Just practice and experiment until you get an appealing one that works for you
Try it with text, try it without text, add a colorful border, put a duck picture over your face, idk just throwing things out there
I think key for high quality thumbnails is:
- Make sure it contains what the video is about, if not, it can kill your retention
- Make sure people can figure out what is about in a blink of an eye, if too much clutter or detail people will maybe pick another video to watch
- Keep some things the same for every thumbnail, this way people can see it's your channel if they want to watch the next video (suggested video)
- Keep things in contrasting colors. Your brain likes it and makes it easy to read.
- Use easy to read fonts, you want people to read it instantly.
- Please, don't use shots from your video!
- Many people watch on their phone, make sure the thumbnail looks good when watched very small as well
If you want to use Photoshop, look up a tutorial on below:
- Gradient color
- Layering your content
- Magic Wand and Lasso (for cutting out pieces)
- Save as PNG (doesn't make transparent parts white)
- Blending options for layers (e.g to drop a shadow)
Instantly recognizable! Can I skim through a page and tell what the video is trying to advertise? Can I get a general sense of what the video is trying to portray in that thumbnail. Use BOLD text that stands out and is instantly readable to anyone on any platform.
Imagination is more important than knowledge especially when you design your thumbnail, logo or even channel art. Try to be creative and make attractive design. put your channel identity (logo) within the thumbnail. Make sure to create several designs for each or group of videos.
I'm still pretty new to the whole YouTube thing myself, but I believe what kidcorner said is probably the most relate able post.
I recommend the Molot font because it's very clean when the right blending options are added.
My normal blending options for any type of font are ( In Photoshop)
Stroke,Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow and Color overlay checked off
Stroke- size 1-3 (Depending on color of stroke)
Blend Mode: Normal /Opacity 100%
Color Overlay just play around with it, vibrant colors usually work well along with white.
Inner Shadow only thing that I figured out that makes a HUGE difference is the blend mode (I use Multiply)
Drop Shadow- This is what gives the depth of the text and helps make it look more professional
My suggestions for Molot are Blend Mode: Multiply, Opacity 75-100%, Angle (Your Preference), Distance 1-5 px, Spread 23%, size 25-75 px
Thats all for text I will leave a sample at the end so you can see what it looks like
For the picture part I recommend being creative and taking your time. Usually the best ideas come when you are in mid design and it just pops in your head.
Lastly, a good site for fonts is dafont. Just pick something that isn't to clumped together.
I hope you find at least a little bit of this helpful and look forward to your creations
The photo at the bottom was one of my thumbnails with the font layout I just talked about.