Podcasts have been around for a while, but it wasn’t until recent years that they started booming. Today, there are at least 2 million podcasts and over 48 million episodes. The genre, the topic, and even the industry of each podcast can be anything, from fictional murder mystery to self-help and healing.
With too many choices, listeners need a quick way to filter through all that content and find something to listen to. For that, they look at the cover art. Just like judging a book by its cover, a show needs a fast and effective way to catch a listener’s attention. They can’t read or listen to a summary, so the cover art will have to tell a compelling story on its own.
Here’s how to design compelling cover art for a podcast:
Let’s say you have everything laid out and all that’s missing is the artwork. Go back to the beginning. Ask yourself what the podcast is about, who your listeners are, and who else might be interested.
You also need to consider the industry, genre, and hosts of the show. Often, those are essential elements of a podcast, so naturally, the artwork should be loud and clear about why a listener should or would want to listen to the show.
The artwork is the show’s summary and should hook people who are just browsing for something new. Make sure that you include enough information in the art without overdoing it
CREATING THE ART
The cover itself needs to be strategically planned. What type of cover is it going to be? It’s all a matter of what you want to say and how you want to say it. Maybe a show centered on the hosts would do well with a cover showing the hosts.
When the details have been hammered out, it’s time to get started. You can do anything from graphics, photos, typography, and more.
Photos usually convey groundedness in reality. It can be used for any topic or genre. However, it is often best used for fact-based shows, hard news, science, etc. That said, even if the podcast is fiction-based or for entertainment, stylized photos can still make for a beautiful cover.
There are so many illustration styles one can use to create the perfect story. Everything that you can’t accomplish with a photo can be done here. The design can provide even an illustration of a photograph. Create something fun to look at that when people see it, they become curious enough to find out what the podcast is all about.
This falls under the category of illustrations, but it can be a category of its own. Nine times out of ten, the typography will be the show’s title, which is a story already written. Explore new ways to communicate that story. An abbreviation could work very well for established brands and personalities, while up-and-coming shows need to get more creative. However it might turn out, be sure that the end product is not overcrowded with information and text.
Cover art is one of the essential parts of a podcast as it relates to building a brand. For most people, it’s all they need to decide whether they should listen to the show or not.
This project will entail a lot of planning and strategizing. The elements alone will need careful consideration. Remember that the audience finds out who you are and why they should listen to you with this artwork.
Designing the cover art is a fun process, but it can be difficult alone. As graphic designers, we can work with you to make your vision a reality. At 55 Knots, we offer high-quality and affordable graphic design services. If you’re curious to see what we can do for you, book a free demo with us today!