How to Choose the Perfect Colors for Your Podcast Cover Art

podcasting 8 min read

Guest Post by Milja Milenkovic, community manager at DesignAdvisor.Net: The colors you choose for your podcast cover art can greatly influence listeners’ first impressions and could even affect whether someone takes the all-important step and presses “play” in the first place. You might be thinking, ”Podcasts are audio, and the minimal visual aspect is not the main point at all so why bother with it?” The very fact that the visual element is so small means that you need to make it count!

Table of Contents

The Impact of Color

Color choices for podcast cover art can be a science
Color choices for podcast cover art can be a science

Human beings are such visually wired creatures that even the small bit of cover art on your podcast can set the tone for the listening experience. Various color choices can trigger a whole host of different emotions and convey different meanings to the observer. The impact on color is more significant than most people realize. In fact, Design Advisor claims that 62-90% of product assessment is based on color alone!

So let’s take a look at how you can enhance the impact of your podcast logo through the colors you use for your icon and podcast cover art, your podcast background and even your website.

Color Impact For Your Podcast Logo vs Podcast Background

Depending how your podcast logo is designed, podcast background color can be even more impactful and influential in setting the overall tone of your podcast artwork than the logo itself. This is because the background color of your podcast takes up more real estate than the logo itself. In general terms your logo versus the background will benefit from contrasting color choices, which make the design “pop” or stand out.

  • So our advice is to view the final design from a distance and judge the overall impact of the color combination.

Podcast Logo Design With Color In Mind

When you start the process of designing a logo or hiring someone to do it, the below sections should help you understand which colors will work for your podcast logo, and to create a design brief to satisfy Apple Podcast specifications as well as any other platforms.

  • A helpful resource is to use the free Adobe Kuler tool which lets you browse, preview and define your own color schemes and combinations. You can then pass these along your podcast logo designer.

Apple Podcast Podcast Icon Specifications

Wether you design your podcast cover art yourself or wether you hire someone, the Apple Podcast specifications are an important consideration. Apple recommends a resolution of a minimum of 1,400 x 1,400 pixels and a maximum of 3,000 x 3,000 pixels at 72 dpi (dots per inch). The files should be .jpg or .png formats. the color space should be RGB, and the color profile should be embedded in the .jpg file.

At Polymash we prefer top have the artwork created at 3,000 pixels, but we then downsize it to 1,400 px and .jpg format in order to reduce the podcast logo file size to somewhere below 250KB.

In the past we have had issues with 3,000 pixel .png cover art images being too big for some podcast platforms.

  • When you hire someone on Fiver or 99Designs or Upwork to design a podcast logo for you, be sure to clarify your expectations
  • You should ask for the “Apple Podcast Ready” files in both the above formats
  • But you should also request the original artwork in Adobe .ai (Illustrator) or .psd (Photoshop) format. This is so you can use your podcast logo design original artwork and concept in other formats, such as for page headers, Facebook / Twitter profiles and your website.

A Word About Licensing and 3rd Party Components

We also recommend ensuring that you will be the exclusive and full owner of the podcast cover art license.

  • So do not accept Creative Commons licensing, or icons and components you may not own outright being used on your podcast artwork.
  • You should own the copyright exclusively, including all elements used for your design. Ask your designers to include all licenses for icons or artwork that they used in the creation of your podcast logo.

What Kind of Message Does Each Color Convey?

In this section, we will break down the messages conveyed by each color and follow that with a few questions you should be asking yourself when deciding what colors will work best for your particular podcast. Color psychology can be a significant ally in web design as well not only in terms of aesthetics and mood but also when choosing the color of CTA buttons and other elements. To learn more about how the psychology of color can boost your website conversions, take a closer look at the infographic below.

Green: Growth and Health

Podcast pover art closeup photography of green leaf plant
Photographer: Hello I'm Nik | Source: Unsplash

This calm and peaceful color gives a sense of health and harmony, but also symbolizes nature and growth. Depending on the topic of your podcast or business, green could be a great cover color to attract your listeners. It’s a popular choice within the energy sectors as well as finance, household, technology and some subsections of the food industry.

Blue: True and Trustworthy

podcast cover art blue wall and shadow image
Photographer: MAURO BIGHIN | Source: Unsplash

There’s a reason why they say ‘true blue’ for something that is tried and tested. Blue is a tranquil color that is a worldwide favorite across the board. If you want to send a message of stability, reliability and trust, you can’t go wrong with blue. Remember, there is a myriad of different shades of blue available, so don’t be worried about not standing out.

Red: Bold and Passionate

podcast cover art person wearing red running shoe
Photographer: Martin Widenka | Source: Unsplash

There’s no denying that red stands out. That’s the reason it’s used for anything from clearance sale signs to stop signs. The sight of red has also been shown to increase people’s heart rates, and it is undoubtedly the color of emotion and passion. If the content of your podcast is bold and passionate, maybe red is the right color for your cover design.

Orange: Ambition and Confidence

orange fruit with orange background
Photographer: Holger Link | Source: Unsplash

Orange comes between red and yellow on the color wheel and is a warm and enthusiastic color. Orange gives a feeling of confidence and is said to stimulate the logical areas of the brain and also to encourage creativity. It is a favorite with kids and young people, as well as those who are young at heart.

Yellow: Bright and Sunny

podcast cover art headphones on yellow
Photographer: Malte Wingen | Source: Unsplash

This warm and cheerful color has a powerful effect, especially when set against a dark or contrasting background. Yellow stands out in the crowd and works well for the food industry, household and energy sectors. It is a symbol of joy, cheerfulness and optimism.

Purple: Rich and Regal

photo of ice cream
Photographer: Sharon McCutcheon | Source: Unsplash

The color of kings and queens, purple is indeed associated with royalty and wealth. It is a favorite in the beauty industry and for anti-aging products. Purple suggests eternal youth and wisdom, with a whiff of mysticism. Does the message of your podcast fit with this image? Then perhaps purple is the color for your cover!

Pink: Pretty and Positive

pink balloons
Photographer: Amy Shamblen | Source: Unsplash

As a lighter shade of red, pink is also a passionate color, but with a much softer touch. There are many different kinds of pink, from pastel salmon to bright fuschia. In color psychology, pink denotes compassion, nurturing and hope. The feelings which tend to be evoked by the color pink are usually positive, warm, comforting and calming.

Grey or Silver: Stylish and Sophisticated

The color silver as it applies to podcast cover art
Photographer: Robert Haverly | Source: Unsplash

Silver and its close cousin grey are very useful as neutral colors that bring balance and give that sleek accent, much like the proverbial silver lining. Silver and grey can be beautifully matched with just about any other color.

Black: Classic and Elegant

silver headphones on top of black surface
Photographer: Frank Septillion | Source: Unsplash

Black is in a class of its own. It speaks of luxury and elegance, as well as power, authority and strength. If you want a professional and timeless look to your podcast cover, you might want to choose a simple black and white design.

White: Pure and Perfect:

Photographer: Verne Ho | Source: Unsplash

White is such a versatile and useful color, whether you use it as a background for your podcast cover art or as part of your icon. White gives a fresh feeling of cleanliness and perfection, and can also stimulate creativity.

Questions to Help You Choose Your Podcast Cover Art Colors

What is the topic of your podcasts?

What are your podcasts about? What is your message and what industry or sector do you identify with in terms of your product or service? Given the above basic messages associated with the different colors, which one most closely fits for you?

Who are your listeners?

Do you anticipate that most of your listeners will be men or women, wealthy or budget conscious, professionals or amateurs, younger or older folks? Bear your demographic in mind when making color choices as different groups of people tend to respond differently to colors.

Do you have a logo or brand color?

If you already have a logo or brand color, then you are more than halfway there. Let your listeners identify you immediately when they see your logo. Make sure that the format you use for your podcast cover art and icon will look good on any platform you might choose to use.

What about color combinations?

Once you’ve identified what your main color should be, you may want to add an accent color or two. You could choose a shade or tone of the same color, or go for a different, complementary color. Try to limit yourself to no more than three colors to avoid an over-the-top appearance.

What kind of impression does the overall look leave?

With the limited space available for your podcast icon, you need to make sure that your overall look is not cluttered or messy. Keep it clean and simple with fonts and images that stand out, are easy to read and recognizable.

Now that you have some ideas and pointers about the power of color in visuals, it’s time to choose that icon and cover art for your podcast! Let them be a fitting visual complement to your amazing audio content!

Infographic: 40 "Psychology of Color" Facts

Infographic: 40 "Psychology of Color" Facts
podcasting cover art color scheme design impact