How to make a Fortnite thumbnail for YouTube Videos

Making a good thumbnail for your Fortnite videos will help it stand out. The more creative, the more interesting, the more unique your Fortnite thumbnails are, the more people will be drawn to watch your video.

But making good thumbnails is hard and time consuming. And there are so many Fortnite YouTube channels and videos that it’s impossible to stand out from the crowd unless you spend the time making good thumbnails.

I’ve written this article to help you quickly and easily get to grips with making attention grabbing Fortnite thumbnails for YouTube videos that’ll send your video views sky-rocketing.

In the following sections, I’ll be touching on: 

  • Why custom Fortnite thumbnails are important; 
  • Guidelines in making your Fortnite thumbnails; 
  • How to make a custom Fortnite thumbnail using Canva; and
  • Other ways you can learn custom thumbnail making

Let’s get started with why you need these custom Fortnite thumbnails in the first place.

Why is a Custom Fortnite Thumbnail Important for Your Videos?

1: Grabs Your Audience’s Attention 

YouTube thumbnails are one sure way to grab your audience’s attention. There are millions of videos uploaded on the site everyday, and a thumbnail is the first impression people have on your video. 

For gaming videos, thumbnails are usually colorful and exciting. However, the struggle lies in sticking out. That is what piques your audience’s attention. 

But custom fortnite thumbnails also help you hold it.

2: Maintains an Audience 

Once you establish a Fortnite thumbnail style that is uniquely yours and that people like, run with it. Not many people get lucky with their own thumbnail style.

In growing a YouTube audience, maintenance is key. Consistent branding through your thumbnails reminds your audience that YOU have shared a new video. 

More than your channel name, your unique Fortnite thumbnails are your fingerprint on the platform. Don’t treat your audience as detectives. Leave your brand’s fingerprints all over YouTube. 

3: Improves Click Through Rate and Adsense 

Previously on CareerGamers, I talked about the importance of YouTube gaming video thumbnails. In a nutshell, it boils down to this: it improves your click through rate. 

Basically, when a person sees your Fortnite thumbnail—sees not clicks—you get what is called an “impression.” For beginners, thousands of impressions IS possible. 

However, this is not what you should be looking at. If you want to make a career out of your Fortnite gaming, you should divert your attention to what is called a click-through rate. 

Click-Through Rate

A click-through rate dictates how many people who see your Fortnite thumbnail actually click-through (hence, the name) to-watch your video. This means your thumbnail and title worked. It also means that you should keep this up. 

If you have impressive impression data (say 10,000 people saw your thumbnail) but poor click-through rate (only 500 people clicked on it) then you know you have to work on your Fortnite thumbnail. 

Why should you aim for a high click-through rate? More views means more people see your ads—and this means you can make a living out of your Fortnite gaming. 

From there, more and more people will see your content because people who rake in a lot of views are of high priority to the YouTube algorithm. 

At this point, you are probably sold on the idea of making your own Fortnite thumbnail. But how do you make yours stand out?

A Short Guide to Great Fortnite Thumbnails

Before you start making your sample thumbnail, it’s good to know what makes it stand out. There are several ways you can do this, starting with highlighting the most important parts of your video. 

1: Impressive Parts First 

When making your custom Fortnite YouTube thumbnail, always add the best parts of your video as pictures or screenshots. Always ask yourself: what is the MOST interesting thing about MY video? 

For Fortnite, maybe you’d want to show off your rare skin and character or your new weapons. Maybe you want to show off your experience at an in-game concert too.  

If it’s gameplay, consider putting the most impressive fight scene you had while playing (but still keep in mind the aesthetic of it all—are you playing on a bright map? Are your screenshots not too crowded?). 

2: Simplicity is Key 

As mentioned above, Fortnite is a colorful and dynamic game. Chances are, your images are loaded with characters or designs. 

Keep your thumbnail simple—let your work speak for itself. People often crop their 2-3 photos and make use of them in making collages for thumbnails. Still, keep in mind the importance of white space, which is the blank spots between design elements. 

3: Take Inspiration

Don’t get it wrong: you don’t have to copy off your competitors. You do, however, need to know what works and what doesn’t. 

Scroll through Fortnite videos on YouTube and see what kind of thumbnails do well in terms of click-through. What are the biggest Fortnite channels doing with their thumbnails? Which thumbnails can you improve on? How can you STILL set yours apart?

4: Know Your Video Content.

Thumbnails of Fortnite gameplay videos should often showcase a character in front or an interesting scene on it. However, game guides and ultimate lists are a different story. They have to look more professional than they are “fun.” 

You want your viewers to take you seriously if you’re dishing out gaming advice. Keep your thumbnail elements to a minimum and make sure you have your text in bold.

If you want to be a streamer that makes people laugh, then you have more freedom to play around with your thumbnails. You don’t even have to put text, if you don’t want to (big facial reactions will do). 

5: Use Royalty-Free Images

For the most part, Fortnite thumbnails contain your unique character and gameplay screenshots. However, sometimes you will be forced to use images from the internet. 

Since YouTube has strict guidelines, be wary of borrowing images online. These may be heavily copyrighted, and YouTube cannot grant you rights to use it. 

Research on your images before putting them on, because you don’t want to work hard on a thumbnail that will be taken down anyway. 

How to Make a Custom Fortnight Thumbnail using Canva?

There are many ways to make a YouTube custom Fortnite thumbnail, but the easiest way is through the popular and free graphic design platform, Canva

The platform helps millions of graphic design beginners everyday, and it has a reputation for churning out easy and high quality work. 

In the following section I will be showing you how to use Canva in creating custom Fortnite YouTube thumbnails, step by step.  

Step 1: Open Canva. 

Type in on your search bar and you will be directed to the platform’s home page. From there, it will either automatically sign in to your Google email or ask you to provide you other sign in options. 

These options include Facebook, Apple, or a non-Google email address. Do this before moving on to the next step. 

Step 2: Get to the Templates Section

On the Homepage (under “What You Will Design?”) are several icons that you can choose from. Click the Social Media tab and select “YouTube Thumbnail.” 

This will redirect you to a page with hundreds of YouTube thumbnails for you to choose from. 

Step 3: Find Your Template

Once on the templates page, you will then see the top templates to choose from depending on your video style. This is where you find your Fortnite thumbnail design. 

To make things quicker, type in “gaming” in the templates search bar. Choose the “Gaming News of the Week” thumbnail template. 

I personally chose this because its elements are simple yet punchy, which is a characteristic for an effective gaming thumbnail. 

Like all Canva templates, “Gaming News of the Week” is customizable. From there, one decides on the final colors, texts, pictures, and elements of their Fortnite thumbnail. 

Step 4: Changing the Text

Once your template is uploaded, it is time to add in your video title. 

First, press the textbox twice. You’ve done it right when you see the “Gaming News of the Week” title highlighted. 

From there, type in “The Ultimate Fortnite 2022 Gaming Guide: Free Ace Pack?” Do the same thing to the “March 8 Livestream” text and type in “Gameplay InfoHub Special:” 

Step 5: Upload Template Picture

Before proceeding to this section, download this “Black and Red Nintendo Switch” picture from Unsplash to start designing. (Press download photo on the top right corner of the picture). 

To upload your template picture, press the “Uploads” tab on the left sidebar. It will have a purple button that lets you choose the picture/s you want from your computer. 

Select your saved “Black and Red Nintendo Switch” picture from Unsplash. 

Step 6: Moving the Picture to the Back

Before you start designing, make sure your uploaded photo is at the back of template elements (the lines and text). 

Click on the photo and on the top toolbar, press “Position.” Press “Backward” until it is behind your elements. 

It should look like this after.

Step 7: Resizing Images and Text

Once the image is uploaded and positioned backwards, it should then fit the template. To do this, press the picture and drag the bottom left white circle that appears on its border. 

Drag it outwards until it covers most of the thumbnail area, but leave the colorful lines and text visible.  

Moved the text to the right side by also clicking the text area (a box will appear) and dragging it to the right. This maintains balance because your picture is readable from the left.

Step 8: Changing Element Colors

The neon blue and red lines on the original template do not match the Fortnite picture because its colors are clashing. Neon works best for dark backgrounds, and the end goal for this sample template is a neutral-looking aesthetic. 

When you press each element, Canva then shows colors you can change them to. You can even choose a color palette for your template.

Choose and alternate between yellow and black, with yellow being the bigger lines and the black being the thinner lines. The black may not pop at first, but it’ll all come together when effects are added later. 

Step 9: Altering Text Colors and Effects 

Now, we get to the text. The white text is not at all readable in front of my chosen background (like neon, white texts work best with dark backgrounds). 

To solve this and to make the Fortnite thumbnail pop, put an effect on my text. To do this, just click on your text and on the toolbar that appears, choose “Effects.”

Chose “background” and change it to yellow, then change the color of the text by pressing the “A” with a rainbow line under it from the text toolbar. 

As you can see, the text still takes up too much space on the thumbnail. It looks too cramped and it covers the Fortnite picture. 

Click on the text again and resize it by moving the dotted lines with the white circles on its side. 

The main theme is black and yellow, because black and white did not pack as much of a punch. 

When designing your template, putting your entire video title may be counterproductive, which happened here. The “Gameplay Infohub Special” on top became unnecessary and the neon blue will hurt people’s eyes.  

Click it twice again and press “Delete” on your keyboard. 

Step 9: Choosing A Filter

You are almost done with your thumbnail, but the picture is still too bright for the other elements. 

To further play up with the style, click on your picture and choose “Edit Image.” 

From here, you will see a ton of image editing options such as Filters, Smart Mockups, Auto Enhance, Auto Focus, brightness adjustment, and more. 

Choose “Filters.” You shouldn’t mute your colors at this point, but you should tone them down. Choose “Epic”. 

Step 10: Double-checking Your Fortnite Thumbnail

You are almost done with my Fortnite thumbnail! 

Before you download it, make sure that the text can be read even if you zoom it out to 10%. 

People who see your thumbnails are most likely scrolling through on a small phone screen, so you have to make sure your text is readable. 

To do this, change the Zoom Percentage bar on the lower right corner of your Canva page. Drag it to the left all the way down to 10%. If you can read it clearly, then it’s time for you to export your work from Canva.

Step 11: Downloading Your Custom Fortnite YouTube Thumbnail

On the upper right hand corner of the current Canva page is the “Download” option. Click on this and make sure your file type is “JPG”.  

There’s More To Custom Thumbnails Than You Think

Effective thumbnails do not only maintain your audience, it also grows your career. Custom thumbnails show your audience that you’ve put thought and effort into your video. 

Increase your video traffic by over a hundred percent by making custom thumbnails not only for Fortnite, but for all types of content from all types of platforms. You won’t just be an OG in the Fortnite community—you can become a household name in YouTube too. 

To learn more about designing and creating custom thumbnails for YouTube videos, sign up to the CareerGamers newsletter. We have a set course on creating logos and thumbnails for YouTube.

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Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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