If you are a creator or just a user on YouTube then you must have realized the importance of thumbnails in YouTube videos.
Thumbnail is the first impression of any YouTube video.
Whenever a creator uploads any video on YouTube, a thumbnail is generated automatically for the video by YouTube. But it is always advised to use custom thumbnails on your video.
Creating thumbnail is the work of graphics. You must be able to create curiosity in viewers mind about the video just from the thumbnails.
Thumbnails are the powerful tools to drive people to watch your video and increase your subscribers list.
Some creators on YouTube can create thumbnails using powerful tools like Photoshop that requires expertise and time while others pay others or use some paid online tools to generate custom thumbnails for their video.
In this video I will be discussing about five completely FREE tools to create amazing graphics for your thumbnails without having any great expertise in graphic designing. Be sure I won’t be discussing about the so called Free online sites which claim to be free and comes with a watermark or ask you to pay to download the created graphics.
FREE means completely free in this list. Some tools listed here may be known to you earlier but you may not have realized that they could be used for creating video thumbnails for YouTube.
I hope these free tools to create thumbnails for YouTube videos will help everyone on YouTube to create amazing thumbnails for their videos.
See also: 6 Ways to Earn Money As A YouTuber
Before getting into tools, let me tell you what makes a perfect thumbnail for your video:
1. Generate curiosity
Your thumbnail must be such that it generates curiosity in the viewers about the video.
Whenever you create a thumbnail using any tool, make sure to ask yourself that “Will you click on the video just looking at the thumbnail you just created?” and proceed only when the answer is “Absolutely yes.”
2. Don’t Over Stuff Words
Generating curiosity from thumbnails doesn’t mean you should include questions over questions in your thumbnail.
Don’t use a lot of text in your thumbnail rather use graphics to convey your message.
You can get free to use graphics for your thumbnails from the following sites and you won’t have to worry about the copyright and community guideline strike:
3. Create more than one thumbnails for a video
Thumbnail is an important element for your video if you are a creator in YouTube.
Whenever you have completed creating your next content to upload in YouTube, make sure to create 3 to 4 thumbnails for the video so that you’ll have a choice for the most convincing thumbnail for your video.
Also you can experiment with the thumbnails you created and stick with one which gets you more viewers and subscribers.
4. Avoid copyrighted Material
YouTube community has a strict policy over using copyrighted materials that you don’t own in your video and even in your thumbnails.
Make sure you don’t use copyrighted images, vectors, icons and graphics in your thumbnail.
Also avoid harmful, misleading and dangerous thumbnails otherwise you will end up getting a community guideline strike.
5. Don’t Clickbait Your Users
Many content creators misinterpret creating curiosity with clickbaiting viewers.
If you create an over promising or misleading or a thumbnail that ends up disappointing your viewers after viewing your content, you will end up losing your viewers trust rather than getting a subscriber.
Make sure to keep these above things in mind whenever you are creating a thumbnail for your video.
So let’s see the list of free tools to create thumbnails for your YouTube videos.
Completely Free Tools To Create Thumbnails
1. Canva (Online)
Canva is an online tool that helps your create graphics for many of your online needs.
You can create blog banners and graphics, social media banners, presentations, infographics and even YouTube thumbnails.
Not all the resources in Canva are free but you can create amazing thumbnails for your YouTube when you are just starting out or have established in YouTube with the free resources available.
You can use the resources available or can even upload other graphics or vectors downloaded from other sites.
As many people are using the free resources, you can try and create unique thumbnails and graphics using thousands of free resources available.
You can choose YouTube thumbnails from the homepage and it will you’re your resources available with the standard thumbnail sizes only. You can edit the available template and create amazing thumbnail for your videos. Canva allows you to download your prepared thumbnails as jpeg and png format.
2. PixelLab (Android and IOS)
PixelLab is an amazing android and ios app that helps you create thumbnails for your YouTube video in just seconds.
You can create custom sizes images with this amazing app.
You can include images from your phone and create amazing text effects on this simple light weight app.
Just choose custom size for YouTube thumbnail, insert images and text. Make text effects like bold, include shadows and export it whenever you think the image is ready. It saves the image directly to your phone’s gallery.
3. PowerPoint (Windows) or Keynote (Mac)
You must be amazed to see PowerPoint/Keynote on the list of creating thumbnails for your videos.
Well I have used this myself and I think PowerPoint is more than just creating business presentation slides. Well with some creativity you can create amazing graphics and images with PowerPoint.
Here’s a thumbnail I created for one of my videos using PowerPoint:
Well little help you can get started on creating amazing thumbnails for your video using PowerPoint.
I have been so much inspired by PowerPoint School YouTube channel for creating amazing graphics for YouTube and even my blogs using PowerPoint. You can check out this video by PowerPoint school:
These three tools can be used by everyone even if you are beginner in designing graphics for your YouTube videos.
I have listed other two tools that require quite a good knowledge about designing. But even if you are a beginner, then you can get started to use these free tools to create amazing thumbnails for your YouTube videos with some video tutorials on YouTube.
4. Pixlr (Online)
Pixlr actually is an online photo editor which is recommended by some YouTubers to create thumbnails. And the best thing is it is available online for free.
This tool is just like Photoshop available online for free. If you want to get started with pixlr to create thumbnails for your videos , you can follow this tutorial on YouTube.
5. Gimp (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Gimp is an open source completely free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. If you have good knowledge of designing then you better get this free alternative to create thumbnails for your YouTube videos.
Gimp is a powerful tool and can be used for more than just creating YouTube thumbnails.
If you are a designer looking for a powerful and free tool to create thumbnails for your videos then Gimp can be the answer for you.
That’s the list of free tools to create thumbnails for your YouTube videos. If there is any other free tool you know that can be used to create thumbnails for your YouTube videos, please let us know in the comment section below.
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