Your podcast is audio content, and while your time and effort is undoubtedly going to go into creating and curating excellent content, don’t forget the visual component of a podcast.
That’s right — your podcast cover should NOT be an afterthought. It’s the first thing people will see about your podcast, and if you have subpar art for your cover, some people may not get past it.
Put some time and energy into creating an excellent podcast cover that will draw in listeners to your amazing podcast. Here’s how.
The DIY Way
If you’re not a graphic designer, but you’d like to try designing your own cover art, try using one of these tools.
Canva: In Canva, you can use one of their great templates to customize your image to your own brand, or you can design from scratch. Use their large library of stock images, or add your own.
Stencil: Easy to use, with a large library of icons and images, you can create professional looking graphics with ready-to-use templates.
Desygner: Access a huge library of templates that are easy to work with and resize for multiple uses.
Snappa: Start with the right dimensions, and use Snappa’s templates and large library to customize your podcast cover.
The Outsource Way
Not confident in creating your own podcast cover? No problem! That’s what graphic designers are for. Ask in your own networks for people’s favorite designers to work with, and you’ll surely get some helpful recommendations.
Or you can try Fiverr or Upwork, two networks that connect you to freelancers. With Fiverr, you’ll need to have a clear description of what you’re looking for when hiring someone.
With Upwork, you can go in with a more vague idea, and select the candidate who gets your vision the best.
Get the Sizing Right
Communicate What the Podcast Is About
It’s pretty obvious that if your podcast is about horses, it wouldn’t make sense to use a dolphin as your cover art, right?
Use an image that communicates what you are about. Include an image of the subject of your podcast if you can. Or if you already have an existing brand, use your branding fonts, colors, and images in your cover art.
Are you the personality of your podcast? Use your photo. Just make sure that your art is on brand, and that it quickly communicates what you’re about to your audience.
In these examples, the images and words give you a clear indication of what you’ll be getting when you listen in.
Look at Your Competition
Glance through Apple Podcast’s directory for your category. What immediately jumps out at you? What do you like? What do you not like? Don’t copy what’s been done, but use those elements to help you create your own art.
Maybe your eyes immediately go to images with white backgrounds and bold icons. Maybe you’re drawn to images with the podcast host’s face. These elements can be incorporated into your own art without copying.
Catch People’s Eye
You want your artwork to stand out. Use contrasting colors and bold images. Remember: when there is negative space in your artwork, it’s easier for your words and images to stand out.
When it comes to your words, brevity is key. Don’t use too many words, and stick with one or two fonts. These examples do a great job of using negative space, contrasting colors, and bold images and fonts.
Before you begin designing your podcast cover art, or hiring someone to do it for you, be clear on two things:
- Your audience — Who are they, and what do they like? What do they respond to? The better you know these answers, the better you’ll be able to choose images that sync up with your audience.
- Your purpose — What are you truly about? What is your podcast meant to do? Again, having clear answers to these questions will help you choose images that make sense for your podcast.