Author: Ajoke SofiyyahCardoso

Design Podcast Cover with Aj

Design ideas and design process

Podcast covers are a visual representation of what the talk is about. It connects the creator to the listener, so for my first podcast cover, I started off with an illustration of me.

First Image

Figure 1 (Creative Talk Final Design)

The first podcast cover draft I did not like it because it was too busy. Each logo was not able to show, and it lacked space, so for the final design, I shrunk it. I decided to have blue and pink as the background colour because they are light colours and would work with the illustration rather than against it. This allows the viewers to see each logos without the illustration clashing with each other.

The second draft, I reduce the numbers of adobe app logo I should use and colour. I used a light shade of blue. However, the image looked boring to me, and the colours did not seem to blend, which resulted in me darkening the illustration complexion. I could not choose the right shade of blue I wanted to use, thus me combining them and doing a half and half background.

I wanted to show some of the most used creative cloud software for graphics design. However, I edited the logo colour to match the colour scheme of the podcast. I like the final image because I was able to use space to surround each element of my design. I darken her skin tones because I wanted her to stand out more from the background.


Figure 2 (Creative Talk Illustration Draft)
Figure 3 ( Creative Talk Second Draft)
Figure 4 ( Creative Talk Second Draft)















Second Image

Figure 5 (Typography with Aj Final Design)

The image gave me an indie aesthetic which is I like because it allows me to experiment with less professional fonts. I thought it was interesting to put different typeface on her hair, and it stood out more because the hair colour is black.

I decided to not use the first and second background because the colour was too bright. The reason I first started with a bright colour was that from my inspiration, it used bright colours; however, I felt the colourful pastel works best cause it calm and aesthetically pleasing.



Figure 6 (Typography with Aj Illustration Draft)
Figure 7 (Typography with Aj First Draft


Figure 8 (Typography with Aj Second Draft)













Third Image

Figure 9 (Graphic Talk Final Design)

The third podcast cover I used a cutting tool to bring the sculpture about and show the flowers. This was the easiest to among the three and only involved me using the cutting tool and watching a simple tutorial on how to create a flower sculpture effect.

I wanted to show artwork that is typically done on photoshop.  I like it because the idea of flowers coming out of art sculpture is simple but aesthetically pleasing. It is also a different way of doing a podcast cover without having to have a self-illustration but yet still looking interesting and a showing skill.

The only problem I had with this podcast cover was what to do with the background without making the cover too busy.

Figure 10 (Graphic Talk First Draft)

I used the warp tool to create the yellow background behind the sculpture. I initially thought the colour yellow brought out the sculpture; however, after analysing it more, I realise it was pointless to have it on the podcast and decided to just keep it simple.







Software tutorials

Youtube Tutorials Links: 


For this project, I did not use that much tutorials to guide me with my work as I am already familiar with the essential feature of photoshop. However, I did watch videos for how to draw using illustrator and that helped me for two of my podcasts covers.

My initial plan was to watch a tutorial on how to draw on Photoshop. Still, most of the tutorials were complicated and outdated, so I decided to use illustrator because it was more beneficial. I was not confident in my skill in illustrator, and this was my first time using it.

With the tutorial, I was able to get a basic understanding of the tools I was meant to use. I drew the illustration using my laptop pen, not realizing that I could have just used the pen tool which could have saved me a lot of time. I used the pen tool in my second illustration and the image came out neater

I designed my background with photoshop, the tools I used the most was the Image Adjustment: colour balance and hue/saturation tools. The goal was to change the colours of the adobe app to pink so that it can match the laptop and desk.

My third podcast, I watched a tutorial on how to design a flower portrait. The tutorial was simple and involve mainly using the cutting tool. The reason this tutorial was helpful was that I did not know how to place the flowers on the sculpture to show the effect of it emerging from the sculpture.

I do not believe I got the effect to its full potential. However, I do like how it stands out and people can easily identify what I am trying to illustrate.

The skills I need to improve are how to follow through with an idea. Doing this work, I have had so many ideas for what I would like to do with the podcast cover. However, I lack the skills to do them, and that leads to me abandoning the idea and getting frustrated.

This was my first time doing digital drawing and the result turning out nice. I am very proud of the works I produced, so I wanted to be included in my cover.

Through the tutorials, I was able to learn how to draw digitally. Although I am proud of what I have done with more knowledge and practice on photoshop, I feel like would have done better.



Resources for research and inspiration

When trying to think of ideas for a project, I always look through Pinterest an image-sharing app to look for inspirations for my work. When browsing what really caught my eyes were pastel colours for podcast cover, flower sculpture effect and the cartoon illustration of the podcast creator, I combined those element and used it to create my podcast illustrations.

Figure 11 (Resource 1  Podcast Example)

When researching it was challenging to figure out what type of design, I wanted to have for my podcast cover. I decided to use fig 11 and fig 12 because of the simplicity and layout of the designs, I felt it would be the best inspiration for a podcast design.

I found the resources for my design interesting cause it has a soft look to it and the colours are calm. I like the style of the podcast cover and how the background seems to work with the illustration rather than against it, which is an aspect I implemented in my design.

The resources design was out my comfort zone and encourage me to learn a new skill and broaden my knowledge on photoshop, which has been very beneficial.

Inspiration for the name of my first podcast cover “Creative Talk” was the adobe software “Creative Cloud” I felt the name brought all the elements of my artwork together and connects gives a glimpse of what this podcast is about.

From an article by Price, I learnt that a podcast cover is what connects the listeners to the podcast.  “That it is very important how you design a podcast cover that why most of my podcast designs have illustration because I wanted to set the mood and build the world of your show before the audience even starts listening.” (M Price, 2017)

Figure 12 Resource 2 ( Sculpture Flower Effect)

Podcast covers should not be too busy and chaotic with load colours because this is what connects the listeners to the creator.

Figure 14 ( Podcast Example 2)



Reading Movie Time

Reading Film Theater final

The project was to design a Reading movie leaflet for an International audience and family.

It was difficult to try and put all the information in (2) two columns at the same time make it legible and readable for the target audience but over some time I was able to overcome this difficulty.

I originally wanted to follow the University of Reading logo colour red as my background colour but was told from the peers feedback that it was not ‘aesthetically pleasing or easy on the eye’ for a movie leaflet so I choose a darker shade (maroon) as my background colour so that is can have a better contract with the white text.

I use a basic layout of the border around the edge with a white box at the bottom with a maroon colour text so the information would not blend in with the movie listing information and give it a bit of a hierarchy. The result made the text easier to read and stands out the most. Overall, it was effective.

When printing this work I found out I made a lot of little mistakes that I could not notice on the screen such as some spacing issues, line lengths and cutting someone’s name in half. I Should try to make sure to keep a consistent layout and make sure to pay close attention to the detail. Overall, I think I did really good work.

House Rolfe -GOT

The project is to design a present for a classmate based on their interest and see how we can develop it with random words.

Ideal Gift was an interesting project to do because I got to learn more about my classmate interests and see what kind of work, they can do based on my interests.

One of my partner favourite tv show is called a game of thrones and His favourite animal is a cat and I used the cat as a symbol in his Game of Thrones house,  In GOT they have houses logo to represent their surnames.

My random words were birds, explosion, and umbrella I experimented with all those words and choose an umbrella with the cat as my best. The final work resembled that of an Egyptian symbol which I found very interesting and I felt it suits the theme of Game of Thrones.

My Experiment


friendly Cautious

When first given this project I want on the site Pinterest an image-sharing app to look at images related to Covid 19  at first no results where shown cause the website did not want to risk false info about covid 19 sharing on their platform.

I use the other name Coronavirus and the first image I saw was an illustration of an iconic character in a movie cartoon titled the ‘Incredibles’ and she one of her most iconic lines is ‘No Capes’. When I saw this image, it gives me a feeling of nostalgia and childhood.

I like this illustration cause it is ironic how her she says, ‘no capes but real super wear mask’ to highlight the importance of wearing a mask for anyone especially a superhero. and I believe that anyone who has watched this movie would be able to understand the reference.

Another important thing I like about this Illustration is cause it is funny and allows the viewer to learn about covid but still escape the harsh realities of this pandemic.

This pandemic has taken many lives and cause so many people financial problems so most of the times people don’t want to see posters that keep reminding them of this year trauma however it is still good to remind people about the importance of wearing a mask without scaring them.

The images are different from those of the usual yellow signs that grab the attention of viewers and remind them to wear a mask. The illustrations are not people friendly and stricter on their information.




Thou these images are yellow they are more friendly since one is a movie titled ‘Kill Bill which is an action movie that involves a lot of man slaughtering and the other uses an emoji that is popular and friendly to communicate to the viewers.



I found this collection very interesting cause of the use of illustrations to form the outline of masks on faces.

It is very simple and straight with the topic of discussion.

I like the use of pale colours cause I feel like the visuals say enough and the use of the usual bright yellow, red and blue would be too chaotic.


These images are different from the rest as they are mainly typeface with illustrations to support the posters

These are quotes related to covid 19. They are all communicating the basic knowledge surrounding racism

They are straight to the point and witty. They are a play on words and some might find it humorous to read.

Stranger Things.

TYINT Penguin Book Design

In class, we learnt how to design a classic penguin cover on InDesign and know the basic format of it. We were also showed the important tools that are used on a regular basis when using and how to use it.

I am not particularly fond of InDesign for cover design cause I find the program confusing to understand and tricky to use and I prefer photoshop but with the seminar, I was able to use and understand much more tools than before

There were many tryout and errors when designing the cover since the task for the day was to replicate it as much as possible. The hardest was designing the penguin logo cause it involved so many steps to get to the final product thou I believe my logo isn’t accurate with more practice I can do better.

Messed Up Version.

For my second tasked I did a book cover for one of my favourite series using a classic penguin book cover as inspiration. The series is called ‘Stranger Things’, It is a Fantasy, Horror TV Series on Netflix.

Stranger thing has an iconic bold logo that is recognizable anywhere. The font is ITC Benguiat, it’s a serif typeface with all letters stretched vertically. The colour theme for the cover is Red, white, and black because the logo for the series is a red or red outline with either a white or black background.

I turn the penguin upside down to represent a dimension in the series called ‘the upside-down’. The scratch marks represent the demon of the book and the marks that show that this film is horror.

The series Stranger Thing is a series I love because it has a 1983 theme, and I enjoyed the vintage layout in which the film is produced. It is influenced by Stephan king horror books so I wanted the theme of my cover to be dark.

I like the simplicity of the book and I feel like it communicates to viewers what can of the series cover is based on at the same time without giving to much information.

Are they still a family

For Sara project Impactful images, we were asked to design two images based on a topic given to us. One of the images should be direct and the other indirect towards the topic. The second image should be less subtle but still allow readers to be able to identify the theme of the topic.

I did a mind map of family and I decided to explore pregnancy, as that is what brings the next generation of a family. However, I used pregnancy to represent a mother who dies from childbirth and now the father is left to deal with the trauma and raise two sobbing kids.

For family my original images show a typical family, a father 2 children and a pregnant wife, to go deeper into the topic of  family my theme pregnancy and how it brings joy to those around, however, there are some people in this world suffering from a pregnancy that does not bring life but takes it.

The uses of black in the second image is to show mourning and loss of a family member, I made the mother and the child emotionless to show that they have gone from this world and no longer with their family.

The title ‘Are they still a family?’ is to ask viewers if this mourning family can still be a happy family even though they have lost what brings them joy.

Moreover, I enjoyed this topic cause is similar to that of storytelling, which I have interest in but with images. I would love a  similar topic in the future but with more time to develop and explore my ideas.

My Journey with UOR Lettering

It was a sunny but windy day on Monday and our task for the day was to take pictures of letterings that fascinated us around the campus. After exploring the campus and taking pictures for 2 hours we were then asked to organise the images whatever way we like.

As I explored the campus I didn’t really have any theme in mind however, I found lettering on the grounds really interesting. I took them in interesting angles so the images would not be too flat.

I like the fading of the ground lettering and rusted look of the metal relief these are caused by environmental elements such as air and water and as a result, gives the lettering a more interesting and unique look.

Click the link for  My lettering Composition



A, S Or A, C – Initials


I first started with 3 letters for my initials using fonts that I used in my previous monogram serif but later advised by Kim that 2 letters would be better and faster.


I Used Garamond as I am particularly instead in Serif typeface. I started to sketch and Explore which letter i would use with ‘A’ for my design process I chose ‘S’ cause I liked the swirl around the Letter ‘A’


The Stages

Final Work


I am quite happy that I took Kim advised as I like the simplicity of the  2 letters. after comparing my work with that of my mates I regret not exploring more with the forms and layout of my letters.



Grab and Tear it all


What is this story about

A lady obsessed with finding a mouse but later finds  out after dismantling her bookshelf  that there is nothing and it might all be in her head

I found the subject of the story very interesting as it allowed me to be able to use the magazines to the full content

How can it be represented visually?

When I thought of obsession I thought of OCD -Obsessive-compulsive disorder, chaos, a mouse and scratch marks

At the back, I added shreds of paper to represent her taking the bookshelves apart one by one

hands: to show the obsessiveness with grabbing of the mouse

The Front                                                          The back