Showing a podcast cover on an iphone

How To Create Great Podcast Cover Art

Never judge a book by it’s cover. Ha! More often than not, that is exactly how a book is judged, at first, and then of course by reading the back or inside of that cover. Your podcast cover art is not very different. Your podcast cover art is the first thing your listeners will see in regards to your podcast, and then the description. So, to think your podcast won’t be judged by its cover would be a mistake that could send this third pillar into a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 

Word of Mouth

Although word of mouth is an awesome, and free, resource to promote your podcast, or any other project you might have available to the public masses, it is not your sole source to being discovered. How often have you found a terrific movie, an absorbing book, or a soundtrack that becomes your life theme for the next year simply because you were browsing and the thumbnail, jacket cover, or artwork caught your attention? My hand is up. New podcast listeners can be the same way when it comes to searching for fresh, interesting content. Having eye-catching cover art on the podcast directories will be one way to help you gain new listeners who may not have heard about your amazing content yet.

What You Will Need?

Like your intro and outro music, you’ll want to keep your cover art consistent across all platforms. To cover all your bases, and give yourself the best chances to be placed in all the directories, big and small, you’ll want your cover art to be square, no smaller than 1400 x 1400 pixels and no larger than 3000 x 3000 pixels. This will give it the most adaptability to be consistently used. When it comes to the artwork itself, like music, you want to be sure to use your own designs, or artwork or photos gathered from free use sites like Pixaby, Unsplash, or Freepik.

These sites offer users free use images as well as images for purchased use. You can also create your own artwork or photographs, if you are so inclined. When choosing an image, keep in mind your podcast’s niche. If your podcast is based around baking, you don’t want to confuse your potential new users with cover art that displays pigeons, unless of course, they are eating baked goods. Perhaps you’d like to feature photographs of yourself, this can also be cover art if you so choose. You’ll also want to consider fonts. A helpful hint when it comes to placing your podcast’s title, brand, or tag is to keep the font simple.

It’s easy to gravitate to fancy swirls, and designs, but if the person looking at your cover art can’t read your font, you have already lost the reason for the wording you placed there. Try to keep your choice of font clear. That being said, you also want to keep your cover art in its entirety clear and professional looking. If a new listener sees artwork that appears to be unimportant to you because it’s messy or scattered, they will infer subconsciously that all your work is messy and scattered, including your episodes. Don’t lose a potential new ear to a lackluster podcast cover art.

How Do You Get What You Want?

You have a clear idea of what you’d like for your podcast cover art, but you can’t find all the elements in one image. Don’t worry, there’s help. Yes, you can ask your artistic friends to create cover art for you, but you can also create it yourself. There is software available for those of you with experience and those of you without. If you have access to Adobe Photoshop, this software is great for manipulating images, creating your own, and adding layers of text and artwork to existing images. There are a lot of available tutorials online if you have Adobe Photoshop, but have yet to use it.

Another available program to assist in creating cover art is Canva. Canva is better geared for those that are less experienced with editing images, or creating images from scratch. Even those who have limited artistic abilities can utilize Canva for creating usable podcast cover art. The site offers a free version, as well as a subscription version for a reasonable monthly fee. With hundreds of free use images, templates and fonts, plus the ability to upload your own photographs, Canva can be the perfect tool to create the cover art you envision for your podcast.

You’ve Come So Far

Guess what? You have made it through the production pillar of The Four Pillars of Podcasting. Congratulations. If you are still wary, take some time to go back and review these last three pillars in blog post form, as well as read through The Four Pillars of Podcasting available on Amazon. Launching your podcast is on it’s way and included with our last pillar to build for your precious podcast to put it out into the big wide world of listeners who are waiting patiently to become fans of all your efforts.

In the creation of this last and final pillar, we will touch on topics such as; being a podcast host, show notes and marketing your podcast. In the end you will have developed four very strong pillars that will support you in your goal to be among the podcast people in production. Good on you. Feel free to contact The Podcast Haven for one-on-one conversations about editing, available packages, monthly services, and more.