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10 Best Free Banner Makers for Your YouTube Channel Art

Part of setting up a nice-looking channel is putting up some appealing channel art. But what tools can you use that will help you create amazing banners? Today, let’s look at some of the best free banner makers for YouTube you can use right now.

Most of the YouTube channel art apps on this list take very little to start using immediately. Some even have mobile apps so you can design your channel while on the go.

YouTube Channel Banner and Art Apps

This list is comprised of banner makers that are free to use. Although most will have premium and pro versions, you can get started with any of these right away.

In other words, I’m not including those that offer free design but require a premium account to download the image. All of these below are absolutely usable under their free versions.

Some of them don’t even require registration or signups to design your banner images.

1. Canva

Canva YouTube Banner Editor

Perhaps one of my favorite free online design apps is Canva. I’ve been using it for several years for a variety of reasons, including creating a YouTube channel banner.

Its easy-to-use interface gives you everything you’ll need to provide a unique graphic even if you use a stock photo. That’s because it comes with a variety of font styles, filters, image adjustment tools, elements, photos, and more.

Canva has thousands of banner templates to choose from that you can quickly customize. Or, you can create a banner from scratch while uploading your own photos and graphics.

The free version of Canva gives you 5GB of online storage, which is plenty of space to get you started with everything YouTube. Plus, you have access to thousands of templates for virtually all of your needs for channel art.

If you don’t want to pay for the premium subscription plan, you can pay $1 for each premium element you want to use on your banner. Depending on the design, this could save you quite a bit of money if all you need is the one image.

Pros
* Can start without creating an account.
* Can create thumbnails, logos, b-roll, and more.
* Tons of tutorials and graphic design courses.
* Upload from Google Drive, Dropbox, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Photos.
* Properly centered banner graphics to show on all devices.
Cons
* No “free” filter when searching.

2. Adobe Express

Adobe Express

Most know the Adobe name thanks to Acrobat, Photoshop, and Premiere, among many other apps. However, the company also has a free YouTube banner maker in the form of Adobe Express.

This app has a large number of free templates you can use to create your banner.

Although you don’t need to sign up for an account to create the banner, you need to do so in order to download your creation. However, the account with Adobe is free.

The free version of Adobe Express provides 2GB of cloud storage for your banner projects, a large collection of fonts, royalty-free stock images galore, and a “remove background” tool for your uploaded pics.

If you’re already an Adobe subscriber, you can simply sign in and use the tool to create your channel banner. For instance, you might pay to use Adobe Premiere to make your YouTube videos. You can use that account to log into Adobe Express.

Of course, if you’re an Adobe subscriber, you’ll have access to all of the premium elements in the Express app.

Pros
* Filter templates by “Free” or “Premium.”
* Mobile app available.
* Font recommendations while designing.
* Upload from Lightroom, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Google Photos
* Tons of various design assets for a plethora of needs.
Cons
* Many banners are not properly centered for YouTube.
* A bit more difficult to master than others.

3. VistaCreate

VistaCreate

VistaCreate’s design layout is quite similar to Canva. Only their premium elements are marked with a golden diamond icon instead of a dollar sign.

When designing your YouTube banner, you have access to a long list of free and premium elements. Backgrounds, photos, and objects can be easily added with a click and the typography has tons of available options.

VistaCreate also has an option for “Styles.” These are color templates you can apply that will automatically change your image.

With all of these options combined, you can create a YouTube banner that is quite unique even if you use a similar template that everyone else uses.

You can download your banner in several popular formats, such as JPG or PNG, and you are also capable of sending images directly to social media. This allows VistaCreate to help market your videos on other social media sites.

Pros
* Long list of free elements to add to your banner.
* Easy-to-use interface that anyone can manage.
* Great all-in-one platform for YouTube graphics.
* 10GB for image storage.
Cons
* Banner templates not properly centered.
* No “free” filter when looking for graphics.

4. Fotor

Fotor Channel Banner Editor

Fotor has an incredibly large database for templates, backgrounds, images, and typography. Although you don’t have the option to search for “free” elements, there is still quite a bit to this editor.

And it works eerily similarly to Canva.

All of the editing elements are available that you’d expect from a graphic app. Color adjustments, filters, transparencies, and more are just a click or two away.

Now, you can start using Fotor immediately to design your YouTube banner. However, you’ll need to create a free account if you wish to download the image.

Fotor, like a few others on this list, has templates available for virtually everything YouTube. This means you can edit YouTube thumbnails, banners, end screens, and more.

One thing I’d like to point out is the Fotor Chrome extension. With it, you can create banners using images from the current website you are viewing. This is probably more useful for thumbnails than banners. But the option is there.

Pros
* Very easy to use.
* Lots of typography styles and settings.
* Has desktop and mobile apps.
Cons
* Some templates give an “expired” error.
* Difficult to find free images when searching.
* Can only upload from computer or app.

5. FotoJet

FotoJet Editor

FotoJet is another platform that you can start using immediately without creating an account. The free version of this editor is quite a bit limited when compared to others.

However, it’s a quick and easy solution if you need channel art. That is as long as you don’t mind advertisements.

One feature that sets it apart from some of the others on this list is that you can download your banner art without creating a free account. This means you can quickly select a template, make your adjustments, download the channel art, and be done with FotoJet altogether.

The free version of this editor has only basic functionality with a very limited number of templates. However, the platform is quite easy to use and has enough for you to create something unique for your YouTube banner.

You have a selection of royalty-free photos, clipart, and backgrounds while having a decent tool for modifying typography.

FotoJet is perhaps one of the cheapest on this list should you decide to upgrade. Probably because it has far fewer options available for editing a YouTube banner. In any case, the platform might be worth considering if you want ease of use without the ads.

Pros
* No account is necessary to start.
* Has desktop version available for offline development.
* Easy to share to Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr
Cons
* Extremely limited in graphic choices and templates.
* Not as robust of an editing platform.

6. Snappa

Snappa Banner Editor

One of the most well-designed free YouTube banner makers is Snappa. It has a professional appearance while providing virtually every tool you’ll need to create some amazing YouTube channel art.

Snappa has an extensive font category to help match the aesthetic of your channel while providing basic typography tools. This includes things like bold, italics, font size, drop shadows, and more.

If you want to add a bit of flair, Snappa has a wide selection of icons, vector images, and photos you can include. You can also upload your own image to add to your YouTube banner if you prefer.

To further customize the banner, you have access to Effects. This function lets you darken, blur, add a color overlay, and alter the general effects of the image.

One of the things I love about Snappa is that it highlights which areas are ideal for desktop and TV-only sections of the YouTube banner. That way, you can ensure the most vital elements are displayed regardless of the viewer’s preferred device.

Pros
* Highlights desktop safe and TV-only areas.
* Upgrade to use custom fonts.
* Clean & easy-to-use design interface.
* Premium price is comparable to Adobe Photoshop.
Cons
* Sign-up was a bit wonky, but still worked, eventually.
* Free accounts are restricted to 3 downloads per month.

7. BeFunky

BeFunky YouTube Channel Art

BeFunky is another that you can start using without creating an account. This is a convenience factor as it lets you design and go without worrying about spammy emails and such.

However, it’s not the most versatile platform on this list in terms of templates and tools.

One of the biggest drawbacks to BeFunky is that the free version is extremely limited when it comes to banner templates. This means you’ll have to do some serious designing if you want to come up with something unique.

Perhaps one of this app’s highlights is the fact that you have a lot of options available in the typography editor. Even in the free version, you can create some stylish font types for your channel art.

Once you’re ready to download your YouTube banner, BeFunky has options to save to your computer, Google Drive, Google Photos, Facebook, Dropbox, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Pros
* Mobile app available.
* Upload images from computer or Google Photos.
* Editor is quite easy to use.
Cons
* Extremely limited for templates, even in the premium version of the app.
* Extremely limited number of graphics for free.

8. Photopea

Photopea Editing

If not for the fact that I pay for Adobe Photoshop as a freelancer, I’d use Photopea instead. This is a full graphic design app that is reminiscent of some of the best tools around.

Think of a free version of Photoshop. Perhaps one of the reasons I like it so much is because it supports Photoshop’s PSD files.

There are a few banner templates created by other users that are available on Photopea. In fact, you can create and submit your own if you’d like. But you don’t have a lot of options if you need some ideas.

As for a design tool, you have access to a myriad of functions that are nearly identical to Photoshop. This provides one of the more robust free graphic apps on the Internet.

To create a banner, just start a new project at the 2560 x 1440 YouTube banner size and begin. Though, you’ll need your own images and such. For those, you can always download royalty-free backgrounds, pics, vector art, and more.

Just keep in mind that the more unique your banner, the more your YouTube channel art will stand out.

Pros
* Don’t need an account to save banner images.
* Extremely versatile as a design app.
* Share directly to imgur.com (if you use it).
* Full-screen function to remove the browser header.
Cons
* Not a lot of banner templates to choose from.
* A bit of a learning curve to figure out where everything is located in the app.
* Ads can sometimes be distracting on the right.

9. iPiccy

iPiccy Designer

iPiccy is more of a graphic design app than a banner maker. You’ll need your own background, photos, and other graphic elements you want to add to your channel art.

However, there are a lot of royalty-free image sites on the Internet, such as Pixabay, where you can download a few.

iPiccy does provide a selection of “stickers” that you can add and modify, and its typography control has a lot of flexibility. The settings and adjustments are relatively easy to find for just about every element you wish to edit.

Once you’re done with the initial design of your banner, you can then “Export” it to the Editor. This gives you a lot of options for fine-tuning the graphic. However, most of these tools are better suited for photo editing.

In that regard, you can create images for just about anything related to your YouTube channel, including polishing up some photos for your social media accounts.

To create a YouTube banner, you’ll have to create a new design at 2560 x 1440 pixels. Afterward, you can design what you’d like to show on your channel.

Pros
* Full graphic design app.
* No account or login needed to download banner.
Cons
* No banner templates to use.
* Is a bit more advanced, but still a decent platform.

10. Picmaker

Picmaker

Picmaker is a bit more of a pain to use than many others on this list. Not only do you need to sign up for a free account, but you’ll have to answer a questionnaire as well. Plus, you need to link at least one social account.

The editor isn’t too difficult to manage, and elements are clearly labeled for when you start creating your banner.

Picmaker has more than 150 YouTube banner templates available covering a wide range of niches. You also have access to a large number of objects, photos, and backgrounds while keeping track of your favorites.

If you have your own photos or graphics, you can upload them to the platform. Unfortunately, it only supports uploading from your device. So, you won’t be able to use something directly saved in Dropbox or Google Photos.

One of the drawbacks to Picmaker is that it seems to load elements a bit slower than others. The timing isn’t terrible but is noticeable compared to others on this list.

In reality, I debated on not adding Picmaker to this list of banner makers because of its massive lack of free features. For instance, you’re only able to download one image per month. And if you want to use it for more than YouTube banners, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium account.

That is unless you want to make one thumbnail per month after your banner.

Pros
* Large library of various graphics.
* Interface isn’t difficult to manage.
* Quite a few tools for customizing any element.
* Templates for everything YouTube.
Cons
* One download per month for free.
* Lots of hoops to jump through just to start your account.

How to Switch Your Channel Banner on YouTube

Once you have your YouTube banner created, it’s time to add it to your channel. It’s actually a quick and easy process.

Change YouTube Banner from Desktop or Laptop

Changing the YouTube banner from a desktop or laptop computer is a quick, 5-step process. In this example, I’m using Google Chrome. However, the steps should be the same regardless of the browser you use.

Let’s add a new channel banner from a desktop or laptop computer.

Step 1: Open YouTube Studio

YouTube Studio

From your YouTube home page, click on your channel’s icon on the top right. Then, click on “YouTube Studio.”

Step 2: Open Customization

YouTube Customization

From the YouTube Studio dashboard, click the “Customization” option from the left of the screen.

Step 3: Go to Branding

YouTube Branding

From the YouTube Customization settings for your channel, click on the “Branding” option.

Step 4: Change or Remove the Channel Banner Image

Change Banner Image

On this screen, you can change or remove the Picture, Banner image, or Video watermark. Click the “Change” for the banner image and upload your new channel art.

Although YouTube suggests 2048 x 1152 as a minimum, it’ll still use the larger 2560 x 1440 images perfectly.

Step 5: Publish Your Changes

Publish Banner

Once your new banner image is uploaded to YouTube, click the “Publish” button on the right.

Should You Hire Professional Artists for Your Banner?

Not everyone has the money to hire professional artists. But if you do, then there is certainly nothing wrong with seeking a freelancer. In fact, there are some graphic designers who can produce some amazing work.

Perhaps one of the most important things to understand about using a template for a YouTube banner is the fact that you’re not the only one using it. The same goes for stock photos and videos.

This is especially true when you’re using free templates with banner images. That’s because more people are using the free alternatives to accentuate their own channels.

Now, I’m not saying that you’re channel will fail if you use stock photos. On the contrary, the above tools can help you create something relatively unique depending on how you design the banner.

However, unique images and video footage are far more ideal for a YouTube creator. When you create something that is one of a kind, your channel stands out more to the general viewer.

Not to mention avoiding copyright claims and community strikes.

Given the sheer amount of competition that is created every day on YouTube, standing out becomes more difficult.

What Design Apps Are Your Favorite?

There are certainly a lot of design apps to choose from when designing your YouTube banner. It all comes down to what tools you like the most and what you get out of using the platform.

For me, Canva is often my go-to for a wide range of design needs. I’ve created everything from the YouTube banner to an eBook cover. It’s just an extremely useful app that I’ve been using for many years.

What kind of design app are you most interested in using? How much of the work do you do yourself for your YouTube channel art?

Michael Brockbank

Michael Brockbank

Michael has been managing YouTube channels for the better part of a decade. He's continuously working to find the best methods that work for various types of content from gaming to website tutorials.

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