The streaming community is growing every day, and Twitch is leading the way – there are millions of streamers broadcasting on Twitch, with over 15 million users watching their streams every day. Twitch is a tremendous place to share all types of live video; though it's seen primarily as a gaming platform, under a quarter of Twitch streams are of esports content.

But how can you get your own Twitch channel started? Since many high-level pros make their living on the platform, it can be intimidating to begin streaming as a newcomer. Some streamers can afford to spend money on flashy, custom visuals for their channels, but you don't need to pay anything for high-quality, professional Twitch visuals. In this article, I'll show you how to start creating a professional-looking Twitch channel by making your own custom offline banner for free.

Here's what you'll need to know:

  1. Start with a blank canvas or Kapwing template
  2. Add your background, message, and social profiles
  3. Process & Download
  4. Upload to Twitch

Note: Twitch says it supports GIF uploads. While this is technically true (you can upload a GIF under 10MB to use as your banner), Twitch pulls the first still frame of the GIF to use as the banner on your channel. The GIF's actual animation won't be used for your banner image.

Step 1: Start With a Blank Canvas or Kapwing Template

To get started, begin by navigating to Kapwing.com in your browser. Click "Start Editing," and you'll go to the Kapwing Studio. Just click "Start with a blank canvas" on the left side of the screen, and your project has been created. Before you add anything to your canvas, click "Custom Size" on the right-hand side of the Studio – this will let you optimize your banner image for Twitch's specifications. For offline banners, Twitch recommends dimensions of 1920x1080 pixels, the standard widescreen aspect ratio for laptop and monitor screens. Simply enter 1920 in the first field and 1080 in the second to resize your project for Twitch.

Resize your banner image to Twitch's exact specifications. 

Or you can just use this handy Twitch offline banner template instead! This will take you directly to the Kapwing Studio, where you can modify and replace anything you want, with the overall layout, dimensions, and size already taken care of.

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Step 2: Add Your Background, Message, and Social Profiles

If you have a specific image that you want to start with saved on your device, click "Upload" in the top toolbar and find the picture in your file browser. Alternatively, you can simply paste a link to a starting image online, if you have already found one that you want to use. On the other hand, if you don't know what background picture you want for your project, choose the "Image Search" tab after clicking "Upload." Here you can do a Google search for any image you want and upload it directly to the Studio. Try adding terms like "Wallpaper" or "HD" to your search query – this will make larger, high-quality background pictures appear at the top of your search results.

Next, it's time to send a message to your viewers. You can send something simple –
"[Username] is offline right now" – or something a little more personal and on-brand. Just click "Text" from the top toolbar and edit your text, font, color, position, and even the background color for your text box.

All you need is a background and offline message, but many streamers also add their other social media accounts so people can follow them elsewhere. The easiest way to do this is to search for logo images and add additional text boxes. Click "Images" from the top toolbar and enter something like "Instagram logo PNG" to find logo images to add to your project. Be sure to include "PNG" as a term so the logos appear on your image without any extra background. Then, simply add text boxes next to the social media logos and share your account names.

Step 3: Process & Download

Once your offline banner image looks the way you want, click "Publish" in the upper right corner of the Studio, and it should take under a second for Kapwing to process your file. Once it's ready, just click "Download" from the right side of the screen, and your banner will be saved directly to your device.

If you're using an older version of iOS, you'll need to download the small Kapwing app from the App Store in order to save your projects to your camera roll. It will only take a few seconds to download, and doesn't require any downloads.

Step 4: Upload to Twitch

Twitch makes it really easy to customize everything about your profile. Just go to Twitch in your browser or open the Twitch app, click on your profile icon and choose "Settings." From here, go to the tab labeled "Channel and Videos" and scroll down to the section headed "Video Player Banner." Just click "Update" and choose the banner image you just downloaded in your file browser. Twitch will upload your file quickly, but larger files might take a while to upload fully, so make sure your internet connection is strong.

Unlike similar platforms, Twitch doesn't allow you to make any crops, alignments, or other edits to your banner image once you've uploaded it, so make sure it's formatted exactly the way you want. Once it's done uploading, you're ready to go! All viewers of your channel will see your new banner when you're not currently online, and it will help spread the word about your other profiles and platforms.

Remember to tag us @KapwingApp whenever you share your content on social media– we love to see what our creators are passionate about! And be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page – we’re constantly writing new tutorial and features to help you make the most out of Kapwing.


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