Posted Feb 15, 2024


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Design & Inspiration

How to Design Youtube Thumbnails That Attract Clicks [2024 Guide + Examples]

Design & Inspiration

Design & Inspiration

How to Design Youtube Thumbnails That Attract Clicks [2024 Guide + Examples]

What is a YouTube thumbnail and why it is important for your channel?

A thumbnail is an image that shows up in a video's information box when you hover over it. It's how people first see your video, so it's important to make it look good.

The thumbnail is what people see when they first visit your YouTube channel and it can make a big difference in whether they click on your video or not. 

This is why it's worth investing some time into creating an eye-catching design for your thumbnails. 

Here are some tips on how to do this:

1. Understand Your Target Audience

Before you start designing, you have to know who will watch your video and what they want from it. 

What are their interests? Are your videos funny? Are they educational, or informative? Or something else?

You should know what kind of audience you want for your channel and what kind of videos you want them to watch.

This will help you create a better thumbnail because it will appeal specifically to them.

For example, if you're making a video about gardening tips and advice, then you might want to use an image with plants or flowers in the background because this would be relevant to your audience. 

On the other hand, if you're making a music video about love songs then perhaps use an image of two people kissing or holding hands since these images would appeal more directly to your target audience.

2. Use The Right Size For YouTube Thumbnails

If you have ever taken a look at the thumbnails of other people's videos, you will notice that they are all very similar in size and shape. A lot of them are square and some are rectangular with rounded corners.

The reason for this is that these shapes fit nicely next to other videos with similar shapes and sizes. They also don't take up too much space so that viewers can quickly scan through their options without getting distracted by a pretty image or something else in their peripheral vision.

YouTube recommends choosing an aspect ratio between 1:1 and 4:3, which means your thumbnail should be square or rectangular with straight edges. 

This will ensure consistency across all platforms so that viewers will always recognize the thumbnails from one another, regardless of the device or platform used to view the video.

Our recommendation for your custom thumbnails is:

- A minimum width of 640 pixels and a resolution of 1280x720. Images should be uploaded in formats such as JPG, GIF, or PNG. Don't exceed 2MB.

3. Find inspiration for your YouTube thumbnail

If you want to get more clicks and views on your YouTube thumbnail, you need to know what makes people click.

The first step is to find inspiration for your thumbnail. A lot of YouTube channels use photos of themselves or their staff. That’s not a bad idea, but it can be a bit boring.

 Try looking at other channels that have similar content as yours. Also, look at other videos that have high view counts as well as engagement rates. Use these thumbnails for inspiration and try to bring out their best qualities in yours.

You can also get inspiration from websites like Pinterest and Dribbble, which are full of beautiful images that can spark ideas for your own thumbnails.

But don't just copy what other people are doing — make sure your design has a unique style that makes it stand out from the crowd.

4. Make sure you have an eye-catching visual

If someone lands on your channel and sees a boring thumbnail, they're likely going to move on without watching any of your videos. 

Your thumbnail should stand out from the crowd, so viewers are compelled to click on it and see what you're offering.

If you're posting about your new product launch, make sure your thumbnail shows off the product in some way. 

5. Implement Minimalism

You only have about seven seconds to capture someone's attention with a thumbnail before they click away or move on to something else, so don't try too hard with complicated designs or logos. 

Your goal is simply to get people interested enough in your video that they watch it, so keep it simple and easy to read!

6. Use Text Wisely

You can use text in your YouTube thumbnail, but it should be used very carefully. The reason is that the text may be hard to read, or too small to read.

If you want to use text in your thumbnail, then place it at the bottom of the image. If you use more than one line of text, then make sure that it is readable and not too small. If you have a lot of words in your thumbnail, then shorten them down or only use one or two words.

Make sure that whatever text you use in your thumbnail is clear, legible, and easy to read from across the room. Avoid overly fancy fonts or too much text in general — it's better to have one word in large letters than three words crammed together. 

If you have multiple things happening in your thumbnail (like an animal with text), try arranging them so their relative positions are similar across all devices and resolutions.

Think about the message you want to convey with your thumbnail. Is it funny? Serious? Scary? 

Think about what kind of image might evoke those emotions in your audience. Then pick an image that matches that feeling and make sure it fits within YouTube's guidelines (more on that below).

7. Use Contrasting Background

The thumbnail is the first thing people will see when they visit your channel.

Using a contrasting background can help draw attention to your video thumbnail. 

This contrast can be achieved by using a dark color for the background and writing or placing an image over it. You can also use a light-colored background and place text over it.

Using a contrasting background adds visual interest to your thumbnail and makes it stand out from others on YouTube.

If your thumbnail is mostly white, use black text for the title, tags and description. If it's mostly black, use white text. Make sure there's enough contrast between the background and text to be readable from afar.

8. Keep it Consistent with Your Brand

The purpose of a thumbnail is to grab people's attention for long enough for them to click play. 

If viewers don't recognize your channel or know what kind of content you share, it won't matter how appealing your video is — they'll just move on to something else. 

So make sure that every thumbnail on your channel reflects its overall look and feel so viewers know what they're getting when they click through.

All of your thumbnails should be consistent with your brand. 

This means that you should have a style and color palette that you use for all of them(which you can use Glorify to create). 

It’s also important to make sure that the thumbnail still looks good when it’s shrunk down to fit into the YouTube thumbnail size (which is what happens when people share it on Twitter).

9. Use a template when creating your YouTube thumbnails

It's tempting to think that designing graphics from scratch will make them look unique, but if you're doing a lot of videos then this can take up hours of time that would be better spent elsewhere.

Instead, use one of the many free templates available online as a starting point for your design, and then add in any text or images that are specific to your business. 

You can design your own thumbnails using Photoshop or other graphics software. But if you're new to Photoshop, it can be intimidating and time-consuming.

That's why we recommend using a template when creating your YouTube thumbnails. 

A template is essentially a preformatted set of layers and guides (or lines) that you can use as a starting point for creating a new image file in Photoshop or GIMP (an open-source photo editing program).

Templates are especially useful when designing thumbnails because they give you an outline of what the finished product will look like. 

You don't need any previous experience with these programs to use them – all you have to do is follow each step in order and customize the text and graphics as needed.

Once you have your template set up, all you have left to do is fill in the blanks!


When on start, it takes a bit more to learn how to create a YouTube thumbnail that brings clicks.

We hope these tips will help you create a compelling thumbnail that will bring you much more viewers to your channel.

When designing a thumbnail for YouTube, it's important to keep in mind that there are several factors that go into creating one that gets clicks from viewers. 

Also, it’s important to have a proper tool that will help you in designing your visuals fast so you don’t spend much effort on it.

There are many free editing programs available that allow you to create custom thumbnails for your videos, such as Photoshop, but many of them can sometimes be too complex to learn.

That’s why we created Glorify - a SaaS design tool that helps entrepreneurs and businesses easily design high-converting marketing content at scale for their products and services. 

With the help of specialized tools & templates personalized to your business/product niche Glorify helps you create YouTube thumbnails in a matter of seconds, offering you various templates to use.

To create YouTube using Glorify, all you need to do is:

1. Sign up for free

2. Search for the YouTube thumbnail within the search box.

3. Choose between numerous templates the one that fits you best, or you can start from scratch.

4. Adapt the design according to your video: Insert name, change photos, add shadows, elements or whatever comes to your mind that can make your design look more attractive.

Pro tip: Using Glorify you can also adapt the template according to your brand, by using your brand colors, logo, font, etc.

5. After you’re done with the design process click on the Download button in the right upper corner, and then hit “Download

That’s it! Congratulations!

You can use this photo, upload it to your YouTube video, and be ready to attract much more clicks to your videos.

Sign up for free, and transform your YouTube videos by creating compelling thumbnails in a matter of minutes!

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