Podcast, Getting Started, Guide, Artwork

How to Create the Perfect Podcast Cover

Your podcast cover is one of the first things that listeners will see regarding your podcast, so it is an extremely important aspect since it will be what people are forming their first impressions on. That being said, your artwork needs to communicate your brand and it needs to be eye catching to truly be an effective cover. It can be quite a challenge and even a balancing act to make eye-catching, yet informative artwork though. So, we've created a guide to creating the perfect podcast cover to help you out with getting that artwork just right!


Best Practices:

  • Follow iTunes Requirements
    • The requirements are a minimum size of 1400 x 1400 pixels and a maximum size of 3000 x 3000 pixels, 72 dpi, in JPEG or PNG format with appropriate file extensions (.jpg, .png), and in the RGB colorspace. Also, you should compress your image files to optimize them for mobile devices.

  • Ensure Scalability
    • Ensure that your artwork can be scaled down and still look great. Your artwork needs to still be legible and clear even at sizes like 125 x 125 or smaller.

  • Use No More Than 2 Fonts
    • Using more than 2 fonts will make your artwork look inconsistent and too busy, which will make your branding much less powerful. Pick 1 or 2 fonts that are legible at all different sizes, but that also resonate with you for your podcast. These 1 or 2 fonts should be what you use throughout all of your branding. It may take some trial and error to find fonts that you really love for your branding that are also legible at all sizes. Also, be sure that the fonts that you select aren't too loud or distracting as that will take away from the message.

  • Make a Visual Impact
    • This includes using vibrant and contrasting colors, utilizing white space, and including large text to catch the eye. Remember that this will largely be the first impression of your podcast and it is a very small image, so you need to make the best use of the small space that you have.

  • Include Minimal Words
    • You don't want to cloud your artwork with too many words, especially since the cover will be relatively small. Generally speaking, try to include less than 5 words so that you can ensure that your audience can read the words even at the smallest of sizes. Think of the key words or phrase that you want to include on the cover that help convey what your podcast is about and that stir up interest.

  • Use High Quality Images
    • If you are making your cover art on your own, ensure that you use images that you are legally allowed to use and that are high quality. Even at the smallest sizes, it will be clear if the images that you are using are pixelated, which will totally ruin your artwork. Use free stock photo websites, such as Pexels, Unsplash, or Pixabay.

  • Avoid Overused Images
    • Try not to use images that are widely used, such as images of microphones, headphones, etc. These do not communicate what your podcast is about, they just tell the listener something that they already know, which is that the artwork is for a podcast. Also, using these kinds of images does not help your podcast artwork stand out in a directory.

  • Target Your Audience
    • You want your artwork to also speak to your audience. When you begin the process of starting your podcast, you should identify your audience. Think about your audience demographics, what they are interested in, and what visuals and text might appeal to them. If you created brand guidelines already, then your guidelines should factor in you audience, so you can then create your podcast cover by following your brand guidelines.

  • Communicate Your Brand
    • Your cover art needs to not only fit in with your branding, but to communicate your brand. So, utilize colors, images, and fonts that are a part of your branding already or establish them as part of your brand. Aside from this, your cover needs to clearly tell the audience what your podcast's focus is through the artwork. Think about how you can convey what your podcast is about through a few words and images that make up your cover. Some words to think about using are your title, topic, or even a catch phrase and some images to consider using are images of yourself, topic-related images, and simple graphics or images to highlight text.

Sources to Make Your Own Podcast Cover:

  • Design Wizard
    • This is a free simple online graphic design tool where you can design your own cover art, but there are also some low-cost paid plans that give you access to more features. Keep in mind that all of their tools features are available in their free subscription and they've got tons of free and low-cost templates and images in their database that you can use.
  • Canva
    • This is a free site where you can design your own cover art, but there are also paid plans that give you access to more features.
  • Snappa
    • This is a free site where you can design your own cover art, but there are also paid plans that give you access to more features.
  • Photoshop
    • This is a paid application that gives you tons of design control if you are interested in making your own artwork, have a specific vision for it, and are either familiar with Photoshop or are willing to learn the program.
  • Professional Designer

Overall, creating the perfect podcast cover means summing your podcast up in one small image. It can be difficult to communicate everything that your podcast is in such a small image, but think of your overall topic and your goal for you podcast and communicate that. And, if you aren't totally seeing the vision for your cover, consider hiring a designer. Remember, good artwork is something that you'll only have to pay for once, so think of it as an investment. Above all else, ensure that you are absolutely satisfied with whatever artwork you end up using because it is ultimately representing you, so you should love it. Happy podcasting!


If you are looking for more information about starting your podcast, check out our How to Create Your First Podcast article and our Branding Your Podcast article.


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Article Image: NeONBRAND via Unsplash.

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania