Chloé Gee

YouTube thumbnail tools

Whether it’s for me personally, one of our clients, or us here at T&S, I love for marketing material to look amazing. And I also like to be able to do things on my own. Maybe you like both of those things as well.

If you’re using YouTube as part of your marketing, there are tools available to help you make your thumbnails look amazing. Best of all, they’re free tools!

YouTube thumbnail best practices

Before we get into the tools, it helps to know some best practices for your YouTube thumbnails. A good video means better sales, and the thumbnail is a huge part of getting people to watch your video.

Of course, you don’t want your thumbnail to be deceptive clickbait, but eye-catching and attention-grabbing while still accurately representing the content of the video.

Here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. Any text should take up less than 1/3 of the image.
  2. Use a BIG size for your font as it needs to be readable even when the thumbnail is tiny.
  3. San-serif fonts are typically more readable on thumbnails.
  4. If you do use a serif font or decorative font, be sure there is plenty of contrast with the background.
  5. Google—the owner of YouTube—recommends
    1. 16:9 aspect ratio
    2. 1280 x 720 resolution
    3. Minimum width of 640 pixels
    4. Under 2 MB in file size
    5. JPG, GIF, or PNG file format

Free YouTube thumbnail tools

Now that you know what goes into your thumbnail, where do you go to create it? Here are three free tools to consider:

All three of those have both free and paid versions. The team behind each of them has come up with some beautiful templates you can start with. They also happen to follow the best practice listed above.

Our personal favorite? Canva! We frequently train clients on how to best use that particular option, as well as create custom-branded templates within Canva that our clients can use on an ongoing basis.

What are you waiting for? Jump in and start creating better YouTube thumbnails! Or reach out to us if you’d like help with YouTube or creating better thumbnails.

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