How to Make a Custom Thumbnail: Stand Out and Get the Click!


Are you looking to make a custom thumbnail that stands out and grabs attention? Thumbnail design is an important part of any successful video content strategy, yet many business owners, CEOs, and brands don’t know how to create thumbnails that will get the click. To help you understand the basics of YouTube thumbnails while utilizing professional tools and best practices for creating compelling images, this blog post will cover topics such as choosing color schemes, selecting fonts & more. Learn how to make a custom thumbnail that drives results today.

Table of Contents:

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The Basics of How to Make a Custom YouTube Thumbnail

This is an example of a 2-tone custom thumbnail. Great for Versus type of videos, Do's and Don't Videos, etc.
This is an example of a 2-Tone Thumbnail. Great for Versus type of videos, Do’s and Don’t Videos, etc.

Creating an attractive and clickable thumbnail is key to drawing in viewers when scrolling through a list of videos on YouTube. A great thumbnail can increase views and help establish your brand. Here are some tips on how to create an effective YouTube thumbnail that stands out:

Size & Resolution:

Thumbnails should be 1280 x 720 pixels in size with a 16

9 aspect ratio. This is the recommended size for YouTube players and previews, ensuring your images look sharp across all devices.

File Type:

JPEG or PNG files work best for thumbnails because they have small file sizes which load quickly. Avoid using GIFs since their large file sizes may slow down page loading times.

Best Practices for Clickable and Compelling Custom Thumbnails

When you make your custom thumbnails more visually appealing, you can get more clicks.

When it comes to creating clickable and compelling YouTube thumbnails, there are certain best practices you should follow. The trick is to ensure your thumbnail stands apart from the rest in order to get more clicks. To maximize clicks, craft thumbnails that are visually appealing and distinguishable from the rest.

Connect to Emotions- Connect your thumbnail imagery to the Title of the Video in an Emotional Way by capturing pain point emotions like fear, confusion, frustration or desire emotions like joy, excitement, peace etc. Make sure the imagery matches the trigger for the emotion.

Connect to the Hook- Connect your thumbnail imagery to your opening Hook in your video (the first 30 seconds) which should capture the emotion/desire/pain you want to connect to and use to build intrigue into your video.

Symbols and Focus- Visually enhance your thumbnails by adding symbols like arrows pointing towards important elements within your image design – this helps guide people’s eyes where you want them to go when viewing it online.

Less Words is More- Try to make the thumbnail communicate so clearly what the topic is about visually that it doesn’t need words. If you do need to use words, less is more.

DO NOT write the same words on the thumbnail as you do the title of your video. It’s a compliment. Not a duplicate. Capture the emotion and intrigue with the thumbnail so that the viewer looks at the title for more details. Then clicks to view the hook which should confirm they clicked on the right video and intrigue them enough to want to watch the rest of the video.

Key Takeaway: Creating an effective YouTube thumbnail is essential to draw viewers and increase views. Design one with a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, in either JPEG or PNG format, that matches your branding colors and fonts for maximum impact. Investing in professional editing tools will help save time creating thumbnails from scratch every time.

Choose a Color Scheme for Your Thumbnails

Custom Thumbnails don't always need text. If you can communicate a message without words, even better.

When it comes to choosing a color scheme for your YouTube thumbnails, there are a few key things you need to consider.

Captivating Color- Primarily, the colors must be captivating and alluring so that people will take notice when they spot them in their feed. When selecting a color palette for your YouTube thumbnails, it is essential to ensure that the colors blend together harmoniously and don’t appear discordant or inappropriate.

Main Colors- When selecting a primary color for your thumbnail, pick one that is bright and vibrant as this will make it stand out more on the YouTube feed. Additionally, make sure it matches with any branding you have already established – if your logo is blue then use shades of blue throughout your thumbnails too. Experiment with distinct tints until discovering the one that functions optimally for your videos.

Secondary Colors- You can also use secondary hues to create contrast and depth, such as analogous or triadic color schemes of blues with oranges, yellows with purples, etc. These should be complementary tones such as blues paired with oranges or yellows paired with purples – think analogous or triadic color schemes here. Just remember not to go overboard; two or three accent colors should do the trick without making things look too busy or overwhelming.

Texture- Finally, consider adding some texture into the mix by using gradients or patterns on top of solid backgrounds – these can help break up large areas of flat color while still keeping things looking professional (and interesting.). When done correctly, this technique adds visual interest without detracting from the overall design elements of your thumbnail which makes it easier for people to recognize at a glance what type of content they’re about to watch before even clicking through.

Opting for an appropriate color palette to personalize your thumbnail can have a considerable effect on how it stands out amongst other thumbnails. When picking a font, make sure it’s legible and matches the vibe of your video content.

Key Takeaway: In order to create an eye-catching thumbnail, choose a vibrant primary color that matches any existing branding and use two or three complementary accent colors for contrast. Additionally, consider adding texture with gradients or patterns on top of solid backgrounds to break up the flatness while still keeping things looking professional – it’s all about striking the right balance between attention grabbing visuals and design elements.

Select a Font for Your Thumbnails

Custom thumbnails should have easy to ready fonts that are large and take up more of the image for easy readability.

Fonts are a critical element of any YouTube thumbnail. They can help draw viewers in and create an overall look for your channel. For a professional look, choose a font that is legible and meshes with the overall concept of your videos.

Easy To Read Fonts- Fonts can be categorized as either having serif or sans-serif features, with the former containing small lines at their ends and the latter lacking them. Serif fonts feature tails on their letters, while sans-serif ones lack these strokes. Sans-serif typefaces appear more contemporary and are typically easier to discern on digital displays than serif fonts, making them a popular choice for body text in apps or websites that require readability. For this reason, they’re often used as body text on websites or apps like Instagram or Twitter where legibility is important.

This means you don’t want to use too fancy or handwriting fonts. As pretty as they are- they are difficult to read and can affect how many clicks you get.

Even better- stick with 1-2 fonts and play with font sizes and spacing in order to grab the viewer’s attention. You can have a 3-word thumbnail text with each word in a different size in order to grab attention.

Key Takeaway: When it comes to designing a custom thumbnail, you should stick with no more than three typefaces – one for the headline (title), another for subheadings like tags and potentially a third if needed. Make sure all fonts are consistent in size throughout each design so as not to confuse viewers. Keep your font choice legible by sticking with either serif or sans-serif styles; just remember that less is more.

Use Professional Tools to Make Your Thumbnails Look Great!

Varying up your fonts in a custom image captures more attention.

Producing polished thumbnails for your YouTube videos may seem like a daunting challenge. Fortunately, there exist a variety of resources to assist you in crafting attractive thumbnails for your YouTube videos expeditiously and without difficulty.

When selecting a thumbnail tool, it’s important to consider what features you need most. Do you require a straightforward, pre-made option with plenty of templates? Or do you prefer more control over design elements like fonts and colors? Knowing this will help narrow down your choices.

Canva Pro- One popular option is Canva Pro, which offers plenty of customizable options as well as pre-made templates so even beginners can create great looking thumbnails in no time at all. With its drag-and-drop interface and intuitive controls, Canva Pro makes it easy to adjust text size and font style, add graphics or logos, select color palettes – everything needed for creating stunning visuals for your video content strategy. Plus, the platform integrates with other applications such as Adobe Photoshop if additional editing is required.

Adobe Photoshop– is another powerful choice when designing custom thumbnails from scratch or using one of their professionally designed themes; both are equally simple thanks to their straightforward user interface. You can also customize images with filters like vintage or black & white; add shapes or lines; change fonts; adjust sizes and positioning – all without needing any prior knowledge about graphic design software. The app also provides helpful tips on how best to utilize each feature so users don’t have any trouble getting started right away.

Thumbnail Blaster- For the busy professional with limited time but high standards, Thumbnail Blaster is a great option. This AI-powered program can generate captivating designs in minutes by automatically analyzing data points such as audience demographics and interests then recommending optimal layouts accordingly. With no prior knowledge of graphic design software needed, users can quickly export their finished thumbnails directly into YouTube for upload – making it a breeze to create compelling visuals for your video content strategy.

Employing specialist utilities to fashion personalized thumbnails can aid in both saving time and money, as well as enhancing the value of your material. Outsourcing your thumbnail creation is another option that may be beneficial if you don’t have the resources or skillset needed to make them yourself.

Midjourney- You can now use AI to create images and give the AI software the dimensions to turn it into a thumbnail. The images. This software is on Discord. Try the imagine/ prompt and be amazed!

Key Takeaway: Create professional-looking thumbnails quickly and easily with popular tools like Canva Pro, Adobe Spark Post or Thumbnail Blaster; each offering customizable options such as font style, color palettes, filters etc. that allow users to ‘hit the ground running’ and produce stunning visuals for their video content strategy in no time.

Outsource Your Custom Thumbnail Designs

Bright colors in your thumbnails attract more attention.

Hiring a professional to produce your thumbnails is an effective way to save time and money while ensuring that your YouTube videos have attractive visuals. Hiring a professional can be cost-effective and time-saving, resulting in attractive visuals that will attract viewers. Hiring an experienced designer or artist can be a great way to get captivating visuals with little effort from you.

It is vital to opt for a contractor who comprehends the necessity of an excellent design and has familiarity in crafting thumbnails for YouTube videos. Examine past collaborations of prospective designers and inquire about their collection to guarantee they are capable. Additionally, make sure they understand what type of content you plan to produce before committing to any specific design elements.

We highly recommend CustomThumbnails. The owner, Justin Evans is a YouTuber himself who knows what it takes to get the click and has trained his team to follow the best practices. His agency makes thumbnails for some of the biggest YouTube channels in the industry. It’s who we use and who we recommend.

This works if you are going to be consistent in creating videos. You will order a subscription service that can do as little as 4 thumbnails a month and you can get higher-level subscriptions with much more options. What is nice is you can use your design credits not only for thumbnails but also to create other visual assets like YouTube banners, and social media imagery.

If you prefer to hire out for one-off tasks or bundles of thumbnails just when you need it- we suggest using other types of contractors.

To get started on finding potential contractors, consider reaching out through online freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr where professionals from all over the world offer their services at competitive rates. For further options, examine local possibilities and check social networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter to find experienced freelancers who could meet your project requirements.

When outsourcing thumbnail designs, bear in mind some key points: firstly, ensure that whoever crafts your thumbnails comprehends how colors can sway viewer engagement; secondly opt for fonts which are legible yet still stand out from the crowd; thirdly pick images which precisely mirror what’s inside each video; fourthly employ software tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator when possible; finally try A/B testing different designs until one rises to the top – this helps guarantee maximum impact when users scroll through search results or recommended videos lists.

By outsourcing thumbnail creation tasks, business owners and marketing teams can focus more energy on producing high-quality content rather than spending hours designing every single element themselves. This could prove invaluable when trying to scale influence quickly across multiple channels. Think about getting outside help to make the most of this great chance without compromising on quality.

We have documents for all our clients to give to their thumbnail designers to make sure they follow the best protocols and design strategies which makes hiring and getting great thumbnails back significantly easier because we have done all the heavy lifting and training for you.

Key Takeaway: Outsourcing your thumbnails can be a great way to reduce both time and money, while still producing captivating visuals that will attract viewers. By selecting an experienced designer or graphic artist, you can ensure high-quality design without having to lift a finger – get ahead of the game by taking advantage of this opportunity today.

FAQs in Relation to How to Make a Custom Thumbnail

Scenic custom thumbnails are great when the scene is the focus of the video.

How can I make my own custom thumbnails?

Crafting your own thumbnails is a key element of any video content approach. For effective thumbnails, utilize images of excellent quality that are captivating and pertinent to the video’s subject. Additionally, include text on the thumbnail that clearly communicates what viewers can expect from watching the video. Use bright colors or contrast to draw attention and keep it simple with a maximum of three words in bold font. Finally, optimize for different devices by ensuring your thumbnail looks good on both mobile and desktop platforms. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create professional looking thumbnails that will attract more viewers.

Can you make custom thumbnails?

Yes, we can make custom thumbnails for your video content strategy. Our team of experts possess the technical knowledge and experience to craft eye-catching visuals that will make your content stand out from the rest. We use advanced software and tools to ensure that each thumbnail is optimized for maximum engagement with your target audience. With our services, you’ll be able to increase brand recognition while boosting conversions and sales through effective visual marketing strategies.

How custom thumbnails are created?

Thumbnails are the small images used to represent videos on social media and video streaming sites. Creating a thumbnail can be done by either grabbing a screenshot from the video or constructing an image with programs like Photoshop. Thumbnails should be visually appealing and include text that accurately describes what is contained in the video. It is important to ensure that thumbnails are properly sized for each platform they will appear on, so they look professional when posted online. Additionally, using consistent branding across thumbnails can help to create a recognizable brand identity.

What do YouTubers use to make thumbnails?

Software such as Adobe Photoshop, or Canva are often used by YouTubers to craft attractive thumbnails. These programs allow them to customize the size and shape of images for a thumbnail that is eye-catching and optimized for social media platforms. Additionally, they may use stock photos or illustrations from websites like Unsplash or Pixabay in order to find unique visuals that can help draw attention to their videos. Lastly, to draw more attention to their videos, YouTubers often incorporate text overlays with appealing titles.


Creating a custom thumbnail for your YouTube videos is essential to standing out in the feed and getting more clicks. With some basic design knowledge, best practices, professional tools, and outsourcing options you can create compelling thumbnails that will help increase engagement with your content.

Making sure you have an eye-catching thumbnail for each video should be one of the first steps when creating any type of digital content as it helps draw attention from viewers who may not otherwise find it organically.

The key to launching and growing a successful YouTube channel for your business or brand is having a powerful content plan that helps you generate ideas for unlimited videos. Implementing the strategies to make your videos clickable, engaging and watchable, and of course motivating your viewers to click on your links and take the next steps with you.
And most importantly of all- a system for you to be able to create regular content for your audience that doesn’t take a ton of time so you can see your clients, spend time with your loved ones and enjoy the freedom you desire to live your life.
This is our jam.
Schedule a free 15-minute discovery call with us to review your current strategy, identify areas to improve, or ask questions about the type of support you are looking for to help you execute the above. We are here to help! Our clients generate 6-7 figures with YouTube and exponentially increase their views with the right audience.

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