose from our many design elements.

Book Club YouTube Video Template - Learn to make your YouTube thumbnails high-quality, relevant, and visually appealing - Image

Use the DW design tool to use this dark template with contrasting colors. Get more workout video views with a motivational video thumbnail.

Workout Channel YouTube Video Template - Learn to make your YouTube thumbnails high-quality, relevant, and visually appealing - Image

This travel vlog template really deserves some more flair. Go crazy with the fonts, sunshine, rainbows, and whatever design elements fit in with your vlog's brand. The Design Wizard image library has an abundance of beautiful travel and vacation-themed images to add to any of the travel vlog templates.

Travel Vlog YouTube Video Thumbnail Template - Learn to make your YouTube thumbnails high-quality, relevant, and visually appealing - Image

For popular instruments, YouTube is a competitive space for music teachers, entertainers, and others. This template and others can be changed to add your likeness. Then, you can explore the many design elements available and add them as needed.

The video thumbnail size is set to YouTube's standards, so you can easily remove the background with one from our wide selection of music-themed templates.

Piano Lessons YouTube Video Thumbnail Template - Learn to make your YouTube thumbnails high-quality, relevant, and visually appealing - Image

Use this or one of our many templates for your YouTube fashion channel. You can make custom video thumbnails for any season and edit them as needed. Professional thumbnail templates can glamourize your entire channel. Make sure you use one on your home page's video.

Glamor YouTube Video Thumbnail Template - Learn to make your YouTube thumbnails high-quality, relevant, and visually appealing - Image

This image can also be repurposed for meditation and other similar themes. Check out our other click-worthy YouTube thumbnails for yoga and other practices.

Yoga Channel YouTube Video Thumbnail Template - Learn to make your YouTube thumbnails high-quality, relevant, and visually appealing - Image

How to Make the Perfect YouTube Video Thumbnail With Design Wizard

You can get started with these cool thumbnails by simply clicking on them. You will be directed to the image editing tool on Design Wizard and from there you can tailor the perfect thumbnail.

You can also use Design Wizard to make fresh images with any thumbnail dimensions you need. You can make a thumbnail from scratch by selecting a platform or setting custom dimensions. From there, the sky is the limit.


Design Wizard's library and image editing tool are meant for professionals and businesses from many walks of life. For the absolute maximum level of success, collaboration between teams is essential. Designers must work with all decision-makers in your sales and marketing teams. For designs to be most appropriate, there must be consistency across all channels and thus across your entire staff.


We would also recommend making full use of the many fonts available for YouTube thumbnails. Their importance cannot be overstated, and we offer you a wide selection to choose from.

Include Snapshots From Your Video

The still image for your thumbnail is an opportunity to attract users to hover their mouse over your thumbnail. From there, you can follow up with the best images from your video. This doesn't require design experience, just a few clicks.

As an alternative, you can simply take a snapshot of the best still image in your YouTube video. Then, upload it to Design Wizard and edit away!


YouTube thumbnails are incredibly powerful and important. You can use our image tool as your own personal thumbnail maker. Just make sure to follow the advice we've laid out here and to follow YouTube's guidelines. If you're satisfied, our premium features offer you a complete graphic design tool, built on many stock images you can choose from.

Myles Leva