YouTube Marketing: Create Eye Catching YouTube Thumbnail Photos | Christopher Greenwood | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

YouTube Marketing: Create Eye Catching YouTube Thumbnail Photos

teacher avatar Christopher Greenwood,

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Importance Of Using Thumbnails

    • 2. Create YouTube Thumbnails With Adobe Photoshop

    • 3. Create YouTube Thumbnails For FREE using Canva

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Learn how to create eye catching thumbnail photos for your YouTube pictures to increase your views.

In this course you are taught how to do this in as well as Photoshop.

We will also teach you how to upload and change the current photo that is automatically chosen by YouTube to your new custom YouTube Thumbnail photo.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Christopher Greenwood


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Importance Of Using Thumbnails: Hey guys, in this video, I want to stress the importance of having a really strong thumbnail for your video. The thumbnail is the image that people see when they're looking for a song like, for instance, I'm gonna type Lincoln Park crawling. They used to be one of my favorite songs, and depending as I go down here, you can see that there's just different thumbnails. Linkin Park's official One is this one. It's got the Warner Brothers logo. Here's one of fan put up discomfort. Just got a bit of a lyric. Here's somebody else has just got the album cover. I personally think the one Lincoln Park has for that song is the strongest, and I just want to look on their page and show you what a strong thumb. Now, what a strong thumbnail is. And normally there's two things you really wanna have a really strong photo and maybe text or overlay going over it like you can look at Lincoln Park's LP TV episodes. They've got a strong photo and then text strong photo text. Same thing here with sparked the guilty. All the same really cool photo text is popping out lyric video right there again. Really strong image. When people are searching for a certain song that one really pops. Let's, like, actually put in Lincoln Park. Ah, until it's gone. And I'm sorry if you're not a Lincoln Park fan, that's okay. Totally doesn't offend me. But again, perfect example. Right here. You've got the official music video. Really cool. Strong photo lyric video. Really strong photo fan generated lyric video and that one's OK. Just got the lyrics, but you can see the difference. And now I'm just going to go to my own channel and show you what I did for some of my stuff is going Click on Manifest. As you can see, what we've been doing lately is we've been creating our own art again strong photo and some good text over that, and I'm following the same thing here. We just actually uploaded these because we didn't have, um, a strong thumbnail for these videos did it again. Here and again, it pops out. I haven't done it for all my videos. I need to, but I've been trying to do it for my most played videos because those are the ones that are popular in search. And when someone's, you know, like one of the most popular songs Manifest Impossible. Just give you another example again, right here, Um, as we scroll down here. This one's just got some really crappy lyrics but got 1.6 million. It's because been up for so long, But again, mine's got the best looking photo there, so I'm trying to get mine popping up at the front. This makes a big difference, guys, and I just want to point out the only reason mine doesn't have more of uses because this was uploaded and I had to restart my own YouTube channel more recently, or else there would be more views. But again, having strong thumbnails is really, really important. I'm gonna show you in another video how you can set up and create your own thumbnails for free. So make sure you watch that other lecture 2. Create YouTube Thumbnails With Adobe Photoshop: Hi, guys. In this video, I'm going to show you how to create YouTube channel thumbnails. Now, it's really important when you're building a YOUTUBE channel to having a consistent look among all your thumbnails for your videos. So in this case, I'm going to be creating a thumbnail for a music video called Fearless by Manifest. So I want to create something that's kind of along the same lines of what I've created for him in the past. So I'm just gonna show you this is one of his songs called Edge of my Life. Here's another one called Let You Drive. Okay, so ultimately, there's something consistent happening among these two video our video thumbnails. Basically, I've got a logo, the manifest logo. I've got the name of the song and I've got the background imagery. Okay, same thing in this one. I've got the logo name of the song in a background image. They both both have a sort of cooler tone in in images as well. So this all just helps to build your channel, and I find this really helps people have a return of visitors and also to build a falling on YouTube. It just makes your overall YouTube channel look more professional. Um, And to re emphasize your brand, So what I'm gonna do first? First of all, I'm working in Adobe Photo Shop CC. That's as of 2015. Right now, it's June 2016. But this is the most current version of photo shop. You can use earlier versions as well. But I find in general, photo Shop is the best place to build these thumbnails because you need to have the exact pixel dimensions that YouTube gives us. So, um, in order to do that effectively, I would say working Photoshopped. So first things first, we're gonna go to file new, and what we're gonna do is we're going to create a new document or a new page that's going to be the same dimensions that YouTube is requesting for thumbnails. So in my case, it is going to be 12 80 by seven twenties. I've already put this in here just because I was already setting up for this video. Okay, so doesn't really matter the resolution, because it really just needs to be 1200 are 1280 pixels in with by 720 in height. You're going to keep the color mode in RGB and the background and all this other information doesn't really matter because I'm going to be changing all that. So that's basically enough information for now when I say OK, and now I've got a new thumbnail that's ready to be filled and to be set up, and I know it's the right size. So what I'm gonna do first as I'm gonna find my background image. So I'm gonna go file open and I'm gonna go find my image for this new video this new videos called Fearless. This video was shot underwater, so we want to highlight that with the thumbnail. So now I've got this photo opened and what I want to do is really simple. I'm going to use the move tool, which is up here on the top left. It's are you could just click V and I'm going to grab this. Actually, I have to unlock the vit the layer here, So I'm gonna just click on the layer, make sure it's unlocked, and now I can basically grab it moving around. I'm gonna grab it and kind of carry it over to the top of this tab and then pull it in to my thumbnail. So again, I just just to show you again, I just grabbed it. I took it up to the top here, and I pulled it right back down into the thumbnail window that I just created. And I've got to I'm just gonna get rid of one of them. Certainly both of them. Okay, so I'm gonna go to the file that I pulled in, and so now I have it. I can move it around and I'm gonna go command T. That's the command for me to transform this. So while holding down my shift button, I'm gonna grab one corner, and now I can just basically size it. So maybe I want to shrink it down a little bit, just, like in really uses much of that photo in my background. So I'm happy with that. I can just say OK or click return. So there's my background, which I'm happy with, and now I'm going to get the logo. So even pull in a lot of different file formats into photo shop. So say if you're working on it with a team of people, and you're you know, designers send you logo. You can open that logo into photo shops to say, as long as it's not in a ay file as long it's not like an illustrator file. Um, you can pull it in if it's an E. P s a pdf if it's a J peg. If it's a PNG, a variety of different formats, if it's a gift, But ah Tiff. So a lot of these different file formats, you can just basically go file and then open and the exact same way we opened our image. Um, that's the way you're going to open it and then pull it in. So the exact same process that I just did The other photo is what you're gonna do for the logos or any other elements that need to be within your thumbnail. So in my case, I need to have that logo. So what I'm gonna do is just because I've already set this up and it's already size perfectly. I'm actually just going to grab it from this file. So just to show you how to do that, I'm just gonna go up here to the logo file. So now I've got the logo. I can move it around. I'm just gonna do that same thing. I'm gonna pull it up to the top tab and pull it right back down. Okay? So that way I'm really being consistent and true to where it waas and how it was set up on the last one. If I really wanted to be super techy and superstar like perfect as faras my alignment, I could actually go back to my other file format and go command are. And that way I have rulers and then just pull in. I can pull in town, um, my guides from the sides and just find out exactly where that wasif I wanted to do that. Then that way I could line things up and make sure things were exactly where they need to be. Okay, so it's really up to you how consistent you want to be. But you don't have to be, like, totally consistence for his exact placement. I mean, it really is a design choice, and it's totally subjective. So in my case, I'm around, um you know, 0.75 in and about 4.5 down So let's do that. Let's go. Command are about 0.75 in. So the ruler is really an awesome little tool to help us see where we're at and about 4.5 down. Let's let's just stick to where we were at their We really want to be consistent. And now I've got my logo. I could move that around. Okay? I could move my photo around if I want a little bit. I could move that over. All right, so now we're getting a lot closer. Now, if I want to remove these guides, I can just go command. Ah, what is that? It's a colon command colon. And then that disappears. So you know what? I'm gonna actually move this down a little bit. It's kind of going to his face. Don't think you'll really appreciate that. And maybe I'll just make this a little bit bigger. So he's not totally getting his chin cut off by this logo. Okay, so you get the idea. Basically, you can kind of feel around until you're happy. And now I need to add the title. Now, some people kind of think just put an image or just put the logo and that's enough. I find that if you don't add the title of a song, I mean, that's what people are looking for. So save your musician. People want to know the exact song looking for not just your logo or the name of your band . So make sure to include your image of your face or some kind of an image of you are some of that represents your band, um, the your logo and also the name of your songs. So I'm just gonna go back here because I've already selected the phone and everything I want to use. But I could also just start typing whatever I want the other one. So I was gonna go ahead and grab this file. I'm on that. I'm on that layer and go back up here again and pull it into this one. So I'm gonna align. It's similar to how the other one is. And again, this is just consistency. This is me being kind of anal about it. But you can really do whatever you want. You don't have to be as consistent. And I was gonna type in the new name of the song I was gonna tab it and kind of tap it with my arrows. Here, line it up. You know, if I really wanted to, I could change this font. I could do something completely different if I wanted to. I could just select it, just like the way you wouldn't word by going to the type tool and then selecting it. And you can go up to your top here tab. It's got a list of fonts. You can go ahead and click the down arrow and select a number of different fonts. And I wanted to change it up a bit. I could do that. I mean, it really depends on what you want to dio. Now, in my case, that's not what I want. So if I say I made a mistake, I could go into my history and go into window history, And I could just go backwards to say if I have made a big mistake and I want to edit that, I can go backwards And there you go. I've got my edit type tool. I go back again. Now I'm back to where I want to be. So that's unease. E way to correct yourself. If you've made a mistake, you can just go into window history. And that's how you do that. Okay, so now we're pretty much getting there as faras. What we want to look like for this video, this is pretty much now ready to be saved. So first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna save this as a PST file. The reason why I'm gonna do that is because I wanna maintain these layers in case I want to come back in and change it later. So go file, save as. And I'm just gonna say this as fearless video thumbnail. And that's a PSD file photo shop file. So save okay, so safe. And I'm also gonna save it as a J peg. The J peg is actually going to be the file that's uploaded. So now I'm going to flatten this file so that it can be saved is a J peg. So I'm going to go up to the top little box here, which is a little looks like a bunch of lines and a box. I'm to click on that and go all way down to flatten image, and it's gonna ask me, Discard hidden layers. I'm gonna say OK, and I, as you can see, it's one file called Background, and I'm going to go ahead and file save as change it to J. Peg. Impressive. It's gonna ask you a few different options here. Do you want it to be a maximum size? I would say yes, just to keep it as the top file quality it could be. Even though it's on the Web, we want it to look as great as it can and then say OK, and there you have it. Now we're done. So now we have a new manifest, fearless thumbnail for his new video on his YouTube channel, and this is the way you create thumbnails. 3. Create YouTube Thumbnails For FREE using Canva: in this video. I want to show you how to create YouTube thumbnails, your own custom YouTube thumbnails. But let's get the size specifications from YouTube themselves. So YouTube thumbnail size is 12 80 by 7 20 Okay, that's the dimensions that needs to be, even if you want to get this sent to a graphic designer to do it yourself. But I'm gonna show you how to do it really easy for free using canda dot com. So I'm here on camera dot com can even see some of the other thumbnails that I created earlier, and they have a whole bunch of templates already created to make this really easy. So we're gonna click on MAWR, and then we're gonna scroll down here to the bottom, and you will see where it says YouTube thumbnail something to click on. That and this creates a template for me for my own photos. And so I'm gonna grab another photo here, and I'm gonna put that in there. So when I click on uploads and then I'm gonna click on upload your own images and I'm gonna grab a picture. Um, it's called mash up, and it is with going to be with Ted Ascii. Let's grab that one. All right, so I just uploaded that right there. This is a song I did with an artist named to Dashi. Now, this is in there, and it doesn't fill out the whole screen. Okay? But I'm just going to show you one thing you can do to make it do that. You're gonna dressed and stretch this, okay? And obviously you don't wanna work the picture. What not? But this is one way to, ah, to make it fit in the whole screen. Boom. I'm just going to stretch that out a little bit more and then boom. Okay, so what I'm gonna do here now is I'm gonna just keep it like that and I can put text over this if I wanted to. I could grab text. Here is if the image isn't so photo in your face and I kind of already got text Here is not really the best one. I can click on add heading. And now I have text here so I can just say, you know, mash up maybe a mash up featuring let's go mash up featuring to dashi manifest times that I'm gonna change the font to one that's a little bit more readable. And I'm also gonna change this toe white to go along with the color that already have. Boom. I'm going to move that. I'm gonna make it a little bigger here. I'd like to change the point side. Let's go toe 48 see what that looks like. And then I'm gonna move this down here a little bit. Boom. Okay. See how easy it is? T mess around with text and whatnot. So now watch this. Now I'm going to click on download because I want to download the file as a image high quality PNG file in. This is free. Okay, how awesome is this? Click on that. And now it's just gonna It's preparing the design, exporting it for me. Give it a second. Your design is ready. Boom. There it is. Right there. Love it. So now I have that file. I can save it wherever I want. I can just go export, and I'm just going to save this to my desktop. And I'm just gonna put the call this thumbnail manifest Dash two, dash e. Okay. Gonna click. Save now. I'm even gonna go to my YouTube page. I'm gonna even just uploaded and show you how easy this is again. I'm gonna grab this song, um, is actually to There's one extra guy on that song. And so I really should have an image that has all three of us. But I know what the songs it's called. I have a dream. So I'm gonna go here. There's the song manifest I Have a Dream featuring two dashi and Sean Lock like That's Okay . It's the album cover, which looks cool, But let's edit this. And now let's click on Custom Thumbnail and Let's click on the Desktop. And then there's Thumbnail manifested ashy. Let's see what this looks like here. I think it's gonna look better this new one just because it's a yeah, look at that bloom that just sticks out so much more, I think Boom clicked. Save click back. It might take YouTube a second or two. Teoh. I have a dream. See if it updated. It already didn't up there. Take it. Takes a few seconds for it to upload, but I know it's definitely in there. Let's just go back here. Click at it again. Sometimes it just takes them a while. It is in there, just sometimes YouTube takes well. Anyways. I think that's a much better looking thumb now. But anyways, guys, how easy and free is that to use that and create your own images on canvas dot com. Okay, I've created tons of images on here, and it's just it's just been great. It's been really great if I go back here, Um, I click on my designs, close this out here again. You can see some of the ones I've done for music's and the ones I've done for my music business. Here's when I created the other day really cool stuff, and you can also correct your Facebook covers here to Facebook. Post blawg graphics, all kinds of cool stuff. But anyway, I want to focus on the YouTube thumbnails for this video. Hope that helps you guys out. Keep creating, keep marketing and go through the rest of this course and take action