This post is also available in: Português
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 colors and visual objects.
- Your podcast cover art will often be seen as a thumbnail. When you work on it, take time to view it at 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.
Your podcast art is more important than you’d imagine. 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. Even if the podcast aficionado was familiar with the host, or an interview guest, the art influenced their decision to make that next click.
With Podcast Logos, Less Is More
Think about traffic signs, marketing logos, and the most memorable graffiti. They have few colours, high contrast, and they have little to no text. This doesn’t mean that your meditation podcast or kids’ podcast has to look like a stop sign. But, a minimalist design is easier for the brain to recognize, understand, and remember.
Show What You’re About
Think like a business logo, not like 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.
Does It Scale?
Your podcast’s logo 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. So, when people say that an image scales well, or doesn’t scale, they mean that it doesn’t look good at both large and small sizes.
Podcast Logo Case Study #1: The Allusionist
Typically I’m not a huge fan of photographs in podcast art, because they don’t always scale well. But, the bright orange Boggle game frame, with the white dice and blue letters spelling out The Allusionist‘s title, almost could be a drawing or vector image. It boils down to three colours and a few shapes, repeated.
The fact that it’s a game where you rearrange familiar letters to make new words clearly shows this is a podcast that not only affirms what you know about language, but also challenges what you think you know and encourages you to think in new ways.
Podcast Logo Case Study #2: Wicked or Wise
This podcast logo scales well, has only three colours, and transmits power and femininity. In Wicked or Wise, Women of The Word, the host chats about women in the Bible. Creator Rach Allene said, “I used doodle-style art and fonts because the episodes have a chatty-Cathy atmosphere.” The eyes exude intimacy, and while the crown is a symbol of power, the hand-painted edges show texture when viewed at a large size or close up.
The attention to detail in the eyebrows and lashes supports the host’s detailed look at her subject.
Podcast Logo Case Study #3: Her Business, Her Voice, Her Conversation
If you’re podcasting to build a personal brand, your first instinct might be to use a photo of yourself in your podcast logo art. You don’t have to do this. many people have built a personal brand using symbols (like Oprah’s giant “o” ) and other kinds of images. Again, I tend to shy away from photos because I think they don’t scale well. However, I think Margo Lovett makes good use of her headshot in her podcast logo.
Margo Lovett’s podcast art makes excellent use of colour and layout. Black, white, and gold, especially, dominate the image, suggesting warmth and prosperity. It’s also a great colour for her. The gold in her blazer echoes in the text. At a small size, the standout parts are the words in white: “business,” “voice,” and “Margo.” Westerners tend to look from left to right and then down when they view an image (like how they read text), so the purple and green in the upper left (contrasting the gold) introduce your eye to the image, and guide you to travel down.
Fun With Fonts: Serif, or Sans-Serif?
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 choice of font 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 Another Typewriter to Zwerge.
The Size of Your Design
So, when you make your logo, start big, but use the view option to see it the same way as you’d see on your phone.
Why start big? If you have a large print-quality version, you can repurpose the content more efficiently and recognizably. A big image made small won’t lose image quality. If you take a small image and blow it up, it becomes pixelated and looks sloppy.
You can start your design at any size you want. Try starting with 3000 pixels square, 300 dpi (dots per inch). This is the maximum size Apple allows, and this resolution is print quality. Then, you can scale the image to 1400×1400 square, 72 dpi (again, dots per inch: for web display, it’s standard). Save it as a jpeg or png, as a separate file. When your host submits the art to the directories, the smaller file will take less time to load. Meanwhile, you have a print-quality version to repurpose.
When you upload your podcast logo to your host, make sure it’s at the minimum file size of 500 KB, 1400 pixels square, 72 dpi, and submit it as a .png or .jpg file. This makes it load faster and take up less space.
Repurposing Your Podcast Cover Art
For example, the logo for Girl In Space has a sans-serif font in aqua green against a purple galaxy background. It’s high contrast and looks good at a small size. But, the detail of the starfield also looks great on their website banner, t-shirts, stickers and so on.
The Amelia Project’s logo has just two colours, orange and black. It communicates as broadly as a traffic sign. This logo’s magic is in the juxtaposition of the mythic and mundane, the curving lines of the phoenix rising out of a cocoa cup, further contrasted with the simplicity of only two colours. This unforgettable logo’s frame is morse code. The message varies depending on where the logo is; merchandise, online, and so on.
Think of your logo like generative art. When you keep some elements consistent. like colors and shapes, you can vary the details to add interest.
Outsourcing Your Podcast Artwork
When I described the design specification numbers, did it make sense? If not, it’s okay. You might want to consider outsourcing. There is no shame in hiring someone to help. Visual artists are worth the money for a reason. They have skills and experience. They have 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 do your logo, and pay them handsomely.
Kessi Riliniki made the logo for Jarnsaxa Rising. I was very unhappy with the logo I tried to create. Not only was Kessi available to make the logo at a reasonable price, but she also heard the podcast and understood our goals.
Viewed small, the high contrast of a white wind turbine against a multi-coloured background is high-contrast and bold. It’s easy to find in a podcatcher. Viewed big, however, you can find the hidden images in the background with details from the story.
c7productions is a Fiverr artist with a wide range of images in their portfolio. Prices for their work range from $165-$270. The detailed, positive reviews on their Fiverr profile show that they’re invested in detail and bold choices, definitely an excellent choice for podcasters.
Podcast Cover Art: DIY Options
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
The Pro and Enterprise versions are better for people who will be making lots of images every week. Pro is $119 a year, and also gives you Magic Resize, meaning that you can resize images.
The Gnu Image Manipulation Program, and its descendant, Glimpse, are open source image editing software. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube which can help you learn how to use them. These are skills worth developing. This way, you can repurpose your podcast art into website assets, social media posts, and merchandise designs any time the mood strikes you.
Podcast Logos are More Artful Than at First Glance.
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!