We’re in the age of visual information, where visual content plays a vital role in our everyday life. Instead, a considerable number of people still subscribe to podcasts of their interest. They want to gain an auditory experience of someone whispering in their ears. So, the listening part of it makes the podcast all important.
Knowing the importance of listening to information, many podcasting platforms, such as SoundCloud, Podbean, BuzzSprout, and MixCloud have emerged to let podcasters share their audios.
But to be successful in the world of podcasts, your podcast cover art matters a lot. The cover is the first thing a potential subscriber of your podcast episodes will first see. Upon seeing the cover art, your target audience will visually know what your podcast is all about. It will also make a great first impression on the listeners.
What is a podcast cover?
Your podcast cover is your visual identification of what you do as a podcaster. It is one visual that listeners can see to find out the issues you discuss in the episodes. So, podcast cover art helps listeners decide whether they should subscribe to your audio or not.
But do not mistake a podcast cover art for a podcast logo. A podcast cover art is mainly for displaying on podcast directories, while a podcast logo is your brand identity and generally finds a place on different marketing materials. For instance, your promotional products, business cards, website, etc., will display the logo and not the cover art.
Why is podcast cover art important?
- A Requirement For Directories – You need to have your podcast’s cover art since several podcast directories have made that mandatory. The directories will not accept your audio files if it does not come with the cover art.
- Compete With Other Podcasters – With an attractive podcast cover, you can grab the attention of potential subscribers to your audios.
- Send Out The Right Message – If your podcast cover art is aesthetically drawn, it conveys your message and engages people instantly. They will take your audio seriously.
- Spark Listeners’ Interest – Your excellent cover art can ignite people’s curiosity about your podcast episodes, and they are most likely to your subscribers of the audio show.
How to design a podcast cover?
01. Know Who Your Target Audiences Are
Before creating your podcast cover art and podcast logo design, you must be sure about your target audience, the set of people who will listen to your podcast episode. Then, you will create your podcast cover for them so that they know what your podcast is all about.
Keep in mind what your podcast is all about and who all are its listeners. You should come up with a caricature of an ideal listener of your podcast episode. Is that listener a young person or a middle-aged one? What are listeners’ different educational, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds?
Be specific about your podcast business, industry, and audience. Do not think in broader terms; find out your particular niche instead. For instance, if your podcast episodes deal with movies, pinpoint which genre of movies you talk about more. Is it a specific series of films? Would you be addressing beginner listeners or advanced listeners?
Consider your podcast’s tone. For instance, as your podcast reports the facts only, do you talk in a straightforward tone? Overall, find out the audience who would be interested in listening to your podcast topics.
02. Consider The Limitations and Requirements
One of the challenges a podcast cover designer faces is tackling restrictions imposed by different podcast directories. But these limitations also force you to come up with something unique and attractive as a creative cover logo.
The first restriction imposed by your podcast directory is about the format requirements. Podcast directories such as iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher Radio, and SoundCloud set up their own restrictions for formatting cover art.
For example, iTunes’ rules for cover art are that the minimum design size of the art should be 1400 x 1400 pixels, and the maximum size is 3000 x 3000 pixels and 72 dpi. This is because the minimum size of cover art is in JPEG or PNG format and the RGB color space.
But these size requirements change with time and with the change in screen sizes. Therefore, create your artwork in sizes close to 3000 x 3000 so that you do not have to resize the cover in the future radically.
Another constraint is the square shape of the cover since most HD phone screens are flexible as they rotate horizontally and vertically. Then, there are widescreen televisions as well. So, creating cover art in a square frame is a challenge.
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03. Decide On A Photo or Illustration
Before creating your photo cover, decide if you want the cover as a photo or illustration. An advantage of the photo is that people take it as real, which means it depicts something real related to news, science, etc.
A photo is mostly the choice for the cover as podcasters want their listeners to feel realistic about what they are listening to. The facial expression in an image can reflect the viewers’ feelings. But choose an illustration or graphic art when you want to take viewers to some fantasy land. Your podcast logo can also either be a photo or an illustration.
04. Give Your Podcast Cover A Style
An attractive style of the cover will help drive the attention of your target listeners to your podcast. But what is the style? Note that shape, line, framing, color, type, and textures are the basic design elements. These are also the element that defines your cover style.
When using these elements to form your style, know that the lines and shoes should direct the viewer’s eye to the primary design element that they should pay attention to for a message. But the texture and framing elements will depend a lot on the size of the podcast cover artwork.
Avoid shading and texturing of the cover image, as that will make it look messy. So, choose a style that best represents your podcast. For instance, a retro look of the cover art will be good if your podcast is about vintage cars and not high-tech modern cars.
05. Choose Fonts Carefully
Make sure that your podcast cover speaks about its personality through the right typography. Your podcast cover and podcast logo will include the title of your podcast. If yours is a new podcast, it will probably have a full brand name. But if it is an established podcast, you might use its initials.
Know that different categories of fonts have their own characteristics. For instance, choose a serif font if your podcast subject is something classic. On the other hand, you can script font if it is related to humanistic issues.
06. Adopt These Best Typography Practices
- Do not use more than two types of fonts. Multiple fonts will leave viewers’ direction and make the design.
- Use contrasting fonts. So, for instance, use a combination of serif and sans serif fonts.
- Think of font visibility – Also, when using the text and image together, make sure that the font is visible clearly.
- Use legible typeface – Use the legible typeface if the cover is reduced to smaller sizes.
07. Pick Unique Podcasting Imagery
Many podcasters make this grim mistake of using regular images such as microphones and pop filters. These images make the cover look obvious and hence boring. Viewers do not get any message from such clichéd images.
Instead, use unique images related to your podcasting niche so that people can know what your podcasting is all about. But note that high-resolution photos take time to load, which you would like to avoid. So, compress the podcast artwork to load faster on mobile devices.
08. Use Your Brand Colors
As a podcaster, you need to take your podcasting voice to the target audience. You will promote it on different platforms. You will have a set of colors that will identify your podcasting business. Make sure that your cover art and podcast logo includes those colors.
Pick them carefully if you have not decided on the brand colors yet. Select only those few colors that help your brand stand out. Most importantly, avoid using more than two to three colors so that viewers get your message instantly. Fewer colors and fonts also help create a unique and straightforward design.
So, these are the few helpful tips you should consider creating your podcast covers as well as your logo.
You can design your logo on your own using the Podcast Logo Maker by Designhill. It is a DIY tool that lets you pick colors, fonts, and other elements from its vast library. You can then drop the elements in a pre-set podcast logo design template and get the design created automatically. Also, you can customize the logo or cover art as many times as you want.
A podcast cover art helps compete well in a vast world of podcasters. But the cover should aim at the target listener by incorporating the correct elements in a simple but unique way. In addition, the audience should know what the podcast is about by glancing at the cover art. So, pick the fonts, colors, and style of cover art carefully.
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