50+ YouTube Thumbnail Designs, Format & Examples

Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has essentially changed the game. The popular platform has no doubt changed the way people interact online. It has made celebrities out of everyday, ordinary people. It has brought fortune and fame to countless ‘undiscovered’ talents. It was, and still is, instrumental in the rise and proliferation of social media influencers. And whether influencer or not, engaging content is one determining factor of success. Content does not just mean uploading videos, choosing the right YouTube thumbnail for each video you upload is a vital part of the process too.  

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To create a YouTube thumbnail design of your own, follow these simple steps:

  • Browse through dozens of creative designs and ideas.
  • Customize it the way you want and download it in your preferred file format.

CREATE A YOUTUBE THUMBNAIL

So if your goal is more views, shares, and comments for your YouTube videos, then you need to be intentional when it comes to curating your content. A thumbnail is the first thing a user sees so it’s a classic case of perfecting that first impression. You only get one chance at nailing that first impression. Let the dozens of designs below stir your imagination and innovation!

1. Comic Con YouTube Thumbnail Design

Calling all comic book enthusiasts! The Comic Con template below does not lack spunk at all with its winning color combination of yellow and purple.

comic con youtube thumbnail template

Use This Comic Con YouTube Thumbnail Design 

2. Parent’s Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Looking for positive content for your YouTube channel? Why not show Mom and Dad you appreciate them with this Parent’s Day template?

free parent

Use This Parent's Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

3. Series YouTube Thumbnail Design

This YouTube template below shows a preview of an original series. Its dark and moody background just gives you a feeling that it’s going to be a good one.

youtube series thumbnail template

Use This Series YouTube Thumbnail Design

4. Music YouTube Thumbnail Example

Music and music videos make up an integral part of the content on YouTube. This playlist thumbnail below keeps it fun and fresh with intense colors and bold graphics.

flat geometric music youtube thumbnail memphis style

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5. Fashion YouTube Thumbnail Design

A lot of vlogs on YouTube are centered on all things fashion and trends.  This fashion template makes a great example with its attention seeking text paired with a light and breezy thumbnail photo.

fashion youtube thumbnail template

Use This Fashion YouTube Thumbnail Design

6. Furniture YouTube Thumbnail Design

This furniture template for social media, including YouTube, gives off a welcoming and cozy vibe. The quirky pillows and fire place make this thumbnail stand out above the rest.

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Use This Furniture YouTube Thumbnail Design

7. Business Strategy YouTube Thumbnail Design

Up your corporate game with this lively business template. YouTube is not just for fun, it has hosts some useful business strategy videos too.

business strategy youtube thumbnail

Use This Business Strategy YouTube Thumbnail Design

8. Makeup YouTube Thumbnail Design

Professional and ammeter makeup artists abound on YouTube. Give your followers a variety of makeup looks so there have more options. Take a cue from the sample template below.

makeup youtube thumbnail template

Use This Makeup YouTube Thumbnail Design 

9. Restaurant YouTube Thumbnail Design

Strategic positioning and artsy angles make this restaurant template below lovely to look at. The appetizing image makes it a perfect YouTube thumbnail!

restaurant youtube thumbnail template

Use This Restaurant YouTube Thumbnail Design 

10. Travel YouTube Thumbnail Design

What’s on your travel checklist? Travel vlogs are quite popular on YouTube. Your video’s thumbnail should convey the need for wanderlust too!

travel youtube thumbnail template

Use This Travel YouTube Thumbnail Design

11. Influencer YouTube Thumbnail Design

The rise of the social media influencer is in part thanks to platforms like YouTube. Get the attention you seek with engaging content, starting with an eye catching thumbnail. Look to this influencer template below for inspiration!

influencer youtube thumbnail template

Use This Influencer YouTube Thumbnail Design

12. Menu YouTube Thumbnail Design

Curate your YouTube channel exactly how you would a food menu. The thumbnail below starts by asking a question to provoke viewers to form opinions and ideas.

menu youtube thumbnail template

Use This Menu YouTube Thumbnail Design

13. Skincare YouTube Thumbnail Example

Skincare routines are some of the most popular vlogs on YouTube. The thumbnail below nails it (no pun intended) with its simple yet captivating design.

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14. Cocktail YouTube Thumbnail Example

Are you a budding mixologist? This vintage-style cocktail thumbnail is sure to have your followers and viewers saying cheers!

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15. Soap Making YouTube Thumbnail Example

Who knew soaps could look so pretty? This soap making YouTube thumbnail is fun and playful with its groovy soap designs.

soap

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16. Thanksgiving YouTube Thumbnail Example

The intricate drawings add another interesting layer to the subdued background in this Thanksgiving YouTube thumbnail. It also uses an expected color, like pink, versus the traditional holiday orange color.

thanksgiving dinner youtube thumbnail

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17. Meal Plan YouTube Thumbnail Design

Jump on the wellness bandwagon! Meal planning is an essential element to any healthy routine. Check out the meal plan thumbnail below for inspiration!

meal plan food youtube thumbnail

Use This Meal Plan YouTube Thumbnail Design

18. Fitness YouTube Thumbnail Design

The COVID-19 pandemic saw a rise in preference and popularity for home workouts. Stay fit even during quarantine! The fitness template below features a simple yet impactful thumbnail.

fitness youtube thumbnail

Use This Fitness YouTube Thumbnail Design

19. Corporate YouTube Thumbnail Design

The corporate template below uses a basic design with just a splash of red to make an eye-catching business statement.

corporate business youtube thumbnail template

Use This Corporate Business YouTube Thumbnail Design

20. Nurses Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Give nurses everywhere the love and respect they deserve. Celebrate these brave front liners in a Nurses Day tribute video on YouTube!

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Use This Nurses Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

21. Christmas YouTube Thumbnail Design

Tis the season to be grateful! The Christmas template below offers gift shopping ideas. Show some holiday spirit like how the pretty package below is neatly wrapped in a candy cane bow.

christmas gift ideas youtube thumbnail

Use This Christmas YouTube Thumbnail Design

22. Blogger YouTube Thumbnail Design

Need fresh ideas for your blog post? Food is always a good idea. Be a foodie vlogger and feature multiple cuisines for added variety.

food blogger youtube thumbnail template

Use This Food Blogger YouTube Thumbnail Design

23. Cooking YouTube Thumbnail Design

Are you fond of cooking magazines and cooking shows? Today, it’s so easy to just go on YouTube and find cooking classes and food recipes. The thumbnail below features a delectable image of a classic crowd-favorite, carbonara.

cooking guide youtube thumbnail template

Use This Cooking YouTube Thumbnail Design

24. Yoga YouTube Thumbnail Design

Are you a budding yoga instructor? Take it a notch higher and upload your classes online! YouTube can serve as a powerful platform to spread awareness about the life changing benefits of yoga and mindfulness.

yoga poses youtube thumbnail template

Use This Yoga YouTube Thumbnail Design

25. Patriot’s Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Show your nation some love with a Patriot’s Day tribute! The thumbnail below keeps it classic with red, white, and blue.

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Use This Patriot's Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

26. Shopping YouTube Thumbnail Design

Everyone needs a little retail therapy every now and then. And nothing says shopping spree more than multiple paper bags on each arm, as seen in the example below.

shopping youtube thumbnail template

Use This Shopping YouTube Thumbnail Design

27. Art YouTube Thumbnail Design

Feeling artsy? Creativity is not meant to be kept in, it’s meant to be shared. And you don’t even need to be an art director to get creative. If you have an artistic bone in your body, sharing your tips with others will bring more meaning and purpose.

art tips youtube thumbnail templateUse This Art YouTube Thumbnail Design

28. Sports YouTube Thumbnail Design

Sports, like music, bring people together. This sports template below features one of the world’s most popular games, basketball. The dark background does well to emphasize the thumbnail’s text and image.

sports youtube thumbnail templateUse This Sports YouTube Thumbnail Design

29. Business Plan YouTube Thumbnail Design

How-To vlogs are popular online. From how to do one’s makeup to creating effective business plans, there’s always something to learn and YouTubers can’t seem to get enough of it.

business plan youtube thumbnail templateUse This Business Plan YouTube Thumbnail Design

30. National Library Worker’s Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Books open the door to knowledge and imagination. Librarians, as steward and keepers of books, should be celebrated every National Library Worker’s Day. Pay homage to them via your YouTube channel!

free national library workers day youtube video thumbnailUse This National Library Worker's Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

31. National Day of Prayer YouTube Thumbnail Design

Billions of faithful people around the world believe in the power of prayer. Celebrate the National Day of Prayer on YouTube and join others hope for the healing of our broken world.

national day of prayer youtube video thumbnail template

Use This National Day of Prayer YouTube Thumbnail Design

32. Father’s Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Pay tribute to Dads everywhere with this Father’s Day thumbnail template. A compilation of “all things Dad” decorate the background in the example below.
free father

Use This Father's Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

33. Hillsong Worship YouTube Thumbnail Example

Experience the life-giving beauty of praise and worship songs! Hillsong Church, a world-renowned Christian denomination, holds services all over the world to spread the saving message of Jesus Christ.
>wonder hillsong united live in israel youtube thumbnail

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34. Philosophy YouTube Thumbnail Example

Our values and personal philosophy define our thoughts and deeds. Whatever religion or philosophy you subscribe to, may it lead you to a greater understanding of the self. As seen below, Bruce Lee was not only an iconic martial arts master, his philosophy influenced people’s perspectives as well.
>design professional youtube thumbnails

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35. Martial Arts YouTube Thumbnail Design

The fascinating world of martials arts has always attracted people, regardless of background. If you’re looking for compelling content for your channel, a beginner course on marital arts or a self-defense tutorial are just some great ideas.

respect 2 youtube thumbnail 1024x

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36. Mindfulness YouTube Thumbnail Example

In today’s increasingly busy and complicated world, it’s getting harder and harder to slow down and find inner peace. Using a platform like YouTube to help people develop greater awareness and mindfulness vis-à-vis meditation techniques is a good way to start.
>thumbnail finding your purpose

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37. Surfing YouTube Thumbnail Example

Get ready to ride the waves! Embrace the carefree life of  a surfer like this thumbnail example below. Even the font itself gives off a tropical island vibe.

surf

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38. Earth Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

The world today needs saving more than it ever has. The Earth Day template below is a fitting image of current times, as the ongoing global pandemic rages on.

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39. Charity YouTube Thumbnail Design

YouTube can be a powerful fundraising platform to support advocacies and charities. This live stream thumbnail example below highlights its 12-hour charity event.

youtube live stream thumbnail templateUse This Charity Live Stream YouTube Thumbnail Design

40. Hanukkah YouTube Thumbnail Design

Celebrate Jewish pride with this Hanukkah template thumbnail below. Jewish-related content on YouTube can help inform and educate people of different faiths about the world’s oldest monotheistic religion.

hanukkah youtube thumbnail templateUse This Hanukkah YouTube Thumbnail Design

41. Memorial Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Honor the brave men and women who served the country wholeheartedly. You can’t go wrong with a Memorial Day template that resonates with the American flag.

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Use This Memorial Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

42. Arbor Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Use earthy and organic tones like this Arbor Day thumbnail template below. Add a short and straightforward catchphrase and you’re good to go!

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Use This Arbor Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

43. Ascension Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Celebrate a glorious Ascension Day with a YouTube vlog! Use a statement color like orange to command more attention.

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Use This Ascension Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

44. Armed Forces YouTube Thumbnail Design

Express national pride and gratitude to all the armed forces and personnel who risk their lives each day to defend the country’s interests. Go full-on patriotic by using red, white, and blue graphics.

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Use This Armed Forces YouTube Thumbnail Design

45. Chinese New Year YouTube Thumbnail Design

Ring in the lunar new year with this red and gold number! The holiday is always a huge celebration and nothing says Chinese New Year more than a golden dragon.

chinese new year youtube thumbnail templateUse This Chinese New Year YouTube Thumbnail Design

46. Martin Luther King Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

What Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for during the civil rights era would disrupt a nation and his ideals still resonate even up to the present day. Celebrate the civil rights icon with this thumbnail template below.

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47. Black Friday YouTube Thumbnail Design

Looking for fashion content for your vlog? Surviving fashion’s most notorious holiday is one idea. The Black Friday template below uses you guessed it, a black background.

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Use This Black Friday YouTube Thumbnail Design

48. Palm Sunday YouTube Thumbnail Design

For your Palm Sunday YouTube content, pick out a favorite Scripture verse from the Bible. The simple template below keeps a refreshing and minimalist design.

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49. Easter Sunday YouTube Thumbnail Design

The Easter Sunday template below features pastel-colored eggs; it’s sure to be a hit with kids.

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50. Mother’s Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

Shower Mom with nothing but love and appreciation on Mother’s Day! The YouTube thumbnail below plays it soft and sweet with its pink themed design.

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Use This Mother's Day YouTube Thumbnail Design

YOUTUBE THUMBNAIL FORMAT

It doesn’t matter if you’re a social media influencer with a considerable following or a person in the early stages of his YouTube channel, quality content is always the goal. And believe it or not, choosing the right thumbnail is part of that goal as well. Scroll down below for a quick guide to coming up with the best possible thumbnail. 

1. Graphics

Because it’s a YouTube video, you need to find the best possible shot or frame that will serve as your thumbnail. The image and graphics should not only be attention grabbing, but relevant to the video’s content too.

2. Text

Although not all videos require text, those that do need to be clear and attractive. Pay close attention to the size and font of the text. You want it to stand out and complement the graphics. You can also include a logo if you have one. This can help establish familiarity. You can use it in all your subsequent videos for uniformity.

3. Title

The title that appears on your thumbnail will determine if the user will click it or skip it. It needs to be witty and thought-provoking enough for the person to eventually click the link.

4. Caption

A caption is optional, but providing a short description below the title can help users get a better idea of what the video is about. Sometimes, the caption is just a subheading related to the main title.

5. Size

Before uploading, make sure your thumbnail meets YouTube community standards. The generally accepted size is 1280 x 720 pixels.

FAQs

What is the YouTube thumbnail size 2020?

The YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels. According to YouTube’s guidelines, the minimum width is 640 pixels.

How can I make my thumbnails attractive?

Pick out the most striking frame or snapshot of your video. Your thumbnail needs to capture the overall vibe that you are going for. Make text and titles bold enough to read too.

What is a thumbnail photo?

A thumbnail photo is a scaled down preview photo that acts as a front cover for a YouTube video.

How do you add a thumbnail?

After signing onto YouTube, click ‘Content’ on the left-side menu. Select a video and choose an auto-generated thumbnail. Afterwards, click ‘Save’.

How much is a YouTube thumbnail?

Another option is to have a thumbnail customized. If you choose to have it professionally done, the cost can average anywhere from $10 to $20.