Skip to content
Home » Blog » Podcast Cover Art: 6 Fundamental Facts of Podcast Cover Art

Podcast Cover Art: 6 Fundamental Facts of Podcast Cover Art

Podcast cover art is a crucial component for all types of podcasts. It’s important from the introductory podcast episodes all the way to your 100th show. The right podcast cover art can help boost ROI for podcasts, get more podcast sponsors, and amplify the influence of podcasting. It is integral to the success of podcasts in the digital ecosystem

In this Mr. Thrive Media blog post, we’ll walk you through the do’s, don’ts, and must-haves of podcast cover art. Read on to learn why your cover art is so vital to the overall success and continuity of your podcast brand.

Podcast Cover Art 101

The number one must-have for podcast cover art is attention-getting design. Your cover art needs to get people interested in the episode. It can be slightly provocative, but always professional. The goal is to get people wondering what they’re in for with your show. 

Another key facet of podcast cover art is a connection between your podcast name and your cover art. Ultimately you want your audience to recognize the show from the cover art alone. To reach that goal your visuals need to represent your name and brand. 

Your podcast cover art is your opportunity to show people what you’re all about. Use dichotomy in your image choices to turn heads and slow the scroll. Do something new, but remain true to your brand guidelines. Have fun with it, examine it from the audience’s perspective, and find an image that represents what you’re doing with your podcast.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Podcast Cover Art

The do’s and don’ts of podcast cover art primarily relate to branding, message, and audience. You want your audience to see your cover art, associate it with your brand, and know what you’re about. You don’t want ambiguity or something done simply for the sake of doing it to look nice. 

Some of the main do’s of podcast cover art include:

  • The who of the podcast and episode. This includes your identity as the podcast host and your guest and/or topic. You should have an image of your podcast guest or their brand imagery. If you don’t have a guest, your imagery should focus on the topic of the episode.
  • The what of the episode. What are you talking about? What is the purpose? Tell people what they’re getting into, to make sure they want to keep listening.
  • The consistent elements of your brand. Whether you have consistent brand colors, fonts, or brand tone, your podcast cover art is the place to make your brand known. 
  • The ways people can find your show. In podcast cover art the best option is to include icons of the platforms where your show is available. In social media promotion, you can include those links in the comments. As a side note, social algorithms often dictate that posts with the links in the post itself won’t do as well. Placing your links in a comment gives you greater social media reach. 

On the other hand, the don’ts of podcast cover art are quite specific in many ways. The key things to avoid are:

  • Unrelated imagery without brand or episode ties. Your podcast cover art should be aesthetically pleasing, but it always needs to tie back to your show and brand design. 
  • Overused podcasting imagery. Our founder, Chaz Volk, has worked on many podcasts, their cover art, and other imagery. His personal pet peeve rests in the usage of microphone images. In his own words, “For G-d’s sake, stop asking for a microphone in your album art! It’s overdone, every podcast does it. Instead of putting a mic–because we know you’re making a podcast–find a tangible image symbolic of what you’re trying to say.” 

Overall your podcast cover art should be tasteful, attention-grabbing, and brand-related. You can be bold, but don’t be offensive. You can use a variety of colors, but be sure they match your brand and work well together. Finding that balance takes some time and practice, but once you see it, you’ll recognize what works. 

6 Fundamental Facts of and Tips for Podcast Cover Art

These six fundamental facts of and tips for podcast cover art all lead toward one goal: having cover art that properly represents your show. When we thought about how podcast cover art can match a show, we thought of our client, Mike Smart of GTM Disrupted

Mike’s show is all about growth in a constantly upgrading and changing market industry-wide. His cover art needed to represent that growth. Together with Mr. Thrive, Mike landed on the image of paper airplanes flying up and to the right. This represents upward growth, as well as the paper-based planning of a to-do list or business plan that keeps you moving forward. 

These six tips help you find cover art imagery and design that represents who you are, what you’re talking about, and why people should listen.

1. Message Clarity

Message clarity must come first! Your podcast imagery needs to send the message of what your show is about. Every other item on this list is a moot point if your audience doesn’t understand the reason behind your podcast from your images.

2. Readability

Readability applies to text and imagery. For text, readability in your cover image relates to font coloring to ensure it stands out among the image. It also applies to the font itself, which should be in line with your brand and easy to read. For imagery readability, you want your image to be self-evident in what it represents. 

3. Color and Shape Psychology

Color and shape psychology can help guide your brand guidelines and cover art. These practices are the specific ways you can use different colors and shapes to influence psychology and have a positive effect. 

4. Branding Consistency

Branding consistency is vital for every piece of podcast collateral you create. For your podcast cover art, you want to convey the message of your overall podcast. Using your brand tones and designs helps to achieve this goal and provides continuity. 

5. Platform Requirements

Meeting platform requirements is a technical cover art need. The different hosting platforms where you put your show have differing requirements for art design and structure. For example, for Apple Podcasts you need a 3000 x 3000 pixel image. A JPG or PNG file format is recommended.

6. Singularity

Singularity, in this instance, applies to the unique qualities of your brand and podcast cover art. Your show isn’t like anything else on the market, your cover art shouldn’t be either. Being completely original is a dying art form in today’s world, but do your best and you’ll have something specific to you.

Additional Podcast Collateral

In addition to podcast cover art, there is a variety of artwork and collateral pieces that round out a podcast digital ecosystem. Your logo is one such piece of work, which is used to denote your brand presence across your ecosystem. Another key piece of podcast collateral is audio grams, which work in conjunction with micro-content. 

Audio grams are a brief piece of audio content, with no visuals. They can be superimposed over a still image or used with a wavelength image to signify the auditory mode of communication. Closed captions are used to make them readable and SEO-friendly. 

You can pair audio grams with images or clipped video pieces to create shareable, marketable social content. Audio grams are excellent for promoting podcast episodes and business news. Our founder Chaz uses them as supplementary content for his podcast, Bad Jew

Frequently Asked Questions About Podcast Cover Art

The creation of podcast cover art is a subject both familiar and experimental for podcasters. Folks in this industry are artistic, but artwork isn’t always our first and foremost skill. Our answers to these frequently asked questions will give you practical advice on how to make podcast cover art and make it well.

How Do You Make Podcast Cover Art?

Some of the most important tips for how to make podcast cover art include:

  • Following Apple Podcasts’ requirements
  • Designing for a variety of sizes
  • Communicating your podcast topic and brand voice
  • Limiting your word usage
  • Keeping your language and imagery politically correct
  • Focusing on aesthetics
  • Avoiding overused podcasting imagery–this is what we mean about the mics!

These guidelines will help you strike the balance between artful and strategic podcast cover art. Working with a mix of artists and podcast pros can help you achieve that balance.

What Apps Make Podcast Cover Art?

Some of the application and software options for making podcast cover art are:

  • Dynamo
  • Adobe Express
  • Canva
  • Desygner
  • Stencil
  • Anchor
  • Photoshop
  • Gimp
  • 99 Designs
  • Pixelied

You can also hire an artist, create your own art by hand, use AI in business techniques, or work with a podcast production company. Among our services related to podcasting, Mr. Thrive offers guidelines, feedback, and creative direction and design for podcast cover art and additional assets. We design art with the heart of your podcast in mind.

What Artwork Do I Need for a Podcast?

You can create podcast cover art from physical or digital artwork. Stock photos from places such as Unsplash can help if you’re looking for something quick and easy. Working with a podcast team that creates digital assets for you is ideal. 

You also need to ensure your podcast cover art meets the requirements of all podcast hosting directories. For Apple Podcasts, for example, you need a 3000 x 3000 pixel image. It’s recommended to use a JPG or PNG file format. Other platforms may have different requirements. 

Can You Use Canva for Podcast Cover Art?

Yes, Canva is an excellent option for creating podcast cover art. In fact, we at Mr. Thrive use Canva for a variety of design purposes. The usability and flexibility of the platform make it one of the best options on the market today. Canva offers so many styles of art to choose from or create for yourself. The platform is so easy to work with, your whole team will thrive with it.

What Is the Difference Between a Podcast Logo and Cover Art?

The difference between a podcast logo and cover art resides in the use and purpose of each piece of brand collateral. Your podcast cover art is your artful cover for directories, social media sharing, collaborating, and some branding purposes. Your logo is a consistent element of your podcast brand, which shows up in many places, including on your podcast cover art.

Cover Art for Podcasts: What’s Your Visual Brand Representation Plan?

Designing podcast cover art gives you a visual way of connecting with your audience with every episode release. The right podcast cover art and additional podcast collateral also give you a body of work. That supports your authority in podcasting and your industry space. It also provides designs to share on social media, through email marketing, and in pitch decks for new clients. 

Mr. Thrive Media can help with all aspects of your podcast and brand design. From our marketing consulting services to creating blogs for podcasts, all the way to orchestrating your digital ecosystem, we’ve got you covered. Reach out to work with our podcast pros today!  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *