Logo on YouTube Thumbnail: Expert’s Advice (2024)

Article last updated on:
March 13, 2024

In this guide, we’re answering if:

  • You should add your own logo in a YouTube Thumbnail;
  • Using somebody else’s logo is dangerous;
  • And more questions about thumbnails + logos.

Let’s begin! There’s a lot to talk about.

Key Takeaways

This table summarizes all of today’s content:

ScenarioYour LogoSomebody Else’s Logo
Personal YouTube Channel
Promotional ContentPermission Needed
Review or Educational VideoFair Use*
Parody ContentFair Use*

Before using somebody else’s logo:

  • Always get permission before using a company’s logo, especially if it’s the main focus of your thumbnail.
  • Fair Use laws may allow limited use of logos for criticism or commentary, but it’s best to consult an expert for legal advice.

It’s always better to be safer.

Logo vs No Logo: YouTube Thumbnails

  • Add a logo if: It’s yours or you have 100% permission to use it.
  • Don’t do it if: You’re not credited to use the logo.

Now, let’s detail everything.

A. Your Logo

1. Should I add My Logo in Thumbnails?

Yes, it’s good practice adding your own logo to your video’s thumbnails.

  • Do it even if your channel is small.
  • It helps you build your brand identity for later when your channel takes off.

Here’s an example from Donut Media:

Example of a YouTube Thumbnail with Text - Video By Donut Media

Logos help us recognize brands — including YouTubers!

  • Noticing a logo before reading a title makes a great impression…
  • Because you know who made the video
  • So you know that it’s probably going to be a high-quality video

Essentially: You know what to expect from the video.

2. Why include a Logo in Thumbnails?

  • Branding: Your logo is a visual representation of your channel, and including it in your thumbnails can help viewers to recognize your content.
  • Click-through rate: Thumbnails with logos tend to have higher click-through rates than thumbnails without logos. This is because viewers are more likely to click on a thumbnail that they recognize.
  • Professionalism: Including your logo in your thumbnails can make your channel look more professional.

3. How to add My Logo in a Thumbnail?

Apple's Logo in the thumbnail of a YouTube introducing the Apple Vision Pro
  • Placement: Your logo should be placed in a prominent location on your thumbnail, but it should not obscure the rest of the image.
  • Size: Your logo should be large enough to be easily recognizable, but it should not be so large that it dominates the thumbnail.
  • Style: Your logo should be consistent with the overall style of your channel.

Next Level: Your face can also be a logo — it doesn’t have to be a symbol!

Creators like Mr Beast and Marques Brownlee always include their faces — it’s like a logo or a face of their brand!

Check out this example:

Example of a YouTube Thumbnail with a Popular Face

Unless you’re not a tech enthusiast…

  • You probably can’t name the guy
  • But you’ve surely seen his face in thumbnails (or videos) before
  • So you know who he is! — that’s Marcus Brownlee

See how cool it is? Just by adding your face, millions of people can reach your content and remember it.

Then, they’ll know what kind of videos you make → understand who you are.

B. Other Logos

This relates to: A company’s logo or Somebody else’s.

First of all, you many want to read what’s not allowed in thumbnails.

1. Can I use Company Logos in a YouTube Thumbnail?

Generally, you don’t necessarily need permission to show a logo, especially if it’s part of a product you’re reviewing or showcasing. It can even be seen as free advertising for the company.

Like this review of an iPhone 15:

Example of a YouTube Thumbnail showing an iPhone 15

Avoid showing logos if:

The safest route is to get permission from the company to use their logo.

This eliminates any potential copyright troubles.

2. When it’s Safe using Logos in a YouTube Thumbnail

Fair use allows for using copyrighted material for purposes like criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

2.1. Safe → No Permission
  • Reviewing a Product: If your video is a review or comparison of a product with the company’s logo, it’s likely fair use.
  • Informative or Educational Content: If the logo is part of explaining the company’s role in a newsworthy event or educational purpose, it might be okay.
2.2. Consider getting Permission
  • Unclear Purpose: If your content isn’t clearly educational, news-related, or a review, it’s safer to ask for permission.
  • Negative Portrayal: If the video portrays the company in a negative light, even fair use might be challenged.
2.3. Must get Permission
  • Clearance is Safe: If you’re unsure, getting written permission from the company protects you from copyright strikes.
  • Company Guidelines: Some companies have trademark usage guidelines on their website. Check there first.

Conclusion

This guide studied everything about logos in thumbnails.

Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you’re unsure, reach out to the company for permission.


Thank you for reading this,
ThumbnailTest

About the author

David is the head of the editing team at ThumbnailTest. With his help, the editorial team is able to provide you with the best free guides related to YouTube thumbnails and A/B testing.