Maybe you want to create your own images for your YouTube channel and Facebook page, or pay a designer on Fiverr to do it for you (for less than you’d spend on dinner!). Either way, if you want your cover art to look good (and not blurry!), you need to follow the specs below.
OR you could use this groovy template tool from Canva to design your own Facebook Cover and YouTube Channel art for free. What’s the catch? If you want to use better images or backgrounds, you have to pay $1 per image. So for this one below, I used a photo I had already bought from Dreamstime (yes, you can upload your own photos) and I paid $1 for the wood background – everything else was free!
To show you the contrast of using just the free images on Canva, here’s the same banner using one of their free backgrounds, so this banner would be completely free:
But let’s say you just want someone else to do these banners for you. If you are outsourcing this task, then you should give these specs below to your designer (just give them the link to this post) as this will prevent a lot of back-and-forth as you get them to fix things. Trust me, I have used highly-ranked designers on Fiverr and they still might create Facebook Cover Art with a tagline that is blocked by the Profile Picture (for example).
If you give your designer these specs at the start of the job – any mistakes or corrections will be on their dime and they will not ask you to pay extra for revisions. ALSO you are more likely to get what you want the first time!
YouTube Channel Art
Total image: 2560 x 1440 pixels
Maximum file size: 2 MB
Format: PNG (note: try to save as PNG 24, but if the file will be too big, then save as PNG 8*)
Use “Save for Web and Devices” feature when saving as PNG
*PNG-8 is an 8-bit color file, which can hold up to 256 colors, and PNG-24 is a 24-bit color file, which can hold up to 16 million colors. Experts say there’s a huge quality difference between the two, but with my channel art (compared side-by-side) the difference was minor.
Make sure all graphics fall in “safe” areas and download the detailed instructions and Photoshop template from here:
For example, even though this is my YouTube Channel Art image (which will appear exactly like this on Apple TV):
The only part of this image that will show up on my YouTube Channel is this narrow strip – so make sure this section contains everything you want and looks good on it’s own:
One more thing to keep in mind: Your Channel Icon picture is going to appear as an inset at the top left of this narrow band of Channel Art. And your website and Google+ links are going to appear at the bottom right. The width is also going to change depending on the size of the viewer’s browser window or device. So if you have text or graphics that need to be visible, then they must be positioned within this Safe Area (Always visible): 1546 X 423 px (centered).
Facebook Cover Art
851 x 315 pixels
Maximum file size: 100 kb (otherwise FB will compress file).
Use Photoshop’s “Save for Web” feature when saving as PNG (you can also use it to preview and check image quality)
Make sure any text/art allows for Profile Picture (so it isn’t cut off by Profile Pic)
Note: I’ve found that saving the image as a PNG is more important than having the correct file size. For example, the file size of these images below is 284kb, but here’s what this same file looks like on my Facebook page when uploaded as a JPG vs. a PNG:
JPG file – the top .jpg image has been uploaded to my Facebook page (note the blurred tagline). The bottom image is my original image on my computer:
As soon as I converted this original image to a PNG (I used Preview –> Export –> PNG best quality) even though the file size is more than double Facebook’s maximum, it still looks great:
PNG file – the top .png image has been uploaded to my Facebook page. The bottom image is my original image on my computer. They look the same – yay!:
Facebook Profile Picture
Total image (including background): 180 x 180 pixels
Text/logo part of image: 160 x 160 pixels (see below for details)
The template above is very useful, because if you are adding text, or an important image is part of your Facebook Cover, then you don’t want it covered up by all the stuff Facebook layers on top of your image.
And there you have it – hopefully these instructions save you the hours I spent trying to figure out how to fix the blurry stuff on my Facebook and YouTube banners and making sure my tagline was visible!