How to Use Canva to Create a YouTube Thumbnail

As a YouTuber, you probably know how important it is to have an eye-catching thumbnail for your videos. Fortunately, there are plenty of online tools you can use to achieve that perfect look. Canva is one such example that never fails to deliver.

How to Use Canva to Create a YouTube Thumbnail

This article shares how to use Canva to create beautiful YouTube thumbnails using your PC or mobile device. Plus, you’ll learn how to make your thumbnail stand out from the crowd and attract a wider audience. Let’s dive right in.

How to Create a YouTube Thumbnail in Canva on a PC

A video thumbnail is the first thing viewers see when they come across your channel. It is often the deciding factor in whether they click on the video or not. A general rule of thumb says the perfect thumbnail should be captivating, have a readable and clean font, have brand-matching colors, and accurately reflect the channel content.

Thanks to Canva, you can design eye-catching thumbnails to help you boost your viewership. This software runs in a web browser so that you can use it anytime, anywhere—no need to install anything on your computer.

The primary purpose of Canva is to help create high-quality graphics with little effort. Thousands of designers have made templates in just about any category – YouTube thumbnails included. Also, a built-in feature lets you use any frame from your video as a background. And you get to do all that for free!

Get Started

To start designing your thumbnail on Canva, you need to create an account first. You can log in from your Facebook or Google account using the desktop app here. Once you’re in, you’ll see the main dashboard. Just follow the steps below to get your first thumbnail ready:

  1. Hit the “Create a Design” button on the left-hand of the screen. If you plan to create your design from scratch and not use a pre-made template, click on “Custom Dimensions” and insert the preferred dimensions manually.
  2. To use pre-made templates, type “YouTube thumbnail” in the search bar. You’ll see plenty of themed solutions like how-to, beauty, travel, music, food, etc.
  3. Change the name of the project. This will help you find it faster once you finish the design. Click on the existing name at the top of the screen and type the one that’s convenient for you.

Make a Design

Once you’ve found a template or created a new design from scratch and given it a name, it’s time to start designing. As you browse for pre-made templates, you’ll come across plenty of designs that don’t match your video or brand. But don’t worry. You can replace any image from the template with your own, change the font color, size, and type, and adjust the design to match your needs.

  1. Use the drag and drop feature to add or tweak elements to your design.
  2. Use animation features to make your design stand out. Play with color schemes and font combinations to match your brand.
  3. Upload your own artwork or images, adjust the layout, or make any changes you like.

Upload an Image From Your Video

Pre-made templates are nice, but there’s a better way to personalize the content for your YouTube thumbnail. You can replace the template background image with a frame from your video.

  1. Pick a template.
  2. Delete the existing background image to clean the canvas. To do so, right-click on the background image and select “Delete.”
  3. Navigate to the left-hand side menu and select “Uploads.”
  4. Go to “Videos,” then “Upload media.”
  5. Select the video you need.
  6. Use the progress bar at the bottom to find the frame you want to use.
  7. Pause the video once you find the ideal frame.
  8. Adjust the frame with the crop and trim function at the top. Don’t worry about the play button in the center, as it will disappear once you export the video.
  9. Right-click on the background and select “Send to Back.”

Wrapping Up the Design

  1. Once you’re done editing, hit the “Download” button.
  2. Save the design on your computer.

How to Create a YouTube Thumbnail in Canva on a Mobile Device

YouTube thumbnails play an essential role in how many views your videos get. You can think of them as the face of your video. You want your viewers to be enticed to it to play the content. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create captivating thumbnails. Canva has all the tools you need.

Here’s how to create a fascinating YouTube thumbnail in Canva on a mobile device:

  1. Open the Canva app on your Android or iOS device.
  2. Create a new account or use Google or Facebook to log in.
  3. Search for the following keywords in the search bar: “YouTube thumbnail”.
  4. Explore the templates and tap on the one you like.
  5. Start designing your own template. Use animation features, try different color schemes, and adjust the font to match your brand
  6. Add your own logo or images and make any changes you like.

Upload an Image From Your Video

Pre-made templates are great, but it’s better to customize your thumbnail by adding a frame from your own video. Here’s how you can do so on the mobile Canva app.

  1. Pick a Canva template you like.
  2. Remove the existing background image to clean the canvas. Tap on the background image and select “Delete.”
  3. Tap on the purple circle with a plus sign to add your video.
  4. Tap on “Gallery” and grant Canva access.
  5. Select the video you need.
  6. Use the progress bar at the bottom to find the frame you want to use.
  7. Pause the video at the frame you want to use as the background.
  8. Tweak the frame using the crop and trim function. The play button in the center will be gone when you export the video, so don’t worry about it.
  9. Tap on the background image and select “Position.”
  10. Tap on “Backward.” This will move the background layer behind, so the font and other designs can be visible.

Wrapping Up the Design

  1. Once you’re done making changes, save the thumbnail by tapping the “Export” button.
  2. Choose the location where you want to save the design.

We only recommend using your phone to create designs if you cannot do so on a computer. Creating a thumbnail on a computer will leave more space for precision. Also, it’s easier to drag and drop elements on a bigger screen.

Additional FAQs

What’s the Size of YouTube Thumbnails?

The default YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels. The minimum pixel width is 640. The aspect ratio should be 16:9, and the maximum file size shouldn’t top 2 MB.

Create Eye-Catching YouTube Thumbnails With Canva

Canva is heaven-sent for DIY designers. Whether you’re starting a blog, video channel, or social media page, you can create stunning designs to match your brand personality. The YouTube thumbnail design with Canva is no different. With the easy-to-use drag and drop interface and hundreds of pre-made templates, your perfect YouTube thumbnail is minutes away.

Do you find it easier to create designs on your desktop or mobile? Did you use pre-made Canva templates or create a new one from scratch? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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