How to Manage YouTube Channel Art

By Rob Ciampa, Theresa Moore, John Carucci, Stan Muller, Adam Wescott

After you’ve created the art for your YouTube channel (or received art from the nice person you convinced to help you), it’s time to add that art to your channel. YouTube has made this a pretty straightforward process; here are the steps:

  1. Back in your My Channel page, click the Add Channel Art button.

    You shouldn’t have any trouble spotting this button. It’s the blue button that says Add Channel Art in the center of the placeholder banner.

    If you’ve already set your channel art and want to change it, the Add Channel Art button is no longer an option. In this case, roll the mouse pointer over the banner, and a small box with the familiar pencil icon appears. Click this icon to edit your channel art and open the Artwork dialog box.

    The Upload Photos dialog box.

    The Upload Photos dialog box.
  2. In the dialog box that appears, choose from one of the following options to add new channel art:

    • Upload Photos: This is the default option for adding photos to your channel. If you’ve created your own artwork as spelled out in the previous section, more likely than not your artwork is somewhere on your computer. To upload that artwork, click the Select a Photo from Your Computer button, use the dialog box that appears to navigate to the file’s location, and then select it. Alternatively, you can just drag and drop the file onto this window, and it should start the upload.

    • Your Photos: Selecting this option allows you to choose a photo from your Google+ photo album. Since you’ve probably just created this account, it’s unlikely that you’ll have photos in any Google+ albums — the Your Photos option probably won’t be the option you choose. You can safely ignore this.

    • Gallery: If you haven’t created your own channel art, the gallery section shown in the figure provides you with some stock images that YouTube furnishes for your free use. Though none of them is great‐looking, and they’re unlikely to be excellent branding choices for your channel, they’re miles better than leaving the default placeholder image as your channels banner.

      The Channel Art gallery.

      The Channel Art gallery.

    As you complete each step in the process of branding your channel, it’s a good idea to click on the View As Public icon on the top right above your banner art. (The icon has the shape of a globe.) Clicking here lets you look at your channel as the public would see it, without all the controls you see as the owner of the channel. This is the best way to understand how the changes you’re making will affect the look of your channel.

  3. (Optional) Crop your photo.

    After you select a photo, you’ll see a preview with a cropping mask laid over it. If you decide that you want to crop your photo, you can move this cropping mask around to select the portion of the photo you want to use. (Note the Device Preview button that lets you preview what the image will look like on different devices.)

  4. After the size and placement of the image are to your satisfaction, click Select, and your channel art is in place!