A Step-By-Step Guide To Creating Youtube Channel Art Using Photoshop

If you want to know the real dimensions for youtube channel art and how to create it in photoshop, keep reading.

don’t know about you, but starting an online business  can be tough. I’ve been stretching myself pretty thin between my freelance writing, video, and photo work. When I started my youtube channel it was an effort to diversify my marketing strategy. But when I wanted to change my youtube channel art, I ran into a problem. I noticed that when I made an image in the size youtube says is best, it was cropping off the image in a strange way. When I  tried to adjust it, I found that I couldn’t.

This was strange.

No big deal, surely I’m not the first person to have this happen I thought. Someone has likely written a post or made a video to show me exactly what to do. Boy, was I wrong. I spent hours searching online trying to find an answer to a very simple question.

What is the “safe zone” for youtube channel art?

A lot of posts I found had outdated information, and some people were actually charging you to get the information! It took me awhile, but eventually I found the answer.

I don’t want you to waste as much time as I did, so here is the straight-forward information on what to do!

youtube tips, youtube channel art, youtube

Youtube Channel Art Dimensions

Youtube publicizes that the image should be 2560 pixels wide by x 1440 pixels tall. But if you make an image this size you will hit a roadblock. The file will be too large and you will not be able to adjust the crop to make it wider. The actual safe zone size is 1546 x 423 pixels. If you use those dimensions for your design, it will look good on all devices!

I like to use Photoshop to make my images. So I created a step-by-step guide to help other photoshop users. If you don’t have it, I highly recommend it. Photoshop isn’t free, but I find it to be very valuable. If you want to be a serious creator, using photoshop will only help you!

Here are the steps to making youtube channel art with the correct dimensions using photoshop.

Step 1 Start Your Project and Set the Canvas Dimensions

What I did was make my canvas size 2560 by 1440. You can begin by opening photoshop and clicking “create new”.

After you do that, a window will pop up with more options. On the right side you will see a place to enter dimensions. Double check that “pixels” are selected. You will put 2560 in the top box and 1440 in the bottom box. Click Create

Step 2 Add a Background

When you create your canvas you may see a checkerboard pattern, this means that the background is transparent. You can work that way if you’d like. I like to add a white background just so I can see my design clearly and then remove it later if I want to. The easiest way I’ve found to do that is to make a rectangular shape that is filled with white. You can do this by clicking the rectangle tool on the bottom left side of the screen

Select the color white by going to the top of the screen where it says FILL. Once you have done that you can draw a rectangle over your canvas and it will fill in white.

Step 3 Add the True Parameters

Once you have your background filled in, you can now add the safe zone parameters. I do this by making another rectangle, and entering in the specified sizes.

You do this by again selecting the rectangle tool. This time, we want the fill to be empty and the stroke to be black (just makes things easier). Click on the “fill” section and select the box with the red mark going through it. Click on Stroke and select black, make the pixel of that stroke 3 just so you can see it well. Draw a rectangle, it doesn’t matter what size. Go back to the top and enter in in 1546 in the “W” box and 423 in the “H” box.

Step 4 Center the Parameters Box

Now that you have drawn the correct size, you know the safe zone. But I recommend centering it so that uploading to youtube it is easier. IT’s really easy to do this!

Select the top layer on the left size, click SHIFT and select the bottom layer. Both layers will be selected at this point. You will then select the MOVE tool at the top left side.

At the top of the screen you will see some icons, you want to select the second and fifth ones. The second one centers it vertically, the fifth one centers it horizontally.

Now your parameters are centered and you are ready to design!

Step 4 + 5 Design and Save Your Work

Once you have designed your youtube channel art to your liking, you’ll need to make sure you save it properly by clicking FILE  > EXPORT. If you want a transparent background, you’ll need to hide the white background layer.  Click the eyeball icon next to the layer and it will be hidden. Then you’ll need to click FILE > EXPORT > QUICK EXPORT AS PNG. If you don’t have a transparent background, then you can do FILE> EXPORT> EXPORT AS and on the left side click JPEG.

I personally like to click FILE > EXPORT > SAVE FOR WEB (Legacy). That is an old school thing I learned from Photoshop CS6. Some websites and online tools are not able to process large HD images quickly. If you export your file without saving for web, you are basically saving it in its largest size. When you upload it, you may get an error message or notice that it slows down the loading process. SAVE FOR WEB can fix that for you. It tells photoshop to compresses the image while maintaining the quality.

Youtube Channel Art, Simplified

I hope this post helped you save a TON of time searching for answers. This is the easiest way to use photoshop to design your own youtube channel art. There are other places like canva that have templates already made for you. But I find that you don’t have as much control with apps like that as you do with photoshop.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below!

Olivia J

Olivia J is a video producer, writer, and director specializing in corporate video, events, documentaries and film. To see some of her work visit oliviaj.me