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From the author of Adding Graphics to Your YouTube Channel

Adding Graphics to Your YouTube Channel

The ideal situation when designing a custom YouTube page is to become a YouTube partner. With YouTube partner status, you can add a custom banner to your channel, create functional navigation that links back to your website, post a side-column banner, and use other features. Unfortunately, to become a partner, your organization must be a qualifying nonprofit, or you must regularly upload videos and have thousands of viewers. Most businesses that are just getting started with YouTube don't have very many viewers, so unless yours is a mega-corporation or a qualifying nonprofit, you're simply out of luck. For this article, we'll focus on how to customize a channel for the majority of organizations that don't qualify for partner status.

The only way to customize a non-partner channel graphically is with a background image. That option may not seem very exciting, but with the right amount of creativity almost anything is possible!

Here's how to add a custom background image:

  1. Start by customizing your channel's colors and fonts on the Themes and Colors page as described in the preceding section.
  2. Once you have the basic design set up, capture a screen shot of your channel's main page. Save the screen shot to a graphics file (bitmap, JPEG, etc.), and open the file in your favorite image editor.
  3. In your image editor, add a new layer behind the YouTube screen shot (see Figure 3).
  4. Highlight the background color around your channel and delete it. You're left with a floating YouTube page on a transparent background, as shown in Figure 4.
  5. This is the ideal starting point for your design, because you can be sure that the background will look exactly the same on your actual YouTube channel (keeping the mandatory YouTube elements in mind).

  6. Save your new background image.
  7. Return to your YouTube account and display your channel's template.
  8. Click the Themes and Colors tab and show the advanced options.
  9. Upload the new background image for your custom theme. The result should look exactly like the image you designed.
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