Category: Podcast cover (Photoshop)

The Design Pod

  1. Design Ideas and Design Process:

1st Design:

For my 1st design, I wanted to incorporate different styles of letterforms to build up a word, much like a ransom note. I experimented with the different letterforms by making them up equal in size as well as creating huge variations between them. I later came to the conclusion that having different variations between them was more in keeping to the style of a ransom note. To further develop my skills, I wanted to create a paper-like texture as the background in order to keep in theme with the ransom note. This has consequently enabled my software skills to develop to include the use filters from the filter gallery. Here I discovered how to use the texturiser to create a paper-like effect.

Experimenting with different letter sizing and which I found most effective

Experimenting the scaling and relief options on the texturiser, creating minimal and intense textural backgrounds

2nd Design:

For my 2nd design idea, I took inspiration from the tutorial Rachel offered on Blackboard, experimenting with the hue and saturation of an image. I started by generating a combination of different images, which I then played with under the hue and saturation tool bar. I chose a purple/pink/green colour combination as I thought they were more eye-catching and powerful. I decided not to write anything onto the cover as I wanted to take it into the other design software’s to experiment with an image of my own.

Below is an illustration I made for my collage:

Examples below of the different stages and experiments using the hue and saturation tool:

3rd Design:

For my final design I followed an online tutorial on creating pop art. After experimenting with a range of different colours I decided to go with blue and pink as this is a very well-known colour combination. To develop my skills further, I followed a tutorial on how to warp text as well as make a customise warp. For my design, I needed to customise it in order to make it more legible.

Examples below of different colour combinations i experimented with:

Examples below of different warped text features I experimented with, along with looking at different placements for the text:

Below shows a before and after I my customised warp to make it more legible:

  1. Software Tutorials:

I got the majority of my software skills from watching YouTube videos. Many of the ideas or tools I looked at were inspired by quick viral videos I had seen through social media platforms such as TikTok. For my first design I followed a YouTube tutorial on how to create a paper texture effect. This tutorial helped to give me better understanding of the different effect available of the software, and how using a different scaler can create a drastic change whilst still using the same effect.   On my second design, I experimented with the hue and saturation tool after following the tutorial available on blackboard. As well as finding my own online tutorials, I wanted to follow one suggested by Rachel from Blackboard. The tutorial offered by Rachel helped to broaden my understanding towards the smaller, unnamed icons available not found in the menu bar. Finally, the tools I used on my last design included learning more about different effects available for images, but also different text effects. I enjoyed creating this design the most as I felt I learnt a lot more about Photoshop from it. For this I first followed a tutorial on how to convert an image into a Pop art effect with a combination of different colours. Later I learnt how to distort text by warping it into different shapes and sizes. This is a software skill I would like to develop further, especially as the warp is customisable. Although I customised my text to make it more legible, I think this tool is a really creative way to create your own distorted font.


Tutorial link for warped text:


  1. Design Resources and Articles:

After deciding that I wanted to do a Pop Art design for one of my podcasts covers, I found a website that included a range of different styles of Pop Art. This was really helpful in terms of being able to see the different styles side-by-side and really helped to influence my design choice. Although the website offered a range of different styles, I decided to go for the vectorised version of Pop Art, often used by Andy Warhol. Further to this design I wanted to come up with my own podcast name instead of constantly using ‘Typography and Graphic Communication’. This led me to start reading different articles about how to create the perfect podcast name as well as create a mind map. After reading an article I realised it need to be something short and sweet but also a play on words. As the podcast was for designers, I knew it need to include either the word ‘design’ or something similar. So why ‘The Design Pod’ you may ask? Well, a pod refers to an enclosed space much like a capsule. Therefore, would have no background noise and very much be in the moment, helping to give off the look as an easy listen but also educational which is something a podcast should be.


Web link for additional resources:


My Podcast Cover

Design Ideas and Process

sketch ideas

When planning,  I first researched different podcast covers for inspiration and used them to create a mood board for myself when sketching out my initial ideas. I came up with six different ideas and used three of these to create some covers.

step by step process
final design 1

For the first cover, I was inspired by the pink podcast cover in my mood board of a boy shouting through a mic, and words flowing out through it, imitating the noise level. I first took a picture of a mic I had back at home and used the eraser tool to remove the background. Then I added text and warped it to create a horizontal distortion as if the words are coming out through the mic. To add to this sound imagery, I put in some triangle shapes behind the words to emphasise this distortion and to create a direction of where the sound is coming from. I thought the background was a bit plain so I added some swirls around the centre representing the wires coming out from the mic, however, I thought it was too distracting so I removed it later. In terms of colour scheme and typeface, I went with a retro theme of pastels and a display typeface to make it more eye-catching.

step by step process
final design 2

For my second podcast cover, I thought that both music and podcasts came under a similar category as they both require listening to which is why I was inspired by vinyl and record designs. I first created the basic shape of a vinyl and added details using the shape tool. I then wrote the text for the podcast and used the warp arc effect to make the words fit around in a circle. However, I had a few issues with this as the text distorted a bit too much to the point where it was hard to read, and each of the lines became different sizes, creating a hierarchy I did not intend to make. Therefore, I changed the warp effect to the ‘buldge’ one, creating a fish-eye kind of perspective. This worked out a lot better and now looks more balanced. In terms of colour, I used quite a classic scheme for records: yellow, red and black. Then, I used a hint of green to mention the “podcast” bit, which comes to think about it now, may be hard to see over the dark red, but overall I am quite happy with this design. This piece allowed me to further develop my software skills by exploring and using the tools in Photoshop and arranging shapes and colours to create a visual of a vinyl. This is probably my favourite design out of the three as I like the visual look in terms of shape and colour, and how even and symmetrical everything is.

step by step process
final design 3

For my third podcast cover, I wanted to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere through the use of headphones and a dark background. It was hard to draw headphones free-handedly, so I made use of the shapes tool again to create an overlay of circles and rectangles to make that shape. Overall, I think that this cover could be improved in terms of relating it more to Typography and Graphic Communication, focussing less on atmosphere and more on communicating the actual message.

Software tutorials

Even though I have used photoshop in the past, I am still quite new to all the tools and techniques, therefore, these two beginner links really helped me come to grips with them.

For my third podcast cover, I used this link to help me with my illustration of headphones. I learnt how to use the different shape tools to accurately compose each part, and grasped the process of duplicating, reflecting and rotating in order to make everything symmetrical and even.

Software skills I want to develop further in Photoshop are creating more complex illustrations and possibly freehanded ones. Also, as Photoshop is mainly used to edit photos, I could have incorporated more images which would have developed my photo editing and manipulation skills.

Design resources and articles

How to design a podcast cover: the ultimate guide – 99designs

How to Design Stunning Podcast Cover Art That Stands Out in iTunes

These four links were the main sources of inspiration for my podcast cover designs.  They helped me in terms of colour scheme, layout and imagery that I could include. I particularly liked the ones with bold colours and display font which really stood out to me. I hoped to do the same with my covers, such as using a bright yellow background to grab the viewer’s attention. I also learnt the importance of ‘simplicity is key’ when looking at these existing podcast covers as they all have a common feature of simplifying shapes and text in order to communicate a more clear and effective message to the viewer.

Exploring Design Layout (Layer) in Photoshop

Design Ideas and Design Process

Previoiusly, I had limited knowledge of using Photoshop. However, through this task, I explored the use of layers to see how stacking the layers in different orders helped with the layout of the whole design. This encouraged me to explore tools in Photoshop that I have not used previously. As a result, my software skills have developed to include the use of layers, drawing using the pen tools, etc. I discovered that the curvature pen tool allows you to draw curved lines without having to use anchor points to curve out lines. This led to me using this tool in one of my designs.

Before starting off with any of my designs, I went onto Behance for inspiration and to help develop ideas for my own covers, and also kind of visualise how I wanted the layout of my covers.

Moodboard for Inspiration


Colour Palettes

Then, I went to Colourhunt to look for colour palettes  and one helpful tip was that every colour had the code included making it easy to use them in the colour swatch tool in Photoshop.



Sketching Ideas




I sketched out my designs on paper, since I believed that it would be better to sketch out my ideas first before diving straight into Photoshop; and also, to have a clear vision of what I want to produce.




Design 1

I decided to do a background with random shapes drawn around the edges with text left-aligned. I experimented with the different pen tools and decided using the curvature pen tool, which helped me to draw the shapes with smooth curves. I used colour palette 1 for the cover design. For the text, I used the typeface ‘Lust Script’ for the title and ‘American Typewriter’ for the subheading. At the end, I did a colour fill over the top, set at soft light with 70% opacity.

Choosing Fonts
Colour Fill
Trying Out the Curvature Tool
Trying Out the Freeform Pen Tool


Design 1

Design 2

I did a radial gradient using the ellipse tool and drawing a circle in the middle. Then I used the Gaussian blur tool to blur out the circle and blend it out with the background colour. I repeated the same process to create another gradient on top. For text, I did separate layers and converted them into smart objects to fill them in with black. For the background text, I extended the canvas size and created a text box and continuously typed out ‘typography and graphic communication’ in the typeface ‘Montserrat’ covering the whole page. I finished it by cropping the design. I had used colour palette 2 for this design.

Trying to Put Continuous Text in the Background
Trying Out the Gaussian Blur
Making the Text a Smart Object
Filling in Letters in Black
Choosing Fonts
Design 2

Design 3

I decided to challenge myself and wanted to create a pattern as the background with the text having long shadows. I had also warped the text using the ‘warp option’ and drew some doodles using the curvature pen tool. For the background, I used the line tool to draw diagonal lines across one way. After saving the file and opening it, I deleted all the layers except for the pattern layer and rotated it 90° clockwise and defined it as a pattern and applied it to my original design, resulting in a checker pattern for my background.

Creating Long Shadows
Creating Pattern
Drawing Using Curvature Pen Tool
Warping Text
Design 3

Software Tutorials

Previoiusly, I had limited knowledge of using Photoshop. However, through this task and reading the article of working with layers, I explored the use of layers to see how stacking the layers in different orders helped with the layout of the whole design. This encouraged me to explore tools in Photoshop that I have not used previously. As a result, my software skills have developed to include the use of layers, drawing using the pen tools, etc. I discovered that the curvature pen tool allows you to draw curved lines without having to use anchor points to curve out lines. This led to me using this tool in one of my designs.

In my first design, I had created a radial gradient and I had looked up an Youtube video to help me with this. Watching this tutorial allowed me to learn creating radial gradients in two different ways, however I only applied the first way of doing so, as I believed it was pretty quick and straightforward to understand. However, I believe that the second way of creating these gradients was much more in depth but nonetheless, I was able to achieve what I wanted.

I had used long shadows for my text in the third design. I followed the YouTube tutorial in creating the long shadows. This tutorial was a bit hard to follow, despite it being titled ‘easy’, but that might have been due to my lack of experience and therefore, this was a challenge for me. At the end, I was able to create the desired length of the long shadows and I was satisfied with the results.

Overall, these tutorials helped me learn new skills which I believe I will continue to use in my future upcoming projects.

Photoshop Tutorial | EASY Long Shadow Effect:

How To use Radial Gradient | Photoshop tutorial:

Design Resources and Articles

Reading the article of How to design a podcast cover by Matthew Price, helped me in designing my own podcast covers as it highlighted the important elements of creating covers and how to grab the attention of the audience. This article was also the push I needed to create my own cover without being too anxious about it and explore the different tools that Photoshop had to offer.

In my third design, I had warped the text and I was able to do so with the help of reading and following this additional article titled ‘Three Ways to Curve Text in Photoshop‘. I had followed method 1 to wrap my text and it went pretty smoothly. Reading this article made me realise just how many possibilities there are in Photoshop to create one effect, making it user friendly for any level of professionalism.

Three Ways to Curve Text in Photoshop:

Reflecting On My Podcast Cover Designs

Design Ideas and Process 

With a semi-comprehensive knowledge of Photoshop, I wanted to challenge myself with these podcast covers. I began by using sites like Behance, Pinterest, and Instagram to find sources of inspiration to pursue. Strangely, the posts didn’t prove useful to my designs. Instead, I was inspired by the compositions – the use of grids in the Instagram interface, the blurred buffering images, and the controlled white space influenced my three respective designs. While admittedly strange, I now had three engaging design ideas, using a variety of text and image techniques.

The ‘Mosaic’ Filter I applied, under ‘Pixelate’, altered my image into a more stylized, visually interesting focal point.
The ‘Grain’ menu in the ‘Filter Gallery’, allowing me to add texture to the final image, creating a more visually engaging and aesthetic outcome.

For the first design, using the retro PC image, I wanted to explore different filters, adding texture to the image. As a mostly unexplored tool, I began by using the magic wand, adjusting the tolerance to select the focal image, and adding a layer mask to edit just the PC.

Having added text, I experimented with filters before finding the ‘Mosaic’ Filter in the Pixelate drop-down menu. I adjusted the ‘Cell size’ slider to an appropriate amount. I added more texture using the ‘Filter Gallery’ and applying ‘Grain’, altering the contrast and intensity to suit. Although I have used this before, I hadn’t experimented with the ‘Grain Type’, another variable that changes the final output.



The ‘Layer Style’ panel allowed me to adjust the text settings, making it appear three-dimensional by adding these filters, and eventually a faint drop shadow.
I made an S curve with the ‘Curves Adjustment’ layer, allowing the darker and lighter parts to stand out, making it more visually appealing through this boosted contrast.

With the second design being relatively simple, the focus is on composition, I will discuss the more complex third design. For this, I experimented with shadows and perspective, simulating height within the text by using the ‘Bevel & Emboss’ and ‘Inner Shadow’ layer styles. I added a ‘Drop Shadow’ helping to contextualise the text with the background and amplifying the effect. Despite being initially challenging, I was able to adjust these values to make the design work harmoniously together.

Finally, I used the ‘Curves Adjustment Layer’, allowing me to refine the design’s colours. I have previously used the simpler ‘Brightness/Contrast adjustment. However, ‘Curves’ gave me more control over the exact balancing, allowing a better final outcome to be produced from this slightly more complex adjustment layer.

Software Tutorials

As previously mentioned, I had no idea how to achieve these results. Many of the features and amendments made were generated through experimentation. However, I used software tutorials to educate me on how to use specific tools which I could adapt to fit my design purpose.

This comparison image shows the change this process had on my central image, thanks to the information and guided learning of the tutorial, giving it a technological and modern design aesthetic.

I wanted to push myself for these designs, so I decided to start with a reputable tutorial. I began with a video by Adobe Creative Cloud, going through the filters and effects in Photoshop. While many of these weren’t really useful for my concepts or project, it was still good to expand my knowledge of the software. However, some aspects, such as the meticulous look at the various filtering options, were incredibly useful, with Paul

This shows the comparison between before and after watching the tutorial. I think the difference is pretty clear, the bottom looking almost real as if it’s been embossed.

Trani talks through what each option does and how it can be amended to suit a project. For my work, this was essential to the final outcome; the use of pixelation on the image made it more visually interesting and the additional grain made the design seem more complete and brought the design together.

Being originally lost on how to make the text for this third design pop and stand out, I began searching for tutorials that could give my work direction (and maybe teach me more about using text). Looking on YouTube for specific tips and tricks, I found a video by the channel Facilito, which showed how to use text settings to create a 3D look to the text. This tutorial was incredibly helpful, talking through the different tools used to create this effect. Knowing this, I was then able to go back through and edit these to be appropriate for my design. I enjoyed this element of experimentation, with the tutorial not providing all the answers so I could still work creatively to find the best fit for my piece.


Design Resources and Articles

The Retro PC image was taken by Thomas Millot; this was something I could not source myself (as I didn’t have a Macintosh PC from the ’80s) so I used his image from Unsplash.

A retro informational poster that strongly shaped my first design, giving me a source of inspiration to add my own style to.

On top of this, I got design inspiration from other places. This included the distortion on buffering Instagram images, but the poster on the left more significantly influenced my first design. I wanted to achieve a nostalgic-but-modern, technological appearance which this image does perfectly.

An editable premade text effect for Photoshop, that I replicated by using the earlier cited tutorial and through experimentation.

The final design was inspired by existing work; an effect sold by designer, @putrasepta on Freepik. Although I obviously made the text from scratch, being able to use this similar image was helpful throughout the process, informing me on how to add colour to make the text appear 3 dimensional.

For additional assistance in this project, I read articles about podcast cover art, allowing me to have a more informed opinion on the design’s context of use. I found a recent article on Riverside called about good practices in podcast cover design (, which help educate me on the formatting and conventions of this genre.

This had some useful information, such as keeping Topic, Tone, Personality, Style, Genre in mind while designing. For me, this gave the design process more focus and direction. The technical focus on typography ties in directly with my subject matter, and other tips such as “5. Less is More” really influenced my final outcome, causing me to use large amounts of white space in my piece.

Though not every piece of advice was used within my work, such as using colour temperature (which goes against my modern, monochromatic colours), the article helped my design work greatly, giving me focus while working and an idea of the conventions of modern podcast covers. While my design was intended to be contemporary, this information helped me stay within the genre of podcast cover art.


Design ideas and design process

I developed my designs using video examples from YouTube on how to create different effects on photoshop. I demonstrated this by using the pen tool on photoshop to create different colour strokes in blue, green and white. The pen size was a little big too. I then went on to using the liquify tool. This tool allows you to blend the different colour pen strokes. I used this and blended the different colours to create a marble effect. I got this marbled effect inspiration from TikTok the app. I was on TikTok where I saw this candle making video which was made with a marbled effect. Then later on during the day when I was starting my photoshop task I remembered this and then the idea was created. I first searched some video tutorials on how to do this. I then found a video which was helpful for me because I was new to photoshop I didn’t want to do something that went wrong so this video linked below was very helpful. For the text I wanted something simple yet effective. I changed the position of the text to warp to create a curved effect for Typography because this was the main text focus here. I created a tagline/slogan for the podcast and added a headphone icon to show it is a podcast because after doing research I saw that most podcast covers have a microphone or headphones an an icon.


For design 2 I went for geometric shapes. I outlined them with a dotted stroke line, and also using inspiration from design 1 to change the position of the text again too wavy. This wave effect really goes well with the curved circle edges.

For design three I focused more on the text and the microphone as the icon. I incorporated the letter ‘I’ from the ‘communication’ text to microphone. I felt this made it look better and combining it makes it aesthetical to look at. 

 Software tutorials

I watched the video on how to use layers on photoshop and how to create different ones for the different elements on the page. Adding layers helped me organise my work and helped me lock the layers for the ones I was not using. With layers I was able to separate the images I used and edit them without affecting other parts of texts.I converted the image layer to a Smart Object. this allowed me move the new object around on the page, edit and resize it without affecting other things on the page and the resolution of the image. The quality was not affected. The video on linking images was very helpful. However, I watched this video after creating my design. I didn’t want to fall a week behind so I didn’t make changes.This led to me not having an effective podcast cover. If I was to do this again I would be able to do it much better.


Design resources and articles

An additional software tutorial I used was the liquify video linked above. This video helped me develop creative skills because the liquify tool allows you to create a marbled effect and you can use this and position it anywhere on the page. I also researched into how to create a text background for design 3. The first time I did this the text was not aligned because I copy and pasted the text several times. It went all wrong. However, after doing some research I was able to create a uniform background with the text ‘typography and graphic communication’. I feel to improve maybe not having it in all caps would make it look better because in all caps can make it distracting from the original text which is the podcast title. 

I also researched using the above link into what makes a good podcast cover and i used this to help me chose the colours I ended up using. I used analogous colours which were blue and green shades. I like the idea of using analogous colours because despite lacking in contrast the colours actually do go well together and make the final outline look quite serene to look at.


This was another website I used to take design inspiration from because it had great podcast cover ideas.

overall, I found this task very interesting. I learnt new things.




A Reflection on photoshop

Design Ideas and Design Progress

As I had rarely worked in Photoshop before, my main aim was to understand the basics of the software and to create a design for my podcast cover. Firstly, I experimented with layering and adjusting and manipulating the photo editing tools to fit my theme for the podcast cover which was originally The Bauhaus. In my second design idea, I followed a tutorial on using the perspective warp tool. I applied this to the text and made it seem like there was text coming out of a microphone. For my final design, I brought everything that I had learnt so far and began create what turned out to be my final cover.

Three design ideas:

Design 1 – Perspective Warp
Design 2 – Perspective warp, layering, photo manipulation
Design 3 – Photo Manipulation

My most effective cover was Design 2 as it had the perspective warp tool being used which I learnt in Design 1 and has the most room for development.

I started by adding a textured background, to the background of the podcast cover as it was very flat meaning there was little depth. To do this, I watched a tutorial on how to overlay images in photoshop. (Adobe Asia Pacific, 2021). I then used my knowledge from Design 3, to make the background lose its brightness as it distracted from the main object of the cover. I also decided to change the color theme of the podcast mic. This was because the pink stood against the blue/sand background much more clearly. This design was very successful as it allowed me to utilise all the skills that I had wanted to improve on and learn more as I was able layer images effectively and be able to add type and have it be legible as well as being able to manipulating the photo editing tools to better the design.

Software Tutorials

Although, all the tutorials given in the brief were very useful, I found the adobe tutorial on adjusting the image quality (, 2021) and working with layers (, 2021) the most important for my particular design for my podcast cover. This is because the adobe page on understanding layers helped me to improve on my skills of layers, the use of them and how to view them the photoshop software. This article taught me about the ability to change the opacity of layers. This was useful for me in creating the podcast mic as I was able to lower the opacity of the background layers which enabled me to see what I was drawing even more clearly than it would have been at full opacity. The article on adjusting brightness and contrast was very useful for me as it allowed me to experiment with the brightness and contrast tool with my background layer and I ended up using this tool to make the background darker so it could push forward and help the main text and object stand out in the podcast cover. This turned out to be very successful and made the overall podcast cover look much more interesting and visually pleasing to the eye.

Another tutorial that I found useful, was the adobe tutorial on using the perspective warp tool in photoshop. I used this tool to have the title of the podcast curve around the podcast mic to give the illusion that the mic is 3D. I feel this was both successful and unsuccessful as although the text followed the curve of the microphone, it does not give the illusion of the mic being 3D. I would have continued to work on this, however, I felt it was more important to look the overall cover.

Adobe tutorial –

Design Resources and Articles

For tutorials, I mostly used the Adobe website and a couple of youtube tutorials. In this task I wanted to be able to master basic layering (, 2021) and to be able to add text to my design (, 2019) in a way that did not crowd my podcast cover. However, the most important tutorial was on image overlay (, 2021) as this tutorial allowed me to experiment with my background and adding some interest to the overall podcast cover as it was looking flat and plain. From this tutorial, the most important thing I learnt, was how to blend images into the design or images I was working on. This was incredibly useful as I have previously struggled with merging images together smoothly and successfully. In my particular design, I was then able to go into color overlay and adjust the slider to make the textured layer sit in a way that gave the desired finish.

Another tutorial that was very helpful for my design, was an adobe tutorial on how to apply a gradient fill to a shape (, 2021). I decided to include a gradient fill to my podcast mic shape as I felt it give the cover some depth and help it stand out from the textured background. This tutorial helped me figure out how to change the appearance of my gradient as I felt having an angular gradient would add some visual interest.

I would still like to improve on my use of more photo editing tools and using them to adjust or manipulate images as feel I have not showcased them in this final podcast cover and am not too confident on how to use all the tools apart from the brightness/contrast tool, hue and colour saturation. Although, I was able to use the brightness/contrast to make the background darker so that it would not distract the eye from the main text and object of the podcast cover.



TY1SK – Edan Podcast Project – Photoshop Task

Design Ideas and Design Process

When developing my Podcast covers, I wanted to create designs that used all components of image, type and exploration to create a slick, professional looking design with visual flare. When starting this task I was already pretty comfortable using photoshop but I really wanted to push myself and give myself challenges, such as a podcast cover that I had never done before. For my first Design I really wanted to explore the idea of sound waves and how they move linking this to the use of a microphone in a podcast, I then imported a microphone to lay over the top of the image as an eye-catching centre piece, experimenting with colour and coming to a conclusion that white stood out the best. My first design was my chosen design as I felt it has strong links visually to what a podcast is and looked the most similar to the examples I had seen. My second Design explored a more simplistic approach having the image set as the background for my text, I used the hue and saturation tool to play with the colour of the image, whilst also looking at the way the text should be displayed and adding in logos such as the Spotify, bringing in image being a skill I had previously struggled with knowing how to do. My final Design incorporated more of a typographic stance, using only words to build up my design other than a blue box to allow the text to stand out, I again looked at the layout, the colour and hue and saturation as well as the text type.

Above – Final Designs 

Above – Development Screenshots

Software Tutorials

The software tutorials I used helped me develop my designs because I was firstly able to see the way in which they look which helped me to come up with my own ideas based off of the designs that I looked at when searching up ‘Podcast cover design’. I also watched many YouTube videos that did not just show these successful designs but the process in which was used to make them, something that really helped me when making and developing my design. An important new tool for myself was the used of grids, these allowing my work to correspond to a grid format and therefore have a layout that was even mathematically correct. Within this project as a whole I feel that I’ve only just scratched the surface of the designs I have the potential to develop but by watching more videos like the one I did I feel a can really push myself in photoshop from now on. Whilst there are many skills that have been highlighted to me during this task, as I stated on my troll board I’d like for myself to experiment with more typefaces as well as using the tools for images experimenting more with the colours, hue and saturation, black and white, posterise and invert tools to really bring the podcast cover image to life. By watching more videos I feel I can learn more ways of creating visually pleasing pieces that look carefully made with a slick finish.

Design resources and articles

When looking at design resources and articles the first thing I noticed was the abundance of examples there was to show podcast cover design, from images to websites to articles on a specific one it was a really insightful way to learn about the best ways to design a cover and how to make the most successful design. The additional resources I looked at where images, books on podcast design looking at how they’re made, why they’re made and the key features to them. As well as this I looked at many ‘how to guides’, by looking at multiple I was able to come to the conclusion of the basic principles that they all shared and the individual style that each one explored. I also looked at many articles that discussed podcast cover design and how they’re best portrayed, the best layout, dimensions, looking at ‘Competition’ for inspiration and ideas, how to keep it consistent with your other designs creating a brand identity for your podcast and what features really matter.

Exploring Clipping Masks in Photoshop


My previous knowledge and approach surrounding  the development of my Photoshop designs were mostly comprised of following an entire tutorial online of how to create a certain style/design. Additionally, I would normally only use images from the internet to create my concepts as they were easier to access and would require less time than taking my own photographs. However, this task of creating and developing my Podcast design, encouraged me to have a more open and less restrictive way of thinking, when it comes to designing. The outcome of my design helped me to discover that I could effectively create a design of a good standard that included my own images and a mix of skills.

Design Ideas and Design Process

  • I started my design process by taking a picture of myself to edit in Photoshop.
  • Using the selection tool, I selected everything apart from the background, to then make the background a solid colour of light blue.
  • Using an image that I obtained from the website Pexels ( I pasted the image in front of my photograph and created the clipping mask.
  • At this stage I decided to include a duplicate of the image from Pexels as it did not fit the entirety of my photograph, thus adding it to the bottom of my design.
  • Using the brush tool and adding a new mask, I reduced the flow to 50% to then gradually erased the image away from my photograph to show my face to specify that the clipping mask is of a person.
  • Using another mask layer added onto my photograph, I changed the tone of the original photograph to black and white for a more dynamic/rustic effect that would blend well with my selected image.
  • For the inclusion of my text, I decided to display the main topic of “Typography” at the top of my podcast cover, but I wanted to display “and Graphic Communication” in another method/format. Thus, I created a speech bubble using the shape tools to emphasise the word “communication” and had the bubble reside next to the mouth in the photograph to further connotate communication. After, creating my podcast cover I decided to make alternative designs to show different perspectives of my design as a whole, for example I did this by removing text and changing the colour of the background to show the outlines of my photograph.
    For this example I included a speech bubble to illustrate the “communication” in Graphic Communication.
    Here, I decided to shift the bottom image upward and centre my photograph, as well as add a different font for my text (Bauhaus 93).

    For this design, I decided to reveal the face of the photograph to further emphasise the reality of the shape that is being presented.

Software Tutorials

To make my design I used Youtube to find a tutorial that would help me decide on what style of design I could produce. Through research I found a tutorial that would develop a certain style that I liked and decided to base my podcast design off of it. The video ( helped me to understand how to create my design, as well as refresh my memory on the tools that can be used while in Adobe Photoshop. I believed following this tutorial helped me as it encouraged me to use more advanced techniques in the software and produce a more detailed design. I followed this tutorial to prove that I could properly and confidently work with the software and develop a design for the podcast that was unique to the type of style I had chosen. I would like to improve my skills related to photo editing, as the possibilities in Photoshop are endless, constantly acquiring new knowledge about the system software will help me to build my confidence in this area.

Design Resources and Articles

One additional source that I used to develop my design ideas for my podcast idea for my project was from the official Adobe website, that helped to remind me of some general skills that I could apply to my designs ( Skills such as using the adjustment panel to change my original photograph to black and white for a more dynamic effect helped me to move on with my design processes. Furthermore, the addition of being able to edit photo’s brightness and colour contrast aided me to change how my alternative designs appeared and allowed me to develop my ideas further using these basic Photoshop techniques.


To conclude, I believe my final designs, as well as my design process helped me to further understand the intricacies of photoshop to help me develop my knowledge for future projects. Upon reflection, I would go back and research more tutorials and sources that would help me enhance my design ideas further to potentially improve my final design proposals.


An Overview of my Podcast Cover Designs:

Design ideas and design process:

From my previous experiences with photoshop as a hobby and during school for small projects, I was always inspired to create ethereal images with the backdrop contrast of light in the dark. My inspiration for this preferred style was from the many YouTubers that made tutorials of such styles – such as ‘Benny Productions’ and ‘rafy A’ – whilst also having a great appreciation for 80’s retro futurism from movies such as Blade Runner and Tron. The combination of these two lead me to create ideas 1 and 3 using light adjustment, blending modes and gaussian blur to create the ideal lighting conditions for my podcast covers.

Idea 1 Process – Dual lighting adjustment with a change of colour through a Hue Saturation Layer
Idea 3 Process – Dual lighting adjustment with Curves Adjustment correction
Idea 3 Process – Pen tool path lines with dual stroke lines (one white and one coloured and Gaussian Blurred) creating neon sign









However, as this ethereal neon environment is my favorite and most comfortable style to work in, for my second piece I decided to reach out of my comfort zone and attempt to reach from a bubblier and color saturated 50’s retro inspired style that I never attempted to work with before. My inspiration for attempting a style like this was weirdly enough through a browse of Upsplash – a website gallery full of free usable high-quality photography – where I stumbled across the image that you can see present in my second podcast thumbnail of the man with the circle glasses. From this I began to think of a way of continuing my retro theme without continuing down my comfortable neon path.Eventually I found a tutorial by YouTuber ‘Envato Tuts+’ where she showed how to create the image of a model into that of a retro comic book using many ‘filter tools’ and ‘filter gallery’ effects. I was hooked.

Idea 2 Process – White and Black dual outline
Idea 2 Process – Combination a Sharpening, Blurring, and Filter Gallery filters
Idea 2 Process – Curves Layer Adjustment to brighten the image








Even though the image of the man didn’t come out as shown in the tutorial due to the difference in lighting conditions and photo resolution, I came to appreciate the way it evolved after the placement of the background, the text and overall lighting adjustment.


Software tutorials:

As I have worked with Photoshop before coming to Reading University I was able to use my prior knowledge to guide my way around most problems I faces – an example of this would be the use of the magic wand and mask tools to cut out images from there backgrounds and edit said masks with the black and white brush tool that I learnt in secondary school. However, when I did run into problems regarding the venture that I had never encountered before such as manipulating type in a more exaggerated and curved manner, I made my way to YouTube in order to find an answer to my problem. From this I came across ‘Adobe Photoshops’ own channel where they made a video on how to ‘How to Distort and Warp Text in Photoshop‘ where I learnt that converting a text layer into a smart object, you are able to right click and ‘warp’ the text into your desired configuration by either using the dropdown menu of presets, or by moving the individual point around the image to different locations.

Idea 2 Process – Warping text using Smart Object and Warp Transformation tool









Another tutorial I used in order to get the retro style I was looking for was a tutorial by YouTuber ‘Envato Tuts+’ called ‘How to Make a Retro Comic Book Portrait Effect Action in Photoshop‘ as mentioned in the previous section of this blog post. This video allowed me to create a more retro comic feeling image, however the difference in images from the tutorial image – being very bright with defining lines – to my image – being dark with lines fading into the shadows of the face – made the outcome very different from the tutorial image in a more grudge like fashion. Even so, I came to appreciate the outcome after playing around with the concepts given in the tutorial in addition to my own lighting adjustments, giving the image a more sharpened tone that I was able to works with through the rest of the podcast cover.

‘Envato Tuts+’ tutorial comparison outcome









Design resources and articles:

Additional resources that I used in order to create my podcast thumbnails were DaFont – in order to find the retro bubbly font named ‘Abstract Groovy’, and the broken serif font named ‘Qualy‘ that I wanted to use for my designs – Upsplash – where I got my high quality images by ‘Quinn Buffing‘, ‘Melchior Damu‘ and ‘Dan Freeman‘- and of course the many YouTube tutorial creators such as ‘Benny Productions’ and ‘rafy A’ whom I name dropped above. These resources helped my greatly gathering content to create, and watching content to connect the pieces.

– Original images

TGC Podcast Cover – Photoshop Task

Design Ideas and Design process

At the start of my design process I decided to research and look at pieces of work that would inspire me or trigger ideas. I wanted to use typography and colour in a creative, effective way to give my podcast cover an attractive look. Going into Photoshop my initial idea was to use the title of the podcast, ‘typography and graphic communication’, in a repeated fashion, creating a ‘trippy’ or ‘disruptive’ looking effect. With the success of this idea, I decided to implement it in all of my other tasks as my first design. I had used the same effect for my postcard and for my sticker, the only difference was I had used various colours and word effects. My podcast was an electric blue (which I struggled to recreate) and my postcard was a vibrant pink, using the same image and font. In my final task, I wanted to bring all of my ‘first idea’ designs together and combine them in a harmonious way. My sticker involved both colours from my previous tasks and similar effects in the distortion of my type. As a set of designs, I think that they all work together and you can see that they have distinctive similarities.

Initial Photoshop Podcast design

For my second podcast idea, I wanted to do something simple, yet effective in the way that it’s put together. I wanted to draw peoples attention to it, making it appealing to look at and easy to notice. I started with a simple background colour with some text and added some circular shapes. As I lowered the opacity of these shapes, I noticed that the text was also affected by the colour. This was not intentional, but the outcome was extremely effective. I think that both of my designs are very different in terms of colour and overall aesthetic, however, repeating the words definitely makes it a strong noticeable cover. Overall, making these covers were relatively easy if you know what you’re doing. I didn’t decide to use any fancy effects as I just wanted to create something simple and straight to the point. I think that the covers simplicity and minimalism is what makes it effective.

Podcast 2 – base colour
Similar text design with repetition
My second podcast cover

Software tutorials

In terms of tutorials that I had used, surprisingly, I didn’t use that many at all. We were provided with some mini tutorials on Blackboard so I mostly followed them and learnt some basic skills. When creating my designs, I was mostly just playing around with the software and exploring different ways to use it. I already had some knowledge when using photoshop as I did photography while I was in sixth form. However, I still think that I still have a lot more to learn. Looking at everyone else’s designs on our shared Padlet board, really gave me insight about how many different effects you can create in just Photoshop alone. I remember being taught how to use the magnetic lasso tool in Photoshop. (This is the tool that I used to cut out the podcast microphone for my first designs). I watched a few tutorials of how to do this, but this one really helped me:

The tutorials on blackboard were also a huge help for me, especially for the Illustrator sticker task. I had never used Illustrator before, but by learning just a few basic tools, made me feel more comfortable and confident with using it. The tutorial showed us how to use a type and image distorter feature called ‘envelope distort’. When you click on an image or a sentence of type, the feature allows you to create different distortion techniques and shapes. I used this tool for my sticker design, I created different waves of text that flowed around the shapes. I also ended up distorting the podcast microphone accidentally, but it ended up working so well. I think the envelope distort feature really helped everything come together and flow effortlessly in a simple way.

Envelope distort feature found in Illustrator

Design resources and articles

For my design resources, I mainly looked for inspiration using Pinterest and other art sites. I researched the general look for ‘podcast covers’ and came across so many different designs. For my other tasks, I didn’t really research many things as I had already come up with a set design aesthetic of my own for all of my first designs. One helpful resource would definitely be Padlet, as I mentioned before, it really inspired me and gave me ideas of my own. Again, at the start of the design process I really had no idea where to start or what I wanted to do. I looked at various pieces of work on the internet and watched a few videos, but I came across this article:

This article was the ultimate guide of how to create a podcast cover. It is a guide of how podcasts should look and how it should be very simple and straight to the point. In this article it says ‘let your typography talk’. This is exactly what I had followed throughout all of my designs. It gave me the idea of creating that initial ‘trippy’ affect. It also helped me with the layout of all my designs, keeping them very minimal and easy to recognise what’s going on.