Can You Use Logos in Your YouTube Thumbnails?

YouTube thumbnails draw watchers in and set channels apart from other content creators on the market. Sometimes, you might see logos displayed in YouTube thumbnails. Is this legal to do as a video creator on YouTube?

Although you can use logos in your thumbnails, it’s best to avoid it if possible. It can send the wrong message to viewers and even result in legal trouble from the logo owner in the worst cases.

If you’re interested in learning more about logos in your YouTube thumbnails, you’ve come to the right place. Read on to learn more about why it’s best to steer clear of these images, how you can get permission, and what might happen if you’re not careful. There’s quite a bit to cover, so let’s get started!

Why Shouldn’t You Use Logos in YouTube Thumbnails?

There are many reasons why you can’t use logos in your YouTube thumbnail, but the most critical has to do with business endeavors. If you use a thumbnail in your logo, viewers may assume you’re sponsored. You could attract lovers of that brand and make money by stealing the fame the company has worked hard to create.

Here are a few other reasons why you shouldn’t use logos in your thumbnails:

  • It’s free advertising: Using a logo is free advertising for the company. You won’t get any money for it.
  • It can send the wrong message: As mentioned above, a logo in your thumbnail can present an image that you are affiliated with or sponsored by the brand the logo belongs to.
  • It can get you into trouble: Some images are copyrighted and therefore illegal to use if you don’t have explicit permission from the owner.

These are some strong reasons against putting a logo in your thumbnail.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with using a logo in your YouTube thumbnail if you make it clear that you’re not affiliated with the brand. However, some images are copyrighted and therefore illegal to use without explicit permission. What if you want to display a copyrighted image? We’ll talk about this action next.

How Do You Get Permission for Copyrighted Logos?

If you want to use the logo for your thumbnail, but it turns out to be copyrighted, you’ll need to get permission right away. There are a few steps you can follow to see if the person who owns the copyright will be willing to give you access.

To get permission for a logo in your thumbnail, you should:

  • Figure out who has the ownership and rights to the logo
  • Contact them and ask for the rights
  • Pay any necessary fees
  • Wait for written permission to go ahead with the us

They could give you the go-ahead after this request or turn you away.

If the company says no, you’re out of options for restricted logos. Take the logo out of your thumbnail and find a way to make your video enticing without it. There are ways to be creative, even if the logo is integral.

What Might Happen if You Use Copyrighted Logos Without Permission?

If you don’t get permission for copyrighted logos, issues can arise. These are especially likely if you’re a content creator that makes a significant income on your channel while putting another company’s image in the thumbnail of your video.

Some other repercussions include:

  • Lack of monetization on a particular video
  • The requirement to pay back a company
  • Legal trouble if they feel like you’ve stolen

Although actions are not often taken, those that are can hurt any content creator.

The best thing you can do is avoid using copyrighted logos. Try finding images that fall under fair use, or change them up enough to be unique for your website. Better yet, use a YouTube thumbnail maker to ensure your thumbnail is copyright-free and commercially usable. It’s better to steer clear of any trouble that might arise.


Although there are not too many legal issues that come with putting a logo in your YouTube thumbnails, it’s better to avoid using property that doesn’t belong to you. It can give off the impression that you’re affiliated with the company, give them free advertising, and get you into trouble if the logo is copyrighted.

We hope this information was helpful! When working on the best way to display your content to someone scrolling on YouTube, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take action to avoid using logos unless you’re reviewing a product that will benefit from displaying them.