How To Make a Killer Youtube Banner In GIMP {Free Template Included}

Previously, I shared a GIMP tutorial on creating killer Youtube thumbnails. Today, I’d like to share how to create killer Youtube Channel Art (i.e., the banner on your home page)!

I’ve included image resources to share a few design tricks and a template for creating your channel art banners.

If you’re ready… let’s do it!

Table of Contents

Youtube Channel Art Best Practices

If you’ve ever been confused by creating the channel art for your channel, you’re not alone. Youtube requires a design that incorporates 4 different screen sizes you upload for your banner. This includes…

Therefore, you have to ensure your design elements and photos are within the boundaries for each screen size. The most crucial section is the 1546 x 423 area. This should include vital content like text and your logo since it is the smallest screen size of the four. Anything outside of this area will be cropped on smartphones and other smaller screens.  

The other thing to keep in mind is the size of your text and logo. It may look great on your desktop. However, always check your smartphone too. That way, you can see how small your content actually is and then redesign if needed.

Youtube Channel Art {Free} Template

Click the image to download the template.

I’ve included the channel art template I use when designing my Youtube banner. It’s free to download (click image), and no email address is required! Using this template will save you time from creating the document, each section with guides, and more.

How To Make a Youtube Banner With GIMP

Either follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how I created this custom Youtube banner or watch the video tutorial above.

Step 1: Open the Template & Add the Images

add the images and style

Open up the channel art template provided and download these images; a Photo by, a Photo by Laura Meinhardt, and a Photo by Tobias Bjørkli.

Once the images are downloaded, grab the files from your operating system folder and drag/drop them onto the GIMP interface. This will add the photos as new layers.

Style the Images

For the landscape image, scale the image (Shift + S) to the canvas’s width. Position it, so the sky fills the canvas. Next, set the Blending Mode to “Difference.”

Resize the other vertical image to fill the canvas and set the Blending Mode to “Lighten Only.” Make sure this image is above the other.

For the horizontal image, increase the size to fill the top and bottom of the canvas.

Step 2: Divide & Mask the Images

style the layers and reposition images

As part of the design, I created a shape for the left side… the shape slices through the middle at an angle. Use the Paths tool to create this shape and fill it with a dark grey (on a new layer).

Set the Blending Mode to “Linear Burn.” Next, we need to make a selection of this shape, flip it, and use it to create a Layer Mask for the third image. Here’s how…

Once the selection is in position, click on the image layer to activate it. Add a Layer Mask, and make sure to choose “Selection” for the type of mask. Click OK, and the image will be masked!

If you’re not sure how to flip a selection click here for detailed instructions.

Step 3: Add Content

chanel art text and content

The final step is to add some content. Remember not to make your text, logos, social media icons, etc.. too small. For this design, I’m using a free font called Geared Slab.

Reposition each text layer to the right and align it with the angle of your shape. Once you’re done with your design, make sure to save it with an .XCF file extension.

Then, you’ll need to Export the file as a JPG that will be used to upload for your Youtube channel art. Also, make sure to hide the dashed outline layer before exporting!

What's Next?

I’d love to see the final banner design for your Youtube channel! Post your masterpiece in our private Facebook group to show off your new skills.

Now is the perfect time to expand your skills with more of my free GIMP tutorials. If you’re looking for a structured environment to learn how to use GIMP for graphic design and or editing your photos check this out.

Like this article? If so, please share!

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