How to cut pictures and make them into amazing thumbnails?

What is a thumbnail?

Thumbnail is a word used in the field of graphic design. It means a small image and a miniature representation of a larger image. It usually helps people to take an easier and faster to look at or manage a group of larger images.

Thumbnail is often associated with YouTube because it is one of the biggest video platforms in the world.

In this article I am going to talk about:

  1. Why thumbnail is important?
  2. Best thumbnails on YouTube.
  3. 7 Easy way to make thumbnail.
  4. How to upload it to YouTube?

Why thumbnail is important?

Well, like the saying goes, “do not judge a book by its cover.” But in a world flooded with digital information, we often “judge a book by its cover.” In my opinion, there are mainly 4 reasons why thumbnail is important:

  • A thumbnail can unify all video styles and project a unified and professional channel identity.
  • A thumbnail can highlight information in texts so viewers can anticipate before watching.
  • A customized thumbnail is to show more personality and content style.
  • A thumbnail is important for SEO and gaining traffic.

By default, if you don’t choose to upload a thumbnail for your video, YouTube (and other video platforms) will pick one for you from various still shots from your video. But as creator Ricky Dillon put it on Twitter: “Sometimes you get so unlucky and your auto generated thumbnail is something random like a tree or a foot.”So customizing your thumbnail will worth your time, and I am going to demonstrate some examples.

Best thumbnails on YouTube.

credits to HubSpot

HubSpot used some bright and contrasting colors and always outlines the portrait. As a result, their thumbnail is pretty cool and attractive even though their texts in the thumbnail is not really short.

Compare two thumbnails below. Even if they both use neon light colors. The first pic shows more contrasting effects.

PewDiePie used some portrait to highlight his face and expressions because his channel is relaxed, fun and witty to watch. His channel has a strong personal connection so his audiences will care more about his emotions. His thumbnail shows more emotions by portrait cutouts. It is not that hard to make actually. You just have to remove background of your portrait and change it into a different background. Finally you just need to add texts with contrasting colors.

Credits to PewDiePie on YouTube

If your channel is for business. You can use monochromatic colors as background colors to make it simple and professional.

Credits to Shopify on YouTube
Credits to Hoot-suite on YouTube

Thumbnail is important and let’s cut pictures to make one.

You may notice that most YouTubers are cutting out pictures and use them on their channels? You can also do so by What’s best is that it’s totally FREE and registration-free for small size photos, well, unless you want batch processing capabilities for high quality photos. mainly does B2B business to remove background of pictures and retouch batch photos. So, right now it does not really charge huge amount of money on individual users.

7 Easy Steps to Make Your Own Thumbnail.

  • Upload your portrait to, let AI cut the background of it and download it with a transparent background.
  • Open PhotoShop or any other image editors, and set your canva at the right size. The right size for Youtube thumbnail is:

1280 x 720 pixels
– Minimum width: 640 pixels
– Recommended ratio: 16:9
– Maximum file size: 2MB
– Accepted file types: .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG

  • Add contrasting background color and texts.

Add a thumbnail to your video on YouTube.

You can check out the this video posted by YouTube to find out more details.

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