YouTube Banner Size [Best Practices for 2021]

Everything you need to know about sizing for your YouTube channel banner (and best practices on what to include).

Komal Ahuja
YouTube Banner Size [Best Practices for 2021]

Table of contents:

Visual appeal holds supreme importance and is a non-negotiable aspect of a digital brand in 2021. YouTube is a visual-only platform where being on-brand with your graphics is a need more than a choice.

Banners are an essential part of your YouTube presence because they invite people to watch your video and create expectations about your channel. But for this to happen, you need to spend sufficient time designing your banner and ensuring it aligns with YouTube guidelines. 

Since the banner is the first thing viewers see on your channel, it gives your viewers further clarity on what your channel is about and what kind of content they’ll find—safe to say, you can’t overlook its importance.

In this article, we’re going to dive deep into the world of YouTube channel art, aka banners, to discuss the best YouTube banner size, and how you can enhance your visual presence while complying with platform specifications to create an impressive channel.

Table of Contents 

  1. What are banners, and why are they important?
  2. YouTube Channel Art Dimensions
  3. YouTube Channel Art Size Format
  4. YouTube Banner Aspect Ratio
  5. How To Test Your Channel Art For Different Devices
  6. YouTube Channel Art Best Practices
  7. YouTube Banner: Frequently Asked Questions

What are banners, and why are they important?

YouTube banners, also commonly known as YouTube channel art is the large-sized banner that goes on the top of your channel page. They define your brand’s aesthetics and manage customer perceptions the right way.

Apart from being the basis of your brand’s personality and channel presence, here are some other reasons why banners are important:

  • First impressions: The first visual element of your channel is the banner, which casts the first impression on a visitor and significantly impacts decision making. This can make or break your YouTube efforts and largely determine if a visitor will watch your videos or not.
  • Brand recognition: Being consistent with your brand styling and consistency is important to build brand recall value. This allows visitors to easily recognize your brand simply through the color combinations, typography, graphics, or other elements. 
  • Clarity: If there’s one thing that can tell visitors about your channel and the kind of content you create without actually watching the videos—it’s your channel banner. It conveys your YouTube intent and tells the audience what solutions you will provide, further persuading them to watch your videos.
  • Brand perception: By clarifying what your videos are about and what the viewer can expect from your channel, you build a professional brand image and experience in the content world. This transparency is often seen as a sign of commitment, thus building loyal viewers and subscribers. 

Prioritizing your YouTube banner can do wonders for your channel. If you’re ready to get increased views, a rising subscriber count, and steady channel growth—the banner is a crucial aspect.

YouTube Channel Art Dimensions

Here are some important points about YouTube channel art dimensions:

  • Optimal YouTube banner size is 2560p x 1440p with a maximum size of 2560p x 423.
  • Minimum YouTube banner size should be 2048p x 1152p with an aspect ratio of 16:9. 
  • To avoid your graphics and logos from being cut off on certain devices, stay within the safe size of 1235p x 338p, where you can include text and other visual elements.

Suppose any of your banner elements lie outside this area. In that case, they may not be visible on some mobiles or laptop devices or when the channel link is shared on social media—every device and platform processes images at a different size specification.

YouTube Channel Art Size Format

The YouTube banner must remain under the 2MB maximum file size, with a platform-accepted file type—JPEG, PNG, GIF, or BMP.

These formats are widely accepted, and the file size is optimum for uploading even high-quality videos. However, sometimes smartphones save such videos at a larger file size, compelling you to compress them to fit the size specifications.

If you don’t adhere to these channel art specifications, YouTube will not accept and upload your banner. Luckily, free image format converters like Convertio and image compressors like Img2Go can adjust an existing file in the wrong format or with larger file size.

YouTube Banner Aspect Ratio

The Youtube recommended aspect ratio of banner images is 16:9. To ensure viewers can see your banner properly from all devices, especially mobiles—keep the size within 2560p x 1440p. 

Another benefit of opting for a bigger banner, as suggested by YouTube, is it avoids blurriness on larger devices, ensuring an all-around consistent viewing experience for your audience.

How To Test Your Channel Art For Different Devices

Even though staying within the YouTube recommended settings for dimensions and aspect ratio is the best way to ensure your banner is optimized for the best viewing experience—it doesn’t hurt to double-check.

Your banner must be visible entirely on all devices like desktops, mobiles, tablets, and TV, which tends to get cropped when you haven’t followed all banner size guidelines fully. Since the banner will be viewed and cropped differently on separate devices, testing it out before making it live is the best way to move ahead.

Here’s how you can test your banner view for different devices while uploading:

  1. Go to your YouTube channel.

  1. Click on “customize channel.”

  1. Go to “branding” and choose banner image

  1. Upload or drag-and-drop your banner image.
  1. Your first indicator of an incorrect file dimension will appear here. If you upload a banner with a size smaller than 2048p x 1152p (minimum YouTube banner size), the platform will ask you to upload another image.
  1. Once uploaded, check your banner image view across desktop, mobile and television. If you see some part of the image cropped and want to fix it, click on “adjust crop.”

  1. Click and adjust the highlighted box to fix the banner image, and make it a size-fit. 
  1. Once you’re satisfied, click on “done” to upload the banner image.

6 Best Practices For Your YouTube Channel Art 

In 2020, there were over 37 million YouTube channels, and the number is increasing day by day as more creators are surfacing and creating content on the platform. This makes standing out and following best practices a need more than a choice to get your channel the traction it deserves.

Adding striking designs to your banner image with coordinated colors and typography is not the only thing that matters about channel art. 

Here are some best practices for you to enhance your channel with a stunning banner that not only stands out but compels users to subscribe and watch your videos right away:

  1. Add the face(s) of your brand to the banner image. This will make your content more approachable, humanizing your brand and allowing you to form a relationship with the viewer.

  1. Find an innovative way to represent your brand through the banner—make a collage of images that truly define your brand, like behind-the-scenes or product images. Alternatively, you can also take a minimalistic approach and use illustrations that help your audience relate to the brand.

  1. Consider adding a tagline to your banner—this crisp one-liner will define your brand quickly, allowing viewers to understand what you do and what kind of content they can expect from your channel. Ahrefs does this best with a simple yet self-explanatory tagline.

  1. Add a touch of credibility to your channel by including the logos of magazines or publications you’ve been featured on talks you’ve delivered or the awards you have received. These can make for a subtle plug in your banner but can help build a lot of authority.
  1. Prevent channel art from getting awkwardly cropped on different devices by placing your major elements like text, logo, and graphics in the center rather than the edges where they carry a potential risk of being cut off, especially on mobile phones.

  1. Optimize the clickable aspects of your channel cover by adding social media and site links in your channel settings. These can be overlaid on the art in a corner, thus allowing you to drive clicks from it. 

There are multiple ways to create a stellar banner image to represent your channel, brand, and content. Use these best practices to take your channel art to the next level, and outperform your competitors by just hooking them to your channel as soon as they visit.

YouTube Banner: Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you change the YouTube banner?

You can change your YouTube banner as often as you like. 

If you have rebranded your channel or changed the context or aesthetics of your channel—it’s a good idea to upload a new banner that aligns with the revised branding and content. 

If you’re introducing some new features or products, you’ve added something credible to your cap like an award or feature, or if you’re launching something of your own—devising the channel art to include these elements would be great.

However, even though you will be changing your banner image, stay consistent with your typography, elements, graphic designs, and colors to build brand recall value and consistency—unless you’re rebranding your channel, in which case, a complete 360 would work well too.

What should you do if your banner appears blurry?

One of the best fixes to prevent your banner from looking blurry, especially on large devices like the television, is to use high-quality images. Adhere to YouTube’s recommended banner size guidelines: 2560p x 1440p with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

Text vs. no text; Should you include it on your banner?

Adding a mix of text and graphics or making a banner out of either as the main focus depends on you. There’s no limit to the scope of creativity you can use in your YouTube channel art. 

Quotes, real-time images, stickers, illustrations, social media handles—there is a host of designing options you can choose to create your channel art.

If including text will add more context to your banner and communicate intent better—go for it. If not, you can do just as well with graphic-only banners too. 

The idea is not to crowd your banner with too many elements but make it minimalistic yet impactful, so it conveys what value you’re providing clearly.

What are the best tools to design YouTube covert art?

You don’t need to be or hire a graphic designer to create a banner for the channel. Based on your familiarity with designing, you can pick a tool that can ease the process while creating channel art as you envision.

Here are two tools we suggest:

  • Canva for absolute beginners: Freemium tool, pre-built templates for different purposes, multiple customization options, and easy-to-navigate for creators with minimal design know-how.
  • Photoshop for designers and advanced content creators: Seamless tool with amazing features for adding layers to content, enhancing images, and creating templates that can be rearranged and edited with one click.

To create a distinct presence on YouTube, you need to do more than creating awesome videos for your channel. Since the banner image is the first thing viewers see on your channel, it needs to make a statement—this alone can determine your relationship with them, how they associate themselves with the brand, and what they think of your channel.

Channel art holds the potential to draw viewers deeper into your channel and convert visitors into subscribers, so pay attention to it. Use this YouTube banner size guide to create the perfect art for your YouTube channel, and enhance user experience further.

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YouTube Banner Size [Best Practices for 2021]

Komal Ahuja

I’m a freelance content writer, and copywriter mainly covering topics around marketing. If I’m not writing, you’ll find me helping other freelancers navigate the biz, reading books, or binge-watching Netflix.
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