One of the best things about being a Twitch streamer is having your own emotes. These days, many people on Twitch make it their goal to reach affiliate status to have their own emotes. It’s true – emotes are some of the best incentives on Twitch for streamers and viewers alike. It used to be much more difficult to get emotes uploaded and approved, but with the recent changes Twitch made, the process is simpler than it’s ever been. That still doesn’t mean that making emotes is easy for those who don’t quite know how to do it.

Some people will say that the best way to make emotes is by using a graphics editing program like Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately, not everybody has access to this program – and even if they did, they might not necessarily know how to use it. And so, in this guide, we’re going to show you how to create Twitch emotes without Photoshop. 

What to Keep in Mind When Making Twitch Emotes

It’s much simpler to get emotes made for Twitch these days. Back then, streamers would have to create or commission graphics in certain sizes to upload their designs. Streamers can still do that now, but Twitch has recently added a way for content creators to upload a larger resolution file that the website will automatically downscale. Regardless, designs should be saved in ‘.PNG’ format and must be transparent unless the emote is meant to have a background.

There are a few more things to remember when creating emotes for a channel, such as:

  • Emotes are scaled down to 28×28 pixels, which means that there isn’t much space for many details. When designing, it’s important not to make things too detailed since small details can get lost when the emote is shrunk to its final size.
  • When putting together a design for an emote, colors play a big role. Any design should be visible in both light mode and dark mode. This means it’s a good idea to have colors that contrast well and have outlines if the design is difficult to see in either mode.
  • A lot of emotes have text in them. But, because of the limited space in the 28×28 pixel canvas, it becomes difficult to read any text beyond four letters. Some people fit eight letters in two rows. Beyond this, it might be a good idea to make a two-part design where the word is split up between two separate emotes.
  • Although Twitch doesn’t currently reprimand content creators who use copyrighted content in their emotes, it’s a good idea to avoid using intellectual property just to prevent any troubles in the future. Coming up with original ideas is a better way to create a channel’s branding and identity, anyway. Along this line of thought, it’s never a good idea to take somebody’s design, make minor changes, then call it original. The potential fallout from getting caught stealing somebody’s art is never worth it.

Twitch emotes are created in three dimensions: 28×28 px, 56x56px, and 112x112px. But since Twitch made it possible to auto-downscale designs, streamers can now upload any file that is <1MB and is a minimum 112×112 px or a maximum 4096×4096 px. Standard emotes cannot be animated and must be square-shaped.

Making Twitch Emotes Without Adobe Photoshop

For the more tech-savvy, there are several ways to make Twitch emotes without using Adobe Photoshop. One of the easiest methods is by using free graphic design software such as GIMP. This software is quite similar to Photoshop and can do many of the same functions for the grand price of free.

Unfortunately, it does come with a bit of a learning curve, and it’s not always the easiest to draw emotes digitally unless the right tools are handy. Still, it’s completely possible to take a sketched design on paper, take a photo of it, import that photo into GIMP, then trace and color using a mouse or a pen tablet.

If that is something you would like to do you can check out this video below:

Some people may not want to draw their own emotes from scratch. After all, not everyone is confident in their artistic skills or their ability to figure out graphic design software quickly enough so that making their own emotes is worth the time. For those people, some of the methods below might be the better choice.


Get emotes on Fiverr

It’s impossible to make a list that involves any design work for Twitch without including one of the websites that pioneered the gig economy: Fiverr. On Fiverr, many freelancers post “gigs” that offer all sorts of services starting at $5. Many artists offer their emote-making services on Fiverr for as little as $10 per design.

What makes Fiverr a great website to get emotes from is the fact that former clients can post their reviews of the services they’ve purchased. Fiverr also makes it easy to communicate with the artist so that streamers can effectively convey their ideas for their emote designs. Fiverr is also one of the best choices for content creators who want custom emotes unique to them.


Another option for making emotes without Photoshop is PlaceIt, where streamers can use templates to make somewhat customized emotes. Because PlaceIt uses templates, the designs won’t be completely original – but once the design is purchased for download, commercial use is allowed. That means streamers can use the graphics they made through PlaceIt for things like merch.

PlaceIt has an interesting pricing method – to create and download a single design costs $39.95. But, streamers can instead opt for the monthly unlimited subscription for $14.95 (or even cheaper if paid annually). Some streamers sign up for a month, make all the graphics they need, then cancel their subscription.

Another service that people can use to make their own designs is’s emote maker. This method allows content creators to design their avatar (although the customization options are limited). Once the avatar is made, Own3d offers various emote designs that streamers can choose from and download for use. Emotes can be purchased in packages of 1, 3, 6, 9, 15, or 26.

Wrapping Up

Making Twitch emotes without Photoshop isn’t impossible. Now more than ever, it’s possible to create customized designs that look great and work well to create an identity or brand for a channel. And with the new changes Twitch has made to uploading emotes, it’s just gotten even easier.



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