How to Create Eye-Catching Thumbnail for Youtube using Canva

Vinz Viray
Apr 10, 2022 5 min read

Think about how you want your thumbnails to look before you start making them.

Today I'm gonna show you how to create an eye-catching youtube thumbnail using canva.

Images and thumbnails are very important when it comes to YouTube content. If they’re flimsy and edited, the chances are much lower that your videos will go viral. 

Presenting you a simple step-by-step guide on how to create an eye-catching thumbnail for YouTube using Canva.

But first, we need to tackle the process of creating a thumbnail for your YouTube videos to better understand why should we need to do it.

what is the point for thumbanail

What's the point of having a thumbnail?

1. Getting more clicks and views

The whole emphasis of a thumbnail is to get viewers to click on your videos. The more clicks you get, the more views your video will get. 

Thumbnail needs to be relatable to the content of the video. Because if the content has nothing to do with the thumbnail and title, viewers will click off the video and unsubscribe from your channel which will result in less watch time and view duration.

If the video does not deliver on its intended promise it could result in your videos not being promoted by the algorithm known as clickbait.

2. Making appealing thumbnails

Now you do want your video thumbnails to appeal as you want to use them as leverage to draw and hook viewers in. You want to provide an element of what if by creating intrigue and curiosity, making viewers want to click to find out more.

entice to click your video

Creating thumbnails that entice users to click and watch your videos.

Creating eye-catching thumbnails needs to be part of your video creation process repertoire, as the more you practice and execute your ideas, the better your thumbnails will be.

You want to make the thumbnails unique and relatable to your content, but you can reference ideas from other channels to see what is working best for them.

It could potentially have a huge snowball effect on your future videos and channels.

factor consider in creating thumbnails

Factors to consider before starting to make a YouTube thumbnail.

Ideally, for best practices, you should plan out and create your thumbnails before you begin recording and editing your videos. You want the design of your thumbnail to be seamless so that it adds an element of flow that if a viewer clicks on the video based on the image, they will get the answers they are looking for on the other side.

You could look at some key factors to give you an idea of how to begin your thought processes with these examples:

  • Research competitors thumbnails
  • Look at the positioning of the wording and graphical elements
  • Look to see what draws your attention first
  • How big is the text on the thumbnail
  • What style of fonts are that are being used
  • Do the graphical elements leave you with more questions
  • Is there too much or less text being used
  • What colour styles are that are being used
  • Is the colour style simple or overwhelming
  • Is the image using cartoon-style graphics
  • Or is it displaying an image of a person showing some sort of unusual facial expression
  • Is it something you would click on

This process allows you to have a better idea behind the video to structure the content in a more streamlined manner.

Take the time to do your research and plan out the process for developing your thumbnails.

Size of youtube thumbnail

What is the standard size of a thumbnail image?

The recommended thumbnail size for YouTube players and previews is 1280 x 720 pixels with a minimum width of 640 pixels. The best ratio for YouTube players and previews is 16:9. Along with the ideal size, you'll want to consider the thumbnail's ratio, file size, and file type.

log in canva

How to create an eye-catching thumbnail for YouTube using Canva (Just 3 Easy Steps)

1. Login or Sign Up to Canva

Log in or Sign up for a free account by visiting If you are new to Canva, I suggest that you join up for a free 30-day trial of Canva Pro to get started.

create thumbnail

2. Create Your Thumbnail

Once you've logged into Canva, you can either choose the 'YouTube Thumbnail' template from the drop-down menu or put YouTube Thumbnail into the search box.

YouTube Thumbnail Suggestions
Here are some Thumbnail Tips to consider while making your thumbnails:
- You want to make sure the writing is big and simple to read.
- In your thumbnail, use no more than 3-6 words. Focus on terms that will persuade people to click.
- Serif styles (the tiny lines on the end) are difficult to see, especially on a small YouTube thumbnail.
- Make sure your text contrasts with the backdrop so it can be read clearly.
- Put text to the left so it can be viewed. When you hover over your thumbnail, YouTube adds several icons on the right side.

Reference: Chloe Forbes-Kindlen How to create Youtube Thumbnails in Canva

download or upload thumbnail using Canva

3. Download & Upload Your Video To YouTube

When you're through with your design, click the download button to save your finished thumbnail as an a.png file.


In the end, it’s not so much about the tools that you use as long as you’re creating what you want from scratch.

If you’re looking to create some eye-catching thumbnails for your YouTube videos, don’t hesitate to try Canva out for yourself.

It has never been easier or more affordable for students and professionals alike to create eye-catching designs!