Last updated on 3rd May 2022
In many ways, your social media imagery is like the cover of your book. In this article, we lay out all the banner size and dimension information you need to create a YouTube banner that gets people excited about your channel!
Picture the last time you were perusing shelves at your local bookstore. Was there a book that grabbed your attention? Perhaps that initial visual interest led you to open up the book to see what was inside. No matter which book caught your fancy, chances are good that strong visuals played a role in sparking your curiosity and wanting to know more.
A great YouTube banner is a lot like a great book cover, it grabs your interest and makes you want to look inside. It’s an important part of the way audiences will perceive a YouTube channel. And these days, few businesses can afford to ignore their YouTube channel. After all, YouTube is the second most visited website after Google.
In this post, we’ll cover what every business needs to know to create YouTube banners in the correct dimensions and file size for different devices. We’ll also introduce you to some of our all-time favourite YouTube banner examples, so you have plenty of inspiration to go create your own.
Let’s begin with the nuts and bolts of sizing your banner.
YouTube banner size
There are a few terms and key concepts to understand about the way images display on different devices, which we’ll get into in the next section. For now, here’s a quick checklist to make sure your banner art meets YouTube’s banner size guidelines:
- YouTube’s Recommended Banner Size is 2560 x 1440 pixels
- Minimum image dimensions: 2048 x 1152 pixels, with an aspect ratio of 16:9
- Minimum image safe area for text and logos: 1235 x 338 pixels
- File size limit: 6MB
YouTube channel art size guidelines
Now, let’s dig into the finer points of YouTube channel art size guidelines. First of all, why so many sizes? In a nutshell, it comes down to how your YouTube banner art will display on the many different sized devices people use, from Android to iPhones all the way up to TV screens.
You want your YouTube banner to look great whether it’s displayed on the largest-size screen at the full 2560 pixels width down to the smallest-size phone screen – or any size in between. Otherwise, you’re potentially losing views of your videos and new subscribers.
Here’s a visual guide to YouTube banner dimensions to help put those numbers in perspective:
As you can see, there’s a pretty huge range of sizes you’ve got to plan for to make sure your YouTube banner art displays optimally on all screen sizes. What looks spectacular on a large screen may be rendered senseless on a smartphone screen. Let’s take a look at a few examples in action:
Depending on your image, it can be tricky to get it right on every size screen. But there’s one key that will help make sure your viewers always see your YouTube banner in the right light, and that’s by knowing your “safe area.”
Know your YouTube banner safe area
To ensure your YouTube banner is viewed optimally, you’ll want to understand your “safe area.” If you’re hearing them for the first time, your “safe area” is the minimum area you need to ensure your banner displays correctly.
Make sure any part of your image that’s essential to your YouTube banner is completely within the safe area of 1235 x 338 pixels. You don’t want anything that looks awkward to potential viewers of your YouTube channel, which could turn them off your channel.
Clever YouTube banner examples
Now that you’ve got the dimensions, file sizes and all-around guidelines for your YouTube banners, it’s time to start thinking about design. To help inspire you, we’ve put together a few of our all-time favourite YouTube banner examples. These are some of the most creative and effective banners we’ve ever seen!
For Food Insider’s YouTube page, they’ve designed a banner showing a series of delicious slices of food from their YouTube stories. The banner has five mouthwatering glimpses (from luscious desserts to a giant burger) separated by turquoise-coloured stripes that match their logo. It’s a nice reminder that your YouTube channel art is part of your brand. Stay true to your brand guidelines, even on social networks.
We’re one of the world’s leading animated explainer video companies. We wanted our YouTube channel banner to reflect this, so we created a playful pattern of icons representing our line of work and the scope of industries we work with. This channel art style is very much consistent with the look of our branding elsewhere, such as our website.
Gunnarolla is a globe-trotting producer who makes entertaining short films and music that shows off his unique (and humorous) perspective on the world. For his YouTube channel banner, Gunnarolla uses one primary image of himself with a logo and text overlays. His banner focuses on his logo centered on an image, plus a list of what he focuses on: music, travel, food, life. Remember, he’s not working with global name recognition the way some of the larger brands on our list have, (like our next mention Google). Gunnarolla wisely spells out what he’s about for his audience.
Who doesn’t love a picnic? Set against a red-and-white picnic blanket graphic, Google’s YouTube banner art is a delightful mix of colourful food images like hotdogs and pie with Google product logos, such as the Gmail logo. With such a recognisable brand and colour palette, Google can play it looser and more image-centric than less recognisable brands who need to spell out what they do. This beautifully executed piece of YouTube banner art leaves us wanting to take a big, delicious bite of what’s being served up at the picnic! The Google logo is nowhere to be seen but it’s still immediately recognisable as Google.
Refinery29’s YouTube channel art ranks among the most ingenious we’ve ever seen. Instead of repeating their logo again, which is also part of the home page, they went in a completely different direction. They wrote out their company name “Refinery 29” in block lettering, which is comprised of images from their website and video content. The effect is like being able to peek through a window to look inside what’s going on at the Refinery 29 YouTube channel, but only being able to catch tantalising glimpses. Guess we’ll just have to watch and find out!
GoPro cameras are known as the choice of outdoor sports enthusiasts. GoPro’s YouTube channel features a banner with the ultimate panoramic shot of a surfer catching a giant wave. They go 100% aspirational. No overlay. No multiple images sandwiched together to give different views. Just one, long gorgeous GoPro shot. The branding over the image is minimal, which lets this spectacular shot shine without distraction.
YouTube banner template
If you need to make a banner for your channel, using a template can make things so much easier. Thankfully, there are a number of graphic design tools that offer a huge amount of free templates – check out this roundup of the best YouTube banner makers.
How to upload YouTube channel art
Now that you’ve seen some of our favourite YouTube banner art, let’s go through the process for uploading your YouTube banner step-by-step.
Here’s how to add new or existing images to your YouTube channel banner.
1. Sign in to your YouTube account.
2. Click on the thumbnail in the top right, then click “Your channel”.
3. Click anywhere on the banner area, then upload (or drag) an image from your computer.
4. A preview will appear showing you the way your selected YouTube banner art will display across different devices. At this point, you can adjust the crop to change the way an image displays.
5. Click “Select” when you’re happy with your image!
Adding social media icons to your YouTube banner
You may have noticed banners with three or four major social channels while others had only one link, like the Google example. That’s because YouTube gives you the option to enable up to five links to your social media accounts. Here’s how:
1. Make sure you’re signed in to your YouTube account.
2. Go to your YouTube channel, and click “Customise channel.”
3. Click on the “About” tab, then go to the “Links” section.
4. Click on the pencil icon and enter up to 5 URLs for your social media accounts.
5. Click “Done”!
We hope these examples have inspired you to see your own channel banner in a whole new light. Still hungry for more tips to power up your YouTube game? Then check out 21 YouTube Video Ideas and How To Get Verified on YouTube.