YouTube banners are one of the newer components in the expansive social media landscape, and they can’t be ignored as an essential part of any brand’s marketing mix.
To help you get a handle on creating and using them, also known as YouTube channel art, we’ve put together this guide to YouTube banners, including tools, templates, and examples.
Your YouTube banner is the equivalent of your website homepage or Facebook cover image, stretching horizontally across the top of your YouTube channel page.
You do have a YouTube channel, don’t you? – the YouTube banner design is the first thing someone sees when they visit your page. It’s the first (and perhaps only) chance you have to show off your company. Arguably, it’s the most important part of your channel and must represent you and your brand accordingly.
Before you set out to create your own unique banner, enjoy browsing these cool YouTube banners, which we call out for their creativity and ingenuity.
We've included banners from top brands and channels that are thriving on YouTube.
1. Dude Perfect
At 25 million subscribers, this channel is one of the most followed on YouTube. We love the playfulness of their banner.
At 22 million subscribers, this is another very popular channel. Its banner does a great job of capturing the lively feel of the TV show.
The makers of GoPro are arguably also one of the best video content creators. Their banners reflect the seasons/video trends on their channel, which we really like.
This is one of the best channels for HD travel videos. The use of the sharp clean image as a banner, perfectly complements their content.
We love how they have used bold colors and typography to include multiple CTAs and put across their USP through their banner.
One of the most followed food channels, "Tasty" shows us how to be eye catching without being OTT.
Versace is one of the few fashion brands that have managed to get some traction on YouTube in a domain that is completely dominated by vloggers.
Using multiple images in a very small space can be quite tricky. Popular travel brand Airbnb, however, does a good job of nailing it.
Makeup is another popular YouTube category that is heavily dominated by individual content creators making it really difficult for brands to survive. NYX is one of the few brands that have made their mark.
We love the sleek and sharp look of popular automobile brand BMW's YouTube banner.
At 4 million subscribers, Lego is doing a pretty good job at creating content for kids. Their banner matches the kid-friendly nature of their content.
12. Star Wars
The extremely popular all-American series "Star Wars" definitely has a banner to get inspired from.
When it comes to design that perfectly combines brand, appeal, and simplicity, who better than Google to look up to? As expected they've perfectly nailed their banner.
14. The Fumble
This popular sports channel banner is definitely giving us some great design ideas.
We found it really interesting how retail brand "Target" has incorporated their logo so creatively in the design of their banner.
16. Big Think
This channel banner shows us how it's not always about the design. Text combined with a powerful image can sometimes be equally impactful if not more.
How can you not love this colorful piece of art by Ebay?
The telecom giant Sprint has definitely put some thought into their YouTube banner. A very interesting take!
We love how the images on ESPN's banner represent the passion behind their content. Very clever, we must say!
This popular video game maker definitely knows their audience. They also keep refreshing their banner to reflect their latest games.
This one-liner on Linkedin's YouTube banner had to get them in our top 25 list.
Coca-Cola has dominated the advertising world for decades and their YouTube banner definitely shows that!
We think popular restaurant chain Wendy's YouTube banner is really unique and enticing.
Another banner with a one-liner that really strikes a chord with the audience.
We thought it was a really cool idea for Asus to have a holiday-themed banner. A subliminal message pushing their product as the ideal holiday gift.
With a myriad of YouTube banner creators online, it can be challenging to sort through all of them to decide which is best for you.
In general, you want a service that provides premade YouTube banner templates, gives you access to stock photos and other graphic elements and allows you to edit photos.
We’ve compiled 10 of the top YouTube channel art template makers, listed in no specific order, with our thoughts about why you should check them out:
This free all-in-one photo editing toolkit tops or makes most “best of” lists. With editable templates or the option to start from scratch, users can easily create complete professional-looking banners. Fotor Banner Maker offers a host of advanced features, including a huge number of effects and filters. Fotor was named one of the Android Excellence Apps of 2017 by the Google Play Store.
A free photo collage maker, BeFunky uses a simple drag-and-drop interface. You can create banners in a four-step process. BeFunky provides photos or you can use your own. Some features require payment.
The powerful, easy-to-use photo editor’s features, such as the ability to add text, allow for highly customizable designs. However, it has some limits, such as not permitting images to be edited within a collage. iPiccy is free.
Visme is an intuitive and simple interface, backed by templates that can be customized in three steps. Fifty YouTube banner backgrounds are presented with step-by-step instructions. Free and paid subscription versions.
Canva boasts real simplicity, which accounts for its popularity. Its templates are attractive and professional, for eye-catching looks. Canva is free, but some high-quality images and graphic components must be paid for, starting at $1.
FotoJet is super accessible and free, requiring almost no technical expertise. This option is ideal for beginner do-it-yourself designers. It offers plenty of stock photos and templates to choose from, and also allows photo editing.
With a step-by-step tutorial, iKomee is designed for those who are new to banner design. The drag-and-drop interface creates customizable banners across all social media platforms. iKomee is free.
PicMonkey is an online photo editor with free basic and paid premium services. PicMonkey appeals to creative design tinkerers, with hundreds of filter and editing options.
Spark consolidates Adobe’s Post, Voice and Slate apps for the non-professional designer. It’s relatively easy to use and has an automation feature that updates the design when themes, fonts or layouts are changed. Adobe Spark is free with an additional paid component designed to help small businesses create branded media content.
Crello offers 10,000 ready-to-use templates in an appealing interface. The free graphic design editor boasts real ease of use for basic designs. Images must be purchased for 99 cents each and are reusable.
We’ve done some searching to help you find free YouTube banner ideas and templates. Check out this list:
Canva’s marketplace offers 50,000 templates for all kinds of graphics, including YouTube channel art templates. Easy to search and edit.
FotoJet provides dozens of YouTube channel art templates to unleash user creativity, and also allows editing, for customized stunning designs.
Easy instructions make Mybannermaker appealing for first-time banner designers. Many of the templates have a whimsical touch.
Simple step-by-step instructions guide users on using one of Visme’s 50 banner templates. Suggested uses such as business marketing and blog promotion (or posting pictures of cute dogs!) are noted.
Template.net is a no-frills catalog of 25+ YouTube banners to download. Some of the downloads require a fee.
Snappa promises speed, boasting banner creation in an easy 60 seconds, giving users access to thousands of high-res, 100% royalty-free stock photos, along with customizable graphics, shapes and text.
A quick guide steers users to a somewhat limited selection of YouTube banner templates. Users can also create a template from scratch.
Users can choose from thousands of free templates made by professionals and customize them. The simple interface appeals to both pros and beginners.
PicMonkey has a modern, hip touch in its professionally-designed templates, which tend to feature strong photography. All are customizable, after a slight learning curve.
Photovisi’s focus is collage banners, and its simple interface provides templates and easy photo uploads. Terrific for personal use.
Just how easy is it to create a banner? We visited YouTube (naturally!) to learn. Here’s a short summary drawn from a few videos, so you understand some of the basic steps of creating a banner with Canva.
Before you start thinking about how your YouTube banner will look, you should first understand how it needs to work. You need a banner that displays properly across different platforms, including mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers, and televisions.
To ensure display consistency, use these guidelines for YouTube banner dimensions from Google:
We’ll explain more about how important these dimensions are later, but keep them in mind as you start considering content for the center of your YouTube banner template, which is the sweet spot for a terrific banner.
Remember these tips as you get started on your eye-catching YouTube banner art.
You can’t afford to not be on the interactive marketing bandwagon. YouTube rules that particular world, with nearly 30 million visitors who watch nearly five billion videos each day. YouTube has made videos mainstream and they boast almost one-third of all total internet usage. On mobile alone, YouTube reaches more 18-34 year olds than any cable network in the United States.
Take some time to create YouTube channel art that represents your business. Use it to reinforce your video content strategy and present your brand, maintaining good design principles and clear messaging.
As you can see, you have plenty of online options to create an effective banner. But if you are looking for that extra design boost, we can help.