youtube channel art

How to Create YouTube Channel Art for Free with GIMP

OK, hands up anyone who likes GIMP? Thought not. Look, it’s free. In the world of DIY online branding and the like, the FREE is king. Most of the time, when you are a complete newbie then you just look into the wonderful web and up springs a whole load of really useful, practical tutorials. I practically built a web application from scratch this way (OK, I also digested about 4 x 800 page books!!). With GIMP the rules seem slightly different. Almost all the online material I have come across has been super Unhelpful.

Oh, not to worry, the application itself will guide us through this difficult time. Errr, see screen shot below of what you are presented with when you open GIMP! Really intuitive!

Enough GIMP bashing (that doesn’t sound right!). With a few basics GIMP can cover off most, if not all, of your image editing needs (obviously I am speaking to non-design whiz’s here – design experts should obviously not be reading my offerings!).

First two things required.

  1. Press Ctrl and B to bring up the ToolBox
  2. Press Windows (menu) – > Recently Closed Docks -> Layers, Channels, Path…..

These two simple steps bring up the toolbox and the layers box.

The main thing to understand with GIMP is that it works in layers. Whenever you want to do ANYTHING, you are better off doing so by adding a new layer first. The layers box allows you to select and move layers, as well as delete them.

Click on the File menu and select new. Input in dimensions of 2550px wide and 1440px high

Adding Layers in GIMP

Now that you have your canvas to work with we need to add some layers.

The safe zone for YouTube channel art sits as a rectangle right in the middle of the canvas.

So click on the Layer menu and select New layer. The middle safe zone is 1540px wide and 427px high. So go ahead and input those dimensions.

Now we need to add a couple more layers to help us align the rectangle layer that we have just created right in the middle of the canvas.

So go ahead – Layer -> New layer – > and this time set the dimensions to 2550px wide and 506px high. This will be the layer at the top of the canvas.

Final layer – Layer -> New Layer – > dimensions 505px wide and 1440px high. This layer will be at the left of the canvas.

This should leave you with the following.

Now you have the middle section  in the perfect position, you are good to unleash your full creative fury on this section.

Always add a new layer first.

Check out the video for further tips.