You only have one chance to make a good first impression, not to mention the fact that it is the visual aspect of your podcast that will influence the listener, before the auditory side comes into play. Your cover (or sleeve) should appeal to the audience and incite them to listen to your podcast; this is why the visual impact is as important as the quality of your sound and equipment.
There are several rules to follow. First of all, the size of your cover – either photo or a picture has to be square. Even though it is quite unusual today, this is the normal format on all platforms. You may also have to follow Apple’s specific requirements in terms of size: a minimum of 1,400 x 1,400 pixels and a maximum of 3,000 x 3,000 pixels, while being in JPEG or PNG format.
Keep in mind that those rules are not set in stone; a few years ago, a 300 x 300-pixel cover was more than enough, but podcasts are more popular now, the screens are bigger, and their resolution has improved. In fact, if you don’t want to be forced to resize your cover in the future, go for a format of 3,000 x 3,000 pixels right from the start.
Once you have dealt with these technical subtleties, let your creativity run wild. If you are not good at graphic designing, you can ask a specialist to help you. You will have to convey the identity of your podcast through your cover, both in terms of content and tone; so you can’t go for stern colors and design if you plan to chat with your friends about something fun.
Style, colors, typography: nothing should be left to chance! This cover will not only be your image on the various podcast platforms and catalogues, it will also be your podcast’s profile picture on Facebook, Twitter and all other social media. This is why you must include the name of your show in your image.
Some podcasters even include a microphone or earphones so that people understand it is an audio show and not a YouTube channel or a blog. This may seem superfluous, but don’t forget that not everybody is as modern and clear-sighted as you.