Let PicMonkey Be Your Personal YouTube Thumbnail Maker

There’s one surefire way to get more people to watch your YouTube videos: Make an eye-catching thumbnail. The thumbnail is the first thing people see when they make their way through the wilds of YouTube in search of the next great video to watch. So make sure yours stand out from the crowd with bold colors, snappy text, and outstanding graphics (a.k.a., graphics, stickers, clip art).

Take a look at our tutorial on how to make stellar thumbnails, and read below for a quick summary of our best tips and tricks.

Get the size right

Creating a clickable image with our YouTube thumbnail maker is a snap. You’ll want to start with the YouTube thumbnail blank canvas so your image will be the right size. That way it won’t look distorted when you upload it to YouTube. Click Templates at the top nav bar, choose Blank canvas, and click the YouTube Thumbnail template. You can also begin with an image and crop it using the 720p HDTV crop size (1280 x 720 pixels) using the Crop tool.

Use images and graphics

If you begin with a blank canvas, you can add an image using our Add you own image button in the Graphics tab. Colorful images and flat lay photography are great for attracting attention in a crowded field of thumbnails. If you begin with an image and then crop it, you’ll be able to add some eye-popping effects, too.

PicMonkey has loads of professionally designed graphics that you can add, from superhero shields to tropical drinks to exotic sea creatures. We’ve got a bunch of unique ways to use graphics in the tutorial above.

Add text

YouTube users are going to want to know what your video is about before they click on it, so adding a little explanatory text such as a title is a good idea. Try and get your point across as quickly and succinctly as possible, since thumbnails are small and people don’t want to read a lot before clicking. We created this handy YouTube Thumbnail Guide to help.

There are many ways for you to make your text stand out. You can color it, give it a drop shadow, curve it, or bold it. You can put it on top of a banner or color block. You can even try the layered-text-and-image trend that’s all the rage. Whatever you do, make sure it’s easy to read and grabs people’s limited attention. After you have your thumbnails beautified – check out our YouTube Banner Maker.

Let your creativity run free with a PicMonkey membership.
Molly Shapiro

Before joining the PicMonkey editorial team as a senior writer, Molly wrote about topics as varied as politics, finance, global health, and online dating. As a fiction writer, she’s published two books, both available on Amazon through totally non-sketchy retailers. A midwestern transplant who now calls Seattle home, Molly firmly believes that the Space Needle is way cooler than the Eiffel Tower.