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How to Create Beautiful Podcast Cover Art That Will Stand Out

Your podcast cover is the very first thing potential listeners see in relation to your podcast. So it’s important for you to create artwork that will stand out and make listeners tune in. In this post, we will look at how you can create beautiful cover art for your podcast.

A podcast is primarily an auditory experience, where you create a special connection with your listeners by “talking” to them.

However, before listeners ever tune in to your podcast, they will have a visual experience of your podcast first–with your podcast cover art.

The cover art is the first impression users have of your podcast

People often discover podcasts through their favorite podcast app or on social media. So, their first experience with your podcast is usually your podcast cover art.

Many times, people won’t even read the description if the cover art doesn’t grab their attention in some ways. Therefore, similar to book covers, this first visual experience will have a great impact on whether somebody becomes interested in your podcast or whether they just keep scrolling.

Basically, your podcast cover art gives users their first impression of your podcast, and it is also the first chance you get to convey what your podcast is about. So your cover art should stand out and attract attention, but it should also say something about your podcast.

There is also a very practical reason to spend some time on creating podcast cover art: Podcast platforms, such as iTunes and Spotify, will only feature podcasts that have a cover.

So you should definitely take the cover art for your podcast seriously. In this post, we will give you some tips for creating cool artwork for you podcast that will help you attract more listeners.

Make sure to meet the podcast directory requirement

Podcasts directories usually have very specific requirements for podcast cover art. So, before you even get started on designing your cover, you should familiarize yourself with these requirements, and make sure to meet them.

Apple Podcasts (iTunes), for example, requires your image file to be square, and the minimum is 1,400 pixels by 1,400 pixels. We recommend starting off with a larger file, such as 3,000 by 3,000 pixels, so it will still look good and sharp when scaled down. Your resolution should be 72 dpi, and you should use RGB colors. In terms of file formats, both JPEG and PNG work.

Be careful with your filename. Apple Podcasts sometimes won’t display files with numbers, such as podcastcover.001.jpeg for example.

Similarly, on Spotify, your images have to have a square aspect ratio (1:1). Accepted formats, in order of preference, are TIFF, PNG and JPEG.

What message do you want to convey?

The first and most important decision to make when creating your podcast cover art is: What message should the artwork convey? When somebody sees your cover art, they should immediately understand or feel what your podcast is about.

Of course, there are many different ways to approach this. For instance, if your podcast is all about you (your expertise or your opinions), you could choose an image of yourself to be the focus of the podcast cover art. If your podcast is about food, an image featuring food could be a choice.

Your podcast cover doesn’t have to be a real image though. You could go with a drawing or even use abstract art. Whatever you choose though, make sure viewers can tell from the image what your podcast is about.

This might be more difficult if your podcast is about more abstract subjects, such as eerie phenomena, philosophy, or culture. If this is the case, you could focus your cover art more on the mood of your podcast.

For example, the podcast “Strangers” is about everyday human connections we make. The cover art doesn’t literally show a stranger, but it does evoke the feeling of meeting a stranger in a crowd of unknown people.

Extra tip: Try to stay away from cliché podcast images depicting microphone stands or headphones, unless you can turn them into cool artwork. There is nothing inherently wrong with mic images, but at this point they have been so overused that they won’t make your podcast cover stand out.

Think about colors

Choosing the right colors for your podcast cover is important. Colors can convey a very subtle yet powerful visual message since on a subconscious level, colors evoke certain moods and associations.

A warmer color is usually associated with brightness, energy and action. Cooler color choices make people feel calm or at peace. Keep this in mind when choosing colors for your cover.

Consider your target audience

It is also important to consider your target audience when deciding on what cover art to use. Different people will respond better to different art. Also, you don’t want to scare off your target audience with your cover art.

If, for example, your podcast is about finance and investment, going all-out on extravagant fonts and unconventional artwork might send the wrong message. However, this doesn’t mean that if your podcast is about a serious topic, your cover art has to be boring.

The cover art of NPR’s “planet money” podcast, for example, is simple but humorous at the same time. Combining finance and humor is a great choice for the podcast since the podcast aims to explain economic topics in a fun way to a non-expert audience.

Choose high-quality images

No matter what type of image you choose, it should be the best possible quality because your cover art will usually be displayed as a small image. So, the higher the resolution, the better people will be able to see the art.

Be careful though when choosing images online! You don’t want to use copyrighted images because doing so violates the rules of most podcast directories, and might have legal consequences as well.

Be thoughtful with your font

Your font should be supportive of your overall podcast cover art message, but it shouldn’t overpower the image or be so busy or unusual that it is hard to read. Remember that people will only see a small image, so they won’t be able to tell what the text says if it’s written in an illegible font.

That being said, feel free to experiment with different fonts. The right font can be a great mood enhancer and help convey the message of your podcast, as is the case with the font that the podcast “Inside Psycho” uses. The “shaky” font, in combination with the title, immediately makes you think of strange occurrences, which is exactly what the podcast is about.

Keep your cover art sleek

Don’t put too much in your cover art, as people usually only take a split second to look at the artwork.

In that short period of time, they should understand intuitively from the art what your podcast is about. If your cover is too busy or has too much information or text, it will be hard to grasp the message. So keep it short and simple.

Check out design platforms

You don’t have to be an artist or graphic designer to come up with cool cover art for your podcast. There are actually quite a few design tools that are great for creating high-quality cover art.

Some of the most popular design tools are Fiverr, 99designs, Adobe Spark, and Canva.

Don’t be afraid to use your cover art to promote your podcast

Don’t just think about your podcast cover art in terms of podcast directories. Rather, think of your cover art as being like a company logo, and don’t be afraid to incorporate it into your podcast’s branding on social media whenever you can.

For example, you can use your podcast cover art to create audiograms. Audiograms are short videos that combine an audio clip from your podcast with the sound wave form and an image. Audiograms are a great way to promote your podcast on social media because they are real show stoppers. They stand out a lot more than just an image file or audio clip, so people are more likely to check out a podcast once they see an audiogram of it.

Creating audiograms is really easy, especially if you already have your artwork ready. Programs like Audiocado are free to use and let you create cool audiograms in just a few minutes.

Have fun!

As you are experimenting with your cover design, don’t forget that creating cover art for your podcast is also supposed to be fun. Be creative, work with friends, and get inspiration from your surroundings. The more fun you have with the process, the better your podcast cover art will be!

Tobias Manroth Author image
Tobias Manroth
CMO at Audiocado

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