close menu

5 Best Tips to Get Eye-Popping YouTube Thumbnail for More Views

As a content creator yourself, you probably wonder if your content is interesting enough to get more views. More often than not, the thing that is preventing you from garnering attention isn’t because of boring content; it’s because of not getting the basics right. 

Making custom thumbnails isn’t necessary, but it is a fundamental step in creating videos that stand out. In fact, the official YouTube channel goes over the basics of how to upload a custom thumbnail in their video. 

Let’s take a step back and see how to create custom eye-popping YouTube thumbnails in the first place so that you can hook viewers in before they even watch your video. This guide will include some really helpful tools as well, so make sure to read all the way through. 

1. Include a Face Whenever Possible

It doesn’t matter how computerized our society may get; what drives people to take action are emotions. Also, when it comes to emotions, it is the feeling of relatability that drives a lot of the content higher in the digital space.

Having a face in the thumbnail communicates the ‘message’ of the video effectively while also acting as an eye-popping element by itself.

thumbnail example with background removal

Image Credit: ManyPixels

Suppose you were scrolling through video suggestions relating to this topic and saw this. A few things would instantly pop into your head, such as, ‘this person must be an experienced entrepreneur’ or ‘he seems friendly and smart’. 

Either way, the chances of someone clicking on this increase significantly because of relatability and familiarity. 

Editing a face or a human figure into an image is a pretty easy task too. Simply upload an image of yourself on, preferably a headshot, and give the image a transparent background. That’s it. Now you can take any other photo and drop your headshot into it. 

background removal with vaceai

Image Credit: VanceAI

If you are already a user, you can take benefit from your subscription and use thumbnail maker to remove the background from your photo in one click.

Another key benefit of using your face in the thumbnail is that it contributes to creating a brand of yourself. As you start getting bigger, your audience will instantly recognize your videos by your thumbnails themselves and click through instantly. Many big YouTubers like PewDiePie have been using this strategy for a long time. 

Create Custom YouTube Thumbnails

with thumbnail makerTry now!

2. Use High-Quality Pictures that Fit the Requirements

Websites, popular online forums, social media pages, etc., all have their own set of requirements when it comes to image quality and size. Also, this is for good measure because failing to comply with this basic requirement can result in your valuable content being lost in oblivion. 

That’s not to say that low-quality or blurry images never work. However, the channels that may use such images are usually big enough to produce meme content or both. Not to mention that they are exceptions, not norms.

Simple guide through YouTube thumbnail requirements

YouTube thumbnails require you to have images that are at least 1280x720px in resolution, within 2 MB in size, and with an aspect ratio of 16:9. As far as image formats go, PNG, BMP, JPG, and GIF are acceptable. 

The next step is to find a high-quality image that is relevant to your content. For this, Unsplash is one of the best resources you can use. Let’s say your video deals with your experiences traveling in Berlin. Simply search Berlin, and you will see a wonderful collection of photos to choose from, all copyright free as well.

unsplash is a resource with copyright free images

Image Credit: Unsplash

Another great way of going about this is to resize your own travel photos on online image editing applications such as VanceAI. 

3. Use Compelling Fonts and Keep It Neat

While pictures may be the best for catching someone’s attention, you need neat text to inform them what your video is about and maintain that attention. The written word is used everywhere, be it on social media, e-commerce websites, personal profiles, or blogs. When it comes to a YouTube thumbnail, however, you have to keep it concise and readable. 

Also, it’s not just about the text that you write; it’s about presentation as well. For that, you need a wide range of available fonts to choose from. A high-quality image, along with a catchy text, goes a long way. It will not only draw in viewers but also increase your credibility as an authority on whatever subject matter you’re dealing with in the video.  

Even though this video has a common title, the text on the thumbnail is catchy and easy to read. In 6 words, the author put the message of the 5-minute long video.

meme thumbnail as ahn easy way to catch attention

In most cases, you definitely want a font that is larger in size and very clear. The last thing you want to do is try to incorporate sophisticated, handwriting-type fonts that just take more effort to read. 

4. Be Creative But Also Maintain Consistency 

As you’re building your YouTube channel, you’re also building a certain brand for yourself. As such, there needs to be a level of consistency in the kind of thumbnails you make and how you present your brand in general.

You’ll easily find this pattern in any big YouTube channel. Take the HubSpot Marketing channel, for instance. You can instantly catch on to their style by going to the Videos tab since they feature common elements among all videos, such as a large text, a face, and a background related to the topic.

example of HubSpot YouTube thumbnails

Maintaining a style is easier for your viewers and for you. Instead of trying to come up with wildly different ideas for each video, you can streamline the process to some extent. 

5. Give Spotlight to the Result or Main Subject

This is something that sparks a viewer’s curiosity. Again, let’s say you’re making a video about your travels. Make sure that your thumbnail has the best possible image of a place that will most certainly make anyone wonder about the destination that you’re presenting. 

In fact, a vast number of travel videos now tend to feature epic drone shots taken from interesting angles. Moreover, video editors and photographers go the extra mile and enhance the quality of the photo further in order to make an impact on the user. The experience is what they’re selling you, which is expressed through such pictures. 


An effective thumbnail arouses your curiosity and draws you in. At the same time, it does not communicate false information or fake news. By following these simple steps, you’ll have a collection of high-performing thumbnails and videos in no time. 

Creating impeccable thumbnails is difficult, but you can get started with the online thumbnail maker from, which provides you with everything you need. Also, you can find plenty of tutorials about thumbnails and video editing there. 

We’ll keep you in the loop!

Join 5,000 marketers who read our articles first