Podcast artwork examples

How to Design Podcast Cover Art [2021]

Podcast cover art is one of the most important pieces of your podcast's brand:

  • its the first thing potential listeners see in Apple Podcasts, 
  • it signifies the quality of your podcast, and
  • 62% of new listeners are more likely to listen if they like its cover art.

Follow this guide to create high-quality podcast artwork that will make a great first impression.

12 tips to create excellent podcast cover art

1. Make sure it meets Apple Podcasts' requirements

Your cover art must meet Apple Podcasts' artwork requirements:

  • 3000 x 3000 pixels
  • Resolution of 72 dpi
  • JPG or PNG file type
  • RGB colorspace

Artwork that follows these guidelines will work in all of the podcast directories.

Tip: If you use Photoshop, keep your image at 72 dpi. Programs like Canva will do this automatically.

2. Design for a variety of sizes

Make sure your podcast artwork looks great everywhere it's displayed:

Tip: Use this tool to preview how your artwork will look in podcast apps.

3. Clearly communicate the subject of your podcast

Make sure that potential listeners can tell what your podcast is about by looking at your artwork.

Which one of these scenarios best fits your podcast?

Podcasts about hobbies

If you are launching a hobbyist podcast, use artwork specific to your hobby.

Podcast cover art with star wars imagry

For example, a Star Wars podcast should incorporate Star Wars themed images.

Make sure your fellow superfans can easily see what the podcast is about!

Podcasts promoting a business, brand, or church

If you are launching a podcast for an existing brand, use your existing logo and brand colors.

Podcast art with prominent logos

Following your existing brand guidelines will help current customers and members recognize your podcast.

Personality driven podcasts

Some of the most popular podcasts are personality-driven shows.

Podcast art featuring famous people

Consider using a picture of the podcast host in your podcast cover artwork if the show is hosted by a celebrity or well-known person.

4. Limit the number of words in your artwork

Podcast artwork can quickly get overwhelmed with too much text.

Most artwork doesn't have space for the podcast title, tagline, and host's name.

Limit yourself to using a maximum of seven words to ensure legibility.

5. Don't use explicit language or imagery

Your podcast artwork must be censored even if it's labeled as explicit in your RSS Feed.

  • Most podcast apps don't allow nudity
  • Remove references to hard drug use or violence
  • Curse words should be censored in the artwork

Tip: If you're unsure if your podcast violates these rules, search Apple Podcasts for similar podcasts to see what is acceptable.

6. Use attractive typography

Limit visual distractions and focus on legibility by following these typography best practices.

  • Use a maximum of two fonts in your design
  • If you use two fonts, use one serif and one sans-serif font
  • Don't crowd the image with text
  • Maks sure it's readable at small sizes
  • Avoid visually distracting fonts like papyrus or comic sans

7. Avoid overused podcasting imagery

Unless your podcast is about the podcast industry, don't use images of microphones and pop-filters.

Microphone podcast logo

Podcasting is the medium you're using—it isn't the subject of your show. Including headphones on your artwork is like putting pictures of DVDs and cameras on a movie poster.

8. Use consistent branding

Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike are all masters at branding because they use consistent imagery across all their platforms.

Consistent branding of the Nike podcast logo

Use the same colors, fonts, and images in your podcast artwork that you use on your website and on social media.

9. Use high-resolution images

Make sure your podcast artwork looks great by using high-resolution images.

If you use high-quality stock photos from Pexels or Shutterstock then they'll be large enough to not look pixelated on any devices.

10. Use color selection to your advantage

If you're creating a new brand with your podcast, you can be intentional about the colors you pick.

Contrasting colors are more eye-catching and attract potential listeners.

Look through the color pallets on Canva and Dribbble for inspiration.

11. Compress your final image

High-resolution images are large and can take a while to load.

Apple Podcasts suggests you compress your podcast artwork to optimize your file for mobile devices.

If your podcast is hosted on Buzzsprout, we'll optimize your artwork automatically.

12. Repurpose your artwork

Design your artwork so that it can be repurposed on other mediums.

You can use versions of your podcast cover art on social media, in business cards, and on your podcast website.

This creates a consistent podcast brand that listeners will recognize at a glance.

How to design your podcast cover art

You don't have to be a graphic designer to create incredible podcast artwork.

There are tools that make podcast logo design simple and free.

Here are our favorite DIY design tools:

Buzzsprout's Canva integration

Buzzsprout's Canva integration allows you to create artwork within your Buzzsprout account.

Creating podcast artwork with Buzzsprout's canva integration

It also guarantees that your cover art will meet the requirements for every podcast app.

  • Log in to Buzzsprout
  • Go to Podcast Settings
  • Click Design Artwork with Canva in the podcast artwork section
  • Choose from 250,000+ free Canva templates
  • Edit the template to match your podcast brand
  • Click Send to Buzzsprout

Tip: Watch this tutorial on how to create podcast artwork with Canva.

Adobe Creative Cloud Express (Free Plan)

Adobe Create Cloud Express (previously Adobe Spark) is similar to Canva with free templates, text styles, and color pallets to design your podcast logo.

Once you create a free account, follow these steps to create your logo:

  • Click + at the top left
  • Select Custom Size Graphic and use 3000 x 3000 as the dimensions
  • Create your podcast artwork from scratch or use a free template
  • Download your file as a .jpeg or .png

Other free design tools:

Hire a professional designer

You can also hire a freelancer or graphic design professional to create your podcast cover artwork. 

Here are our top recommendations:

1. 99designs

Start a design contest, and you pick the winner. 99designs has created high-quality artwork for some of our own podcasts. Use this link for $20 off any contest.

Cost: $199–$1,399

2. The Podcast Design Company

Professional graphic designers that focus on cover art designs. They offer a 30-day guarantee, unlimited revisions, and 24/7 support. Use code Buzzsprout15 to save 15% on your first order. 

Cost: $147–$297

3. Jenny H. Design

Jenny has done a ton of great artwork for successful podcasts, so you're sure to recognize some of her work.

Cost: $250–$500

4. Podcast Branding

Mark specializes in creating visual identity brands for podcasters, including podcast cover art. 

Cost: $295

5. Podcast Designs

You tell them what you want, they will create a podcast cover design mockup for you, and you get something great.

Cost: $65–$150

6. Fiverr

If these options are out of your price range you can look into using Fiverr. But make sure you find a designer with examples of good cover art in their portfolio.

Cost: $5+

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke

Alban Brooke is the Head of Marketing at Buzzsprout and the co-host of Buzzcast. Have any questions about this guide? Reach out on Twitter.

FAQs

How do I create my own podcast art?

You can create your own podcast artwork for free with Canva or Adobe Spark. If you want professional help, consider hiring a graphic designer or freelancer.

How much does a podcast cover art cost?

Some of the best podcasts created their own artwork for free, but you can also hire a professional to create your podcast cover art. Typical costs range from $65 - $1,000 depending on the graphic designer you hire.

What should a podcast cover include?

Podcast artwork should include your podcast title, your podcast brand colors, and a graphic that represents the subject of your podcast.