I keep seeing questions asked about podcast cover art so thought it was about time I did a podcast about this.
Your podcast cover art serves a more than one purpose so it's important to get it right.
Not only does it need to stand out on the podcast platforms against the podcasts you're in the same categories as, but it's also what you'll be sharing on social media.
Here's my tips for making the best podcast cover art for your business podcast.
1. Get the tech specs right Apple Podcasts have technical requirements for your podcast cover art. It needs to be square a minimum of 1400 x 1400 pixels up to a maximum of 3000 x 3000 pixels. It also needs to have a resolution of 72 dpi, designed in the RGB colourspace and you need to save it as JPEG or a PNG file. And on top of that the Apple website tells me your artwork must be original, and can't contain any of the following
Blurry, misaligned, mismatched, or pixelated images
Apple Inc., Apple Podcasts, or iTunes Store logos
The terms Apple Inc., Apple Podcasts, Apple Music, iTunes Store, or iTunes
Visual representation of Apple hardware
References to illegal drugs, profanity, or violence
Apple podcasts will reject your podcast when you submit it if you don't get this right. So save yourself some faff time and get it right first time around.
2. Size matters So that's the boring tech bits cleared up. You now need to think about sizing. And this is different to the sizing that Apple Podcasts want from you. Your cover art is going to be a different size depending on where people are looking at your podcast. Heck even going through Apple Podcasts app on your phone you get the cover art at different sizes depending whether you're scrolling charts, the podcast page, or just browsing. Then you've got all the different platforms Spotify, Google Podcasts and so on. If this is frying your brain don't panic, while I was doing a bit of research for this episode I found this nifty little tool on onlypod.com/podcast-cover-preview which previews your podcast cover art in lots of different places so you can see how it looks. Very cool. Keeping this in mind is really useful when it comes to the design of your cover art
3. Simplicity Most people listen to podcasts on their phones. So you really need to keep the small size in mind when you design your podcast cover art. Keeping it simple is key. Which I know is obvious but it's so easy to get carried away. The podcast cover art that stands out are the ones that don't have lots of different colours, don't have lots of different writing and don't have lots of different elements on them. For me for this podcast it's a speech bubble with Turn Up The Volume On Your Voice inside it, with speech marks outside of the bubble. And my business logo in the corner. That's it. It's the two colours I use for my business brand to keep that consistency too. You want somebody scrolling through their podcast app to stop and look a bit longer. Keep it simple and clutter free.
4. Photo or no photo?
As if I was going to do an episode that didn't involve the words "it depends". I don't have a photo of me on mine, but that's a personal preference about how I feel about how I look. And this is not the podcast to talk about how I always stuck to radio so I didn't have to have my face on the telly.
But if you are your brand then go ahead and put your photo on it. Again make sure it is a clear and simple photo of you. Try to avoid having lots going on in the background and make sure you are the focus of the photo.
Personally, and this is very personal, I HATE podcast cover art that involves microphones so if you're doing your podcast photo and it's you at your desk talking in to your microphone I will judge you. And I will decide it's cringe and a total cliche. But that's just me. I think you are better off showing your personality in a more creative way. You deserve and can do better.
5. What to put on your cover
Remember we're keeping it simple so keep information to a minimum. The podcast name, and then whatever logo, photo or picture you're going to use is enough. You can add your name if you think there's room and it's not part of your podcast name.
Simple and uncluttered is the motto of this episode.
Assuming your podcast is for your business use colours, fonts and imaging that is consistent with your brand. Make it obvious it's connected to you.
Please for the love of podcasting don't fall into the podcast cliche of putting a microphone as part of your logo. Yes, it annoys me that much I'm mentioning it again. How many TV programmes have a TV in their logos? How many films have a cinema or camera in their branding? WE ALL KNOW IT'S A PODCAST AND PODCASTS USE MICROPHONES!
6. Check out the competition
When you're designing your cover art have a look at how it compares to others in your categories? Does is stand out next to them? Is there a dominant colour on all those covers - would it make sense to be a different colour? Does everybody have a photo of themselves - should you do something different?
7. Remember your cover art is more than your cover art
You'll be using your podcast logo and your cover art to promote your podcast on social media, in your emails and when you're inviting people to come on your podcast.
It's a bit of business card for your podcast
Your cover art needs to be square for Apple, but social media platforms and your website have different dimensions - can it work in different sizes and shapes?
I use my cover art for my audiograms - is there room on yours to do this?
I also use my cover art to base my episode artwork on. Yes - I have a different cover for each episodes. Apple podcasts don't display this but it gets displayed elsewhere and on my website. It also works for a quick social media post. Think about if this is something you want to do.
I use Canva to make my cover art. I set up the file size in the custom dimensions so I knew it was the right size and then I had to sit on my hands so I didn't go mad with all the stuff I could add in!
The good news is you can change your cover art. So don't get too hung up with making sure your art work is super perfect.
Keep it simple, keep it uncluttered, make sure you can read it tiny and check out what others are doing so you stand out.
Oh and your content is always going to be what brings people back to your podcast, not the cover.