Updated Template for Designing Your YouTube Channel Art
As with most things, change is constant. I’ve updated my YouTube Channel Art Template after hitting a snag when updating a couple of client’s accounts. If you’re like me, you want your design to look the way you expect it to.
It always frustrates me when I design a cool graphic only to see that it gets cropped or distorted later on. That’s why I don’t use the official cover photo dimensions for Facebook business pages, they’re only good for desktop!
And yes, YouTube provides us with templates, and that’s great. It’s probably the only social network that does! What’s nice is that things haven’t changed all that much in more than two years.
So, new Channel Art was created and everything was going great, until I checked up on the design using my iOS YouTube app… The image was cropped! I hate that.
Of course, I had to check the Android app too, but I don’t have an Android phone. Another hassle, but I have great friends that have joined the Dark Side.
The Android app didn’t get cropped, whew! The profile image is slightly smaller, but that’s not a huge deal.
YouTube Channel Art Dimensions
The recommended (massive) size for YouTube Channel Art is still 2560 X 1440, though this is only going to be relevant when/if your YouTube Channel is viewed on a smart TV. The part of the image/template you really need to design for is the middle section that is 423px tall. For iOS it’s now 361px tall.
My template is somewhat different than what’s officially put out there:
- The minimum desktop size is not 1546×423, it’s 2055×423. I’ve tried different browsers on Mac and PCs and it’s the same. I can’t find a situation on the desktop where the width matches the official template.
- My template gives you guidance on where your profile image and social/website links will sit on top of your design. This allows you to keep important items from getting hidden.
- This updated template shows the actual area your artwork will occupy on the iOS mobile app. Only when you know the cropping can you get the exact design you want.
Like all things, it would be nice if things were consistent.
Having square profile images that align to the top on desktop, and round profile images that align on the bottom on mobile doesn’t make much sense to me. I just adapt and hope future updates don’t break things completely.
I have looked in other places for design solutions for YouTube, like Canva, but you won’t get a proper design there unless you upload my template into your Uploads area. They do have the right dimensions (2560×1440) but they don’t tell you that only the center strip is going to show.
I’m no Canva expert, so I got frustrated trying to get the template image to be the top “layer”. I did play around with making the images on top of my template transparent but that’s not a great solution. It will work in a pinch though. I prefer Photoshop, but if you’re looking for something similar, I recommend GIMP. It’s free!
I’ve included two versions. One that’s opaque and one that’s transparent.
Download The YouTube Channel Template!
As always, I look forward to your comments. I’m here if you run into any problems or have suggestions for improvements.
Michael Currey is an experienced web designer, front-end developer and social media manager with 15 years of experience and an education from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He founded inlineVision with his business partner and software engineer Nina Khoury in 2011.
March 1, 2016 by Sandra Zoratti
February 10, 2016 by Michael Currey