By now all YouTube channels have been forced over to the new One Channel layout. If you were caught off guard there are only a few steps to take to get your channel in shape and looking great.

The first step is uploading your artwork. Your artwork consists of a simple banner across the top of your channel as well as a channel icon that represents your channel across YouTube in other places.

Designing Your Banner

Your channel banner is your chance to brand yourself and convert viewers into subscribers.

I’m a big fan of publishing release schedules and air dates, similar to those appearing in the Annoying Orange channel’s banner. This lets subscribers know when to expect new content, and keeps them coming back for more.

Nicko’s Kitchen publishes different types of videos every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and calls that out in the channel banner.

The simple clean look of the new YouTube One Channel makes it possible to optimize the look across multiple platforms like desktop computers and laptops, mobile phones, mobile phones, smart TV’s and game consoles with any operating system.

You only need to upload a single 2560 x 1440 pixel image. The banner has a responsive design that automatically crops to accommodate multiple devices and multiple screen resolutions and sizes.

The YouTube help center published the new One Channel art guidelines and you can download a Photoshop template here. (click here for direct download link)


Uploading Your Artwork

Once you have your design, upload your artwork by hovering over the upper right hand corner until the pencil appears.

YouTube will then give you a chance to adjust your crop and give you a preview of how your artwork will appear on multiple devices.

Design Your Channel Icon

The second part of your channel design is your channel icon (Previously called channel avatar). Your channel icon appears in different sizes in different sections of YouTube. It overlaps your channel banner, appears on YouTube watch pages, as well as in searches, so it’s important for it to be recognizable at a smaller size. This is your opportunity to upload the logo for your brand.

Overlapping Channel Banner

Watch page

In Search

The channel icon is a square 98 x 98 image but YouTube recommends uploading a 800 x 800 image so it appears in high resolution in computers with retina displays.

Use text sparingly; it can be illegible at smaller resolutions. For example, check out how this channel icon appears on a YouTube watch page. It’s difficult to tell what the channel is and what it’s about because there is too much text crammed into the small box.

In comparison, see how Nike uses the instantly recognizable “Swoosh”. While most brands don’t have the brand recognition that Nike has we can still learn a valuable lesson in branding.

Your channel banner and channel icon are only small parts of optimizing your brand channel but I’m amazed at how many big brands ignore this opportunity to brand their channels. Channels appear on YouTube more often and in more varied placements than ever before, so creating a unique banner and icon is imperative to engage current and potential subscribers across YouTube.