Introduction: Easy to Read Thumbnails

In this instructable I will show you how to create a thumbnail with a title that can be easily read on any background. White text with a black outline can be read on any color. You will need photoshop to follow along with this instructable. If you do not have photoshop, ask if your school has any photo editing software for students. Some public libraries have a pretty good selection of software for free.

I am also doing a giveaway on my youtube channel that ends on June 1st(my birthday). I am giving away an Arduino Mega, Arduino Uno, and an Arduino Pro Mini. (Details at the end.)

Step 1: Open Your Thumbnail Background and Change the Image Size.

Step 2: I Usually Use an Image Width of 1280 As Recommended by YouTube.

If you are creating a thumbnail for your Instructable, this image size will get cut off. For Instructables, an image size of 800x800 will work great.

Step 3: Use the Horizontal Type Tool to Make Your Title.

You can use a default font but I high suggest you look at websites like this that offer free unique bold fonts for your titles. There are also a lot of great paid fonts out there. I use a font size around 180 pt. for my YouTube thumbnails and around 110 pt. for my Instructables thumbnails.

Step 4: Notice How Hard It Is to Read the Title and How Pixelated the Text Looks.

Step 5: With the Text Layer Selected, Change the Anti-aliasing to Sharp.

Step 6: Now That the Text Is No Longer Pixelated, Create a New Layer.

Step 7: Drag Layer 1 Under Your Text Layer.

Step 8: Select Your Text Layer and Go to the Expand Tool.

Step 9: Choose How Thick You Would Like Your Outline.

Step 10: With Layer 1 Selected, Go to the Fill Tool.

Step 11: Use Black at 100% Opacity.

Step 12: You Could Stop Here, But We Can Do Better.

Step 13: With the Background Layer Selected, Go to the Fill Tool.

Step 14: Use Black With an Opacity Around 30%

Step 15: That's It!

Play around with different colors, fonts, and settings to make it your own. Try using different filters like field blur on the outline layer to add more depth to the words. Thumbnails are the first thing most people see when browsing the internet so make sure that yours stands out from the crowd!

Step 16: Arduino Giveaway

I am giving away an Arduino Mega, Arduino Uno, and an Arduino Pro Mini!

When I was in high school and college, I remember not having enough money for some of the projects that I wanted to do. I have 100+ microcontrollers and a great job now so I just wanted to give back a little. I'll be doing more giveaways in the future too. Possibly free filament, stepper motors and other things that I have an abundance of so stay tuned!

Rules for the giveaway:

Subscribe to myYouTube Channel, like this videoand leave a comment on the video saying what you would do with the microcontrollers. On June 1st (My Birthday) I will randomly select a subscriber's comment and ship them out for free!

Thank you guys for being such a welcoming community!


Pure Carbon made it! (author)2015-12-13

For the thumbnails I make for my videos, I like having the image guide the eye of the viewer in towards the center with lines. This makes it so that someone who scrolls by will take more time looking and will be more likely to click on my video. Another thing I like adding are two-three different image groups to attract attention. And for the text (if you decide to have some) make it big and vibrant so it stands out.

arduino game.png
Ansity (author)2015-06-01

Or you can just click FX > Stroke..

kasperfish made it! (author)2015-05-18

Thanks for the tip! I Changed my cover image of my instructable and it is definitely more readable.


Proto G (author)kasperfish2015-05-18

Like this. It has a 3 pixel 100% black out line and then another 6 pixel outline with a field blur filter added to it.

IMG_0717 copy.jpg
Proto G (author)kasperfish2015-05-18

Awesome! I prefer doing it this way because you can make thicker outlines and apply a filter to the outline layer to give it even more depth.

acabrera7 (author)2015-05-17

simpler instructions that require two layers.

top layer (text): Type text, white color. Styles > Stroke (Color Black, choose between 3 to 7 pixels as thickness)

Under text (background): New Layer > Select all; fill black. Change opacity in Layer settings to desired.

Optional; you can blur the original background by using the Filter tab in the menu bar.

Proto G (author)acabrera72015-05-17

Yes, you can also do that. There are many different approaches.

About This Instructable




Bio: Electromechanical Engineer, Product Designer, Maker. I love to make prototypes and teach others in the process. I graduated from UCF and spent two years working ... More »
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