First impressions last, even when it comes to podcast cover art. Cover art is one of the things that would help draw listeners in. You need to stand out from among thousands of other podcasts within your category in order to entice the listeners into your amazing podcast.
To better understand why it is such an important aspect of a podcast, you have to fully understand everything about what a Podcast cover art is.
What is Podcast Cover Art?
A podcast cover art is an artwork that is presented to the audience that visually represents your podcast channel. It is uploaded to the directories where listeners can discover about your show. You might be confused since you also have to upload a logo for your podcast and most people would automatically think that they’re the same things.
To clear things up a Podcast cover art is solely for the purpose of representing your Podcast channel, while a Podcast logo is one that can be applied more flexibly in different materials, including the podcast cover art. You can use the logo to promote the business side of the podcast, like when you are going to make merch.
Podcast Cover Art - Size & Guidelines
Now that you are fully aware of what a Podcast cover art is, it is now time to get into the details on how you can create awesome cover art for your podcast.
Naturally, what you need to consider first is the podcast cover art size. The most popular directory is Apple Podcasts but there are other directories, like Spotify, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn. Knowing cover art dimensions across podcast directories is significant to ensure that it looks great and will do its part in attracting listeners.
Minimum image requirements as per Apple Podcast are 1400 x 1400 pixels but on most platforms, a standard 3000x3000 pixel cover image is recommended and must be in either PNG or JPEG formats. Images must be at 72 dpi and in the RGB colorspace. You may compress the image in order to optimize it for mobile devices.
Another constraint to consider is that the cover art should be in a square shape. This makes the image work on both tall and wide screens. The square frame can be tricky but this creative restriction makes certain that the cover art will look good on screens that rotate both in vertical and horizontal directions.
Steps on How to Design a Podcast Cover Art
The podcast cover is the first thing that the listeners see upon searching for your podcast. This is why it matters a lot to make an impression when it comes to designing this visual. Here are the steps to making a podcast cover art that is both eye-catching and relevant:
1. Stick to the Rules.
Aside from the formatting guidelines, there are certain rules that must be followed in creating a podcast cover art. In most directories, blurry images are a big no. Violent imagery, language, and any reference to drugs are also prohibited. Sponsor logos and small detailed images are not allowed. Adhering to the guidelines will ensure that your Podcast does not get kicked out from the directories.
2. Choose a Distinctive Style.
There are a number of visual styles to choose from when it comes to podcast cover arts. You may use illustrations, photos, or even text-based covers. Since your podcast should be about your brand, it should likewise reflect the message that you want to be sent across. The style should give the listener an idea about the topic, tone, personality, and genre of your podcast.
3. Give it Some Color
Colors naturally affect the meaning behind a picture. You have to consider color theory when adding colors to the cover art. You can always use the colors that you use for your brand or you can have another one that is solely for the nature of your podcast. Color temperature, for example, can change the mood so you have to choose warm colors if you want the cover art to look energetic and bright. Cool colors, on the other hand, will make the picture look serene, peaceful, and calm.
4. Choose the Best Fonts.
Typography is important if you are adding words in your cover art. The font style also speaks about the nature of the podcast. Serif fonts, for example, are a classic and would work best with podcasts that are serious or professional in tone. Script fonts are more humanistic so it can be used for light-hearted podcasts. While in this topic, remember also to not use a lot of fonts. A podcast cover art is typically small in size so everything should be legible, especially the texts. Pick fonts that are readable but are not distracting. It should complement instead of spoiling the design.
5. Add an Image of the Host.
One of the ways to make your podcast cover art distinct is by using a photo of the host on the cover. You can add a little fun by having the photo in a caricature. You are more likely to catch the attention of the audience if they find a quirky photo on your cover.
Podcast Cover Art Resources
Making your own Podcast cover art can be a bit of a challenge but having the right tools can be a huge help. You can always hire a professional to design your cover art but this would cost you a lot. If you are minding your budget but would like to create stunning cover art for your podcast, these tools may just be what you need:
DesignStripe. Using illustrations is a great idea for a cover art. Designstripe has a huge illustration library that you can customize to fit the nature of your podcast. This would be your best tool to have since you only need to specify the type of illustrations that you need and you will be given lots of choices that you can personalize.
Adobe Spark. This can be used to create amazing cover art for free. It has thousands of icons, themes, and images that you can add to your design.
Canva. This tool comes with templates, photos, and graphics to create an interesting design for your podcast.
Pixelied. Design a variety of graphics, including podcast cover arts, with ease with its simple yet powerful graphic and image editor.
Best Practices to Make a Podcast Cover Art that Rocks!
To guarantee that your podcast cover art will work to your advantage, here are some great tips to help you out:
1. Let Your Content Be the Center of the Design.
Have a clear understanding of your content, what the topic is all about, and who your target audience is. The main design should be associated with the content in order not to confuse the listeners. This is also one of the best ways to introduce your podcast at a glance so that the listeners will instantly have an idea about what to expect from your podcast.
2. Mind Your Audience.
By now you should have an idea about your ideal listeners. Knowing about your listener persona will enable you to design a cover art that is most appealing to them. Just like preparing the content for a specific audience, the cover art should be designed in such a way that the target audience can understand and appreciate.
3. Less is More.
Keeping the design simple and uncluttered will actually make the cover art easier to understand and remember. Resist the temptation of adding too many elements that tend to get distracting. Remember that you only have precious seconds to make the audience notice your cover art so have a design that is clean and streamlined instead of a busy-looking one.
4. Leave a Margin on the Edges.
What usually happens when a cover art is too close to the edge is that the play progress bars tend to cover them. A wide margin would ensure that the whole picture can be appreciated at all times. Another reason why leaving a margin on the edges is important is because some platforms automatically crop the picture to fit the player.
5. Check the Design in Dark Mode.
Most devices and platforms automatically switch the screen into dark mode after sunset. It will be best to see if your cover art design will still look great even with a black or gray background.
6. Be Mindful of Your Branding.
Always keep in mind that your podcast is an extension of your brand. This is why branding should be consistent, not only with the type of content but also with your cover art. It should reflect the same voice and tone as the brand. the colors and design style must also be aligned to your branding in order to attract the same people as your target. You also have the option to have your tagline and logo in order to make it easier for the existing audience to recognize your podcast.
Podcast Cover Art Inspiration/Ideas
Can’t wait to create your own cover art? Here are some podcast cover ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
One look at this cover art and you will instantly figure out that this podcast is about making people laugh. The use of the hosts’ comic photo is visually interesting. The placing of the bright text made it readable and still stand out, given that the center of the artwork was already noticeable.
This example shows how the use of appropriate font supports the entirety of the cover art design and its meaning. The simple and legible font makes the cover art look nurturing and gave it a maternal feel.
The Geeking Out podcast by National Geographic is intended to a young audience, hence the use of fun and vibrant design for its podcast cover art. The blue and orange colors make the design pop thus becoming more appealing to the target audience.
A simple and clear design makes this cover art effective. This podcast is about giving an advice to the listener’s younger self so the charming illustrations work well. The simple illustration of an envelope with the title written on the paper highlights what the podcast is all about.
A simple, bright, and straightforward design definitely works, just like this cover art of the Broccoli Book Club podcast. The illustrations match perfectly with the title and the colors used are appropriate. The text is also legible which makes the picture look interesting.
Your Turn… Get Started on Your Podcast Cover Art
Since it represents the nature of your podcast, a cover art is one of the ways that you can stand out among other channels under the same categories. More than being an artwork, it should also indicate the quality, tone, and overall content of your podcast. It should serve as an introduction to what to expect from your podcast and your guests.
Listeners tend to scroll thousands of podcasts so it is a must that you interest them with something eye-catching. Get creative and surprise the listeners with stunning Podcast cover art to introduce your channel.