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PodSchool Podcast | Podcast logo design tips

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Neon podcast logo

How to create a kick-arse podcast logo…

Everyone says don’t judge a book by its cover but we know we all do it!

Your podcast logo is the first thing people will see when they come across your show.  This means it might be the difference between them walking past it or giving it a try.

So how do you make sure the image you use makes people want to listen?

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Do your research

When people are searching in your category you want your show to be the one that catches their eye.  To be able to create a design that does this, you need to know what’s already out there.

Take the time to look through podcast apps and see what your competitors are doing.  Then pick an image, colour or design that’s going to stand out from the crowd.

Don’t pack your image with text

You or your designer will be looking at your logo on a computer screen during the design process.  Your audience will probably be viewing it on their phone which is A LOT smaller.

If you’ve got half your life story written on that tiny square it’s going to be difficult to read shrunken down.

You can go into all kinds of detail on your website or your podcast description but on your logo, less is more.

Go for a simple image

If your logo is an illustration featuring lots of detail it’ll probably end up looking like a colourful blob when people see the smaller version.

You want to convey as much information as possible in the image but again you have to keep it simple.

If the show is about you sharing your expertise then maybe a headshot will work best.  If your show is based around a topic that can be represented using an image then go with a picture over words.

You want to pack as much visual punch as possible so potential listeners are enticed to check out your show.

Use the right specs

Check the specifications for each directory but for iTunes you need to create an image that’s at least 1400 x 1400 pixels and no bigger than 3000 x 3000.

So, how do you create a podcast logo?

DIY

There are plenty of easy to use programs that give you the tools to create a high-quality image without hiring a designer.

I use Canva to create my images but I’ve also seen great things done with PicMonkey.  There are plenty of other options out there so just choose the one that’s right for you.

Hire a designer

This is obviously the more expensive option and it can be difficult to find the right person if you don’t have a solid recommendation.

Websites like Fiverr and Upwork are a great place to start because you can view freelancers portfolios and read reviews of their previous work.

Just make sure, if you’re going with this option, you have a really clear idea of what you want because the more changes you make the more expensive the process will be.

I often find it’s helpful to mock up an image in Canva and give that to a designer so they at least have a clear visual of what I want.

Remember, a logo isn’t forever

If you create your podcast logo and get sick of it or it starts to look dated, you can always change it later.

Don’t get stuck in paralysis by analysis and let indecisiveness stop you from starting your show.

A couple of other tips…

Build a coherent brand

If you’ve already got a website or a business, try and tie in some of the colours, themes or fonts so everything links together.  This isn’t essential in the early days but if you add more shows or grow your brand it can come in handy down the track.

Test your artwork

Before you lock in your logo create a mock-up of your design in the iTunes store to see what it looks like next to the other shows that are out there.  Often when you’re deciding between options this will make your decision easier.

You've Gotta Start Somewhere podcast logo in the iTunes store

Need more help?  Check out my online podcasting course, PodSchool

Don’t know what you need to get started?  Download my free podcasting guide.

Got some time on your hands? Read the full episode transcript

Hello and welcome to the show. Today I'm going to be talking podcast logos. Everybody always says don't judge a book by its cover but I guarantee if you're anything like me you've judged more than just books by their cover. That's how I buy wine. Because I have absolutely no wine skills. I just look at the label and go “Oh that looks pretty. I'm sure it's drinkable!” We do this with a lot of things and your podcast artwork is like the wine label on your wine. It is the book cover on your book. It’s the first thing people will see that will make them think “Do I want to listen to this?”
That might sound a little counterintuitive because people are making visual decisions about an audio medium but we are fickle creatures and it does impact us, so you want something that stands out.

So here are some tips when you’re thinking about how to do your podcast logo.

The first is if you have got a category, say if you’re doing a business podcast or an arts podcast or a science podcast I would advise going in to that category on iTunes and searching through the shows that already exist. You want to stand out from the shows that are already in the iTunes library. So go through and see what's there and then maybe pick a color or an image that stands out and makes things different. If you are in a category where every man and his dog has a photo of themselves on their podcast logo maybe you want to run with a cartoon image or a different image that’s going to make you look different from the rest. Start your process by looking at what is already out there and then start to think “How could I differentiate myself in this space?” The other thing you want to be mindful of is text. There are some podcast logos you look at and think “I best you designed that on a giant screen not thinking most people will be looking at this on a tiny phone.” Most people look at your podcast image on their mobile phone and that is an image shrunk down quite considerably. If you’ve got half your life story on your podcast logo it’s going to be very difficult for anybody to read what that is. The simpler the better when it comes to text. You want to be able to see the image of your podcast quite small and still pick out what it is about and see the words, so the more uncluttered and simple you can keep it the better. You can go into all kinds of detail on your website or in the description of your podcast but when it comes to your podcast logo just put the bare essentials in so I can get a sense of exactly what your show is from the name or the picture and that's it.

That’s also important when you're thinking about the image. Don't make it too busy. If it's really small and you've got this really intricate cartoon drawing with 750,000 tiny little things that might look great blown up when you're looking at it on your computer. But when I'm looking at it on my phone, it might just look like a whole bunch of smudgy colours and I'm going to lose all of the detail. So try and go as simple as possible and tell me something about your show in the image. It could be just a photo of you if you are the expert and you are sharing your expertise. But maybe there’s a really simple image you can use w.g. if your show is about male grooming (just to pull something out of my butt) then maybe your podcast logo is a cartoon mustache and that's it. Or maybe just the cartoon moustache and the name of your show. Simple is always better but it’s really nice to get a sense of the show from the image and the text. You don’t have a huge amount of information when you're scrolling through the iTunes store so you have to pack in as much punch as possible in a small space to get people to click on your image.

Remember that if you create a podcast logo and you kick off your show that doesn't need to be the logo that you go with forever. You can refresh it and update it later on, so don't get too bogged down in this and think “oh I won't bother doing a show if I can't get this image right.” You can get lost in your own head with this stuff so keep it as simple as possible and try and convey as much information as you can with your image.

The iTunes specs are 1400 x 1400 pixels to 3000 x 3000 pixels. Your podcast app adjusts the image according to where it’s being seen whether it's an iPad, iPhone or an Android and you can create these images yourself. I have created show images in the past myself using Canva which is a great free tool. You can also use Pic Monkey or you can hire a designer. You can head to websites like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com where there are a lot of freelancers shopping their wares and you can get some really cheap work done there.

Just try and be as clear as possible in your brief when you’re using a designer because sometimes they'll charge by the hour and you don't want to be going back and forth 150,000 times. That's why I like to use Canva because I don't want to pay somebody every time I want to change the font. Sometimes I use Canva to create a mock up that’s as close to what I want as possible before I give it to a designer so that rather than trying to explain it in words they can see what I'm getting at. So even if you don't use Canva to create the logo that you end up using it can be a great way to create something to give to a designer so that they've got a very clear indication of exactly what you want.

The other thing it's nice to do too if you've already got a website is try and tie some of the colors, themes or fonts in from your website to your other collateral. That will help you build a coherent brand. But the most important thing is you want to create a cover art or logo that really pops.

So look at what's out there and see if you can pick a color or an image that's going to stand out. You want to convey as much as possible about what the show is about using your image and your text. But you want to keep it simple so don't clutter it up with heaps of information or heaps of text just one or two words or just the show name.

I hope that’s helped you think about how to create your podcast logo. Of course if you have any questions that you would like answered on the show you can always email me. You'll find my contact page at PodSchoolPodcast.com. There’s also information there about my online podcasting course, PodSchool.com.au, if you need a little more assistance in getting your show out of your head and into people's years. I'll see you next week and until then, happy podcasting.

 

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