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Creating YouTube Thumbnails FAST with Templates, Artboards, + Photoshop

Hey, this is Sasha Evdakov.

Today I want to share with you some inside stuff. We’ll take a look at making YouTube thumbnails and how it works with my team.

This is the main structure 

I create the initial framework, and then the team or your virtual assistants should help you out with that.

However, you need to create the blueprints and the initial foundation. This is what I do. I make sure all of these look the way I want them to look. And then now we can use these for our thumbnails.

I can change these up every couple months or every six months. You might change these things up.

There’s a lot of variations, and all these elements look the same. We’re linking one data to the next. Let’s say I take this text and I’m going to change it.

What can you change it in this structure?

I’ll change it from email to Pinterest. I’ll save it, and now you’ll see that gets changed everywhere.

Even on the ones that are rotated, it gets changed. Because the rotation happens later on that group, these are smart channels, smart layers, and I have a few variations here.

I have some variations like:

  • beware 
  • scam 
  • awesome 
  • cool 
  • fantastic 

Those are attention-getting words. Also, we have black and white versions.

Here we have neon, but also dark backgrounds or one colored one. Next, we have standard colors, and some of these in the background leaves a photo, and others will use a texture.

You can see the difference between thumbnails that have a photo and texture in the background.

All these layers can be changed.

For example, if you want to change an arrow and put a face, that is something that you can easily do. Thanks to smart layers.

That way, you have a whole different view.

You could also change a green layer into orange or some other color. Just click the adjustment layer and make a change. You can make a whole different thumbnail design in a second.

Things you can tweak are:

  • outline borders
  • lines 
  • layers
  • text
  • images
  • symbols

It’s possible to meet all your needs when it comes to designing a perfect thumbnail.

The latest thumbnail that’s been created

I already did one real quick. I did this one.

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This is the one we can start making together. That way, you can see how things work. 

I always like to start with the text. It doesn’t matter which layer I find the text in.

After you write a headline, this is what you get at the beginning.

Now we want to figure out which design we want to use. After choosing the right one, you need to make some tweaks. You need to adjust text, layers, and boxes.

When you adjust all of that as you wish, this might be the final product.

Now, what you could consider using a different photo or an icon. Let’s say I want to change it to an icon. I could do that, and now you’ll see what I’ll happen.

Sometimes this is more beneficial to use an icon than your face depending on what you’re trying to do.

I’ll save this, and it should be good to go. You could also change the luminosity. If you need to change the color, it could also change the color as well.

There’s a background image. We could change that background image.

The other approach is to change the gradient. This also can be nice, but you have to be very careful with gradients.

It looks good after all these tweaks.  

You have a lot of other thumbnails here that you can see how they’re being created. But because we were working on this one that’s the one we’re exporting.

I want to do the export on this one. 

Next step after creation 

Now what I need to do is go back to my YouTube studio. I’ll choose the video that I need.

I’ll add that thumbnail. However, I’ll rename it first. I’m also adding things to Airtable.

We use a content management system as the Airtable for these things. What I’ll do is I’ll also drag-and-drop here. That’s because somebody needs to get it for social media or something else.

From there you can download it real quick. It’s a convenient way, and it shows us which videos are done, which YouTube keywords need to be done and things like this.

Example #2 – How to build a full-time income from your writing

I’m going to start with the text. I have to think which one I want to use mostly. 

This is the starting point.

Now I’ll change one of the pictures. We don’t need it perfect. This is the time when you choose the right one. Go through the entire blueprint and see which one is the best for tweaking.

I like the yellow one for e-books. You could change it up however you want.

You can do something more centered. I’m going to hide the arrow. I don’t need the arrow. I might use a screenshot.

Yellow would be lovely, but it’s tough to see. I’m going to go with orange. The thing is yellow on white is tough to see.

Centering things is usually a good move if you don’t have other elements. But I want to put that other element in there.

I can make e-books bigger to stand out. It makes it a little different.

When it comes to the arrow, red is fine. You could do an orange. Or even black might be interesting. Sometimes if you do that, you could do a white outer glow to pinpoint that arrow a little more.

Find some color for the arrow that stands out. Red is good. Pink is also attention-getting.

Orange is good, but it’ll match a little more. I’m going to go ahead with red in this case.

This is the final product. The orange headline, red arrow, and the part WRITING BOOKS in black color on the white background.

Now I’ll go to file and export.

I’m going to rename a thumbnail – lowercase everything. Make sure there are no spaces.

Move it over, and now I’ll upload a new one. This thumbnail has like proof of income. That arrow points out that important detail.

Final thoughts 

I think this is working out fairly well for the thumbnails and how it’s working.

Always be careful with your smart layers as you work with these, As you can see, now you can tweak the elements. Move the elements a little bit, and you can choose what you like.

If you want more elements like an icon, then you’ve to align things a little left or right.

Maybe you need to add the box. You can do it quickly and effortlessly.

The templates help, and even though I’m focused on this one at this time at other times, you could be focused on another one.

You know the way that the templates are set up. Once you know that, the rest is easy.

All you need to do is:

  • hide/unhide layers 
  • creating thumbnails
  • changing some colors 

And you’re pretty much good to go.

Conclusion

I hope this post was helpful for you when it comes to creating YouTube thumbnails.

In another inside day you can see I did a couple of tests. I probably do one or two more tests here off-screen.

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