Skip to content

Channel Icon

What is a YouTube Channel Icon?

A YouTube Channel Icon is a “small picture” as you could say on a first glance, which visually represents your If YouTube and Google. It is more than a “small picture” and it appears in YouTube search results and on video watch pages and its importance is way bigger than you’d think.

Where Can I see YouTube Channel Icon

The YouTube Channel Icon is that part of your YouTube account which appears in more places on YouTube than any other element from your channel. What are these places?

  • Your channel page
  • Search results
  • Subscriptions
  • Related channels
  • Featured channels
  • Video Comments
  • Community tab
  • Watch pages

Why is it important?

Moreover, your YouTube Channel Icon is the first thing a potential new subscriber will see. If you leave a comment at a video, your Channel Icon will point out it’s you. So, it needs to be recognizable, easy to remember and, last but not least, perfectly represent your channel.

Best YouTube Channel Icon techniques

There are a couple of things to have in mind when choosing your YouTube Channel Icon and a couple of possibilities.


If you’re “the star” of your YouTube Channel, then a clear picture of yourself will help people recognize you better. Moreover, it will allow a certain personal touch to your YouTube Channel. For example, the tech reviewer, Marques Brownlee who has more than 9 million YouTube subscribers has a clear headshot of himself as the YouTube Channel Icon. He’s smiling, he looks honest and like a cool guy to follow.

marques brownlee - YouTubeIf your YouTube Channel is, say, a family vlog, you can go for a picture of all the family members taking part in it. That will get your potential subscribers a first thing to relate to.

family vlog - YouTubeIf you want to be more specific, maybe funny and a have a professional photographer friend, you can go for a more specific picture of yourself that also hints at your channel’s topic. For example, if you have a cooking channel, you can post a picture of your cooking.

Byron Talbott

Don’t forget your smile, though! You can get even more daring in your headshot if your channel is about that! Just make it clear, specific, professional and inviting.


If your channel is more than a vlog and features different people or you make, say, educational videos about space, you can use your logo as the YouTube Channel Icon. That would be good branding. Still, you need to make sure you resize your logo accordingly because the YouTube Channel icon is quite small. If your logo just does not permit a resize, you can think of a variation of your logo to use as your Channel icon.

Logo as icon

3. A specific visual

If neither headshot nor logo works for you, you can go for a specific visual that will reflect your type of content. This is the most tricky choice because it should communicate your identity, and at the same time differentiate you from all the other YouTube Channels which post content like yours.

YouTube Channel Icon size

The best YouTube Channel Icon size is 800×800 px.  You should also check that your image will look OK as a round or square 98 x 98 px.