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Perfect Podcast Logo or Podcast Cover Art Design, At-A-Glance:
- Images are important. Many listeners tend to find the cover art more important than the title.
- Great podcast logos are simple and have few colours and visual objects.
- Your podcast cover art will often be seen as a thumbnail. When you work on it, take time to 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.
- Just looking to hire a podcast logo designer? Check out the excellent c7productions on Fiverr. Our link here is an affiliate because this is a service we highly recommend. We’d earn a small commission if you were to buy through it, though at no extra cost to yourself.
- There are some do-it-yourself options, such as Canva or GNU Image Manipulation Program. This post has a few affiliate links; remember that if you purchase something through them, we earn a small commission at no cost to you.
Captivate Your Potential Listener
According to our Discovery Stats Survey, the majority of podcast listeners said that the art was more important to them when choosing a podcast than the title. That’s a lot of responsibility for an image. Your podcast cover art needs to attract and motivate new folks at any size, in digital and print. Think about traffic signs, marketing logos, and the most memorable graffiti. They have few colours, high contrast, and little to no text. This doesn’t mean your meditation or kids’ podcast has to look like a stop sign. But, a minimalist design is easier for the brain to recognize, understand, and remember.
Stand Out in Any Podcast Directory
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 all good sources of inspiration. Here are examples of some podcast logos with a lot of individuality and a minimum of fuss. A few high-contrast colours, minimal text, and familiar symbols make the image easier to see and brains to decode quickly.
Image Size: From Podcast Directory to Business Card to T-shirt
Your podcast cover art needs to communicate clearly, whether it’s large (like on a desktop computer screen) or tiny (like a thumbnail image in a listening app on someone’s tiny little phone). 40% of respondents in our Discovery survey prefer to search their listening app’s directory to discover new podcasts. When a graphic designer says that an image looks good at large and small sizes, or whether it’s print or digital, they say it scales well. If it “doesn’t scale,” it only looks good in one medium.
Again, if your image has few colours and elements, it’s easier to use the same image at different sizes.
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
- Colour palette
- Additional considerations like mood or what you hope to achieve.
Apple Podcasts’ size dimensions have become the industry standard. Use them; you don’t want your launch held up by a few pixels. Colour is a science all its own. The psychology of colour affects our expectations of whether food is safe to eat or if we need a jacket before we go outside. 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 because 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
Since Apple started offering subscriptions, the types of art they support vary (for shows, chapters, channels and subscriptions), and there’s a detailed guide to Apple Podcasts’ artwork requirements. 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, most podcasters say that 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, so start big and then follow the size guide.
Your Podcast’s Colour Schemes
Brand colours, like your font, unconsciously motivate your potential listener and affect how your podcast logo looks next to others on platforms. Colour is a wide-ranging topic, but I know that friends don’t let friends make bad podcast art, so I’ll try to summarize this as simply as possible.
How Many Crayons Are In The Box?
Computer monitors use an RGB colour space. RGB (red, green, blue) colour space is additive, meaning that you add a bit of one colour to another to get the colour you need. Computers assign numbers to each colour, based on a scale from 0 to 255. If you type RGB 0,0,0 into Google, you’ll get a sample of the colour black and the hex code #000000. These codes help graphic designers communicate about colour easily and consistently.
Brands like Coca-Cola, Levis’ and Tesla all use very similar reds in their advertising. But, their hex codes and RGB codes are different because the amounts of red, blue and green in each vary.
How Should You Put Colors Together?
I don’t want to tell you how to combine colours for your podcast cover art. It’s as personal as deciding what to put in your coffee. But I’ll show you some ways that you can try and see what feels right. Here, have a colour wheel. Pretty snazzy, huh?
Analogous colours are next to each other on a colour wheel. We’re more likely to see this in nature, making it feel harmonious.
Complementary colours are opposite each other on the colour wheel. When these colours are close together, they make each other seem more vibrant. These colour schemes are memorable and easy to see, but they can be visually irritating if you’re not careful. The 1980 Philadelphia Phillies’ away team uniforms, for example, give me a headache and nausea.
A triadic colour scheme consists of three colours that are equidistant on the colour wheel (in a triangle). This colour scheme comes close to the contrast and vibrancy of a complementary colour scheme, but with three colours.
There are many more fancy colour schemes, but you probably want me to stop there.
Colour temperature affects a brand’s mood more than anyone realizes. Whether a colour is “warm” or “cold” makes a big difference. All that causes it is how much yellow or blue is in the colour.
Professional designers also talk about the 60-30-10 colour rule, where 60% of your overall design is your main colour, 30% supports the main colour, and then 10% is your accent colour, which pops.
This is a lot to take in. If you need design tools to help, Coolors is a design website that lets you generate and browse different kinds of colour palettes. The basic features are free, and it’s inspiring.
Fun With Fonts and Your Podcast Cover Art
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.
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. There are different associations with each: 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. If you use one of the fonts that are on your computer by default, you run the risk of seeming too familiar, like everyone’s word processing program. DaFont.com is a huge library of fonts. Many are free as long as you credit the artist. It has every typeface and writing style you can imagine, from Aaron’s Busted Typewriter to Zwerge, You Punk.
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 of them reasonably priced.
Design Tools For Your Podcast Cover Art
If time isn’t a problem and you’re interested in visual art, making your own podcast cover art is a good idea. The simplest route, in this case, is to try Canva (other free graphic design software options are available). 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 also gives you Magic Resize, meaning that you can resize images. Teams are $149.90 for up to five users.
If that’s out of your price bracket, The Gnu Image Manipulation Program, and its descendant, Glimpse, are open-source (free) image editing software. Many tutorials on YouTube can help you learn how to use them. 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.
Outsourcing Your Podcast Cover Art
If that last section didn’t warm the cockles of your heart, don’t worry. You might want to consider outsourcing. There is no shame in hiring a professional designer. Graphic designers are worth what you pay them. 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. 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 podcast 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 colour 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.
Podcast Cover Art Is More Complex Than Meets The Eye.
If you need graphics for your blog posts and show notes, take a look at our free graphics library. The more that you know how to do for your podcast, the more unique and personal it will be. There are loads of ways to make use of your podcast logo, beyond simply setting it as your cover art. For example, you might want to look into doing audiograms for your show, or running some advertising.
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!