Make it impossible for your audience to scroll past your YouTube thumbnail without having a click and a look.


Design an eye-catching YouTube thumbnail that boosts viewership

You’ve finally done it — you’ve filmed and edited a video that will put all the internet’s cat clips put together to shame. Now you’re wondering if it’s possible to encapsulate all that awesomeness in just one thumbnail design. What you want is something that will capture the full length of your video in one image and boost its clickability in one fell swoop.

With Canva you can enrich your chosen snapshot with text and design elements, or create a clean cut thumbnail design for a synchronized playlist or channel. With our tools and easy-to-navigate interface, you can easily customize your YouTube thumbnail to the tune of instant virality.

Piece together a YouTube thumbnail design in no time

  1. Open Canva and select the “YouTube Thumbnail” design type
  2. Choose from our library of professional graphic design elements such as banners, icons, frames and more.
  3. Upload your own photos or choose from over 1 million stock images.
  4. Fix your images, add stunning filters and edit text.
  5. Save and share.

A highly customizable YouTube thumbnail design right at your fingertips

  1. Change the images. Upload your own images or choose from our stock library of over 1 million photographs, graphics and illustrations.
  2. Change the fonts. Choose from over 130 fresh fonts.
  3. Change the background. Choose a background from our library or use an image.
  4. Change the colors. Change the color of your text boxes and text to add extra flair.

Take advantage of professionally designed YouTube thumbnail templates

There’s a reason why one of the perks of having an official YouTube channel is getting to upload your own thumbnail. It acts as the face of your video and in no small part determines whether your video will be watched or not. So the last thing you want when you’re just bursting to get that video out is to skimp on attending to that one tiny but important detail.

But even if you’re in a rush to get that video out, you won’t have to sacrifice the effectiveness of your thumbnail. Canva lets you create a stunning video cover for your masterpiece with readily available and professionally designed templates that even non-designers can tweak and make their own using Canva’s easy drag-and-drop interface.

Upload and edit your own snapshots for a thumbnail that captures your video’s best moments

Your thumbnail would most likely include an element pulled from the video itself. For most people that’s likely to be a simple snapshot. But the channel master who really know what they’re doing are aware that you can take that a step further by turning some tone and contrast knobs here and there and make the colors really work for them.

Upload your own snapshot onto your design template and tweak it just like that. With Canva, your editing capabilities range from simply adjusting the brightness and contrast or choosing a preset, to creating a filter that you can re-use again and again on future thumbnails.

Choose from a wide selection of fonts and icons for a stunning YouTube thumbnail cover

A picture paints a thousand words, but adding a headline to your thumnail can make it speak volumes more. If you’ve browsed through the most popular channels on YouTube, you’ll notice that they usually render their headlines onto their thumbnails. The really good ones add a complementary copy that directly supports their image and makes for an effective scroll-stopper.

Adding text to your thumnail is a cinch with Canva. What’s more, you can choose from a wide selection of fonts that can complement your video’s subject matter — whether that’s a playful mashup or an informative lecture. Icons, photos, and illustrations are also readily available for bringing all your design ideas to life.

Get that awesome YouTube thumbnail on your channel and all your social media properties

Congratulations! You’ve designed the perfect YouTube thumbnail for your video! Now all you have to do is download that awesome design and load it up on your channel!

Simply head on over to the Download button and choose your preferred image format. Download it as JPEG file for a smaller file size or get it in PNG if you want your image in stunning high quality. Customize your video with your masterpiece of a thumbnail and publish for all the online world to watch and learn from your stellar example.


What is Canva?

Canva is a free online platform that allows you to create amazing designs without any graphic design skills. All of the layouts in our library are free to use as many times as you like.

There’s no need to download or install anything to use Canva on the web. Simply head over to and create an account online to get started. Alternatively, you can download Canva on your iOS and Android devices, allowing you to create designs at home, at work or on the go!

Does Canva have free images for me to use?

Yes we do! Our diverse stock library includes over 1 million stock images, graphics and illustrations. Many of these images are free, while premium images are all priced at just $1.

Using your own images is 100% free. Once you upload them in Canva you can use them as many times as you like.

Can I edit my YouTube Thumbnail after I’ve saved it?

You can edit and save your designs as many times as you like. Every time you create a new design, such as a YouTube thumbnail, it will appear in the “My Designs” section of your Canva homepage. You can also access all of your designs on your iPhone, iPad or Android device by downloading our free apps from the App Store or Play Store.