Best Practices For Your Podcast Channel Artwork

By 18/07/2022No Comments

Before you start to create your artwork or hire someone to do it for you, there are some things you need to consider. Some of these things are specific to podcasting and go a little against the ‘normal' rules of what you might expect for attention-grabbing graphics.

1. Overall Design

–  Keep your design clean and simple

      • Cover art is a good example where less is more
      • Don't put too many words in your design. When your image is reduced to thumbnail size, potential listeners might find it difficult to read and may misunderstand the meaning of your cover art
      • Always leave enough space between the image edges and the words on the design
      • Always let the cover art ‘breathe’ by leaving enough untouched spaces
      • Communicate your message with minimum fuss 

2. Branding

– Use your podcast logo 

      • If your brand is beyond podcasting, include the logo in your podcast artwork. This helps cross-promote your entire
      • If you don't have a brand outside of the podcast, your artwork might consist solely of a blown-up version of your podcast logo

– Create a design that can be adjusted and used for other mediums 

      • Most of the social media platforms use different graphics sizes to each other
      • Create artwork that can be easily adjusted for different mediums without losing legibility or essential details

3. Fonts

– Use a maximum of two fonts

      • Your artwork will be reduced dramatically in size in most situations, so you need to keep it clean
      • When your cover art has more than two fonts, it becomes distracting and choked.
      • Use one font for the podcast's title and another for the subheading or tagline (if there is one)
      • Use the same fonts in your artwork that you use in your logo

– Use easy-to-read fonts

      • Use fonts that are easy to read
      • People will scroll past your cover art if it is difficult to read

– Minimise the number of words 

      • Use only your show name plus subheading/tagline
      • Keep it as short and catchy as possible
      • Your cover art will shrink in size massively when it gets to most platforms
      • Packing too many words into the artwork will make them unreadable and the graphics will look confusing

4. Graphics

– Use unique images

      • Make your cover art can stand out from the crowd
      • It's tempting to be literal when choosing graphics and choose something that people already associate with that subject, e.g., using a microphone to represent a podcast
      • The downside is that a graphic already associated with a topic can be seen as being cliché and will put people off
      • Find unique images to represent your podcast and avoid these common images.

–  Avoid stock images

      • For the same reasons that it's not a good idea to use common images, avoid using stock images where possible.
      • You don't want to your podcast to be confused with anything else or look like Just Another Podcast

–  Do not use copyrighted images and words 

      • Don’t use images and words that belong to others by right unless given permission by the owner.
      • Podcast directories will probably reject your show for using copyrighted content
      • On top of that, using someone else’s property may lead to lawsuits against you, which is terrible for you and your brand.

–  You can use your face 

      • If you already have an audience, it may make sense to use your photo in your cover art
      • Using your photo also allows you to promote the face behind the show
      • Just be consistent with this form of branding across all the platforms you use to promote your brand

5. Colours

– Use colours that contrast 

      • Contrasting colours make the images pop out and quickly get people to look twice and check it out

– Use vibrant colours

      • Vibrant and attention-grabbing bold colours are great for podcast cover arts

6. Size

– Always check your artwork at the smallest size 

      • Some directories and podcast players will reduce your cover art to a size as low as 30 pixels by 30 pixels.
      • In any directory, your artwork will be as a tiny square when viewed on a mobile phone
      • Make sure you preview your cover art in these sizes to make sure that it looks and feels how you want it to when it's this small.

– Keep the resolution high

      • Blurry, grainy, or poor-looking artwork could drive away potential listeners
      • Your podcast cover art will likely be vastly reduced in size on many platforms.
      • People being people, they're likely to assume that poor quality artwork equals poor quality podcast
      • Make sure you upload your artwork in the highest resolution possible so that when its size is reduced, it keeps its quality

7. Do’s and Don’ts

– DON’T use unacceptable language and images 

      • Only use straightforward language/images in your artwork, title and show description
      • Most platforms have strict guidelines as to what is and isn’t acceptable
      • Things that will get your podcast rejected include:
      • 18+ rated images
      • Vulgar language / swearing
      • Hate, violence, sex, drugs, or gore themes
      • Misogynistic, homophobic, and racial languages and images

– DO tell a story

      • Every podcast has a story behind it, use your cover art to express your story
      • Reflect and portray your podcast's theme in your cover art through the colours, graphics and fonts that you use
      • Doing this might require the skills of a professional designer, but if it will be money well spent if it speaks to your listeners

– DO be consistent 

      • Consistency is key for branding, so use the same style across different parts of your branding
      • Consistency allows people to easily recognize you and your brand whenever they come across your artwork or logo

– DO keep it simple 

      • White/blank space is a crucial element in a design, as it makes the design look professional and easy to comprehend
      • Overcrowding your cover art with several elements will make your artwork look amateur

– DO preview your cover art  

      • Preview your cover art across several podcasting apps
      • Be sure of how it’s going to look before submitting it to the platforms

That's it! If you want a step-by-step guide to how to start a podcast, including all things artwork (and equipment and hosting platforms and listening apps and promoting and monetising and… you get the picture!), join our Speak Up Podcasting Academy and kick start your podcasting career today!

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