(By Traci Long DeForge) Your podcast cover is the visual first impression of your podcast. Your listeners will see it when they look at the Apple Podcast App, search for it on their phones or browse platforms like iHeart Media and Spotify. It communicates the style, personality of the host and subject matter content in a matter of seconds.
As a designer, one of the biggest challenges of creating podcast cover art is that it’s square. Square Designs are not uncommon since they are used predominantly in social media yet when you take into consideration the widespread use of HD phone screens, tablets and widescreen televisions that rotate both vertically and horizontally the design needs to be adaptable and work with a screen is tall or wide.
Podcast Cover Art is required for approval to have your podcast available on iTunes/Apple Podcasts You are required to follow their specific specs or your podcast will not be approved.
Apple Podcast specifications for your artwork:
Must be square
Use rGB color space
Be a JPG, JPEG, or PNG file
To optimize images for mobile devices, Apple recommends compressing your image files.
Quick Design Tips:
Versatility is Paramount. Your artwork can be used to promote your podcast in other places like your newsletter, website and social media
There’s a fine balance between your artwork being too busy to be viewed on a phone and not interesting enough to stand alone in your other marketing efforts
Streamline your words. If your artwork is too text heavy it will be difficult to read. If you don’t communicate enough detail it may not convey the core message of your show. Find a balance that’ll work for both objectives.
Be consistent with your other branding materials. Your podcast is an extension of your personal & business brand. Think of the cover art as being the logo for your show. You ideally want it to integrate with the fonts and color palette you are now using for your other marketing materials
Use your cover art as a template. Be consistent with your other branding materials. Your podcast is an extension of your personal & business brand. Think of the cover art as being the logo for your show. You ideally want it to integrate with the fonts and color palette you are now using for your other marketing materials.
You can repurpose your podcast artwork to be effective promotional tools. First design the podcast cover art and then create a similarly designed graphic square to use as an image to promote individual episodes. This works well if you want to use your guest’s image or a specific graphic image for the topic’s subject matter. A third tile which uses the same colors and fonts can be designed to incorporate a quote from the episode or to use for audiograms. Below are examples of 3 square graphics built from the same template but work effectively over multiple promotional outlets.
There can be a lot of stressors in launching a podcast. Don’t get lost in the overwhelm of the details to the point you lose site of the funside of the creative process. Just remember it is a process and you can update your artwork anytime. Progress not Perfection is the name of the game in getting your show launched so you can change the conversation out in the world!