Creating a podcast is all about delivering the best auditory experience to your audience. Before it reaches the ears, however, an eye-catching podcast cover is crucial to capture interest, and these examples and tips will help you do that.
With over 850,000 active podcasts in podcast directories out there in the world, it can be a daunting task to create a podcast cover art that attracts listeners. In a way, cover art is to podcasting what book covers are to good books.
How do I best capture the essence of my podcast in one cover design? How do I make it original? How do I entice listeners to tune in after a few seconds of seeing the cover? If any of these questions have crossed your mind in the process of making a podcast, you have come to the right place. Sit tight and read on as we walk you through the process from start to finish.
What to consider before creating a podcast cover
Just as with any project, a great result requires enough preparation. Before you jump into actualizing your own podcast artwork, here are some things to consider:
The more specific you can get with what your podcast is about and who it is for, the better you will be able to transfer that into the podcast cover.
Get as specific as possible:
- What is the main focus of your podcast?
- Is it you as a person, or is it a topic?
- If it is a topic, what is the main focus?
- What is the tone?
- Who is your target audience into and what do they tend to gravitate towards?
Drawing the mental picture of what your podcast is truly about will help give clues about what your logo design should look like.
Apart from the idea and concept, also get informed about the cover art size, thumbnail size, file formats (png, jpg, gif, etc.) that work best on different directories. Things like the dpi count and color schemes are important for printing the cover art on business cards, merch, catalogs and other deliverables. Spotify, Stitcher, iTunes, iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, etc, each have their own rules and regulations, so make sure you take notice of the technical and logistical side of things as well.
Now that you have a rough idea of the direction in which you want to take your podcast logo, before you brief your designer or start your Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator, here are some of the best examples of covers that convey the content of the podcast, divided into 3 categories.
Typically reserved for podcasts where the topics of discussion may vary, cartoon podcast covers are a great way to give character to your podcast.
The following cover captures the tone perfectly, as the hosts focus on unfiltered discussions of a variety of topics ranging from culture to race and relationships. It depicts the three hosts, illustrated in their own images, and the title is written in a playful serif font. The cover also places the main focus on the three main hosts’ opinions and thoughts by placing them on the cover.
This simplistic four-color yet high-quality cartoon cover art conveys several layers about the nature of the podcast. The positioning of the two female heads against each other with the radio waves gives the appearance of a phone or a walky-talky, thus supporting the concept of the podcast being similar to that of a call between two best girlfriends. The bright color scheme transmits a positive feeling as well as inclusivity, thus mirroring the feminist and collaborative nature of the podcast.
3. Almost 30
Another great example of a cover that interweaves female empowerment into its design is the following for the “Almost 30” podcast. The primarily pink color palette, which is traditionally a color associated with women, signifies femininity, and the cartoon of the two hosts invites listeners into two best friends’ candid conversation on topics of all things personal.
As one of the most popular and long-spanning podcasts out there, the Joe Rogan Experience’s cover art makes it clear who the focus of the podcast is (and just in case it’s not clear enough, the title is there to convince you). The orange and black color scheme as well as the crazed facial expression of Joe with a third eye on his forehead tell surprisingly a lot about the podcast, pointing at the non-mainstream nature of it. The podcast host does not shy away from speaking about using substances for enlightenment (hence the third eye), as well as often discusses topics in great detail by inviting experts of different fields to his show, including conspiracy theories.
If imagery is not what you want to focus on in your cover, making the text the focal point can be another great option. Customizing the typography and font of your podcast title can go a long way to convey the tone and details of your podcast, as shown in the following examples.
5. This Land
This very simplistic cover features bold hand-written font in a dark red color resembling blood, on top of an old-fashioned map. For a podcast that focuses on telling the story of the 2019 supreme court decision that will determine the fate of tribal land within the state of Oklahoma, the cover couldn’t be more fitting. The large size of the text as well as the simplicity of the cover art makes it so that no matter if you are on your mobile device or laptop, it will translate and be easily eligible.
The following great podcast cover takes minimalism seriously. The use of the yellow background, a color most often associated with joy and smileys, and the placement of the text in the shape of a smile needs no further explanation. For a podcast whereby a Yale professor discusses the scientific research behind what people ought to do to be truly happy, the first impression this cover art sends is spot-on. Knowing the intricacies and the essence of your podcast’s message and being able to integrate that into the text as done in this cover will do wonders to attract potential listeners to your podcast.
Mimicking the scrolling end credits of a film, the bold text reiterates the “giants” in the podcast’s title. The usage of these two almost unnoticeable elements gives the cover a much more cohesive feel, tying all the aspects of the cover together. Focusing on today’s technological giants, including Netflix, this podcast delves deep into how they have changed the world. Having that information now, the cover art matches the podcast contents perfectly doesn’t it?
This true-crime podcast cover takes a literal approach, using cut-out magazine letters to imitate a quintessential ransom letter and a typewriter font to spell out the hosts’ names. While simple, this cover art can easily convey to new listeners what the topic of the podcast is.
The literal approach to covers
Speaking of taking a literal approach, sometimes in order to catch the attention of listeners, being as obvious about the podcast contents as possible through the visual aid of the cover is the way to go. Many established podcasters use this to tie their podcast contents and the design of the cover together so that potential listeners can connect the dots quickly and make the decision if the show is something they are interested in listening to. Here are some of the greatest examples of podcast covers that do just that.
Spooked is a podcast that provides a platform for people to tell stories of their first-hand supernatural experiences. What else comes to mind when thinking of people meddling with the mystical powers? Bingo—a ouija board. The graphic designer behind the cover art did a great job incorporating one into the design, spelling out “Spooked” on the wooden planchette.
10. How I Built This
The cover of this highly successful podcast doesn’t need many words. The simple design mirrors the clean and eloquent ambiance that is often associated with successful entrepreneurs and innovators, the subject of discussion of the podcast. The cover art takes on the literal meaning of the word “built”, compactly placing the letters to give the appearance of a building block or a building. The name of the host is also placed on the cover, as it could be another selling point for listeners to give this show a try.
Another simple cover on the list, this “Throughline” cover art essentially shows a cluster of lines forming a circle around the title. Yet it does a wonderful job of depicting the idea that the whole podcast is built on—history repeating itself. Fun fact—if you scroll down the page quickly, the lines create a ripple effect, giving life to the cover (I dare you not to try it now).
12. The Moth
Perhaps the most literal approach to a cover is the following for “The Moth” podcast. The cover depicts exactly that—a moth. The textured appearance of the font and the image of the insect give the appearance of the moth’s wings. It may be hard to infer what the topic of a podcast with such a cover could be. This intrigue, however, may be just what you need to incite potential listeners to explore your podcast. And if your content is good enough, they will stick around.
We hope that the following examples of some great podcast covers gave you an idea of what to do for your own new podcast. Make sure you create something fun and cohesive, but versatile enough to be used on both business cards and social media, to thumbnails in the most popular podcast directories.
If you do not feel comfortable using photo editing software, feel free to use our unlimited graphic design service at ManyPixels where you will be appointed one of our talented designers to create a podcast cover that meets all your requirements.