There is no way to avoid the right image problem in podcasts, which are almost exclusively audio experiences. Just like with books, a podcast image can make the difference between someone picking the show up or not. Additionally, the podcast image is required for submission to the major directories or inclusion on Apple Podcasts. No matter how outstanding the audio quality is, you won't get far without putting together a podcast image and logo.
In this article, we've compiled a list of tips to help ensure your podcast's image is visually appealing, enticing, and captivating.
1. Keep your audience in mind
Once you have established your show's unique style and personality, the next step is to build a detailed picture of your audience. Would you mind creating a listener persona? An audience persona is an illustrative description of your target audience for the podcast. Consider these questions about the ideal listener as you create your listener persona:
- What are their ages?
- What's their gender?
- Where are they living?
- What is their occupation?
- How would you describe their hobbies and interests?
- Why should they care about your podcast (what problem do you solve for them)?
Many podcasters aim to appeal to everyone in hopes of having a large potential audience. However, this isn't the best approach. You'll end up appealing to no one by trying to please everyone. Creating a detailed listener persona can help you keep the ideal listener in mind and tailor every aspect of your podcast to them. Since most new listeners will stumble upon your show on the podcast directory, they'll be drawn to the podcast image right away. Don't you want the podcast image to capture their attention? Make sure you consider your target audience's demographics when choosing the podcast image. Young audiences may prefer vibrant colors, while business professionals who seek out podcasts on marketing or finance may prefer muted, formal styles.
2. Make sure your podcast image meets the requirements of directories
Remember that your cover art must conform to several requirements if you intend to list it on all the popular podcast directories. Podcast directories allow your listeners to find, download, subscribe, rate, and review your podcasts. Among the most popular podcast directories are Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher. All of the podcast directories have similar requirements for podcast images. Accordingly, for example, Apple Podcasts requests that podcast images comply with the following:
- An image size of 3000x3000 pixels is recommended (but if your show is submitted via RSS feed, Apple will accept images from 1400x1400 to 3000x3000, though the largest size is preferable)
- A 72 dpi resolution
- File types: JPEG or PNG
- RGB color style
Additionally, Apple and most other podcast directories stipulate that podcast images should not be deformed or jerky. In addition, the podcast should not contain obscene language or graphic/inappropriate material. Podcast directories recommend displaying your show's name in a clear, large font in the podcast image.
3. Podcast covers should look great in a variety of sizes and settings
Today's podcast listeners access your show via a wide range of devices. Some people listen to music solely on their mobile phones, while others switch between their desktop computers, phones, and tablets. Additionally, you may use your podcast image as a thumbnail on other platforms, such as YouTube, Soundcloud, social media accounts, websites, and business cards. A podcast image needs to work similarly to a podcast logo and complement the rest of your branding strategy. Whether it's big or small, the podcast image needs to look great at any size. It needs to be readable and clear even at thumbnail size, which is why a large, clear font is so crucial. Don't forget to export your podcast image design at a size of 55x55 pixels to ensure it looks good.
4. Color intensity also makes a difference
Can you recall the time when you decided on your show's personality and tone? Choose your color temperature based on that knowledge. Color theory dictates that each color corresponds to a specific emotion or psychological state. Cool colors symbolize calm, while warm colors denote energy and action. For instance, the color red is a warm color that conjures feelings of passion, love, or even anger. The color red is a good choice for true crime podcasts or shows about love. In contrast, green is a refreshing color that symbolizes nature, revitalization, and prosperity or growth. For the podcast image of gardening and finance podcasts, green is the predominant color.
5. Pick Typography that Reflects Your Podcast's Subject, Tone, and Style
Although the color is crucial to capture the right audience's attention, font choice also conveys a great deal about your podcast. Which option best represents the personality of your brand?
- Serif-style fonts are the oldest. Serifs are trim lines at the intersection of letter lines, as they are in classic Times New Roman font. This font is easier to read in print format and has more traditional and trustworthy associations.
- Sans-serif fonts are, literally, those with no serifs, such as the font type Arial. In smaller and lower-resolution formats (such as digital format), sans-serif fonts are easier to read since there are no decorative elements at the end of line strokes. A sans-serif font is considered contemporary and appealing.
The other fonts include script fonts - slanted and cursive - and slab fonts, which are solid fonts reminiscent of typewriter fonts. Podcast image designs often incorporate a combination of plain and aesthetically pleasing fonts. Generally, you should aim for readability when designing your podcast image. Keep the fonts simple and free of obtrusive elements, and limit the number of fonts to only two in the entire image. Though podcasts are an audio medium, podcasters need an appealing visual that will entice passersby to pause and listen. To create a winning podcast image, you must thoroughly understand the podcast topic, tone, and audience. Make sure it works well in various sizes and both day and night modes as well. Lastly, consider how the psychology of color and typography will influence potential listeners' perception of your show.