If you are a band, musician, or a podcaster...you might be asking yourself this very question. I think my answer might surprise you.
The Simple Answer
Yes, you can design your own cover art..... there I said it. Anymore it doesn't take much to create that 1x1 square image with text that has your project name on it. The amount of creative tools that are available online, or even on your smartphone, is amazing. I see people singing the praises of services like Canva, that it is user friendly and that it's free. There are even mobile apps that I have used in the past that are very powerful and will allow you to make graphics with text and images.
These tools can range anywhere from free, to $10-$20 per month depending on the level of control and customization you need/want. As long as you have a smart phone or computer, you can technically design your own cover art.
The Designer Difference
This isn't intended to pick on anyone's creative abilities,( because I know 100% how vulnerable it is to put any creative work out into the world), and I did ask permission to share this example before posting. I wanted to show you the difference of a free tool in an average person's hands, and the same concept from a designer's point of view.
The podcast host who originally created the image above used a popular free design software, and would definitely not call himself a designer. It's a pretty simple concept, the blue curved lines represent one of Chattanoogas greatest features, the river that runs through the heart of downtown. The name of the podcast is very prominent , and even has the tagline in the bottom corner to help describe what the podcast is about.
There is not a lot of contrast in the image, and the effect on the city name Chattanooga makes it a little hazy and slightly hard to read. The haziness probably has more to do with the image quality of the file this service/software saves at.
With that being said, this image did serve a purpose. It allowed Michael, the host, to get the podcast started and out in the world for people to discover. What could this cover art look like if it was created by a graphic designer...?
The first thing that I wanted to address was the contrast. Firstly it makes the text on the image easier to read, and secondly it's a better interpretation of water itself. Water has a lot of different shades, depending on depth and movement, and helps visually evoke the idea of exploring the shallow and deep parts of "My part of the Town". I also wanted to add a "pop" of color to grab people's attention. Gold/yellow colors are complimentary with blue, and add that rich contrast that instinctively tells us that something is of higher quality. I purposefully separated the podcast name with the city name, Chattanooga, so that you have to pause for a second to read the title. Because you may only have.a split second to catch someones attention- if you can get them to pause and possibly take a second look, the better your chances are of them clicking on your show to learn more.
Same concept, same target audience, same agenda...but a much different design. Design is objective, so to say one is better than the other is all going to lie in the opinion of the beholder. Think to yourself, if you were scrolling through a list of potential podcasts, which one are you most likely to listen to first...?
Wether you are creating music, or telling stories through the medium of podcasting, getting listeners is one of the hardest tasks. Cover art is about grabbing a listeners attention, so don't let your cover art be the thing that holds back your potential listeners from checking out your project.
Can you create your own cover art, yes...but getting a designers perspective can change how well your show is viewed and received. Unfortunately this isn't some snake oil that will magically bring more listeners, but it will give your project a chance in this short attention span, digital world.
Do you have a designer...?
If you have a project, and you need cover art to get it out there, I can help. Wether its re-imaging your cover art like I did for the My Part of Town podcast, or starting from scratch, I have options to help bring your project to life. Click here to see my different cover art services, or use the contact form below to connect with me about your project.
Also make sure and go support Michael by checking out the My Part of Town podcast on your favorite podcast apps, or by using the link below.