Create an Irresistible YouTube Thumbnail for Your Video

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.

How to make a YouTube thumbnail

  1. Choose a template from Canva's library of YouTube thumbnails. We've got hundreds of different designs to choose from, so it's easy to find something that suits your taste. Or you can design from scratch!
  2. Choose from our library of professional graphic design elements such as banners, icons, frames and more. We've got more than 2 million images in our library. Or upload your own!
  3. Click on the placeholder text to add your own message. We've got hundreds of free fonts to choose from, too.
  4. Change the background, the colors, the fonts... it's easy to customize your YouTube thumbnail in Canva, and fun too!
  5. Download or share your finished YouTube thumbnail.

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.


I've finished designing my YouTube thumbnail. How do I start using it?

Click the download button and choose the file format for your design. For YouTube thumbnails, we recommend the PNG format. Now you’re ready to upload your design to your YouTube video! If you’re having second thoughts about your design, you can always go back and make as many edits as you want. All the templates you’ve worked on are automatically saved to your Canva account.

Click the Share button and enter the email addresses of the people you want to send your design to. You can also create a link to your design that you can share with whoever you want. You can give people either viewing access only, or permission to edit your design. If you’re thinking of promoting your video, You can also share your thumbnail on social media or embed it to your website.

Nothing! Canva and all our templates absolutely free to use. All you need to do is sign up for a free account to start editing. While most of our photos, illustrations, and graphics are free, we also offer a wide selection of premium design elements to make your design extra unique.

Yes, as long as you use your own photos or any of the free design elements from our library. We also have premium design elements available for purchase for as low as $1 for a one-time use. You can find more information about our licensing options after clicking “remove watermark” on our premium elements.

What they say about Canva