Home YouTube YouTube Thumbnails: How To Make Easy Thumbnails for YouTube Videos

YouTube Thumbnails: How To Make Easy Thumbnails for YouTube Videos

How To Make Easy Thumbnails for YouTube Videos

In this post, you will learn how to optimize YouTube Thumbnails to Attract More Viewers. Also a step by step example on how to create amazing thumbnails without the need of Photoshop. Lets start!

Smart Thumbnails

Thumbnails are one of the most important aspects besides the video itself. This is because thumbnails, in a combination with the title of your video, are the biggest factor when somebody is going to decide which video to see next. People is going to click more in a thumbnail that they like to look or that stands out the most than rather to one that is not convincing.

When you are creating your thumbnail you need to think that the thumbnail must draw the attention of the viewer, it should have the related content that you are going to show on your video and also you need to make it in a way that the viewer feels excited to see that video. This is essential because if your thumbnails are great you are going to connect with the audience from the get go.

youtube thumnails example

Thumbnails That Work

The thumbnails that work the best in YouTube and that get most clicks are the ones that in their thumbnail they portray emotions. This is important because you connect with the viewer. Make use of up and close faces if you are going to use a face, make sure that you make eye contact with the viewer and also show emotion.

Another thing to consider is to use bright backgrounds. These types of backgrounds get the attention of the viewer because the eye wants to see bright colors rather than dark colors. Use a bright background and a face or a picture to stand out more.

In addition to this, you can also make use of contrasts to show the main figure of the thumbnail to stand out more from the one that is not that important.

use proper thumbnail on youtube

Text on Thumbnails

Make use of text but not that much. Make use of 20% to 30% text in the thumbnail and 70% to 80% of a picture that is going to stand out. The combination of these two is great because you are telling the viewer what is he or she going to see when they click on your video.

You can also add your branding in the thumbnail to make it more unique and relevant and also for the viewer to remember more about your YouTube channel. This is also great because If the video gets spread all over the internet thru social media and websites more people will notice about your brand and you will get more exposure.

Remember that thumbnails are design for the small screen so you need to make it to stand out. Don’t add anything important in the lower right hand corner because there goes the time of your video and it wont get seen.

Some niches that you don’t need to work that much in your thumbnails but you can still add text too it are for example videos that contain food, make up and cars.

use better youtube thumbnails to rank better

How To Create Easy Thumbnails

Lets see now how to create really good thumbnails that will stand out without the need of expensive software such as Photoshop.

For this, you will need two tools that are completely free. These are the websites: Pixlr which is a free editing software where we are going to make our thumbnail and DaFont which is an amazing website where we can get great fonts and download them into our computer so we can use them for our thumbnails.

First, in order to create our thumbnail we need to know the dimensions. These are a width of 1280 by a height of 720 pixels.

So, what we are going to do first is to get from google images “a white background photo” to resize it to those dimensions. After we have the image, we head onto pixlr and there we go to “pixlr express”. Here we are going to open the white background and resize it to 1280 by 720. Now once we have our background, we are going to add over it, the image that we want to use for our background.


In this example, I am going to use a picture of a puma. The picture stands out because its showing emotion, and also I can clearly see the contrast between the puma and the background.

I am going to save this picture and then head over again to pixlr.com, here I am going to open the editor. I have different options to choose but I am going to open the image of the puma that I have just saved.

youtube video thumbnail tutorial

Add text and Color

Now we have the image here but we want to add a text so it stands out even more. Since the video is going to be about wild top animals I am going to use that text, but I want a really good text. So I am going to head over to DaFont, where I can download different fonts. I am going to select the handwritten fonts and type in “top wild animals” to see how they look like. Now after I saw different fonts, I am going to download one that is called ponymaker. I am going to save it on my computer and install the font.

use dafont to create youtube thumbnail

Now, lets go back to pixlr where we have our image. On the sidebar, there is a button with the letter A. We are going to click that letter so we can add some text to the image. I am going to type in “top wild animals” and I am going to select our font that we have just downloaded which is poneymaker. Here, you can play with the settings and see which zise should the font be and changes to make so it stands out even more.

I am going to change the size to see how it looks. Play around with this and see in your thumbnail image how it will look best. I am going to click on the icon color and see all the different colors that I can add. I am going to select a yellow color that gets the attention of the viewers.

create a youtube thumbnail on pixlr

Final Touches

Now, for the final touch as you can see on the right side we have two layers, the image and the text. I am going to select the text and I have here a small icon with a star, I am going to click on it. Here you can add shadows, inner and outer glow that makes your text stand out even more. Play around with this, see which one fits better for your thumbnail. I am just going to add a drop shadow to the text and then after I see that I like the picture with the text I will save it. Once its saved, you need to upload it when you upload your video.

making a great youtube thumbnail tutorial

Watch the video tutorial: Smart Thumbnails


Again take advantage of the power of thumbnails in order to get more views for your videos. Continue to the next part of the YouTube Tutorial where we will learn why playlists are so important.
Read More: YouTube Tutorial Part 8: Discover the Real Advantage of Creating Playlists



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