Your podcast cover art is often the first thing potential listeners see in podcast directories and a big deciding factor in whether or not they listen to your content. Cover art is the visual representation of your brand and can be the difference between catching potential listeners' attention or getting lost in the podcast directory.
In this post, we'll guide you through how to create a great podcast logo, whether you're working with a graphic designer or doing it yourself. We'll share some artwork tips and tricks, best practices, and the key design elements for eye-catching cover art designs. Let's get started!
Basic podcast logo requirements for Apple Podcasts
Before we dive into the creative process, it's essential to understand Apple Podcasts’ requirements. If your podcast artwork isn't approved by Apple’s directory, you won’t be able to submit your show to their platform and, subsequently, might have difficulty on other directories as well.
Follow these best practices and avoid the don'ts to create effective podcast cover art that will attract listeners and make your show stand out among the rest.
Apple Podcasts artwork pequirements
- Size: Your artwork must be square and at least 1400 x 1400 pixels, but not larger than 3000 x 3000 pixels. This ensures your cover art looks clear and crisp, whether it's viewed on a small smartphone screen or a large desktop display.
- File format: Save your artwork as a JPEG or PNG file to ensure compatibility with all platforms and devices.
- Quality: Use images that are sharp, clean, and clear. Blurry, misaligned, or pixelated images can give the impression of a low-quality podcast.
- Text: Any text should be large enough to read at smaller sizes. Remember, your podcast cover will often be viewed as a small thumbnail on a smartphone, so readability is key.
Apple also suggests avoiding explicit content and ensuring your artwork is original and doesn't infringe on any copyrights. Make sure to review all the guidelines before proceeding with your podcast cover design.
If your podcast artwork isn’t accepted the first go around, review the guidelines provided by Apple, focusing especially on the specifications like the artwork dimensions and format, then make necessary adjustments to your design and resubmit it.
Podcast cover art trends & best practices
Having some knowledge of current trends can help craft your perfect podcast logo. Think of these “trends” more as visual tricks that can help your content get noticed. These trends are popular for a reason, but it doesn't mean you need to create branding that looks just like everyone else!
- Minimalistic design: Simplicity in design and color palette can lead to a visually pleasing and easily recognizable logo. The focus is creating a clean, uncluttered look that communicates your podcast's essence without overwhelming potential listeners.
- Bold typography: Another prominent trend is the utilization of large, bold typography. This style ensures readability, especially when your artwork is as tiny as a thumbnail on someone's phone. It also enables you to make a statement and quickly communicate what your podcast is about.
- Vibrant colors: Vibrant colors can help your podcast stand out among the crowd. If you
And, of course, make sure that all elements of your design, from typography to images and icons, are high resolution and look professional. Always use high-quality imagery; poor-quality, pixelated images can deter potential listeners.
How to create your own podcast logo (+ our favorite DIY tools)
Whether you're a hands-on person confident in creating your own artwork or someone who prefers to delegate this task to a professional, creating a podcast cover art can be done in numerous ways. Here, we will be exploring three of the most common methods:
- Hire a graphic designer: If you're unfamiliar with design software or simply don't have the time to create the artwork yourself, hiring a graphic designer can be a great option. Platforms like Fiverr are filled with talented graphic designers who can create bespoke podcast cover art for a reasonable price. Before hiring a designer, ensure you have a clear idea of how you want your cover art to look and what your podcast represents.
- Design it yourself: The easiest way to make podcast artwork yourself is with a podcast logo maker like Canva (Adobe Express works well, too). Canva has pre-made podcast templates specifically for podcasters. The tool automatically creates the perfect dimensions and can help inspire interesting design ideas to help you get started.
Whether you work with a professional or create your cover art yourself, remember that the end goal is to create something that represents your brand, catches the attention of potential listeners, and is consistent with your promotion-related branding.
Pro tip: You can also use Canva to create high-quality promotional social media content. This tutorial from Pod Sound School is a great resource for learning how to leverage Canva for all it’s worth.
Podcast cover art dos and don'ts
While we're all for creative freedom, there are some pitfalls you might want to avoid when designing your podcast cover art to ensure that it gets the clicks it deserves.
Things to avoid in your podcast artwork:
- Avoid clutter: Too much text or intricate images can look messy and be hard to decipher, especially on smaller screens. Keep the design clean and simple for maximum impact.
- Don't overdo colors: While vibrant colors can help your podcast stand out, using too many can make the design look chaotic. Stick to a select color palette that aligns with your brand.
- Avoid irrelevant artwork: Your artwork should offer a clue about the content of your podcast. If it's too abstract or unrelated, you might lose potential listeners.
- Don't ignore copyrights: Make sure all the elements in your artwork are either original or used with permission to avoid legal issues. Use orignal images or stock image sites like Pexels, Shutterstock, iStockPhoto, or Canva’s images (lots of options if you sign up for Canva Pro).
Remember, your podcast cover art is not just an aesthetic element – it's a reflection of your brand and an invitation to potential listeners. So, avoid these common don'ts to ensure your cover art is as clickable as can be!
Optimizing your podcast logo for different platforms: Is it necessary?
When it comes to podcast artwork, one size doesn't necessarily fit all. Various podcast platforms (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc.) have their own specific guidelines and requirements for podcast artwork. However, most platforms recommend a square image with a resolution of 1400 x 1400 to 3000 x 3000 pixels and saved as a JPEG or PNG file.
Despite these similarities, it's crucial to understand that how your artwork appears can vary from platform to platform due to differences in how they display images. For instance, Spotify displays circular podcast logos, which might mean adjusting your design to ensure key elements are not cut out of the circular frame.
So, is optimizing your podcast artwork for different platforms necessary? While it isn't necessary to create a different version of your artwork for each platform, it is important to design a versatile logo that adapts well to different displaying styles. Keep your design centered and ensure any critical elements aren't too close to the edges!
Creating podcast artwork is an essential part of your podcast branding and a fun, creative part of the podcast creation process. For more information on launching, growing, and monetizing your new show, feel free to check out our how to start a podcast guide!