While your videos may be the most important thing for your new YouTube channel, the graphics are an important part of your brand. With a logo and YouTube channel art, you are showing your brand, giving viewers something to remember and recognize.
In this article, you are going to learn how you can create your own YouTube logo for free, without downloading any tools to your computer. You’ll learn which sizes to use for the logo as well as a simple trick if you want to create your channel art cover. You will also learn how to upload these images to YouTube.
What Size Should Your Logo Be?
For YouTube, there are mainly two sizes that matter. The first one is the logo itself, called the channel icon. This is the small image on the YouTube profile page, as well as the image that is showing next to your name. The image is used quite frequently on YouTube and it is good to have an image that is easily recognizable.
The size of the channel icon should be 800 x 800 px.
While the image will be square, it’s important to note that YouTube will make it a circle, essentially cutting off the corners. So, when designing your channel icon, it’s important that you don’t do a lot of details in the corners, as they will be removed anyway.
The other size that will be relevant is the channel art. This is the art that is showing on the YouTube profile page at the top. This image is also a bit special because it should be bigger than how it looks on YouTube.
The size of the channel art should be 2560 x 1440 px.
This is huge and much more than you will see on YouTube profile. The reason for this is that the channel art image will also be used for other platforms, like mobile, TVs or tablets. As they, most likely, have much higher resolution than your computer screen (which is confusing but true in 99% of the cases), the image needs to be bigger.
The problem that arises then is that it is hard to know where to place a certain graphic for it to show up on the top of the channel on the desktop but there it’s an easy way to fix that that I will show you later. Let’s start with creating the channel logo.
How to Make Your Own YouTube Logo
Creating your own YouTube logo is really easy with a tool called Canva. Canva is a web-based image editing tool that you can use to create graphics like social media images, logos, thumbnails or any other type of image that you can think of. The best part with Canva is that the free version is so good that you don’t really need the paid version unless you are actually working with image editing.
Go to canva.com and create an account (or sign in using Google or Facebook). In the top corner, you’ll see a button that says custom dimensions. Click that one and then enter 800 in both boxes. This says that you want to create an image that is 800 x 800 px, just as the YouTube icon should be.
If you are any good at design, you can simply start creating your image on the blank canvas that you have in front of you now. However, if you are anything like me and have a hard time even creating a stick figure, I’ll suggest that you use the templates that Canva has in store.
In the search bar on the side, simply type “logo” and hit enter. What comes up are a lot of categories. Choose a category that is related to your niche and start looking for a logo that you like. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, it is possible to change colors, elements, and figures later.
Once you found one that you like, you click on that one and it will pop up on the canvas. If it’s smaller, you can simply drag it to be bigger. You can then play around, adding new images from the Canva gallery (go to Elements on the side) or uploading your own images to use. Change colors on everything and make sure that you have a color palette that you stick to so that you don’t have different colors everywhere on your channel. This will only confuse viewers.
When you are happy with your creation, you can download your creation from the top right corner. I’ll recommend that you download in PNG-format as that is higher quality than jpg.
Simple Way to Create a Channel Artwork
Creating the channel art is confusing. Since the image should be so big, and most of it will not be seen on a computer or phone, it’s hard to know where to place text and other graphics. However, there is a solution that I use, with canva.com.
The very first thing you should do is to download this image: https://i.redd.it/g76fw9yw5zf11.png
Credit to Nulus on Reddit, who made this template easier to work with.
Once you downloaded the image, go back to Canva and create custom dimensions (or search for YouTube Channel Art) and open the canvas. Go to Upload on the side menu and then upload the image that you previously downloaded from Reddit and att it to the canvas. Drag the image so it fills the canvas and now you have an easy template that you can use to create your channel art with.
With the image as background, it’s much easier to add text, graphics, and color as you know where it will be. As a bonus, you also see where the sizes are being used. Once you are done with your image and you are ready to download it, remember to first remove the background image (if it’s visible) so that you don’t accidentally download that one as well.
Uploading Your Logo to YouTube
So, you have your YouTube icon (logo) and your YouTube channel cover and it’s time to upload. Happy to say, this is really easy to do. Go to your channel on YouTube and hover over your current channel cover (or where the cover should be). You will then see a little camera popping up on the top right corner. When you click that one, you can then simply drag your image here and it will be uploaded to YouTube.
When you want to change your YouTube icon (logo), you do the same thing, but instead of hovering over the cover, you hover the mouse over the channel icon. Again, a camera will pop up that you click on and you then drag your image over there to upload it.
As you see, it isn’t really hard to create a logo and cover for your channel, yet, it’s something that your viewers will remember and recognize when they see it later. Creating these things early is an important step in getting big on YouTube, as your branding is essentially what you are selling and making money with.
This wasn’t a guide on how to use Canva but if you want to learn more about this tool, I highly recommend that you check out their YouTube channel, where they post a ton of guides and inspiration.