Are you looking to revamp your podcast art? Are you planning on starting your own podcast? Have you considered how to create eye-catching podcast art to draw your listeners in?
In this podcast episode, I discuss 9 tips on how to create stand out podcast art.
In This Podcast
- Get the dimensions right
- Check out your competition
- Communicate your podcast message
- Remain consistent with logo and brand
- Use these helpful design tools
- Choose high-quality images
- Make artwork eye-catching
- Use words sparingly
- Don’t use more than two fonts
1. Get the dimensions right
Popular podcast platforms such as Apple iTunes and Spotify have strict rules around the dimensions they allow. Make sure to spend some time finding out about the basic requirements that your podcast art needs to make sure it gets accepted across all podcast platforms.
For example, Apple requires:
- A minimum of 1400 x 1400 pixels to a maximum of 3000 x 3000 pixels. It comes recommended to go for the in-between and try out 2000 x 2000 pixels.
- Submit it as JPEG or PNG with RGB color space.
- Take a moment to see how it looks on a smaller scale. Many people listen to podcasts with their cellphones where the pixel rate is 55 x 55. Test out your resolution to make sure that the image is still crisp.
2. Check out your competition’s podcast art
Good cover art can make the difference between being featured on Apple Podcasts and gaining tons of new listeners, to appearing unprofessional and setting your podcast to fall flat on its face.
Spend an afternoon scrolling through podcasts that have a similar topic to yours to see how your competitors market themselves. This will help you get inspired and find ways in which you can design your artwork to stand apart from the crowd. See which artworks your eye is drawn to and try to note why.
If you choose to opt for a designer to help you create your artwork, it will help greatly assist them if you pick at least three artworks that you like with reasons why you like them to your designer so that they get an idea as to what you are after.
Notice things like font, color options, and layout.
3. Communicate your podcast message
- Make it clear what your podcast is about to your audience through the artwork. It is the first touch-point with listeners and has the job of evoking a response to participate in them.
- Think about your topic and your target audience – how best can you connect with them?
4. Remain consistent with logo and brand
Do not underestimate brand consistency – if you use it well, your listeners will learn to recognize your brand anywhere they see it.
Your logo is not synonymous with the artwork:
- Logo: correlates with your Instagram and Facebook page, your website, and general online entity.
- Artwork: if your podcast is a component of something else, such as a website or online course.
5. Use these helpful design tools
There are multitudes of free online resources with pre-made templates you can use if you are feeling creative and want to try designing yourself:
You can also get in touch with a professional designer should you seek more experienced advice and guidance.
6. Choose high-quality images
Try to stay away from obvious images such as microphones or headsets. Use images that will help you to stand out from the crowd and catch people’s attention. You can find high-quality free images at:
Having unique pictures will encourage people to click on your podcast so that they can find out more.
7. Make artwork eye-catching
People decide in a matter of seconds which podcast they wanna listen to and a large part of this decision will be made on whether the podcast artwork attracts them or not.
Try bold contrast, bright colors. Illustration and more cartoon-like styles will help to make your art stand out.
8. Use words sparingly
Save words for your podcast description. Your logo and artwork can have your title and your name, but keep it less wordy. This will also help your artwork to remain clear when it is scaled down to a 55 x 55-pixel format on cellphones.
9. Don’t use more than two fonts
Stick to a modern, clear font without bells and whistles that will remain clear in a 55 x 55-pixel image. This will help to eliminate blurriness and will maintain a professional air to your artwork. Sanserif is the best font you can use.
Useful Links for design:
- The Meaning of Color in Branding | MP 34
- The Importance of Typography | MP 26
- Free webinar on starting a podcast
- Email Sam at email@example.com
- Design Services With Sam
- Apply to work with us
Meet Sam Carvalho
Sam Carvalho is a graphic designer living in Cape Town, South Africa, with over five years of experience in both design and marketing, with a special interest and experience in the start-up environment.
She has been working with Practice of the Practice since 2016 and has helped over 70 therapist entrepreneurs take their practices to the next level by enhancing their visual branding. She loves working with a variety of clients on design-intensive tasks and is always up for a challenge!
Thanks For Listening!
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Marketing a Practice podcast is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you market and grow your business and yourself. To hear other podcasts like Beta Male Revolution, Empowered and Unapologetic, Imperfect Thriving, or Faith in Practice, go to www.practiceofthepractice.com/network.
Welcome to the Marketing a Practice podcast with me, Sam Carvalho, where you will discover everything you need to know about marketing and branding your business. To find out more about how I can help you brand your business, visit www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign.
Hi there. Thanks so much for joining me today on the Marketing a Practice podcast. Today, I’m going to be speaking around podcast art. So, I understand that this is quite a niche topic and obviously only relevant to you if you are planning on starting a podcast or if you already have a podcast, but there has been an uptake recently in just my work on creating podcast artworks, and so I thought I would provide some information around it for those who are interested.
Before I get there… I work for Joe Sanok over at Practice of the Practice, and we actually have a Podcast Launch School, which is basically an e-course designed to help you start a podcast. And so, those of you who are interested in checking that out, you can head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/startpodcast, and you’ll be taken to a lead page where you can simply fill in your details and you’ll then be taken to a recording of a webinar all about how to start a profitable podcast. And in that webinar, Joe also mentions Podcast Launch School and provides more information around it. And by going to that page, you will then have access to discounted rates for Podcast Launch School. So, it usually goes for $997, but when you head on over to that page, you’ll get access to a great discount. So, if you’re interested in starting a podcast or just want to learn more about it, head on over to practiceofthepractice.com/startpodcast.
So, moving on to the topic of today which is podcast artwork. So, good cover art can make the difference between being featured in Apple podcasts and gaining tons of new listeners, to appearing unprofessional, setting your podcast up to fall flat on its face. So, I usually compare podcast artwork, for those who aren’t sure what it’s about, to book cover. So, essentially, your podcast artwork is your book cover for your podcast. So, just a few tips around how to ensure that you are creating great podcast artwork for your podcast.
Number one is to get the dimensions right. So, this is actually something that I, myself, have had to learn through trial and error, is that Apple and most of the other platforms have quite strict rules around their dimensions and around the format that they accept for podcast art. So, you need to make sure that your artwork follows some basic requirements in order to ensure it gets accepted across all podcast directories. So, Apple, which is by far the biggest podcasting platform, so therefore the one that we focus on the most, they have the following podcast album artwork specifications. So, these are that your podcast artwork needs to be a minimum of 1400 by 1400 pixels, and a maximum of 3000 by 3000 pixels. So, I usually go in between and when I design podcast artwork, I make it 2000 by 2000 pixels. It must either be JPG or PNG, and it must be within the RGB color space. So, make sure that all of that is set up from the get-go before you even start creating your podcast artwork. And also check how the design looks in smaller formats. So, for those of you who have engaged with podcasts, you’ll know that, often, you’re engaging with Apple Podcasts on your cell phone, and so you’re scrolling through all the podcasts and their artwork appear as little squares on your screen, which the size is actually 55 by 55 pixels. So, that means that your initial artwork of 2000 by 2000 pixels is going to be scaled down to 55 by 55 pixels, and it still needs to look great. So, test this out by yourself, first, and make sure that the resolution stays crisp and that you can still read the text, because most people are going to be engaging with Apple iTunes and Apple Podcasts on their cell phones. And so, you need to make sure that your cover art still appears really well and in high quality in that small medium. So, that’s number one.
Number two is to check out the competition. And this is something that I usually advise people do if they come to me asking me to create a podcast artwork is, to simply go on to Apple podcasts and to just browse podcasts that are similar to theirs. So, literally just type in the topic that you plan on speaking about in your podcast and see what cover art there is already. This is a great way to kind of get ideas, obviously, again, not copying anybody, but just getting ideas and seeing which podcast artworks your eye is drawn to and why. So, do they have anything in common? Is there something in particular that you like about those podcast artworks? So, I usually recommend that people send me at least three podcast artworks that they like, and why. And then I can usually get an idea of what they’re drawn to, whether it’s a certain color, or a certain way that the podcast artwork is laid out, or specific fonts that they like. Things like that. So, that’s a great way to get inspiration and to see what other people are doing. Also, to then see how you can stand out from those people and be different.
So, number three tip for your podcast artwork is to communicate your podcast message. And this may sound obvious, but you can get caught up when creating your podcast artwork and forget to make it clear what it is your podcast is about. So, bearing in mind that your podcast artwork is the first touchpoint your listeners will have with your podcast – as I mentioned earlier, similar to a book cover – so that’s why it’s vital that you immediately communicate what your podcast is about. Your artwork has to visually evoke the content of your podcast to your listeners. So, really think long and hard about what your topic is and how you can best visually communicate that through your podcast artwork. And also, who is your intended audience? And what will they be attracted to? So, really take those factors into account when thinking up the design for your podcast artwork.
Number four is to keep it consistent with your podcast logo and brand. Again, never underestimate the importance of brand consistency. You want your customers to instantly recognize your brand wherever it is being represented. So, taking Practice of the Practice, for example, obviously Joe started the website as a consulting platform for people in private practice, and then branched out into a podcast, and he made use of the same Practice of the Practice logo. So, he never went and designed a new logo for his podcast, he made use of the same logo on his podcast cover art with him, and just added, you know, Podcast with Joe Sanok. So, that’s a good example of maintaining consistency throughout your brand, and people often get confused when contacting me about the difference between a podcast logo and the podcast artwork. So, they kind of think often it’s one and the same and it’s not. And I usually recommend having a logo for your podcast if you’re going to go for the whole shebang and have a website and have an Instagram page and have a Facebook page all for your podcast, then I would recommend that you have a podcast logo and then naturally that podcast logo will be included in your cover art. If, however, your podcast is simply an extension of your current business, so, you know, if you already have a counseling website and you now just want to start a podcast and you’re going to maybe include those show notes on your current website, then you don’t need a new logo, then you just need your podcast artwork, and you can make use of your current logo on your podcast artwork. So, there is a difference between your logo and your podcast art. But definitely maintain brand consistency throughout.
So, number five is to use design tools or outsource your cover art. So, some free design tools that you can make use of if you choose to design your cover art yourself – and these are all available online, they’re all free, and they all include pre-made templates that you can kind of fiddle around with and make your own – so, that is Canva, Snappa, Stencil, and Desygner. So, all of those links will be included in the show notes, if you want to check out those platforms to see how you can go about doing it yourself. Or you can always outsource your cover art. So, I am available if you need help with designing your podcast cover art, and the process that I generally make use of is, once you’ve gotten hold of me, I’ll send you some questions around what it is you’re looking for, and that’s why it makes sense to go back to point number two and check out some other podcast artwork before to see what you like and what you don’t like. But I’ll usually ask you whether or not you want your headshot included, or if you want to see both options – so options with your headshot, options without – if you would like your headshot included, I obviously need some high quality versions of those headshots. I will then, as I mentioned previously, I’ll ask for three examples of podcast artworks that you like, and any other relevant information when it comes to design look and feel, color schemes, and/or font preferences. If you already have a logo, I’ll obviously keep that in mind and base the design around that. Or if you don’t have a logo and you’re looking for a logo for your podcast, then I’ll design that first and then move on to the podcast art. And I usually provide around three options for your podcast artwork, and then we can take it from there. So, definitely, if you’re looking for high quality podcast artwork, don’t be afraid to outsource it. If you do have a creative gene, then try make use of some of those free platforms to design it yourself.
Number six; use high quality images and ones that aren’t already overused. So, avoid overused and obvious images such as microphones or headsets. People that are on Apple Podcasts already know that they’re looking at a podcast, they don’t need you to reiterate that for them, and also, just when looking at, you know, podcasts that are similar to yours, making sure that you’re not using any of the imagery that might be quite popular out there, that a lot of other podcast artworks are using. Some free image websites that you can head on over to, that you can get some really great images from, is pexels.com and unsplash.com. I’ve mentioned these before on my podcast. So, as nice as these are and as much as they do offer some authentic imagery that isn’t your natural or isn’t your common stock imagery, I have still seen images used from these platforms used a lot in design. So, when searching for images, try more specific searches or searches that aren’t as obvious, and then also scroll down. Don’t just use the first image that pops up on your screen, scroll down and try and find alternative images that not a lot of other people have used.
Number seven is to make your podcast artwork eye-catching. So again, those of you who have engaged with Apple Podcasts, you’ll know that you’re kind of scrolling through hundreds and hundreds of podcast options and they all just appear in these little squares. And obviously, if you come across one that catches your eye, that’s going to make you want to possibly engage with that artwork more. So, people decide in a matter of seconds which podcast they want to listen to, and a large part of this decision will be based on whether the podcast artwork attracts them or not. So, consider creating artwork with bold contrast and try use images that will immediately catch people’s eye. So, you’ll see with a lot of people’s artwork, they don’t actually make use of images, they rather use illustrations or, like, a cartoon vibe. That’s definitely an option and a way to go if you want to stand out, because that’s when you can use really bright contrast and colors.
Number eight is to use your words carefully. So, don’t use too many words, save this for the description section of your podcast. For your podcast artwork, you literally just want to include your title, and your name, and your title should be in your logo. So then, your logo and your name. You don’t even need to include ‘podcast’, you can rather save this for other marketing materials. So, if, on your website, you can have your logo that then includes the word ‘podcast’, but you don’t even need this for your podcast artwork. Because remember, the podcast artwork is going to be scaled down to 55 by 55 pixels, which is really tiny, and if you have too much wording jammed in there, it’s all going to disappear in a blur and people are not going to be able to read it. So, legibility is very important.
So, reiterating on legibility, point number nine is, don’t use more than two fonts. And this is kind of a standard design recommendation, but specifically when it comes to podcast artwork because your text must be legible, even in the tiniest of dimensions. So, for example, the details of serif fonts, which are those fonts that have little legs at the ends of all of the letters, those details will get lost or blurred at small sizes. Script fonts can also be tricky, unless they’re big on the artwork, so your best bet is your sans serif, which is your basic, kind of, modern font that’s literally just the letters with no bells and whistles. They’re usually the best way to go because they will remain clear even when the image is very small. If you need more clarification around fonts, and the different types of fonts that you get and what fonts make sense where, be sure to check out my episode on typography. I delve into all of that in that episode.
So, those are the nine tips on how to create a great podcast artwork. Again, feel free to reach out to me if you need help with yours. Otherwise, I hope it goes well and I hope that you have great success in launching your podcast. I’ll see you in the next episode.
Thanks for listening to the Marketing a Practice podcast. If you need help with branding your business, whether it be a new logo, rebrand, or you simply want to have a print flyer designed, head on over to www.practiceofthepractice.com/branding. And if you’d like to see some examples of my design work, be sure to follow me on Instagram @samanthacarvalhodesign. Finally, please subscribe, rate, and review this podcast on iTunes if you like what you’ve heard. Talk to you soon.
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