Creating the best thumbnail

ZipZap Music

Active Member
Does anyone have any tips on creating great thumbnails? I like what the thumbnails on my channel look like but I feel like there is always room for improvement.
We started out with thumbnails that were clips from the video with text overlays and maybe some branding if we were featuring something. After a couple of weeks, I designed a template for us that included 1/3 white space for text, some catchy contrasting colors to break that third off, and a smaller but more focused clip from the video in the other 2/3. We have been using that template consistently and it has become very easy for our viewers to pick our videos out of a search result because it looks clean and you can tell it is ours.
I feel like simplicity is the best way to go, I recently started a new YouTube channel called Apollo's JukeBox (the video/thumbnail is in my signature below) where I just overlay the word "Apollo" over a relevant frame of the video. Just make sure the picture tells a story or at the least has interesting aspects.
hmmm, i like your thumbnails! the blurred background is what i like, it really allows your front title to stand out, do you use photoshop? you could add a lense flare and maybe play around with the camera raw filter for your backgrounds and maybe add a little outer glow to your titles? :D