As you know when you upload a new video to YouTube , the system chooses by default a random frame as a thumbnail (save thumbnail image) but also gives you the possibility to upload a personalized image that you have previously edited on your computer.

Definitely I recommend that you always use this second option, that you give yourself the time to design your own thumbnail (save thumbnail image). Surely it will be more attractive than automatically generated by YouTube, will draw more attention and will better represent the content of your video.

It may seem silly, but I assure you that optimizing your channel with good thumbnails in all the videos will help you grow your channel and win both reproductions and subscribers. The idea is to captivate the viewer before even clicking on the video, and for example, in the search results or in the related videos, the viewer chooses our video in front of another video from another channel.


1. Think of the viewer

Put yourself in his place. You have too many things to see on the Internet and little time. That’s why you want to know what your video is about without having to click on it. Our thumbnail has to be able to tell a story. Or at least be representative of the first 30 seconds of the video.

2. Show a person

Thumbnails that show a person work better than those that do not. Short shots of people always have good results. It is proven that if the thumbnail (save thumbnail image) shows a person looking directly into the eyes of the viewer, it will work even better.

3. Use bright colors

To make your thumbnail stand out, I recommend you use bright and contrasting colors. Do not use light colors. By the way, did you know that according to YouTube the yellow color, when used as a background color for the thumbnail (save thumbnail image), gets more views?

4. Take care of the image

Use high definition images. Never upload a blurry thumbnail. The idea is that your thumbnail is a JPG, GIF or PNG. That measures 1280 x 720 pixels or 1920 x 1080 pixels (ie 16: 9), and weigh less than 2MB.

5. Add text

A very good idea is to add text to your thumbnails. This will clarify at a glance that the content of the video is going. But do not go too. More than 6 words would be too many. And do not forget that the color of your text must contrast a lot with the background. If not, it will be difficult to read.

6. Include your logo

It is always a good idea to add your logo to the thumbnails of your videos. This way people can quickly recognize that the video is yours. Even when the video is embed outside of YouTube.

7. Define a style

It is also important that you work a style of thumbnails, which is repeated in all your videos, so that viewers can easily identify the videos. Obviously each model must be different, but you can definitely define colors or design standards that unify the style.

8. Mark the difference between video types

If you make several different types of videos on your channel (for example, video clips and videoclips) another good option is to define a different thumbnail style for each type of video. You can play for example with colors. All your videos will have a thumbnail with a black and white background, but on that background the video clips will have a text in green and the videlyrics a blue background. So that when browsing the channel the viewer knows at all times what kind of content each video has.

9. Illustrate the content

Although it sounds obvious … do not use images that are not related to the content of the video for your thumbnails (save thumbnail image). Trying to deceive the viewer will only bring you bad comments and dislikes.

10. Think of the different devices

Finally, it is very important that you make sure that your thumbnails look good on both large screen devices and mobile devices. When you see on a small screen the colors continue to contrast between them, that the texts remain legible, etc.