Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Before You Start Creating Simple Channel Art Part 2

At the risk of cementing my too long, didn’t read it reputation in real life as well as online let me just say that my intent is to present a few ways to make a simple banner or poster; for YouTube in particular but hopefully this can be applied to other social media sites as well.

The goal is to quickly create a photo illustration that conveys the spirit of your videos and your channel. If you have a lick of graphic design skills what I’m about to show might make you cringe. I understand.

I know some of my art teachers would be laughing themselves sick if you told them I’m making suggestions about this topic. Hey, I did learn not to use yellow type on a white background. That should count for something.

I also know that many people without graphic design skills would like a path to help them to create their work.

Simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. There are some expectations:
  1. You know how to download and upload a file.
  2. You know how to find that file that you downloaded.
  3. You have secured your system with spyware and maleware protection.
  4. You have a basic understanding of Copyright, Creative Commons and Fair Use issues. In other words, don’t steal other people’s work.
There are going to be web sites where you can push a few buttons and get what you want. And that is okay, that is what they are there for; well that and have you glance at an ad or two.
You still have to put some effort into getting it exactly the way you want.

The Required Specs

YouTube Channel Art Sample Pixel Layout

If you haven’t already review the specifications for the YouTube Channel Art page. You need an image that measures 2120 x 1192 pixels; this will be the viewing area for those folks watching content on their televisions. Inside of that image you have to plan for the viewing dimensions for desktop, tablet and mobile users.

That image can come from:
  • Exported stills from your high definition videos
  • Still photos that you have taken.
  • Background images from a clip art collection or a graphics program. (read the terms of use before uploading)
  • Confirmed Public Domain photos such as the ones taken by NASA or by an agency of the U.S. Government (U.S. citizens have this right, not sure about out those of you outside of the U.S.)
  • A royalty free service where you purchase the right to use an image from their database. Places like iStockphoto, Pond5 and Shutterstock and others can keep you out of trouble; particularly if you are using this for commercial or money making activities.
I’ve mentioned it before; you should have a resource binder so that you can prove where you obtained assets or images that you did not create yourself.
 Moving on...

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