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Thumbnail Feedback Basic Design Elements for Thumbnails

Kathleen | Team TB

TubeBuddy Staff
Hey all, I presented this in one of our Discord livestreams a little while back, and I'm sharing my notes here to offer up for those who perhaps want some kind of guide for starting thumbnail design. While there are many different kinds of elements in graphic design, I have selected three areas where I've collapsed some of those elements together to hopefully serve as a starting point for creators needing that.

I hope it helps! Also, I'm happy to answer any questions anyone has about any of these notes. :)

Happy creating!


(font goes well with the theme, but it’s not great for the full title and it is difficult to read)

(can barely read the text and there are too many font choices that it comes across as disjointed)

(simple, clean, good use of contrast)

  • Our Thumbnail Generator tool (available for all licenses but limited for Starter users) allows users to upload their own fonts

  • Colors (try to stick to one color palette; can choose complementary colors and/or pull colors from the channel’s videos)

  • You have the choice of it being a solid color or gradient (requires a little more work since you have to remove the background of the images you do want in the thumbnail, but the benefit is that the focus of the thumbnail is clearer)

  • The other option you have for a background is an image (can be trickier to place text and make it readable, but it’s generally easier to make since you don’t have to remove the background)

  • Rule of Thirds: for both video and graphics (thumbnails, banners), it’s good to follow this rule, as it’s just much more professional and aesthetically pleasing. The idea is that you want to imagine your frame as being split into an equal grid of three rows and three columns. Generally you want to imagine placing your subject(s) in the left, center, or right third of the frame and leaving the other thirds more open or without the main subject.
  • Our Thumbnail Generator offers this grid option to help you see this Rule of Thirds easier.

Extra Resources


Well-Known Member
TubeBuddy User
Subscriber Goal
Thanks for sharing. BTW I am also Graphic designer. :heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes: So, I know how thumbnails are made and what thumbnails can bring more clicks. Sometimes I also get confused about getting the best thumbnails. But, I keep changing the thumbnails with time.


Very Well-Known Member
Good stuff...but to be honest when using "hollywood media" it makes it all look amazing, it would have been great to pull some existing thumbs from smaller channels and then do some before / after examples showcasing what could be improved. One thing I see on this forum all the time is users a/b'ing their thumbs at large sizes so perhaps they don't realize the text won't be readable on the small phone screens.

Spray Paint David

Active Member
TubeBuddy Pro
I was always thinking Is using same palate a good idea, learned Ty to stick away from red as it’s hard to read. But sometimes it works fine.

will try to use same pallet colours from now on, I just think sometimes it blends in too much worn the background