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Mark Rober, former NASA engineer turned YouTuber.

He also knows how to make an incredible thumbnail.

And this is the perfect example.

Let me explain…


There are a couple of interesting things to discuss here...

Firstly, the thumbnail clearly shows the scale of the explosion.

The way it fills the entire right-hand side of the thumbnail gives it this feeling of being too big to be captured in a single shot, emphasising the scale.

The fact that Mark and the building are in the thumbnail is also intentional.

They are there as reference points to emphasise just how big the explosion was (bigger than a building and way bigger than a person).

Secondly, notice how Mark chose this particular experiment for the thumbnail, not the actual world's largest devil's toothpaste explosion.

The reason is while the other explosion might be bigger, it all comes down to what works best in a thumbnail.

Sometimes scale can be hard to capture in a thumbnail and if Mark didn’t get a good shot of the bigger experiment, it would have ended up being much less effective.

The big experiment also had a slight technical issue with it exploding through the bottom of the build, making it slightly less effective.

Even those this was bigger, I don't think it would have been as good in the thumbnail.

It's all about picking what works best in your thumbnail.

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This particaurly explosion is also really bright and colourful, which is great for getting the viewer's attention on a busy homepage.

It’s also worth noting that it’s not just the colour but the contrast.

Mark is wearing all white, the building/environment is very dull and the arrow is white.


This creates a tonne of contrast with the explosion, emphasising the colour even more and drawing your attention to the most important part of this thumbnail, the explosion.

Contrast is just as important as colour.

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Finally, this thumbnail is the perfect mid-action shot.

Some might say that showing the explosion ruins the surprise and spoils the video.

Quite the opposite.

By showing the explosion in all its glory you give the viewer a real reason to click.

An image isn’t enough, viewers want to see the entire explosion, how it was built, and what happened next.

And to do that, they need to click.

Mid-action shots of what's remarkable about your idea are very effective.

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Want more?

These techniques (along with plenty more) are all explained in the Digital Bundle.


The Bundle is everything you need to make effective thumbnails and includes:

1. Digital Book

82 pages explaining exactly how to make effective thumbnails.

2. Thumbnail Worksheet

Outlines how to turn your ideas into clickable concepts.

3. Thumbnail Checklist

Check every title and thumbnail do what they need to do.

Interested? Check it out.

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