Channel Branding - YouTube Guide for Beginners

Now that you've got your channel completely setup, it's time to think about branding.

You need to focus on three aspects of your channels design. Your Avatar, Banner and Thumbnails. These are 3 of the most crucial ingredients when it comes to making your channel truly stand out to your subscribers. Your channel banner is the flagpole for your channel, and it needs to reflect what your content is about.

Channel Art - If you have attractive and eye-catching channel art then you are going to have more chance of reeling in new subscribers then a channel that doesn't. As daunting as it may seem, designing an attractive banner isn't as hard as it may seem. You want to utilize colours, for example if you're a rather bright and energetic person then I'd suggest going for either blue, red, orange and bright purple as your base colours because they really catch peoples eye when used correctly. You can also use background images that can be faded into the background, such as cinematic shots from the main games on your channel.

I'll use my banner as an example of combining bright colours together to create an eye catching and interesting background #shamelesspromotion

Example - I recently designed a new banner for @TheGamersCave whose channel has an Adventure Time style to it, he came back to me a few days ago and told me that the new look had actually attracted a few new subscribers even though his channel is deemed "inactive" at the moment. So he's pretty much living proof that a great design can lead to a boost in your channels overall performance, and I'd assume this would be even more effective on a channel that uploads regularly.

Thumbnails - A good thumbnail makes a big difference, and can be the reason that someone clicks onto your video. Here's an example of great thumbnail design, both incorporate the same words but are designed in different ways. Which one do you think is better?


As you can see, the one on the left stands out.. sure. That is only due to the fact it has bright colours.. But is it really THAT attractive? It looks pretty amateur, and is something that can be done in a few seconds in Paint. On the right though, we have a much more balanced design. It stands out, and is easy on the eyes. With the character standing out and the background blurred, it draws emphasis onto the title and to be honest, I'd rather click on that then the one on the left.

Avatar - Now.. You might not think that's important, since it's only a small square image that isn't that big of a deal. But that's not true, your avatar plays a big part in your channels branding. When your channel is listed in someone's sub box, or when you comment on a video, your avatar is going to be what shows. It doesn't matter if you have an amazing banner and amazing thumbnails, because no one's going to find them if they don't click onto your channel in the first place. It can be quite difficult to utilize this space, but something simple can make a big difference. The same principles apply here as they do for thumbnails, so I don't see the need for another example. Just remember, less is more sometimes.

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So that's it, those are the 3 key points when it comes to branding your channel. I'll be adding more at a later date, such as outros, video pop-ups and stuff. Hopefully this information helps you, and I wish you the best of luck with your YouTube adventures!

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I'm available for Graphic Design work, you can find my services thread in the Graphics Section, so feel free to make all requests there.

Designers, feel free to comment if you're interested in having your name featured on this article as a go to members for channel branding.

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Want to keep learning the ropes of YouTube? Read the next instalments of the YouTube Guide.

Account Security - YouTube Guide for Beginners
Subscriber Interaction - YouTube Guide for Beginners
The New Channel - YouTube Guide for Beginners
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Banner, check.
Thumbnails, check.
Avatar, check.
High quality content (not blurry), check.
Social media (Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter), check.

Yet my subscription gains is slow but steady.