Podcast, Getting Started, Guide

Designing Podcast Cover Art

Designing podcast cover art is one of the first steps to getting your podcast up and running. Having high quality, appealing artwork is incredibly important because your podcast cover is largely what people base their first impression on. So, it pays off to put some time and effort into your podcast cover. You may not know where to start with creating your own cover though, so we've outlined the steps you need to take to make your own podcast cover art.

1. Brainstorm

  • Think about how you can turn your podcast concept into an appealing podcast cover. Consider the following:
    • What is your podcast about?
    • What's the purpose of your podcast?
    • Who is your podcast for?
    • Is there one image that sums up your podcast nicely?
    • Do you have a tagline?
    • Do you have a logo?
    • Are there words or graphics that are recognized with your topic?

2. Research Competition

  • Look at the category or categories that you want your podcast to be included in and check out the cover art for other podcasts. Note anything that you feel is important, including what you find appealing, what you think could be improved, any trends, and similarities in the cover art in the category. This step can help you hone in on any ideas you may have, it can prompt new ideas, and it can help you differentiate your podcast from other podcast covers. You absolutely want to avoid making a podcast cover that is similar to podcasts within your topic(s) and overall category.

3. Note Your Branding

  • You should either note your branding if you've already created some brand guidelines, or you should create some brand guidelines for all of your branding to follow. It is important that everything that people see regarding your podcast is consistent because consistency helps with differentiation as well brand awareness. Your brand needs to be distinct to stand out among competition and in people's minds. For information about branding, check out our article here. Note these aspects of your branding:
    • Colors
    • Images
    • Fonts
    • Logo
    • Patterns, Borders, & Illustrative Elements
    • Formatting

4. Mock Up an Image

  • Once you note your branding, you can begin to take what you have compiled thus far from brainstorming and researching your competition to figure out how you can communicate the topic of your podcast in an image, while keeping your branding in mind. Note what you want to include in your cover art, including images, words, icons, graphics, and your overall concept for the look of it. Then, either by hand or on the computer, make a basic layout of what you want your podcast cover to look like. You just want to create a mock up so that you can lay out your idea to see if it is feasible and has the potential to be appealing. You can also reference it when you are actually designing the artwork. Don't worry about your mock up being appealing or complete, it's just a tool to help you create the best artwork possible.

5. Get Designing!

  • Finally, it's time to start designing your artwork. Now that you've moved through all of the steps, you should have a clear idea about what you want your podcast cover to generally look like. In this step, you are really honing in on the basic outline you have and adding things to it to complete the look. Our suggested design process is:
    • Start with a background (solid color, gradient, etc.)
    • Select a font for your podcast name, tagline, or whatever words you are including
    • Select the visual(s) (clipart, icon, graphic, logo, host's photograph, etc.)
    • Add details to enhance the look of other elements and your overall podcast cover artwork

Creating podcast artwork might seem like a difficult task, especially if you aren't much of an artist or very experienced with graphic design. However, if you take the time to brainstorm, research competition, and note your branding, you should get some creativity flowing that will lead you to what you want your podcast cover to look like. Then, you can take it step by step with the design process. So, set aside some time and devote it your podcast cover. An appealing podcast cover will only help you out in gaining listeners. Happy podcasting!

Note: We suggest using any design software you are comfortable with, but if you don't have any experience with graphic design, Canva is a great free graphic design software. It's pretty simple to use and you should be able to create whatever you have in mind. For podcast cover art best practices as well as other resources that you can use to create your own artwork, check out our How to Create the Perfect Podcast Cover article.

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Article Image: picjumbo_com via Pixabay.

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania