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Perfect Podcast Logo or Podcast Cover Art Design, At-A-Glance:
- Images matter. Many listeners tend to find the cover art more important than the title.
- Great podcast logos are simple, with few colors and visual objects.
- Your podcast cover art will often be seen as a thumbnail. When you work on it, view it in different sizes.
- Your only text should be your title. Keep it as simple as possible.
- Simplest design specifications: 1400×1400 jpeg or png, and keep it under 500 kb.
- You might opt to hire a professional designer to take care of all of this for you.
- Or, there are some do-it-yourself options, such as Canva or GNU Image Manipulation Program.
- This post has a few affiliate links; if you purchase something through them, we earn a small commission at no additional cost. Affiliate income helps support all of our free content!
According to our Podcast Discovery Survey, most podcast listeners said the art was more important when choosing a podcast than the title. That’s a lot of responsibility for an image.
A German market research survey tried to find the formula for the perfect podcast artwork. Respondents preferred podcast artwork which included a picture of the host, the title of the show, and a publisher logo in the design. But, there’s no one recipe or cookie-cutter method to make “successful” podcast artwork.
What really matters is that your prospective audience can tell what your podcast is about and who it’s for. To make good podcast cover art, you must consider a few elements and how they relate to your podcast content and audience. These are:
- Scaleability, or image density and size
- Color scheme
In this guide, we’ll explore these elements and what they mean. Then, we’ll get into how to make them work for your podcast cover art or logo.
How to Make Your Podcast Logo Design Stand Out in Any Podcast Directory
Some people feel that a podcast logo design’s scaleability is most important: whether big or small, it has to communicate clearly. Your podcast cover art must attract and motivate new audiences, whether a tiny digital image on a phone or a big print image on a t-shirt. Think about traffic signs, marketing logos, and the most memorable graffiti. They have few colors, are high contrast, and include little to no text. This doesn’t mean your podcast has to look like a stop sign. But, a minimalist design is easier for the brain to recognize, understand, and remember.
When you dream up your podcast logo design, think like a business logo, not a book cover or movie poster. Coats of arms, business letterhead, and vintage advertising are good sources of inspiration. A few colors, familiar symbols, and minimal text work together to make the image easier to see and for brains to decode quickly.
Create Your Podcast Cover Art Like A Professional Designer
Professional graphic designers rely on a style guide when they make images. You can easily create one of these for your podcast cover art. Your style guide needs the following:
- Size dimensions for your podcast cover art, including height, width, and how many pixels per inch or DPI
- Color palette
- Additional considerations like mood or what you hope to achieve.
Apple Podcasts’ size dimensions have become the industry standard. Apple’s API feeds into many other podcast directories, so if your artwork doesn’t pass Apple’s requirements, it won’t appear on Overcast or a whole load of others. You owe it to yourself to bookmark the detailed guide to Apple Podcasts’ artwork requirements. Stick to Apple’s requirements; you don’t want your launch held up by a few pixels.
Color is a science all its own. The psychology of color affects our expectations of whether food is safe or if we need a jacket before going outside. Your podcast’s color scheme speaks volumes about your podcast content.
Font shape, size, and style can also affect your podcast’s perceived tone.
Composition, or how different elements are positioned in the image’s frame, can make your podcast seem important, trivial, professional, or sloppy.
Apple has a list of elements to avoid, such as explicit language, mentions of illegal drugs, profanity, violence, or sponsor logos.
Keep these guardrails in mind: they won’t just hold up your launch on Apple Podcasts but on other platforms, too. When you create your podcast cover art, details like these matter.
Podcast Cover Art Image Size and Density
Since Apple started offering subscriptions, the types of art they support vary (for shows, chapters, channels, and subscriptions). What remains the same are the specs for what Apple now calls the Show Cover. The specifications are:
- Minimum size of 1400×1400 pixels
- Maximum size of 3000×3000 pixels
- The file type must be JPEG or PNG
The artwork requirements don’t mention file size explicitly. But, many hosting providers recommend the file size should be under 500kb. The best way to ensure this is to make sure that your image has 72 DPI (pixels or dots per inch). This is standard for web design and loads faster than print quality (300 dpi).
So, when you start your podcast logo design, you want to start with an image that’s 1400 pixels square and 72 dpi, right? You can. But, if you want to use this image on your website, merchandise, media kit, and anywhere else, you want it as large as possible. So, start with an image that’s 3000 pixels square, 300 dpi. Save it separately and make a copy. Then, resize it to 1400 pixels square and 72 dpi.
The pros know that you need to repurpose your podcast cover art. Start big and then follow Apple’s size guide.
Podcast’s Color Schemes, Quality, and Style
Brand colors, like your font, unconsciously motivate your potential listener and affect how your podcast logo looks next to others on platforms. Color is a wide-ranging topic that can fill entire books. Friends don’t let friends make bad podcast art, though, so I’ll try to summarize this as simply as possible. Pack a lunch and buckle up.
How Many Crayons Are In The Box?
Computer monitors use an RGB color space. RGB (red, green, blue) color space is additive, meaning that you add a bit of one color to another to get the color you need.
Computers assign numbers to each color, based on a scale from 0 to 255. If you type RGB 0,0,0 into Google, you’ll get a sample of the color black and the hex code #000000, for example. These codes help graphic designers communicate about color easily and consistently.
Brands like Coca-Cola, Levis’, and Tesla all use similar reds in their advertising. But, their hex and RGB codes are different because the amounts of red, blue, and green in each vary.
How Should You Put Colors Together?
Combining colors for your podcast cover art is as personal as deciding what to put in your coffee. Don’t let anyone tell you what’s pretty or ugly. But I’ll show you some strategies that you can try to find what feels right for your podcast.
Here, have a color wheel. Pretty snazzy, huh?
Analogous colors are next to each other on a color wheel. We’re more likely to see this in nature, making it feel harmonious.
Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel. When these colors are close together, they make each other seem more vibrant. Complementary color schemes are memorable and easy to see. But, if you’re not careful, they can be visually irritating. The 1980 Philadelphia Phillies’ away team uniforms, for example, give me a headache and nausea.
A triadic color scheme consists of three equidistant colors on the color wheel (in a triangle). This color scheme comes close to the contrast and vibrancy of a complementary color scheme but with three colors.
There are many more fancy color schemes, but you probably want me to stop there.
Color temperature affects a brand’s mood more than anyone realizes. Whether a color is “warm” or “cold” makes a big difference. All that causes it is how much yellow or blue is in the color.
Professional designers also talk about the 60-30-10 color rule, where 60% of your overall design is your main color, 30% supports the main color, and 10% is your accent color, which contrasts, so it “pops.”
Color schemes are a lot of information. If you need design tools to help, Coolors is a design website that lets you generate and browse different kinds of color palettes. The basic features are free, and the website is inspiring.
Font Style, User Experience, & Your Podcast Cover Art
If you use one of the fonts on your computer by default, you risk seeming too familiar, like everyone’s word processing program. The pros start where anyone else would: they look for a font that’s unique and shows the tone or mood of the podcast.
Sometimes professional designers pick two or three complementary fonts for different purposes. This way, their media kit and website are cohesive. Style can determine legibility. The most attention-grabbing font for a headline isn’t what you want for a text block. Canva’s guide to font pairings can help you understand this in depth.
When you read a print newspaper, or if you’ve typed with a manual typewriter, you’ve seen a serif font. This web page is in a sans-serif font. Is it better to choose one type of font over the other? Some designers feel that typography determines readability. Others feel that screen resolution makes sans-serif fonts easier to read online, and serif fonts are easier to read on paper. Each has different associations: casual or formal, old-fashioned or contemporary, delicate or sturdy.
Ultimately, the font choice is up to you and the sentiment or brand you want to convey. Remember that legibility > style.
Stock Images for your Podcast Cover Art
You didn’t think professional graphic designers sat down and drew all of these images from scratch, did you? They’re on a deadline, too. Shutterstock has tons of resources to help your podcast’s visual design. Stock images such as photos, vector images and illustrations can help you start making unique, memorable and polished cover art.
If that’s out of your price range, freepik has thousands of photos and other digital images, many of them free, some reasonably priced.
Podcast Artwork Composition: Where You Put Each Part of The Image
Like color, composition in an artwork is a topic that can fill whole libraries. I’ll do my best to spare you the poetry and give you a useful system.
Humans’ eyes move around their environments or across a surface in a certain way for many reasons. As a result, a generally agreed-upon theory in Western art is that the most pleasing composition of elements in an image is the golden ratio. The rule of thirds and the F pattern are a much simpler way to understand and use how humans’ eyes move to make your podcast artwork’s composition appealing.
When most people look at a digital image, their eye tends to start at the top left corner, move across to the right, and then move down and left until they find another interesting thing, then move across to the right. This is how Westerners read text, which isn’t true for everyone. Web designers call this the F-pattern.
If you divide your image into thirds, with two vertical and horizontal lines, the intersections of the dividing lines are the hot spots. This is where you want to focus on important elements.
The podcast logo for PodCraft puts essential elements where the audience’s eyes are most likely to focus. As your eye zips down the image, you focus on the words “honing” and “podcasting, then the image of a mic, the paintbrush, and the creative squiggle.
There are loads of ways you can play with these ideas, especially if you enjoy making your own podcast art. This brings us to software.
Design Tools For Your Podcast Cover Art
If you’re interested in visual art, making your own podcast cover art is a good idea. You’ll learn how the image layers work together to make a whole, and you’ll be able to take different elements to repurpose in your social media, web design, or merchandise. There are many free graphic design software options available: let’s focus on four of them.
The free version of Canva has:
- Over 250,000+ free templates
- 100+ design types (social media posts, presentations, letters, and more)
- Hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics
- Collaborate and comment in real-time
- 5GB of cloud storage
If you plan to make many images every week, The Pro and Enterprise versions are better for you, depending on the price range you need. Pro is $119 a year and gives you Magic Resize, meaning you can resize images. Teams are $149.90 for up to five users.
Adobe Express is similar to Canva. It’s a web-based drag-and-drop image editing tool emphasizing image design for the Internet. Their free tier offers many templates and options. Just type “podcast” into Adobe Express’ template search engine, and you’re halfway there.
Of course, if you want to resize or add your own branding, fonts, or logos to a project, those features are in the Adobe Express Premium plan, which is $9.99/month.
GNU Image Manipulation Program
If these are out of your price bracket, The Gnu Image Manipulation Program is an open-source (free) image editing software. Many tutorials on YouTube can help you learn how to use it.
Knowing how to make your own podcast cover art is a skill worth developing. This way, you can repurpose your podcast art into website assets, social media posts, and merchandise designs whenever the mood strikes you. Resize to your heart’s content!
AI Tools for Podcast Cover Art
In our guide to AI tools for podcasters, we dive into Midjourney. We show you examples of art made with Midjourney, how it works, and the pros and cons. Midjourney is good if you want to hire a professional graphic designer and show them a mock-up of what you want for your podcast cover art. But, you won’t have the flexibility or freedom to resize, pick colors, change fonts, and do everything that makes that podcast artwork uniquely yours.
Create Cover Art Inside Alitu: The Podcast Maker
Alitu started out as a way to simplify podcast editing, but these days, it does so much more. There’s no podcast-related task you can’t do within it’s interface, with cover art design and editing the latest feature to be added.
Powered by Adobe Express, you can access the podcast artwork editor from your show’s settings in Alitu. This let’s you tweak or rework existing artwork, or, use its intuitive tools and generative AI capabilities to create something from scratch.
So that’s recording, editing, production, publishing, auto-generated transcription, and cover art generation all within one easy-to-use interface, under one single subscription. Find out more about creating a podcast with Alitu or sign up for a free trial and see for yourself!
Save Time: Hire a Graphic Designer
If the DIY approach doesn’t warm the cockles of your heart, consider outsourcing. There is no shame in hiring a professional designer. They have skills, experience, training, and an array of tools and brushes in their digital editing suite that would make your sound designer’s DAW blush. Pro designers are worth what you pay them. If you can afford an artist, get one to make your podcast cover art and pay them handsomely.
When I launched my first podcast, I made my own cover art. I didn’t love it, but it made it past launch. Then I met Kessi Riliniki. Not only was Kessi available to make the logo at a reasonable price, but also she’d heard the podcast and understood our goals. She made epic podcast cover art for Jarnsaxa Rising.
Kessi made an image I’m proud to share. At a small size, it’s memorable and telegraphs the adventure’s conflict. It’s got a harmonious blue-green color scheme contrasted with black and white, with a pop of gold to throw things off balance. At a large size, you can see hidden elements tied to the plot.
Of course, other designers are available. c7productions on Fiverr is someone the team has used in the past and were very happy with the results.
Podcast Cover Art Is More Complex Than Meets The Eye
There are many ways to use your podcast logo beyond simply setting it as your cover art. For example, you might want to look into doing audiograms for your show, running some advertising, or creating podcast merch. The more you know how to do for your podcast, the more unique and personal it will be.
One final note on your podcast cover art, too. It is important, but it isn’t set in stone. This is something you can change and update at any time, so don’t let perfectionism get in the way of actually getting your show launched. Once you’re consistently publishing great episodes and seeing that audience begin to grow, you can always re-evaluate things like your podcast logo. Keep this guide bookmarked and return to it at any time.
Oh, and be sure to pop into the IndiePod Community when you’ve got your cover art samples ready. We’d love to give you some feedback!