A picture speaks a thousand words. If that is the case, what is your podcast cover art saying about you? And more importantly, what does it say about your show?
Creating great cover art for your podcast is essential if you want to make a good first impression on potential listeners. But creating great cover art for your podcast can be tricky. You want something eye-catching and interesting, but you also need to make sure that it accurately represents your show. In this blog post, we will discuss the six best tips for creating amazing cover art that will help you stand out from the competition!
What’s all the fuss about cover art?
But before we tackle the tips, let’s talk a little bit about why your podcast cover art is so important. Your podcast artwork is usually the first thing connected to your podcast that listeners will see. If they’re scrolling through the New and Noteworthy section looking for their next great listen, it’s a podcast’s cover art that stops the scroll and starts the potential listener on a quest to find out more about the show.
Your podcast cover art is already communicating with your listeners, long before they ever hear your voice. And so you need to make sure that what your artwork is saying is in alignment with your overall brand, and that it is communicating the message you’re trying to put across.
Remember, this is what people see when they’re deciding whether to listen to your show or not. So that should be incentive enough to make your artwork great!
And so without any further adieu, here are our top tips for creating that standout podcast cover art.
1. Size Matters
Tip Number 1, pay attention to artwork size requirements. This is not a “one size fits all” sort of situation. Different podcast hosting platforms display podcast artwork differently, and so if you want your podcast artwork to look great in all these places – whether that’s in an app or displayed on a desktop – you need to adhere to their required artwork dimensions.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to podcast artwork dimensions is to follow the size requirements given by Apple in their guidelines for podcast creators.
- Be 3000 x 3000 pixels. (If you’re submitting your show via RSS feed, Apple Podcasts accepts show cover artwork ranging from 1400 x 1400 to 3000 x 3000 pixels. The largest size is preferred.)
- Be saved as either a JPEG or PNG file type
- Use RGB colorspace.
2. Clear Images
Our second tip is to make sure that any images you use on your artwork are crystal clear. In our book, this one is a non-negotiable. No pixelation! I repeat, NO PIXELATION!
If your images are pixelated and blurry, it immediately lowers the quality of your show. I can almost guarantee that no one is going to pick a podcast with a blurry podcast image! If you’re using your photo on the artwork, make sure to use one with a high resolution, so that it looks good at any size.
If you’re using graphics, the same applies. Make sure that they are crystal clear and sharp. Anything less does not deserve a place on your podcast artwork.
3. Eye-Catching Colors
Tip Number 3: Get creative with color! Color is a fantastic way to grab the attention of potential listeners. You don’t want to go over the top and hit ‘garish’ but a good mix of colors can definitely help your podcast artwork stand out!
If you don’t think you have the artist’s eye to know what looks good together, don’t worry! Resources like Canva and Pinterest can help you create that cover art masterpiece!
Pinterest is great for inspiration. Start by searching topics in your niche, or even just topics like ‘infographics’ or ‘graphic art’. Your screen will be flooded with a whole load of creative designs. Scroll through these, and start pinning the ones that jump out at you. You’ll now have a whole collection of color inspo to inspire your podcast artwork.
Canva can help you in a similar way. Just take some time scrolling through the amazing designs, and take note of the ones that catch your eye. You can then use similar elements in your own design, or even just tweak an existing one that you love and that encapsulates your show and your brand.
4. Readable Font
So you’ve got your images, and your artwork is looking bright and attractive, but you know what’s missing? The name of your podcast! Once the overall design stops the scrolling in its tracks, your potential listeners now need to make a connection between your attractive artwork and the name of your podcast.
You need to pick a readable font that will help your podcast name stand out.
Now, sites like Canva have some truly beautiful fonts. But just because you think they look so pretty does not mean they have any business being on your podcast cover art! “Why?” you ask. Well, for the simple fact that pretty does not mean readable.
And when it comes to picking the perfect font for your podcast artwork, the top criteria is that it is a font that is easily read. It would be a completely wasted exercise to have put all that work into designing the perfect artwork, only to confuse the listener with a hard-to-read font. Now you definitely don’t have to pick a boring font – have fun with the choices! – just make sure that whatever you pick is, above all, readable.
Pro Tip: Pick a few different potential fonts and ask your family, friends, neighbors, or random strangers to pick the one they find most readable. You can then be sure that listeners will find the font readable too.
5. Minimal Text
Now that you’ve picked out your super cool (and READABLE!) font, the trick is to use that font sparingly. In other words, you need to keep the number of words on your artwork to a minimum.
Firstly, remember that podcast artwork is pretty small when it’s being viewed in whatever podcast player on a smartphone. So trying to fit a whole bunch of words on there will mean that the words will be small! And most likely, unreadable at a quick glance.
So keep text to a minimum. Literally, just your podcast name is necessary. Your tagline and even your name does not need to feature on your artwork. Unless, of course, your name is part of your show’s title, then by all means, it should be on the artwork. But in general, when it comes to text on your podcast artwork, less is always more!
Not sure if your podcast name is the right one? Check out this post on How to Find the Right Name for Your Podcast.
6. Aim for Originality
Our last tip is to aim for originality. You obviously don’t want your podcast artwork to look like anybody else’s show. That’s a given. But ‘aiming for originality’ goes further than simply having your own design.
You should aim for originality in the type of images you pick. This means you should aim to stay away from images that have been used by countless other podcasts. Try and avoid using images of microphones, headphones, or other podcasting gear in your artwork unless these are integral to your niche.
A quick tip for coming up with an original design is to browse the top-rated podcasts in your category. Take note of trends you see happening with the podcast artwork within that category. Then use this information to brainstorm ideas of how you can make your artwork stand out from the crowd.
Some Pointers from Apple…
And to round out these tips, take a look at Apple Podcast’s artwork requirements. While these are specific requirements for their platform, they do offer some insight into what to include, and what not to include, on effective podcast cover art.
The main requirement is that all artwork must be original. And it also can’t contain any of the following:
- Blurry, misaligned, mismatched, or pixelated images
- Explicit language
- Placeholder images
- Apple Inc., Apple Podcasts, or iTunes Store logos
- The terms Apple Inc., Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, iTunes Store, or iTunes
- Visual representation of Apple hardware
- References to illegal drugs, profanity, or violence
- Ads, sponsor logos, or marketing copy
As you will certainly be wanting to submit your podcast to Apple Podcast’s directory, it’s important that your artwork sticks to their guidelines. But following these requirements will help ensure that your artwork is acceptable wherever you choose to submit your show.
And there you have it. The simple tips for creating excellent podcast cover art! Remember, it’s important to make sure that your artwork accurately represents your podcast and brand, and is eye-catching enough to stop potential listeners in their tracks. Size matters, so be sure to pay attention to the dimensions required for different platforms before you start designing.
Make sure your images are clear, your colors bright, and your font readable, and you’ll have yourself podcast cover art that consistently nabs the attention of potential listeners and helps convert them into members of your loyal audience.