Creating a logo for Twitch can seem daunting at first. Because Twitch is still a relatively new media platform, it can feel like the rules of branding and channel management are still being written. Twitch also provides a generous number of profile customizations, and these can be hard to navigate for first-timers. To that end, we are going to walk through the ins and outs of designing a logo for Twitch no matter your skill level and budget.
What is Twitch?
Despite being a new kid on the block, Twitch is one of the fastest-growing social platforms around. The company has boasted over 15 million daily viewers and the popularity of streaming has only increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it began with a focus on gaming content, these days the platform has become popular for any form of broadcasting, from live illustration to visual podcasting.
With runaway popularity, of course, comes competition, and an iconic Twitch logo—along with a solid foundation of branding—is one of the best ways to create a memorable first impression for visitors to your channel.
Twitch logo design sizes and requirements
Let’s start by getting the pesky technical requirements out of the way. Twitch stipulates that profile images should be less than 10mb, and image file types must be either JPEG, PNG or GIF. We recommend PNG for logos as this allows for a transparent background (GIFs do as well but are typically used for animated images, which do not work on Twitch).
You’ll notice Twitch profiles include a number of customizable spaces for branding, and all of these can house your logo (though there’s no specific rule about where and when to use your logo!). Keep in mind that the aspect ratios are often more important than the specific pixel sizes, meaning you can create a larger image than you need, provided it fits the same dimensions. Doing so can allow you to make sure your image remains high pixel density when it is compressed. With that out of the way, let’s go over some of the more common channel branding and sizes.
- Avatar: 250x250px
- Channel Banner: 1200x480px
- Offline Image: 1080x720px
- Channel Panels: 320px wide
- Emotes: 28x28px, 56x56px and 112x112px
As you can see, these spaces can vary wildly in scale, meaning your logo must be legible at drastically different sizes, but what else is new? While the small sizes require a more simplified approach, so that the details are cramped, you can also design variations of your logo that range in complexity depending on the size. For example, the Southpaw Ginger logo consists of a large, detailed illustration. However, Top Level designer Dexterous” creates alternate versions that include only the face or gaming controller icon for smaller sizes.
The most common (and smallest) place for a logo is the avatar. It is important to note that while its aspect ratio is 1:1, the avatar is displayed in a circle, and you must be careful that your logo does not get cut off at the edges. It can also be perfectly acceptable to reserve this space for an actual photo of yourself if you are going for a personal approach, as there are plenty of other opportunities to display your logo.
Twitch banners (particularly the channel banner or offline image) typically display a large scale version of the logo with social media handles. Because the channel banner is placed behind your most recent video, it is popular to use some form of branded pattern.
The About page is where you include information like your bio, streaming schedule, and merch store links. Twitch allows you to customize the headlines here with your own images—called Channel Panels—so it is a prime opportunity to use colors and typography that match your logo.
Emotes (which are essentially customized emojis your followers can use in chat) and badges are tied directly with your audience, so they can be vital for branding. If your logo includes a mascot, it is recommended that you repurpose it here with a variety of emotive poses and expressions.
The final practical consideration you have to take into account is your budget and schedule as these will affect the options available to you (we’ll discuss more specific pricing in the next section). In terms of budget, you’ll want to make sure you set aside money for things like font licenses and printing costs if you are creating merch or wish to feature your logo somewhere in the background of your player camera. You should also plan the number of alternative versions you will need ahead of time so that you can realistically estimate the cost.
Different methods to create a Twitch logo
Let’s briefly discuss your options for creating a Twitch logo. The method you choose will depend on your budget, skill level and expected quality.
There is nothing stopping you from designing your own channel logo, provided you have the skills to back it up. Keep in mind that even if you have some drawing expertise, design is a very specific discipline compared to general art. You should already have a good handle on the basic principles of logo design as well as the software involved.
Logo makers are online services that generate logos from customizable templates. This is generally the cheapest option (often it is even free!), and it is also the quickest, turning around a logo in a matter of minutes. Because these logos are based on templates, these are not the best option if you are looking for something original. These also may not provide you a full range of branding assets such as banners or your About page images.
Freelance logo designer:
You can hire a freelance designer via an online marketplace like 99designs. Here, you can browse designer portfolios, contact a designer to learn about pricing and turnaround time, set up a project in a private working space, securely transfer files and payment all within the same platform. The benefit of working with a freelancer is that you get an original design tailored to your specific brand. Pricing will vary per designer but will generally run from the mid-hundreds to low thousands.
A design agency is a full-service company of experienced designers, marketers and strategists. An agency will generally take care of all branding needs in addition to logo design, from target audience research, content strategy, copywriting to the actual logo design. This expertise comes at a hefty price, so expect to be shelling out tens of thousands for the agency treatment.
How to design a Twitch logo
Assuming you have chosen to design the logo yourself or are working with a designer(s), it is important to be aware of the full step-by-step process for creating a Twitch logo.
Establish your brand
The purpose of a logo design is to express who you are in a succinct visual symbol. So it stands to reason that in order to do so effectively, you must have a concrete plan for what specific aspects of your personality you want your logo to encapsulate.
In other words, you have to decide on your brand. You might think that “branding” sounds too formal for streaming video games on the internet, but it is simply a way of deciding what you want the first thing newcomers to your content to know about you.
For Twitch, start with the type of content you plan to put out. Since you’ve already decided to use Twitch, you probably already have an idea of what you want to stream, but you need to think about this in as specific terms as possible. For example, are there any niche sub-genres of games that you are interested in—be it fighting games, JRPGs, or indie horror?
Streaming is also about maintaining conversation and part of planning your content means thinking about your interactions with your audience.
For example, if you plan to casually try games out for the first time, your content will likely emphasize your personal reactions and thoughts. If you are attempting speed runs or playing competitive games, your content will come across as more serious and athletic, and your audience would be coming to you for expertise.
You will also need to research other channels that produce similar content to what you are doing. Pay attention to what kind of imagery and colors they use to brand themselves. There are a lot of trends in Twitch branding you’ll notice—shields, sharp lettering, neon/metallic colors, and animal mascots. Some of these might fit the streamer, but there are plenty that are generic to video games.
Namely, neon tends to read as generally hi-tech, and mascots (like Sonic and Crash Bandicoot) were at one time a common feature of the console’s marketing. Because your content is ultimately about you, you’ll want to rise above these tropes to something more personal. This is why another common logo trend you’ll see on Twitch is a cartoon avatar of the streamer’s face.
Finally, you’ll want to organize your research into a list of personality traits that will describe your Twitch persona and planned content. Restricting these to one or two words will make it easier to translate these into visual characteristics, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Brainstorm with sketches
Design, like all art, expresses emotion through visuals—most commonly, imagery, typography, and shape. So when you sit down to start sketching out some logo ideas, your goal is to bridge the gap between your written brand attributes and artistic symbolism. This is where the value of working with a professional designer comes into play as it can take years for a beginner to acquire the expertise for this.
Start by gathering plenty of inspiration—both from competitors and just images that you like. When evaluating logos, consider what the designer is telling you about the brand.
For example, in Alex Serada’s logo design, the choice of a unicorn mascot and the pink color palette both read as feminine. The closed eyes and the side view portrait give the avatar a feeling of nobility, reminiscent of medieval crests. You can intuit all of this without knowing anything about the streamer’s content.
When it comes to the actual sketching, there are no hard-and-fast rules. You can use scratch paper or drawing applications like Procreate. The point is to get ideas flowing in a visual way, and to this end, you should focus on simple, quick sketches and avoid getting bogged down in detail.
Use your list of brand traits as a guide—for each attribute, draw a few logo sketches that visually interpret it.
You should also try to come up with as many diverse sketches as you can, even if you already like one of your early drafts. The reason for this is that your first several ideas tend to be the most obvious. Most designers will draw several pages of sketches to really get down to some unique options. If this seems daunting, keep in mind that you can do this in multiple sittings. It can actually be preferable to give yourself a day’s rest in between sessions so that you come to each drawing session refreshed.
Once you have a handful that you like, draw a couple larger, more detailed sketches. This should be good enough that you can pass it off to friends for feedback before moving forward. Once you’re happy with your design, we’ll move onto actually creating it in software.
Use software to complete your Twitch logo
In many ways, your logo design is already complete. The rest is just follow-through, but it is no less important to give your design the professional polish you deserve.
First, let’s go over logo design software. What you are ultimately looking for is a vector application that will allow you to resize your logo without any loss in quality. The most popular is Adobe Illustrator, but Affinity Designer is a lower-cost competitor. Inkscape, on the other hand, is entirely free. Be warned that all of these come with a steep learning curve if you’ve never used them before, so be sure to dedicate some time to tutorials and lessons, many of which can be found on the software company’s website.
To upload your sketch, you can simply take a photo and either email it to yourself or use AirDrop to get it onto your computer. You will then create a new layer so that you can draw over the logo. While most software will come with an auto trace function, you should do it by hand to get the best results.
Using Illustrator’s pen tool (or the equivalent in whichever program you are using), you will trace by placing the least amount of points, which will make it easier to edit. As mentioned, it can take multiple tutorials to learn how to use this software, but for now, this video can give you the basics.
You will want to save the original vector source file of your logo so that you have it to edit in the future. For Twitch, use the transform function (Cmd + T) to size your logo appropriately and export your file as a PNG via File > Export. From there, all you have to do is upload the image in the appropriate space on your Channel Settings account page on Twitch.
Level up your Twitch logo design
It’s true that a great logo design for Twitch isn’t going to solve all of your problems. Your content is really what is going to sell your channel and make viewers want to subscribe.
But at the same time, if it looks like you put no care into your profile—or worse, it looks actively bad—viewers might not stick around long enough to watch your streams. That is why a logo is so important for creating an inviting first impression and fostering brand recognition in every interaction with your audience. So when you’re ready to truly level up your Twitch logo, team up with a designer who knows how to play the game.