Design Ideas and Process
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROlYuWRGP0w&ab_channel=WebDesign
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.