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How To Make A YouTube Thumbnail That Attracts Eyes and Clicks in 2022



As a YouTuber, you know that creating informative, engaging, and visually appealing thumbnails for your videos is essential to getting people to click through and watch. This blog is a complete guide on how to make a youtube thumbnail?

YouTube thumbnails are vital to making your videos stand out on the platform. With over 2.2 billion active users, YouTube is one of the world’s most powerful social media platforms. To take advantage of this vast audience, you must learn how to make professional-looking thumbnails for your videos. This post will give you tips on creating an engaging YouTube thumbnail that sizzles the eyeballs.

What Are YouTube Thumbnails?

A thumbnail is a small picture that appears alongside your video when you upload it to YouTube. The thumbnail is the first thing that users see when they visit your channel and helps them decide whether they want to watch your video or not.

If you have a good-looking thumbnail, viewers may be more likely to click on your video and watch what’s inside.

You can update your thumbnail anytime by going to “edit my profile” in the left sidebar of YouTube and clicking on the “thumbnails” tab (it looks like a plus sign). You can change your thumbnail image, adjust its size, and more!

Why Are YouTube Thumbnails So Important?

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The same principle applies to YouTube thumbnails. A good thumbnail can make all the difference in whether or not someone clicks on your video.

Think about it – when you’re scrolling through your feed, what makes you stop and click on a particular video? Often, it’s the thumbnail that catches your eye.

That is why YouTube thumbnails are so important. They are essentially little marketing tools that can help you get more views on your videos. The YouTube algorithm considers how many people click on your thumbnail when determining where to rank your video in search results.

What Makes a YouTube Thumbnail Clickable?

Now that we’ve established that YouTube thumbnails are necessary let’s talk about what makes a thumbnail clickable.

There are a few key principles that you should always include in your YouTube thumbnail:

Show a Human Face (or Your Face)

YouTube thumbnail

People are naturally drawn to faces. You’ll often see thumbnails with people’s faces front and center. Why are you drawn to faces in YouTube thumbnails? Well, there’s some science behind it.

Studies have shown that humans are hardwired to pay attention to faces.

We’re able to process facial expressions very quickly, and we’re good at spotting even subtle emotional changes. This ability helped our ancestors survive by allowing them to identify potential threats quickly. In the modern world, it just means we’re more likely to click on a video with a face in the thumbnail.

Some emotions to convey within your thumbnail are:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Surprise
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Anger

Using the “happy-peak” frame as the video face cover or thumbnail resulted in a 14% increase in overall attention. The video’s attention-peak frame is the frame in which the average level of detected happiness is the highest.

Make It Bright And Eye-Catching

Getting people to pay attention to your content can be hard in a world where you are constantly bombarded with information. That’s why it’s important to use eye-catching elements, like bright colors and striking images, in your thumbnails.

After all, if your thumbnail doesn’t capture someone’s attention, they will not bother clicking on your video or article. And let’s be honest, we’ve all been guilty of judging a book by its cover.


When creating an engaging YouTube thumbnail, there are a few things to remember.

  1. First and foremost, the image should be clear and demonstrate the video’s subject matter.
  2. Secondly, it’s important to create curiosity or intrigue with the image so that viewers are incentive to click on the video.
  3. And finally, try to show unique angles or aspects of the subject matter that appeal to viewers.

With these things in mind, you can create a thumbnail that will help ensure your video gets seen by potential viewers.

Additionally, avoid using stock, offensive, or unclear images as thumbnails, as this will likely turn viewers away.


how to make YouTube thumbnail

YouTube is a platform that viewers on mobile devices are increasingly accessing. As a result, it is vital to consider the text you use in your thumbnail images.

While you may be tempted to use fancy fonts or a lot of text, this can convert terribly on YouTube because it is too hard to read on mobile. Instead, please keep it simple and use a font like Oswald, Poppins, Betas Neue, or Montserrat.

With five words, you can enlarge much more quickly than with less than five words.

Make sure your thumbnail picture complements the image. Make sure it is easy to read on any device. Choose a font and amount of text that can be easily read on any device to ensure your audience can see what your video is about. 

The Idea Of the Thumbnail Itself

Since you know how crucial YouTube thumbnails are to seeing your videos, let’s dive right into some tips, ideas, and best practices for designing them.

Plan Out A Thumbnail Image

Usually, YouTube videos are stills, but sometimes capturing that perfect image in the middle can be difficult.

Before filming, take multiple shots of your thumbnail image – from various angles. Try shooting your meal from a top-down angle, before and after, or even smiling.

Keep Your Design Simple

Most people make the mistake of making YouTube thumbnails too complex. Whenever you create a thumbnail, make it cluttered, unattractive, and attract fewer clicks.

If someone spends more than a minute decoding it, they are less likely to click on it. So make it reflect the central idea of your video.

Use Exaggeration And Human Faces

When your thumbnail appears, you want it to stop the viewer in their tracks. Exaggeration is the best way to accomplish this – the emotion on someone’s face or the scenery. 

Show Action

Another way to capture viewers’ attention is to convey action and energy instead of a human face.

Use Overlay Text

Don’t repeat the title of your video. Use 2-4 keywords to describe your video. You can use the text to tease or contextualize it.

If you want your video to be easy to read on mobile devices and desktop computers, your font size and color should contrast nicely with the thumbnail image.

Use Thumbnail Fonts

Due to their clean lines, sans serif fonts like Impact, Helvetica, Bebas, and Ariel make YouTube thumbnail text easier to read at large and small sizes. The small details of serif fonts make them difficult to read at smaller sizes and with specific backgrounds.

Eye-Catching Contrast

The contrast in stock photos can be unattractive and unnatural. YouTube thumbnails are more noticeable when the difference is high. As well as contrast in the image, you can use two contrasting colors to make your thumbnail stand out.

Show The Final Product

Planning thumbnails for videos that show before and after is a great way to create eye-catching thumbnails. One way to grab viewers’ attention is to take a close-up of a tasty meal.

Think From A Different Perspective

On YouTube, artists use perspective and distortion to make objects stand out – by making them larger, smaller, closer, or farther away. By making thumbnails appear to jump out of the screen, you can make them appear more clickable.

Consistency Of Brand Image

Make sure your thumbnail images are branded with consistent text, photos, and styles when creating them. A consistent branding strategy can help you get subscribers to click on your videos and watch them.

How To Make A YouTube Thumbnail in 7 simple steps

1.Log in to your Canva account and click “Create a design” & Type “youtube thumbnail”

how to make a YouTube attractive thumbnail

The Canva design canvas will then appear with the YouTube thumbnail image’s exact resolution. Click on it to view the design canvas.

2. choose any preset template in Canva and customize it to fit your brand

YouTube thumbnail templates

It will work with something else since the image does not appear in the design.

Nevertheless, you want to make your YouTube thumbnail stand out visually, so you want something more dramatic. Here is one you think is an excellent place to start.

A placeholder design will be the basis for changing out all elements and replacing them with what works better for our video.

3. change the headline


Be sure to do your keyword research before designing your thumbnail. In my headline, we’re typing “My YouTube Thumbnail Design.”

As well as altering the spacing between each letter, or kerning, let’s also adjust the position of the text.

4. upload your main Subject image

When choosing your thumbnail, choose a picture with a happy or animated face. It will receive more clicks than one with a serious face. 

To flip it, you use Canva’s “Background Remover tool” to remove the background and point it at the text. Adjust the position after the background is removed.

5. duplicate the image and blur it slightly so that it will sit behind our subject image as an outline like this.

You got the correct results using a combination of 100 for the duplicate’s brightness and contrast and 25 or 30 for the blur.

However, the glow around the subject will depend on your preferences.

6. go to the “Elements tab,” and search for the word “youtube”

To help visualize this video, we’ll want to add them around our thumbnail.

Ensure to include complementary elements in your video design if your video content contains them.

7. Choose your background

It’s a simple trick for thumbnail backgrounds and other designs. 

A noisy background is something you don’t want. Our goal is to use something simple yet not too simple simultaneously. 

You can do this by going to the Photos tab and typing “bokeh” in the search bar at the top of the page.It is then possible for you to choose an image from a bunch of bokeh images and drag it into your design to get the effect you need.

When the image still appears too noisy, click the Edit Image button, then choose “See all” in Adjustment.

With the blur dial turned up, the background will appear dynamic, but not so much that it takes our attention from the headline. Reduce the layer’s opacity as well.

What Are Good Examples Of Successful YouTube Thumbnails?

Here are a few good examples of YouTube thumbnails to emulate:


MrBeast is the new No. 1 richest YouTuber. Many of the thumbnails show him reacting to what is going on in the foreground. In this thumbnail, MrBeast shows an insanely large piece of pizza. Showing people something shocking they’ve never seen before is a surefire way to generate clicks.

We analyzed over 200 of MrBeasts thumbnails and we noticed something very interesting:

105/200 of his thumbnails have ZERO words.

Only 16/200 had more than four words!

Claudia Ayuso

Let’s check out an example by YouTuber Claudia Ayuso. The visuals are especially clean, but they also set the expectation for what the viewer will learn from the video.

In other words, there is strong alignment between the thumbnail and the main topic of the video. The text also asks the viewers an intriguing question: “How much? monthly cost in London”.

Since viewers want to know the answer to this question, they will click on the video to learn the answer to the question.

Income School

This thumbnail is powerful because of its mystery, which they achieved by blurring a key part of the title. Blurring this title makes the reader wonder what they must get good at to avoid failure!

Also, the thumbnail’s striking yellow color draws your attention and contrasts with the rest of the image. In addition, YouTube thumbnail Income School highlights the emotional word “fail” in yellow to make you think twice before clicking.

Tatiana James

YouTube thumbnail example

The Tatiana James thumbnail succeeds because her thumbnail depicts an ideal lifestyle. The thumbnails aren’t meant to appear superficial but to emphasize that her content is much deeper. Because these thumbnails seem utopian and promising, people are likelier to click on them.

You must, however, deliver quality content if you want to use this technique. Stay away from clickbait headlines and thumbnails.

Why Use Clickbait In Your Thumbnails?

Clickbait is a click-generating headline that’s usually intended to induce a click from the reader, often with an intentionally provocative or shocking statement. Well, here are some reasons:

  • It’s attention-grabbing and gets your audience’s attention.
  • It gets your audience to share your content, which can help build a large following for you.
  • You can use it as an opportunity to sell products or services related to the video or blog post you’re promoting (for example, if you’re promoting a new product launch).

Using Clickbait In Your Thumbnail: Good or Bad?

You’ve seen it a million times. You’re scrolling through YouTube, minding your own business, when suddenly a thumbnail pops up that’s so eye-catching you can’t help but click on it.

Whether it’s an outrageous claim or a tantalizing promise, clickbait thumbnails are designed to get you to watch a video. But while there’s no doubt that clickbait can be effective, it’s also important to use it wisely.

When used judiciously, clickbait can be an effective way to get people interested in your videos. Just be sure that the content of your videos lives up to the expectations set by the thumbnail.

If people click on your video expecting to see one thing but find something completely different, they’re likely to be disappointed – and may not stick around for future videos.

For related reading, check out:


What Are the Requirements For YouTube Thumbnail Images?

  • The screen must be at least 1280 x 720 pixels in size (with 640 pixels as the minimum width).
  • Upload images in JPG, GIF, or PNG format.
  • Since YouTube players are mostly 16:9, it’s best to use that aspect ratio.
  • Keep your file under 2MB.

What Is The Reason For The Custom Thumbnail Turnoff?

If you think a custom youtube thumbnail template is inappropriate for viewers, then YouTube may turn them off for specific search results. The Community Guidelines must be adhered to when creating custom thumbnails.

What Is the YouTube Thumbnail Size?

Your YouTube thumbnail should be the correct size before you begin. You should have at least 640 pixels of width and 1280 pixels of height with your YouTube video thumbnail.

Which One Is The Best YouTube Thumbnail Maker?

Canva Pro offers the best mix of templates, graphics, background removal functionality, and ease of use for making YouTube thumbnails.

Final Thought

In conclusion, making a great YouTube thumbnail is important if you want more views. To ensure your thumbnail stands out, follow these simple tips: use bright colors, choose an interesting image, and include text that is easy to read. You can also try using an online thumbnail maker to help you create an effective design.

Remember, your thumbnail is the first thing potential viewers will see, so make sure it is eye-catching and reflective of the content of your video.


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