Your starting point for your YouTube Channel art is the optimal YouTube banner image size of 2560 x 1440 pixels. That’s a large image file, and you may not have an appropriate image that is big enough at your disposal. Another design challenge is that your YouTube channel icon will appear on the upper left, obscuring parts of the image you upload. Most organizations select a stripped down version of their logo for the icon, which comes in from your Google Plus profile. If there’s something crucial you’re used to articulating in your full logo that’s missing from the stripped-down version, you have to find a way to incorporate that content in your banner without being redundant with the icon.
The other very important factor in creating your YouTube Channel Art is that YouTube will use different portions of your image in different formats.
This is why you want such a huge image–the “TV” format (available on AppleTV, some TiVo video recorders that have a built-in YouTube channel, the Boxee Box, and Google TV devices, and to anyone with the right hookup) is just enormous, and you don’t want your image to look pixillated or washed out. Further, as you can see in the image at the left, different portions of your YouTube channel art show in different formats, so you are going to need to watch what—or who–might end up getting cropped in any of the formats. (The above sample, with no people or words to get in the way, is from one of YouTube’s stock channel art images, which is certainly better than the gray diamonds you have if you don’t select anything.)
Download YouTube banner templates: