| One of the most visible branding features on your business YouTube channel is the Channel Art header image. This image appears at the top of the channel page. Although, the YouTubeTM Channel Art image may appear to be just a typical header image, it has some hidden features. One of YouTube’s new goals is to make your channel page responsive to multiple devices including retina displays, by supplying a header image that will work on several screen dimensions. But instead of the image resizing to fit the needed screen width, YouTube has chosen a different technique.|
You might ask how one header image can display on all screen sizes for desktop, tablets, phones and TVs without resizing to match the screen dimensions. In order to fit all screen sizes without resizing, you will create the header in the largest size of 2560 x 1440 pixels, which is the common 16:9 radio for video and TV screens. To accommodate the smaller device screen sizes, this large image will be cropped automatically as needed. In order for this to work, you will need to put your logo and other branding graphics within a hot area of 1546 x 423 pixels. This hot area will always be visible no matter what screen size.
For non retina mobile devices, this minimum hot area will be scaled to fit the screen. For tablets, which have a much wider screen, this hot area will be buffered on each side with 507 pixels as needed to fill the screen. You might ask how you can be sure that you place your branding graphics within this hot area. Thankfully, YouTube has a template for both FireworksR and PhotoshopR (see link below) which contains guidelines for placing your design elements within the hot area. I decided to try out this template to create a festive header for the holiday season.
As you can see from the example, the large image that would fill a TV screen has a holiday theme but I have put the logo and a small ornament in the hot area. The arrows indicate how this hot area would be expanded to include the buffer area on each side for wider tablets and desktop screens.
Once finished, you can upload your image via the Channel Art widget. This widget will generate examples of how your image will look on the desktop, TV and mobile device. If you like the results, save the image and you will be taken back to your channel page and the new image will be displayed.
To continue the branding, this same image could be used again in the YouTube Channel video trailer, which displays directly under the Channel Art header. The Channel Trailer is meant to be an introduction to your YouTube channel which tells the new visitor just what your channel and business is all about.
From the example, we could reuse the Channel Art holiday theme in the Channel Trailer and the items in the hot area could be animated as a logo reveal (logo sting) followed by company information in the form of visuals and titles.
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