How to make an effective thumbnail for your video | Mosaicoon Lab

How to make an effective thumbnail for your video

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First impressions always count, especially when it comes to videos. If a video is included in a catalog or in a playlist, its thumbnail (also referred to as cover picture) is definitely the first way to make it stand out and invite the users to click on it.

You don’t have to be a skilled graphic designer to create an effective video thumbnail.

Just apply these simple rules.

1. Choose the right frame

Play your video, scan the frames and choose the one that represents it best, or one that is visually attractive. For example, a beautiful view, a wide angle shot or an interesting close-up. Select a steady frame for a better quality picture, then take a screenshot. This will be the background image for your thumbnail.

2. Add the title

Adding a title to the thumbnail of your video will make it look professional, provided that you chose the right font. The font should be aesthetically pleasing, easy to read and consistent with the video’s topic and mood. Different font families convey different emotions. Each font has its own characteristics (we’ve spoke about this topic here). If your video is about important topics, orient your choice towards a serif, classic font. If it is designed for an industry like fashion or beauty, try a calligraphic font. If the video’s about tech or innovation, we suggest a serif and bold font. Take some time to test different solutions. If you’re not satisfied with the fonts in your suite, you can download new ones from dedicated websites (but keep an eye on the copyright!). DaFont is a well-known source.

At this point you have lots of options to create a layout with picture and text. To get it right, follow the rule of thirds. For example, if the subject is on the right, avoid putting the title in the center as your layout would be unbalanced. Instead, find a space on the left to set the text harmoniously.

How to make an effective thumbnail for your video | Mosaicoon Lab

If your frame depicts a beautiful view or if you have a wide angle, you can put your text in the center. If you chose a sans serif all-caps font, try to increase the space between the letters to get a more dramatic effect.

How to make an effective thumbnail for your video | Mosaicoon Lab

Last but not least, choose the font color. Black and white are a safe choice, but picking a hue that goes well with your frame’s color palette could be more effective. Again, test different solutions before making the final choice.

How to make an effective thumbnail for your video | Mosaicoon Lab

In Photoshop, use layer masks and alpha channels creatively in order to make your text interact with the background image.

How to make an effective thumbnail for your video | Mosaicoon Lab

If you’re creating a thumbnail for a video to upload on Mosaicoon, make sure to check out the cover pic specs (you can find them here).

Everything clear, but still short on ideas? Log in to Mosaicoon and find inspiration by looking through thumbnail pictures of videos in our catalog.

Don’t have an account? Register here.