Okay students, welcome to Graphic Design #101 - A new series of articles & resources that I'll be uploading here on YTtalk. So today we're going to cover the basics of channel branding, and a few tips to effectively utilize your graphics outside and within YouTube. None of this is about creating graphics, that will come in the next article along with some templates, resources and other helpful files. Let's get started! Avatar & YouTube Banner; If your channel was a building, this would be the sign on the front door. Your avatar and banner must reflect your personality and give viewers a basic idea of what to expect from your channel. You'll need an attractive logo, when you see most big channels you instantly recognize their photo or banner. That's +1 for marketing and branding. You need to shoot for this too. Ask your designer to make you a brandable logo, that way you can adapt it for such things. Bright colors, fancy patterns and clean/bold text are just a few steps to making a banner that not only stands out, but is instantly recognized and appreciated by viewers. You can even look at customizing it, say when you reach a new milestone you can add "Thanks for 100 subscribers!" or other notes that show your viewers you're thankful and want to show it off! A lot of people like to turn to cheap and cost-friendly alternatives, but if you really want to make your channel POP you must spend money. Most good designers can work on a budget, and I've done many awesome banners for less than $10. We're people too, and we understand that sometimes things can be hard. In-Video Branding Some of the most important branding lies within your videos. Overlays, animated graphics, social media links, intros and outros, all of these things make a massive difference. And the best part about it; you can make them yourself using simple software such as Gimp or Photoshop. All you need to do is download a neat font, and there you have it! Positioning is key, you want to keep focus on your content but you also want the audience to accept your Call-t0-actions. Keeping graphics to the lower or upper corners is the best practice, and messages such as "Don't forget to subscribe" and "Like the video if you're enjoying!" can make massive differences when it comes to viewer/subscriber conversions. Most designers also know how to do this, so if you're not sure you can always ask a free or cheap Graphic Designer to help you out. (The Design forums are a good place to start) Thumbnails These are almost the most important part of your branding, as your videos are the reason people are even on your channel! Thumbnails are only available to channels that are 30 days old, partnered or that meet requirements or something. I'm not 100% sure, so if someone can give me a hand down below that'd be rad and I'll update this section. Thumbnails need to do two things; showcase the videos topic and make people want to click! Simple; look at the thumbnails of other related channels. They'll usually include a big, bold title that can be easily be read, a screenshot of the game or video and in some cases a custom character or graphic related to the channels branding. Thumbnails can be made in most software, as the only dimensions needed are the regular HD video size. For those who don't know, either 1280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080. Like mentioned above; catchy font, screenshots and colors! If you can recognize the thumbnail when it's on your channel, and it makes YOU want to check out your own video; it's working. Facebook & Twitter Now these parts simple relate to the YouTube Banner & Avatar, these pages are like doors to your channel. You need to make people want to go through these doors. Using the same or similar graphics helps build a brand identity, and makes it instantly recognizable to people coming from Facebook to Youtube or YouTube to Facebook and enforces that this is still your account. When advertising your videos on Facebook & Twitter, you can also use screenshots or your actual thumbnail image to help promote it. Once again, building brand identity. --------------------------------------------------------- Simple - Those are the BASICS to Channel Branding, I'll post a more advanced article with graphics and templates at a later date to help people without a designer to create attractive works of art. I hope you liked this article, and if there's anything you'd like to add or suggest then comment down below and I'll add it to the list! Other Articles by Zack Wellman Oh yeah, there's more coming. Happy YouTubing!