Although Twitch has only been around for less than a decade, the video streaming platform brings in about 15 million daily active users and continues to see significant growth. This includes an expanded focus from gaming to broader topics and brands getting involved to promote themselves in unconventional ways—all of which makes the competition to stand out amongst other Twitch streamers higher than ever before.
One of the best ways to attract new viewers and create a lasting impression is sitting right at the top of your channel. Twitch’s banners are the most prominent graphical asset a Twitch profile has, and it’s no surprise that many top streamers have taken advantage of its branding potential.
There are a ton of ways to define your channel’s content through your Twitch banner, and we’re here to point you in the right direction. We’re going to walk you through the physical sizes and dimensions of a Twitch banner, how to tell a good banner from a bad one, and best practices for designing your own Twitch banner.
An overview of Twitch profile design
Your Twitch profile contains a number of customizable features that you can use to promote your personal brand. Though the banner is just one of these, it is the largest and most visible, so it needs to be outstanding. The list also includes:
- your logo
- your avatar
- offline image
- panels (includes extended information about your channel)
- overlays (the screen the viewer watches)
- visual and audio alerts
Consistency is key when you’re trying to make all of these elements fit together and contribute to the tone of your profile. If an illustrated character acts as your logo, include it on your banner to solidify that graphic as the face of your channel. Each of these elements needs to work with the rest, so they form an amazing brand together. Don’t underestimate the importance of good branding on Twitch—it can take your channel’s success to the next level.
Twitch banner size and dimensions
The recommended Twitch banner size is 1200px x 380px. For offline, HD and full monitors, 1920px by 480px is suggested since the quality is significantly reduced on larger monitors.
The maximum file size is 10MB and the filetype can either be in GIF, JPEG or PNG format. Keep in mind the wide scaling of the banner. Stretching occurs on the right-hand side because Twitch banners are aligned with the left-hand side of the user interface. Concentrate graphics and branding on the left so they remain visible on every browser despite varied widths and resolutions.
What content do you need on your banner?
Content-wise, you want to brand your banner as much as you can and let viewers know where they can find you. First and foremost, your banner needs to have a kick-ass graphic design or illustration. If you have a logo it should be on your banner. Be sure to include information like your name, channel URL, schedule, and social media tags. Feel free to add partnerships and sponsors, though make sure these are not as visually dominant.
What makes a good Twitch banner design?
In order to create a successful Twitch banner, it’s important to understand the goals of the design. Ideally, a good banner design will speak to who you are, set the audience’s expectations for your content and make people want to follow you. A banner might be aesthetically pleasing, but unless it’s optimized to meet these goals, it’s a failure. With that in mind, a successful Twitch banner is…
Good Twitch banners make deliberate design choices based on the target audience. Consider how your viewers use Twitch and the kind of content they expect from you. If your channel’s focus is a particular genre, cater your design to fit the exact mood of those games. Make your banner a window into those worlds while still maintaining your own individuality.
A good Twitch banner avoids clutter of graphics and overstimulating color schemes to maintain attention and guide the eye to important information. White space can be your friend, along with minimal use of text. Use the ‘rule of thirds’—breaking up the banner into a grid of horizontal and vertical lines of three—to place the text and graphics in an alignment optimized for a balanced design. Visitors, on average, spend up to 15 seconds at most to scan your Twitch page—make it clear.
Because the banner is such a large, graphical feature, it can be tempting to go overboard with design and favor visual impact over brand consistency. Think about how consistent fonts, color palettes and graphics have the ability to communicate the category of your Twitch channel and your personal brand. Thus, consistency is a crucial ingredient for a good Twitch banner.
On its own, color has the power to convey personality, mood, emotions, and complex stories. Find tones that compliment and elevate, including the colors you may use for graphics (e.g., illustrated characters or logos for sponsors). Bold colors have the power to convey a strong personality better suited for action and fighting, while fantastical designs could lure in an audience dedicated to RPGs.
People often remember characters and can easily associate the face of a ferocious mascot to your channel. If you prefer an avatar-free look, consider the dominating design trends throughout your community and ways in which you can present yourself differently. A memorable Twitch banner doesn’t blend in—it stands out.
It might be helpful to take a look through channels and learn what doesn’t work for you. Do you find massive character logos obnoxious? Do bright colors distract you from other elements on the channel? Are the more plain, monotone banners casting an impression that there isn’t much going on? Your design preference can say a lot about your personality, and a memorable Twitch banner should express your personality.
Best practices for your Twitch banner design
Now that we know what a good banner looks like, let’s go over some best practices for your own Twitch banner design:
- Ensure the dimensions are just right. Even the most epic designs won’t be worth the time or energy if the graphics are pixelated or cut off due to incorrect sizing and placement.
- Twitch banners stand out best when visually prioritizing elements. Your name, if not centered, should at least be sized larger than other text. Include other important information, such as social media tags.
- Don’t be afraid to be as heavily branded as possible. Allow your Twitch persona to dominate the design of your banner and allow that to carry through to accompanying elements of your channel.
- Stay consistent with the elements of your Twitch profile, which includes your logo, offline image, panels and other front facing characteristics living on your page.
- Avoid clutter. Use spatial elements, minimal graphics and clean fonts to allow your audience to fully comprehend your world on Twitch.
- Over time, your content and interests might change. Allow yourself space to evolve along with your presence on Twitch.
- Don’t forget to have fun with the process! Your enthusiasm for the games you’re playing should come across in your banner.
Level up your Twitch banner design
There’s a lot of competition between streamers on Twitch, and while a great banner won’t necessarily guarantee you instant fame, a poorly executed one will leave viewers with a bad impression. At the end of the day, the size and position of the banner on a channel’s page make it an invaluable visual asset—that is, provided you do it right. Now that you know all that goes into making a great banner, all that’s left is to link up with a professional designer to make your vision a reality!