How to build a profitable podcast.
The first thing that your potential listeners will see about your podcast is your podcast cover art.
When they browse their chosen podcast app such as Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and several others, the way your artwork looks will play a major role in their decision to check out your podcast and potentially listen to an episode.
Your podcast artwork should be a big part of your plan before you start your podcasting journey. You might need to get your hands on some apps that you can utilize in designing your podcast artwork.
But firstly, what is a podcast cover art?
A podcast cover art is an artwork that a podcaster uploads to a podcast directory as the visual representation of the podcast. It is the artwork that will make listeners find the show before deciding whether to listen.
However, there is a difference between the podcast cover art and the podcast logo. Often, a lot of people mix up these two, but they have different functions.
A podcast logo is an element in your podcast brand, and it is not only used for podcast directories. Although it also represents your podcast visually, its usefulness transcends to other materials associated with your podcast. For example, if you plan on making merch for your podcast, you will need the logo.
The podcast logo is not necessary for the cover art to come to life, but both can complement each other.
A podcast thumbnail is the reduced-size version of the podcast cover art. When you upload your podcast on directories, the image appears on a smaller scale compared to the original design. It is essential to check how your podcast cover art will look as a thumbnail. Some podcast covers are not legible as a thumbnail, and they do not achieve the purpose of promoting the show to new listeners.
If you design an excellent podcast artwork, it could help boost your listenership by a considerable percentage. When a potential listener sees the effort and good level of detailing in a podcast cover art, it can significantly increase their interest level.
Most podcast directories rank podcasts with good artwork highly, increasing your podcast's likelihood of being on the front page.
Before we talk about getting the best podcast artwork, let's discuss the technicalities of creating a podcast artwork for major podcast directories. If you want to get the right amount of visibility for your podcast, you need to ensure that your cover art is the right size. If your cover art doesn't meet the size criteria, these podcast directories might not display your show or rank it appropriately.
Apple has specified that the following measures must be met for your podcast to be accepted:
Spotify and Google Podcasts require similar specifications for the podcast cover art
The first step to designing your podcast logo and the cover art is by following the required criteria listed above. Now, there are simple guidelines that can help you have a great design. Although these tips are not strict guidelines, they go a long way in helping you make suitable artwork for your podcast.
Always leave enough space between the image edges and the words on the design. If you pack too many words in your design, listeners might find it difficult to understand the meaning of your cover art. Always let the cover art breathe by leaving enough untouched spaces.
Some of the directories and podcast players will reduce your cover art to as low as 30 pixels by 30 pixels. Therefore it is important to preview your cover art in this size to get a feel of how people will see it.
It is always tempting to combine different fonts on your cover art, but we advise that you should resist this temptation. When your cover art has more than two fonts, it becomes distracting and choked. One font should be for the podcast's title and another for the subheading if there is one.
While you want to express yourself through your artwork, it is advisable to make your cover art a simple one that is easy to understand. Your fonts must be easy to read, as people might scroll past your cover art if it is difficult to read. Simplicity is class, and it makes everyone get the message within a short span.
Every podcast has a story behind it, and your cover art is a way to express it. Your podcast's theme should resonate with your cover art. This might require the skills of a professional designer, but if it will be money well spent if it speaks to your listeners.
Always remember that your cover art might shrink in size when it gets to specific platforms. Therefore, packing too many words into the artwork might make it unreadable. Keep it at your show name, then subheadings if you have – while keeping it as short and catchy as possible.
Headsets and microphones, among other podcast equipment, are images that people associate with podcast artworks, but they have become cliché. If you can find unique images, use them and avoid these common images. This way, your cover art can stand out from the rest.
Consistency is great for branding, and it is important to use the same style across different parts of your branding. This way, your listeners and fans can always recognize you anywhere they come across your artwork.
If your brand is beyond podcasting, then you should include the logo in your podcast artwork. This way, you are cross-promoting your entire brand whenever you use the artwork.
As earlier stated, your podcast cover art will likely be small on several platforms. You do not want your artwork to be blurry, grainy, or looking poor in any way, as this could drive away potential listeners. Listeners will assume you have not put enough effort into your podcast as the cover art shows.
Your podcast can stand out from other podcasts through color combinations. Vibrant and attention-grabbing bold colors are great for podcast cover arts. Contrasting colors make the images pop out and quickly get people to look twice and check it out.
Overcrowding your cover art with several elements will take away professionalism. White space is a crucial element in a design, as it makes the design look professional and easy to comprehend.
Make sure you create a podcast artwork that can be easily adjusted for different mediums without losing legibility or essential details. You might have to promote your podcast on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media platforms, and they have different fitting dimensions.
18+ rated images and vulgar languages will likely violate the terms of major podcast directories, and they will reject any show with such design. These platforms will likely reject hate, violence, sex, drugs, and gore themes. Misogynistic, homophobic, and racial languages and images are also unacceptable on most platforms. It is better to use simple and straightforward language/image to help promote your podcast.
Avoid using images and words that belong to others by right, except given permission by the owner. Asides from that, podcast directories will likely reject your show; it can also get you in legal warfare, which is terrible for you and your brand.
You can promote the face behind the show through the cover art. It could be a smart move if you are popular with your audience. However, be sure to be consistent with this form of branding across all the platforms you use in promoting your brand.
It is advised that you preview your cover art across several podcasting apps. This way, you can be sure of how it looks before submitting it to the platforms.
There are two ways to design your podcast covers; it is either you DIY or pays for it. There are different platforms for each route, and they all have what we love about them.
When starting, you are likely to have a limited budget for your podcast. You can cut costs by creating your podcast cover art by following tips and tutorials on using the DIY platforms.
There are several DIY tools that you can use to create your podcast cover art. There is Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop for professional designers. However, if you are just starting, here are some free design platforms that you can use to create your design.
Canva is a DIY design platform, and it is free and easy to use. You can create different types of designs, and there are podcast cover art templates on the platform. The big catch on this platform is the excellent range of templates, fonts, stock images, and illustrations that you can easily access for your use.
Although there is a paid option, the free account can serve you well. After signing up for Canva, go to your dashboard, click on Create a Design, then the Custom Dimensions, and input 3000 for width and height. A page will open, and that is your workspace. You can add pictures and texts to create the cover art that you like.
Adobe Spark is for beginners and inexperienced designers. Adobe has a design suite that includes Illustrator, Photoshop, and Spark. Adobe Spark has a podcast cover art creator that helps non-designers to create awesome artwork.
To create your podcast cover art, all you have to do is choose one of the professional templates and add images, text, and logo as you wish. With Adobe Spark, you only need a few minutes to create a good podcast cover art.
With Tailor Brands, you can create your podcast logo in a few minutes. Tailor Brands uses an AI system that asks you several questions about what you want and the style you would like; it then uses your answers to create a unique artwork for you. You can go ahead to customize and fine-tune it to your taste.
If you have a budget for your podcast artwork, you can get a professional to help you with it. The cost of using a professional range depending on their level. You get your money's worth in design, but that doesn't mean you have to spend a massive chunk of money to get a quality podcast cover art.
There are websites where you can spend a reasonable amount of money on hiring a designer. These platforms will typically allow you to submit a brief, then the designers on the platform will bid to help you with it.
Such platforms include:
You will get good artwork for prices ranging from $299 to $1,399 on 99designs. There are four types of packages on 99designs for any project and budget. You will get access to numerous design concepts and the top-level designers on the platform for the most expensive budget.
Here are the steps you have to follow:
You can get your cover art created on Fiverr from prices within $5 to $995. Fiverr projects begin at $5, which is the reason behind the name of the platform. However, a design job typically costs more than $5, and there are numerous professional designers on the platform that can help you create excellent podcast artwork.
Here are the steps you have to follow:
Now that you have known where and how to create an appealing podcast cover art, it's time to show you some practical examples of excellent podcast artwork.
We have selected 20 great podcast artworks and explain why we think they are great.
This is an artwork for a 'true crime' themed show.
Firstly, we like the simplicity of the design, as the designer avoided cluttering and made sure that it will be legible on smaller devices. The podcast name stands out in the design due to the font and contrasting colors used for it.
The photo also gives it a sense of realness, especially for the theme, true crime. The host's face is on the
artwork will take away any fictional sentiment that the listener might want to attach to the podcast.
Lastly, the integrity of the show is promoted through the award badge placed on the right side. This way, people will want to check out why the show is an award-winning one and this way, the listens and reach increase.
Baffled is a comedy show that appeals to potential listeners through its simple, colorful and
straightforward artwork. The colors are eye-catching, bright, and appealing. It sets the perfect tone for the lightheartedness of the show.
The show's topic is also apparent, with the short tag line in the bottom right giving a clear indication of the reason for the show.
The simplicity of the cover art makes it easy and directs the attention to the critical information. It is an excellent balance between design and communication.
3. I'm Grand Mam
This comedy show has artwork that tells the story behind the show. The visual theme, a retro/vintage one, conveys the message behind the podcast: a comedic, cheeky and discursive podcast.
The icon also carries the message, showing people the content they are about to sign up for and the tone that the show brings.
Lastly, the font has a good style and strikes a good balance with the theme. The stylish font doesn't neglect legibility as it is still easy to read without having to look twice.
4. The Comb
This show is a personal journal of narrative stories. The color combination is excellent, as the orange background and black writing stand out. The colors are eye-catching and will get people's attention while they scroll through the category.
The illustration represents what the podcast is about. It is a clever blend with the comb and the map, as it shows that the podcast is about stories from the African continent.
The font is also very legible and will remain so even after downscaling.
5. The Joe Wicks Podcast
This health and fitness podcast has good artwork. The photo depicts realness and increases trust in the show. Since it's a health and fitness podcast, listeners need to trust the show. The photo of Joe Wicks, a famous personality in the UK, will also spark curiosity in the listeners.
The font used resonates well with Joe Wicks' fun and cheeky persona. The dynamic and bold letters are perfect for the photo. Lastly, the colors are bright and resonate with the spirit-lifting and positivity of exercising. The contrast in colors in the title is also attention-grabbing.
This podcast is the story of a depressed man living in a place he doesn't like and calls "S-Town Alabama." The artwork for the podcast conveys the tragic and curious tone it carries.
Firstly, the colours pop up nicely without being overwhelming. The images also spark curiosity, and the potential listener wants to find out more about the story behind it.
The font used for the podcast title is bold, and you can see it from a distance. The other name shows the two successful shows from the same podcast company. This way, listeners who like those shows will want to listen to this one, and potential listeners can check out those shows.
7. Radio Ambulante
Radio Ambulante is a Spanish podcast. NPR created this show that tells Latin American stories.
The artwork shows simplicity, excellent color combination, and a lot of white space. The white space allows more focus on the detail that matters most, which is the podcast title. The pop of red is tiny and blends well with the background, pulling attention to the distinctive and exciting logo that is easily recognizable.
8. The Joe Rogan experience
This comedy show uses artwork that tells you precisely what you are about to sign up for, and this way, it appeals more to potential listeners. The Joe Rogan Experience uses an image that tells you to prepare for laughter. The visual storytelling on the artwork is engaging, and it stands out among other artworks by using a circular shape rather than square-shaped designs.
The contrasting colors and the capitalization makes it easy to read. The popularity of Joe Rogan also means that emboldening the name is a good call, as more people will be interested.
9. The Mission Daily
This artwork uses the concept of storytelling so well. The Mission Daily is about scientific studies that promote healthy living and make happy and wise decisions.
The cover art doesn't go the direct route with its storytelling, but it's an exciting 9ke that sparks curiosity in the potential listener. The image is an interesting one; the colors are contrasting and helps to focus on the text and the two people holding hands.
10. The Startup Show
In some cases, basic and straightforward is the right way to do things. We see this in the artwork of The Startup Show, a show that interviews experts that built small businesses and great startups.
Since the concept of the show is direct and simple, the artwork also goes in that direction. The title depicts the value of the show, and it shows that it's not going to be one to complicate the process of starting a business. The focus is pulled to the artwork through the contrasting colors.
11. This American Life
As the name suggests, This American Life is an American lifestyle podcast that talks about the daily happenings in American society. The iconic cover art of the podcast is just text, but it promotes simplicity, and it is well organized. The font choice is excellent, and the colors balance it well.
The white spaces make it easy to read as no extra words were added. The focus is entirely on the name of the podcast, and it will early register in the mind of the potential listeners.
Undisclosed is a show that investigates wrongful convictions. The artwork promotes simplicity, legibility, and good use of space.
Firstly, the cover art is two contrasting colors that allow for more focus on the title. The font is easy to read and doesn't do anything too fancy.
The legibility is also top tier, as you can see the details clearly from a distance. Even after shrinking the size, the details of the cover art are still easy to see.
Orlandia is a podcast show that tells the stories of Orlando's influential inhabitants and other movements. The first element that is made evident in the cover art is color usage. Colors help your cover art to stand out from the rest. It goes against the usual and will be easily identified in its category. The color contrast is obvious, and it draws focus to the title of the podcast.
The contrasting colors promote readability and legibility. The name of the artwork will be easy to spot even when downscaled, and the colors stay true to the brand, which is Orlando.
14. 99% Invisible
99% Invisible is a podcast that talks about the invisible things that shape our world.
The cover art is immaculate and simple. The data visualization perfectly depicts the show's concept.
The cover successfully communicated the show's objectives and told the story of the content of the show. The trick used was the simplicity that evokes the theme of the show. This is achieved through the color usage, a black background, and two contrasting colors in white and yellow on the background.
The font is easy to read and legible, and it reflects the brand's tone.
Outside/In is a show about nature and how humans use it.
The artwork is an abbreviation, and it promotes visual impact through simplicity and effective communication.
The background tells the story of what the show is about, and it draws focus to the show title, which is abbreviated and comes in a good font.
Space made everything come together, as there is no cluttering of any form. The legibility of the artwork is good even when scaled down.
It shows that the artwork idea was carefully thought about during the creation of the show.
Similarly, InBox challenges guests to access their digital correspondence and allows their personal lives to be mined for comedy gold. The show's cover art uses a bold font and a skillful, simple design to set it apart.
When in doubt, narrow your colour palette to just two contrasting colors and focus on an uncomplicated, elegant design.
17. Mission to Zyxx
Mission to Zyxx is an improvised sci-fi comedy show. It follows a team of ambassadors that try to establish diplomatic relations with different alien cultures.
The cover art does a great job of communicating exactly what the show is about, as it pairs a playful but legible font alongside a retro 80's background and the team's sentient spaceship.
The artwork is likable for its simplicity and how it easily stands out from a bunch of designs.
18. The Lifestyle Business podcast
The Lifestyle Business podcast teaches people how to build a healthy lifestyle and business on their terms.
The cover art depicts what the show is about brilliantly. The background evokes emotions about the dream lifestyle for most people. Living on an island, surrounded by water and nature.
The simplicity and legibility of the design's typography are also top-notch. The contrasting colors make it easy to spot the name even after downscaling the artwork—a blue water background with a mix of white and orange.
It is easy to spot the show cover from a distance and immediately get what the show's content is about.
19. The AskGaryVee show
Gary Vee is a popular name when it comes to podcasting and the digital world in general. The AskGaryVee show talks about marketing and business in general, and as the name depicts, Gary Vee gets to answer questions around both topics.
The cover art uses every element to its advantage, from brand identity to simplicity and color contrasts.
Firstly, Gary Vee is a popular name and face, making sense to put his face on the cover art for his podcast. It will easily catch the listener's attention.
It also promotes simplicity, and there is enough space with few words used. The separation of the words also helps keep it as simple and cool as possible.
The color contrast makes the title very legible. After downscaling, the artwork remained legible, and listeners can easily spot it amid numerous cover arts.
If you have a show with a famous face, don't forget always to leverage that for your podcast cover.
20. The Lively show
The Lively Show is a podcast show that attempts to inspire, uplift, and assist you in transitioning from "hustle" to alignment in your career and life.
The cover art evokes the emotion behind the podcast. The smiling lady depicts a podcast that will bring you happiness and make your life easier.
The simplicity and legibility are also great. The only words on the design are the ones in the title, and the font blends stylishness and legibility. The color contrast also draws focus to the title.
The price of cover arts varies, and it depends on the quality you want. There are cheap cover arts, but in most cases, people are left frustrated by amateur designers. They struggle to get past the message effectively.
You can get a good podcast cover for $200 and above. If you don't have a podcast logo yet, the price will go up as podcast logos are somewhat complicated to create.
There is also the free option for creating your podcast cover. Check out some of the options listed above.
If you plan on submitting your podcast to directories, you shouldn't. Alternatively, you can use special characters to spell out these words if that's what your show is about.
However, if you don't plan to submit your podcast to directories, you are free to use whatever character you want on your podcast cover art.
Although it is generally advised that you don't, as it will limit the profile of listeners you get.
Consistency is vital for your podcast. You don't want your listeners getting confused every time you drop an episode.
You should keep the elements on your cover art consistent. However, you can always give things a fresh look by adding a tagline to the cover for each episode.
When you bring in a special guest, you can also add the guest's picture on your podcast cover for that episode. Celebrations and anniversaries are also occasions where you can make exceptions to add some new elements to your podcast cover.
Yes, you can. There is nothing wrong with changing your cover for a better one even after years of running your show. If the new artwork will help promote your show better than the previous one, it is highly advised you change it.
The first thing that a potential sees about your podcast is your podcast cover art. It is essential to make a brilliant first impression. Therefore an eye-catching but elegant and straightforward artwork is necessary. You should also consider that most people view their podcast directories on their mobile phones.
It doesn't stop at your cover art, as you can use this design to promote your show across several platforms like social media, podcast websites, and podcast players.
If you have bland and uninspiring artwork that doesn't stand out, it won't be easy to get new listeners for your show. Your content might be top-notch, but they will judge the book by the cover.
As a podcast newbie, you can make do with the free tools to create cover art for your show. But as you grow, it is advised that you get designs with better quality that resonates with your brand's growth.
If you follow the rules and tips that we have given you, you are on your way to getting a cover art that listeners will love. You don't want to leave any stone unturned as you try to grow your audience.