Want to create a YouTube custom thumbnail quickly and easily? In this video, I’m going to show you step by step how you can create and upload your own beautiful YouTube thumbnail. So you’re not stuck with the awkward one that YouTube selects for you. Stay tuned!
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When you upload your video to YouTube, the default thumbnail for your video that YouTube provides is generated from stills of your video.
Usually, it’s random and compromising images, but thankfully you can create your image and upload it.
Let’s go over to my computer now, and I’ll show you how.
So I’m in the YouTube creator studio, and this is a video that I’ve uploaded and as you can see here.
YouTube gives you three thumbnail options which are basically random stills from the video.
In this picture, I kind of look a bit stunned and this image doesn’t exactly allow people to see what the video is going to be about at first glance.
So I’m going to create a custom thumbnail, and I’m going to do that using Canva.
If you haven’t got a Canva account, it’s free to sign up you can sign up using Facebook, Google, or your email and once you’ve signed up, you can come back and log in using your email or password.
If you’ve chosen that option, otherwise you can login using your Facebook or Google login here.
Once you’ve signed into canva you’ll be able to start creating designs, and your dashboard may look a little bit different to mine at the bottom here these are designs that I’ve worked on in the past, and this is where they’re saved.
So I can come back to them and edit them.
So yours may be empty until you start creating some designs but to create your YouTube thumbnail, you start by clicking on create a design.
This will open up the section in Canva, where you can choose the type of graphic that you want to create and as you can see in the top section here.
They have YouTube thumbnail because it’s one of the most popular things that people create with Canva.
As well as other things such as social media posts for Pinterest or Facebook you can also design presentations, or US letter size documents and covers.
There are so many things that you can create with Canva, but we’re going to keep scrolling until we get to the social media and email headers and as you can see here it has YouTube thumbnail.
We want to select this because Canva have already sized the canvas that we can design on to be the correct specifications that we need for our YouTube thumbnail.
So I’m going to go ahead and click on that and Canva will open up a blank canvas for us to start designing.
The thing that I really love about Canva and why I recommend using Canva is as you can see on the left-hand side they have layouts for you to use and many of them are free.
You can see here they’re labelled free, and this is fantastic because you do not have to design them from scratch to have a beautiful layout.
This saves you time, and this allows you to create a design that looks really professional.
It literally is as easy as dragging and dropping you can choose any of the designs here and go in and edit them. You can change the text, change the colour schemes, and upload your own images.
I’m going to go ahead and click on this layout here and start editing it for my own YouTube thumbnail.
The first thing I’m going to do to edit this thumbnail is I’m going to delete this image so that I can upload an image that’s relevant for the thumbnail. That I want so this random guy looking into the mountains isn’t quite what I need for my thumbnail.
So I’m going to go ahead I’ve clicked on the image I’m going to click on the little bin on the right-hand side to delete it, and I’m going to click delete image, and he’s gone.
Now I’m going to click on uploads; then I’m going to upload the image that I’ve taken previously.
Which is really just a selfie while I was recording the video. What canva will do is that will upload this image into your library so that you can use this for future design.
So you don’t need to upload the image every single time that you’re going to use it which is great once again saving you time of not having to wait for that image to upload every single time if you’re going to use it again.
So the image is now uploaded, I’m going to click on it. Canva has placed it there, and now I’m just going to move it into the section.
Everything with canva is drag-and-drop, and this is why I love it so much. It’s so easy compared to using a complicated software such as Photoshop there’s not a massive learning curve, and you can get in and start creating beautiful designs really really easily.
Now that I’ve added this image, I’m gonna move it a little bit over and a little bit more, there we go.
I can also do other things like play with the filters. So I can change the colour of it if I click on Advanced Options. Here you can see there are all types of things that I can play with.
The brightness, the contrast, and the saturation. I quite like this colour the way it is. So I’m not going to add anything extra to it.
To start changing the text, I’m going to click on the text and then it’s as easy as deleting the text and typing in what I want to appear here.
I can select the text once again and in this left section here, I can choose different fonts. So we play around with the font, and they’ll change right before my very eyes.
I’m currently using the free version of canva, and in the free version you’re not able to upload your own fonts, but you can do that in their paid version.
I can also change the font size by clicking on this size button here, or I can type in a size.
If it doesn’t suit what I need, I can align the text right or left or Center. I can change the text to be or uppercase I can also play with the spacing.
All the standard things that you would expect from a design software. If we click on the elements tab on the left-hand side, you will see there are all of these different components that you can use.
So you can add photos which are a royalty-free and free stock library that can vary for you to use.
So if you don’t have your own images, this is a great place to start you can hear the scroll through the library, or you can type for whatever image you’re looking for.
So let’s say I’m looking for a beach image, I type it in the search bar there, and all the images within this library appear both photos as well as illustrations as well.
Now you may notice that some of these illustrations and photos have free on them, but some of them have a dollar sign and a price associated with them.
So all that means is that if you want to use this component it’s not free Canva will charge you to use this component and they will charge you when you go to download the actual image.
When you go back to the elements tab, these are all different things that Canva have available to you to add to your design.
So you can either scroll through the icons here, or you can search for the element in the search bar.
If I click on the text icon on the left-hand side here, this allows me to add additional text to the design.
So I can either choose to add a heading subheading or a bit of body text, or I can select some of the pre-organized text layouts that Canva have for me.
So I’m going to go ahead and just choose to add a subheading.
Then I’m going to position it in place then I’m going to type into it to change the font.
If I highlight it once again, I can use the same options where I can change the font the font size and the font color.
If you have a look at the background that I’ve got on canva at the moment.
It’s this blue color, and I can change the color of that as well.
When I click on it, you see this section went blue which matches the color of the background.
If I click on this, then I access different colors that I can choose from.
I can choose from the default palette that canva have or the document colors. If I click the plus button, this opens up a color wheel that allows me to choose whichever color I want.
Where it says color code hex, this is where I can add a specific color code in this section here.
If I wanted to use a very specific color to match either a logo or some company color that I’m looking to use. So this is a really neat little feature that you can use as well when you’re creating your YouTube thumbnail in Canva.
With Canva everything is pretty much drag-and-drop, and that’s what I love so much about it.
You simply click on the element that you want to change, and then all of the options will appear on the top corner here of what you can do with it, and you just click on the section and then make the changes as you like.
Once you’re happy with your design, you can take it off Canva and upload it into YouTube.
So let’s do that now. First I’m going to go to file and save this design. Then I’m going to name It, click done, and now I’m going to click download, and I’m going to save it.
It gives you the options of choosing JPEG, PNG, or you can save it as a PDF for print. I’m going to leave it as PNG because I want to upload it to YouTube. So I want the highest quality image possible then I’m going to click download and canva will start preparing the image. They have a cute little conversation with you.
Your design will start downloading automatically. Otherwise, you can click on the download here, and this image is now ready for me to go back to YouTube and to upload. So it typically saves to either your desktop or your downloads folder wherever you’ve set your images to download to.
Now I’m back on YouTube, and I’m in the info and settings tab of the video. I’m going to click on the custom thumbnail, and then I’m going to select the image that I just downloaded from canva. I’m going to click Choose, and this will start uploading the image to YouTube.
Then I click on save settings to have this adds the custom thumbnail.
It may take a couple of minutes for YouTube to refresh and for you to be able to see the image that you uploaded, but if you see it here and it’s selected like this then this is the image that will appear, and just like that I’ve created and uploaded my custom thumbnail for YouTube using Canva without any complicated software.
So there you have it a step-by-step guide of how to create your own custom YouTube thumbnail and how to upload it to youtube.
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———Equipment Used To Shoot This Video ——-
Camera – Canon 80D
Lens – Canon 18-55 Lens
Rode NT USB microphone
Microphone Rode Smart Lav+
Microphone adaptor – Rode SC3 3.5mm TRRS to TRS Adaptor
Rode extension cable:
Lighting – Halo Prismatic Ring light
Tripod – Manfrotto Compact Advance
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