From cat compilations and unboxing videos to quick recipe tutorials and gamer competitions, YouTube is a gold mine of content—and we all find ourselves falling down the rabbit hole from time to time. Regardless of the type of videos you make, when you run a YouTube channel, you are a content creator, and maintaining it can be both a creative outlet and a lucrative business opportunity.
There’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to running a successful YouTube channel. Yes, content is key, but what if there was a way to get your audience’s attention and gain subscribers while also building your brand identity and recognition?
Enter: YouTube logos. These small but powerful symbols can represent your channel as your profile picture, channel banner, video watermark or even extend into branded merchandise. This article will show you how to make a YouTube logo, and how easy it is to use a free logo maker to ensure that it’s aligned with the rest of your branding assets.
What is a YouTube logo and why you need one
Think of your YouTube logo as a tiny ambassador for your brand, whose sole purpose is to promote your business, while slowly building trust, credibility and recognition. Like any logo, it is a combination of words, colors and shapes that acts as the symbol of your brand, constantly increasing exposure.
With over 2 billion monthly users ranging from young children to adults, YouTube is a great way to connect with new audiences, as well as an opportunity to brand your business and gain awareness. Think about it, most people come to YouTube either to solve a problem, educate themselves or simply to be entertained. While there are many best practices and techniques on how to gain more YouTube subscribers, having a strong YouTube logo is just one more way to build your brand identity and let users know what to expect if they subscribe.
Here are a few more reasons why a YouTube logo is worth your while:
Develop brand recognition: Logos, regardless where they are used, serve as a mark of identification and instantly symbolize your brand. With YouTube, the more exposure users get to your logo, the more they’ll start to recognize your channel. Beyond its major role of representing your brand directly on your channel, your logo also appears if you comment on other channels, meaning more users will see your YouTube logo, even if they don’t subscribe or know who you are yet.
Appear more professional: If you were going into a job interview or a business meeting, you’d likely dress the part to appear professional and polished. Your YouTube channel is an extension of your business, so making sure that you have a cohesive design and professional logo proves your channel is savvy and pays attention to detail.
Convey a message: Your YouTube channel might have the most creative and original content, but without subscribers and viewers, it can only go so far. A good YouTube logo should communicate precisely who your brand is, and what your channel is all about. You can achieve this by using strategic colors, effective typography and relevant icons.
Gain credibility: The stronger your visual identity is, the more likely it is to stick out in people’s minds and gain their trust. While the actual content you are posting on your channel is what really matters, you’ll get more people to see it with frequent exposure to your logo. A strong YouTube logo can impact users’ behaviors, patterns and thoughts. For example, if you posted an informative and helpful guide on how to start a successful YouTube channel that was very well-received, the next time you post a tutorial, viewers may see your YouTube logo and recall your previous content, and feel inclined to click again. Over time, users will start to think of you as an expert on a subject and seek your content over others. Positive or negative associations with your logo will determine whether they’ll continue to watch your content or not.
Strengthen brand consistency: Ensuring that all of your branding assets are cohesive and easily recognizable across your marketing and social channels is what builds strong brand consistency. It can also foster strategic opportunities for brand extensions like a website or an online shop. For example, look at Smosh, a sketch comedy channel with over 25 million subscribers and a complete online store ranging from apparel to phone accessories. Their unmistakable logo and comedic brand voice is felt throughout each touchpoint of their brand, which is what keeps viewers coming back to see what they’ll release next.
Increase click-through rates and subscribers: YouTube suggests other channels to viewers based on their habits. If somebody is already watching makeup tutorials, they will subsequently receive a suggested list of similar content. If they see one channel with a blurry selfie and the other with a neatly designed beauty icon, which one do you think they’re more inclined to watch?
What makes a good YouTube logo
Your specific YouTube logo design will vary depending on your industry, content, and even your geographic location. Regardless, there are a few universal logo design tips that can help you elevate your brand, and take your YouTube logo from good to great.
The best YouTube logos are:
Indicative: When picking your YouTube logo, be sure to design one that not only clearly represents your brand, but immediately identifies the type of content you’ll share on your channel. Avoid using misleading icons or imagery, instead choose ones based on your industry or niche.
Clear: People watch YouTube videos on their computers, tablets, smartphones and televisions, which means they are consuming content in various resolutions and sizes. With this in mind, choosing typography, colors and images that are very clear and easily identifiable increases the chances of getting noticed, regardless of logo size.
Memorable: Have you ever searched for something on YouTube, but you simply couldn’t remember the name of the channel? Since this is a common occurrence, ensuring that your logo is unforgettable and stands out will help those trying to find you. Once they’ve subscribed to your channel, it will be that much easier to notice it in their subscriptions menu.
Timeless: A classic never goes out of style. While it’s important to have awareness of the latest logo trends, it’s best to avoid fads or styles that are overhyped and overdone. Instead, you want to design a logo that will stand the test of time. Steer clear of gimmicks or attention grabbing antics that will fade over time, and stick to balanced, simple designs that can evolve with your channel. As your brand grows, and you gain more subscribers, you don’t want to spend time and resources redesigning your YouTube logo just because it’s out-of-date.
Simple: When in doubt, keep it simple. Try not to over clutter your YouTube logo or overwhelm the design with unnecessary icons and colors. Simplicity makes things easy and keeps the focus on what really matters.
How to make a YouTube logo
01. Get inspired
Start by taking a look at your competitors and find inspiration from other brands, channels and logos. Not only will this get your creative juices flowing, you can take a strategic look at which ones have the most subscribers and have extended brand collateral like websites, online stores for branded merchandise and more. Try to understand what you like and don’t like about your competitors. Once you’ve found something that speaks to you, think about how your own YouTube logo can differentiate itself from the competition.
02. Build a brand identity
Whether you're an established brand, or just a beginner, it’s never too late to create a brand identity that will influence each touchstone of your business. Having clearly defined visual guidelines, along with a well-articulated brand voice, will align all your assets and establish a cohesive look and feel for your brand and YouTube channel.
Remember, branding is all about perception, and the emotional connections people make with your business. Since YouTube is such an influential part of our lives, you have an incredible opportunity to build brand equity with a well-formed brand identity.
Each aspect—from your channel name, to your channel icon and banner—should speak the same language and clearly communicate to your audience what you’re all about. Your YouTube logo should similarly speak to the audience so they can get a sense of your channel without even clicking on it.
03. Pick your logo type
Since your YouTube logo needs to be both visually appealing and relevant, the type of logo you choose may vary. Furthermore, think of your intended audience. For example, if your channel offers content designed for young children, you might want to use a combination mark, a logo that includes both text and images. However, if your channel is strictly professional and informational, a simple wordmark logo may be the right fit.
Again, remember that YouTube is consumed on a range of devices, so whatever type of logo you choose, keep the size and scale in mind.
04. Choose your logo colors
When it comes to choosing your logo colors, there are a few things to consider. It’s much more than just picking the hues you like or that you think your audience will be attracted to. Colors are deeply rooted in our collective subconscious, and the psychology of color impacts our feelings, emotions and actions.
Some even argue that users have the most emotionally charged connection with YouTube compared to other social platforms. This article states you can catch a mood from YouTube videos, saying, “Just like catching the flu from the people around you, you can contract a mood from the media you consume.”
If YouTube has the power to influence moods, then using color strategically can influence the way people feel when they consume your content. For instance, if you have a food channel, you might consider integrating red into your logo. The color red is both eye-catching and is known to trigger appetite, which is exactly what you want when showing off your latest recipes.
On the other hand, some versions of red are also associated with danger, fire and blood and can trigger negative responses. So paying attention to the specific saturation, shade and intensity of the red you choose is just as important.
05. Select typography
Like your logo colors, the typography you use can also convey feelings and trigger responses. Is your YouTube channel playful and lighthearted, or is it professional? From serif to sans-serif or calligraphy, each offers its own unique characteristics. Some fonts are bold and angular, while others are gentle with soft edges.
Besides choosing the specific font for your YouTube logo, you also need to consider the placement of the text in relation to other elements. For example, if you plan to include a graphic or an image, think of how the font can compliment it.
The specific industry you’re in will impact your typography choices. For example, a YouTube channel dedicated to extreme sports is vastly different from a GRWM (Get Ready with Me) channel sharing morning routines and beauty tutorials. The best fonts for logos are the ones that easily embody the brand voice and do the talking for you.
06. Create your logo
Once you’ve gathered all your ideas and outlined your creative direction, it’s time to bring your YouTube logo to life. Using a logo maker, you can customize your logo in minutes, and craft something that perfectly represents your brand and channel.
Read also: How much does a logo cost?
Simply start with your brand, business or channel name and your tagline if you have one. Next, you’ll be prompted to choose your specific industry to help the logo maker narrow down your needs and generate the best suited options. You can choose from a selection of expertly curated options and then fine-tune them according to your brand. Customize using various colors, fonts and icons until you’ve created your masterpiece.
Once your logo is complete, you’ll receive a high-quality image file of your design, which can be used not only on YouTube, but also printed onto business cards, mugs, t-shirts and branded merchandise. Best of all, your logo will automatically be resized and formatted for various social media platforms, optimizing the resolution and making sure your logo can live its best life.
07. Upload to YouTube
Now that your one-of-a-kind YouTube logo is complete, it’s time to make it go live. Whether you’re creating a brand new page or updating your channel, you can set your channel name and profile picture without needing to update your Google Account. According to YouTube Help, "Your Google Account is always your primary account; the YouTube name is only your public persona on YouTube.”
In order to upload your new YouTube logo:
Log in to your YouTube account
Enter your Dashboard Channel settings
Click on Channel customization
Select the branding tab
Upload your YouTube logo in PNG format (you can also upload your banner and watermark)
Be sure to click save and update
One more important rule to keep in mind: the YouTube community guidelines are very clear and are relevant not only to your content, but also to your branding efforts. You can read through their rules to get a better understanding of what’s acceptable and what’s not. In any case, you never want to use images or icons in your logo that promote violence or dangerous content, or those that are spammy and deceptive. Authenticity is the best practice for your logo, your brand and your YouTube channel.
If you need more guidance, you can watch this tutorial made by the YouTube creators of how to update your YouTube channel name & profile picture.
Good YouTube logo examples
American YouTube blogger Jimmy Donaldson is the man behind MrBeast, a YouTube channel with over 65 million subscribers. His very recognizable logo, featuring a blue tiger with a pink lightning bolt, has undergone a few refreshes since it’s original debut in 2012. Not only is his logo easy to spot, it sticks in your memory and helps reiterate the channel name at the same time.
All of this supports Donaldson’s impressive brand recognition and loyal following. What’s more, MrBeast has extended his content into multiple channels in more specific niches, and has created dynamic logos which all carry the same design and color scheme, to instantly represent his brand.
Good Mythical Morning
Bright, bold and just a little wacky, the GMM YouTube logo is certainly eye-catching, and immediately piques your curiosity. Hosted by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, the American comedy and variety series has over 17 million subscribers and showcases a wide range of food-related games and hi jinks.
GMM’s YouTube logo has evolved over the years, along with their content, but it always carries the same motif. A wordmark logo with a unique flame logo shape, this symbol embodies their passion, enlightenment and warmth with a slight eccentric edge—just like the hosts themselves.
Cocomelon’s YouTube logo is irresistibly sweet and, of course, easily recognizable to their target market of youngsters. Even the tiniest viewers have a sense of brand recognition, and know that they’re favorite animated friends will sing to them upon spotting the 3D melon-shaped TV icon and ladybug.
The channel is so popular it has even sparked its own Cocomelon TikTok challenge, where parents simply play the intro theme and young toddlers come running. This YouTube logo is cheerful, enticing and brings delight to parents and children alike.
Simple and effective, the Dude Perfect logo is hard to miss. The monogram logo uses bold, black initials paired with a bright pop of color that stands out on their channel page, and even more as the watermark on their video content.
The genius behind this YouTube logo is its modest design and creative edge. At first glance, the ‘d’ and ‘p’ are clearly just initials, but for a channel that puts out sports entertainment, the letters also conveniently resemble sports equipment. Look closer, and you can visualize a golf club, a frisbee, a racquet, a hockey stick or even a pair of basketball shoes.
I Like To Make Stuff
Just as the channel name suggests, I Like To Make Stuff is all about building, creating, and designing—well—stuff. Started by Bob Clagett, the content ranges from software and websites to woodworking and sewing. Clagett is approachable, curious and shares his thirst for knowledge in his thoughtful content.
The I Like To Make Stuff Logo is accurately orange, a color associated with enthusiasm, creativity and warmth. The letterform logo showcases the letter “M” crafted by a series of ambiguous gadgets and doodads. It instantly gives prospective viewers a precise idea of what this channel is all about.
If you aren’t aware of the K-beauty world, look no further than Beauty Within, a comprehensive beauty and skincare channel hosted by Rowena Tsai and Felicia Lee. Offering extensive video content—from skincare product reviews and helpful tips and tricks, to advice from industry experts—this YouTube channel has over two million subscribers eager to learn more.
When trying to best understand how to make a YouTube logo, here is a great example of a simple idea executed well. First, this logo has a dark pink hue which conveys good health and youthfulness, very befitting of their industry and their niche within the K-beauty space. The wordmark logo uses an all caps font to show empowerment and strength, but the text is white and delicate to also express calmness. Paired with subtle criss-crossed lines which add depth, character and appear slightly flawed (just like our skin), this logo is elegantly approachable and very on-brand.