Category: Podcast cover (Photoshop)

Podcast Cover – Photoshop Task

Design Ideas & Design Process

For my three podcast cover designs I went for two similar designs and for my third I went down a different route. My first two I went for a calming theme so I took the route of waves and the beach. I was aiming for a soothing podcast aesthetic that looks easy to listen to. I prefer the look of my second podcast cover as I think the first one has too many clashing colours. I then for my final design tried to mimic a school book with stickers covering it. I added a book background and then edited all my pictures to have a white border to make it look like stickers have been layered on top of each other. This was meant to portray the educational and student side of the podcast.


Software Tutorials

I firstly used the videos provided on blackboard to give me the basics to start this project. I then mainly used my knowledge I already had of photoshop to create my designs. I have some background using photoshop so I had a decent basic knowledge to allow me to crop and edit photos. I did search up and watch a video on how to transfer images from raster to vector images. This helped enhance the images that I picked out from my searching online. I want to continue to enhance my ability to edit pictures and combine images to work together perfectly. I want to increase my knowledge on the lighting and editing tools in photoshop which will help images work well together rather than look like separate images that do not belong.

This is the link to the video I used to help me convert raster images to vector images.

Design Resources & Articles

In terms of design resources and articles I did not go searching for any. I wanted my ideas to come from me and I wanted to test my creativity with this photoshop task to see what I could produce. I then want to build on from this using external inspiration but I believe generating my ideas alone allowed me to really see where my ability and creativity is currently at and gives me a base to start growing from.

Podcast and Photoshop

Design Ideas and process

I’m going to introduce the podcasts and for the first one, I’ve used a light pink (#fde9f4) background. I think it’s a milder colour, and I’ve put a computer illustration in the middle. I think that graphic communication often requires the use of Adobe software on the computer, and Photoshop is very useful software. Photoshop is also the software I use to create my podcasts.
I believe different typefaces give the reader a different understanding and feeling. In the podcast, the illustration is behind the text and the colours I chose (#bddbd9, #e3d7ed) are lighter and smaller in size because I didn’t want audiences to focus only on the computer and ignore the text I was trying to convey. The text in the bottom left corner is relatively unimportant, so the size is smaller and placed on the bottom left. But I didn’t want my readers to miss this information, so I used a brighter colour (#fff4de). It’s a great way to get the reader’s attention without stealing my theme and ending the whole podcast.

Simple and minimalised.

For the second podcast I used a brighter yellow colour as the background, I think yellow is the brightest of all colours. Many people think it is a colour that represents happiness, optimism, enlightenment and creativity. I wanted this podcast to have a positive feel, so I chose this colour (#ffde59). The theme of my podcast is graphic design. Above this theme, there is an illustration with different buttons representing different topics. The illustration is not complicated, as I wanted my work to be simple and easy to understand. In the design, I have taken reference from the general layout of a podcast on the phone. So I put in the forward, backward and in-play graphics under my theme. I chose to use the in-play graphics rather than pause because I think the knowledge of graphic design is endless and can’t be suspended. If in doubt, you can go back, master it, go forward, but you can’t stop.

Bright and eye-catching.

For the third podcast, I used the colour orange (#cf6b49) because I think orange gives people a sense of energy, warmth, and health. Instead of using a brighter orange colour, I used a milder orange colour. As the podcast is seen through the screen, I wanted this colour to soften the irritation to our eyes and make my readers feel comfortable watching it. The second main colour is white, which represents innocence, safety, understanding, possibility.

Warm and comfort.

I wanted my work to bring out a positive feeling. I used the illustration of the headphones because a podcast is an audio file for easy listening. The square at the back is an irregular illustration that draws attention to the pattern without being too obtrusive.
The text at the bottom is the theme of typography, which is obviously a little larger than the graphic communication on the right. Although typography is the theme, it is because I think it is closely related to graphic communication. I wanted to draw the reader’s attention to the graphic communication but not steal the whole thing, so I added a soft beige (#efe8d8) rectangle to the back. The flowers on the side are to add a sense of life to the monotonous background.

Software tutorials

I did a few different versions and colourings in photoshop at first and used different photos to piece together, but the results were not very satisfying and not what I had expected. Because I wanted my podcasts to be a simplified style, I decided not to use photos. I started to gather more information and re-imagine my idea, then simply drew the layout and illustration of the podcast on my iPad procreate. This first draft has given me a strong knowledge of what typography is available when I am actually working on my typography. What can be used, what can be changed or what style I can use. And how I can change my typography depending on the size of each image. I think this is very important and I enjoy the process of discovering different styles. I then went to photoshop and split them into different layers and put different colours on them, and could balance the size, space and layout etc. I enjoyed the process, I’m a beginner in Photoshop, so I watched some basic YouTube tutorials, I got a lot of inspiration and made a lot of different versions, I’m glad I finally finished a design that I like and am more satisfied with. I would like to develop more Photoshop skills, as I think I am weak in colour mixing and I hope that with more practice I can enhance my knowledge of using Photoshop. This is a short video I watched on Photoshop skills, it was easy to understand and helped me a lot when I was making these podcasts. Because I needed a basic understanding, it was important to build my inner mind.

Resources for research and inspiration

I referenced different podcast graphics, and these six gave me the most inspiration. I referenced the gentle but attractive background colours in figures 5 and 6.
My inspiration for podcast 1 came from the computer in figure 1. Graphic design and computers co-exist, so I added illustrations to my design.
The inspiration for Podcast 2 came from figures 2 and 3. Because podcasts are usually designed for the player, I used this concept. The illustration comes from the player in figure 4.
Podcast 3 is a little different from the first two podcasts in that I have taken references from Figures 5 and 6. The two-coloured background in figure 5 creates a prominent illustration, which I really like, so I have added similar elements to my design.

Fig 1. The connection of graphic design and computer

Fig 2,3. Podcast in the players
Fig 4. The player

Fig 6. Headphones


Design ideas and design process

1.For my first design I used my own photography to create the illusion of a podcaster holding a mic and a sheet of paper with a serifed T. This is mainly a photographic design with vibrant contrasts between red , black and white in order to catch eyes of the audience, this is in the vain of the classic Apple iPod ads . I used a splatter brush to create a diesel bed effect as if the designs were old and from that era close to 19 years ago. the central theme here is of the Podcaster more than the typography itself, an element I wished to revolve in my second design . To remove colour from the figure I selected half the image, and removed it using the lasso tool, the other half I copied to a new layer and fully painted it, then with the areas removed, the black background seeps through . To create the paper , I used a white square and warped it using the transform tool so it is not a static object . The letter T also had to be rasterised and turned into an object so that it could also be warped to match the flow of
the papers movement

2.In the second design, I wanted something vasty different from the previous photographic one. Therefore this one is almost entirely typographic with vibrant contrast for a background. The large serif , TGC stands for Typographic and Graphic Communication, and the theme of the podcast. It is underlined with a large , thick block, a characteristic known to be seen in modernist design that are seen in modernist designs that are keen on geometric shapes. The splatter patter I reused once again here to add texture to the cover that aesthetically looked a little basic for my aesthetic pleasure , despite the intention being that of a minimalist design. the T and G reflect each other as Type and Graphics are everywhere, yet one C as Communications is a singular concept built of components . Furthermore, if that was mirrored there could be a misconception that it is an O and not two C’s





3. In the final design, I wanted the theme of Type to be centre stage and have a more complex maturity to it . I used black and white as the 2 main tones compliment each other well and very different from the other 2 designs featuring vibrant colours. Once again I embraced the geometrical blocks in the centre of the Podcast cover. The upper and lower half of the design are also made out of rectangles for a modernist style, with the exception of the use of serifs. The text is white to contrast with the black rectangle and have a consistency with the white background. The G for Graphics is the main focus point of the design, the largest letter, evenly sowed between the T and C. This section of the black block expands out created by ad

ding a circle over the top of the rectangle in a matching colour, and merging the layers. The white back. At this stage the white background was looking a little bland, therefore , to add to the typographic style, I typed repeatedly , Typography and Graphic Design. The opacity was reduced to under 60 % in order to not distract from the sharp white tone. This adds texture to the image through multiple layers, such as the subject matter has. This is an almost entirely typographic design. The upper block of text was duplicated into the bottom one and is my favourite of the 3 designs.

Software tutorials

Fortunately due to my prior experiences , I am very familiar with photoshop and its tools so I did nit need to learn how to use it from scratch. However, by completing this task and watching the software tutorials it was a helpful refresher of skills and did teach me new things. One tutorial I watched was on how to decrease the opacity of an item,’How to change the opacity of an image in Photoshop CS6, so that it could be seen through( I used this on the background text for my final black and white design to add texture. The first tutorial I watched showed how to decrease opacity for a whole layer. Therefore, I duplicated the text to a new layer, transformed it into an image. This way all the text could be moved at one time in a block, and therefore, any changes ,Ade, such as adjusting the opacity , will affect all the text. Although the second tutorial I watched, ‘Transparent text effect'(, did not display exactly what I wanted in its instruction, the method could still be applied to my own work when adapted, which I did by editing text transparency .I also learnt from ‘Matthew Prices: how to design a podcast cover- the ultimate guide’. This taught me many important elements and factors that must be known upon designing a podcast cover including the dimensions. These being a minimum of 1400×1400 pixels and a maximum of 3000×3000 pixels which is 72 dpi in a PNG or JPEG format. It also provided useful information like to consider where the cover would be seen and therefore consider its style of cover. For example, if it is seen somewhere printed like a magazine and not digitally like Spotify , it may need to be obvious it is a podcast cover and include a mic or an element recognised with such.If it is removed from its original environment it must be still be obvious that its a podcast over out of context. I also viewed, ‘How Amy Elshamy created Round things’. However, it did not teach anything that I wished to include for didn’t already know, yet it was still an interesting watch.

Resources for research and inspiration 

In my initial design , a major inspiration were the original iPod classic adverts from 2001 ( Although I changed many of the key elements of these posters, thy were very basic and effective. They use a bright and colourful neon background which would contrast with  a silhouetted figure dancing in the foreground. There were no textures to them but where clear in their goal and what they were selling .I Felt it was too basic and applied more texture by removing parts of shaded body. This is to create the effect that the podcast over was released at the same time as the iPod adverts nearly 20 years ago, it may decay on paper as its old. The apple iPod adverts also had an influence in the second design with its vibrant background. I experimented making it red and purple, finally settling on the former to further distance from the first design featuring many red elements. For further inspiration I simply browsed podcasts on Spotify, this time focussing on typographic designs , one of which caught my eye being the Anfield Wrap using just the first letters of every word, shortening it to TAW. This also has a distressed look. The simplistic withered look I wished to emulate in my design and is a highly effective, eye catching image. However, it doesn’t not reflect the subject matter very well, having little to do with Liverpool football club.A huge inspiration for my final design is the clothing brand Emporio Armani, the logo is always very geometric and always black and white. The logo is sometimes just typographic and features the spread of an eagle covering a large space. The geometric nature with sharp black and white themes , I recreated in my own design as a vastly different alternate to my former podcast covers






Photoshop experimentations

Design Ideas and Design process

I had a couple of ideas to produce for the podcast poster but u lacked the skills to actually produce these, as they were very complex composition whiles I hadn’t used photoshop before. When doing the photoshop task I found it enjoyable as well as very challenging as It was the pretty much the first time working with photoshop to create something. The task was to create a podcast poster relating to graphic design, my first cover is a red podcast poster titled “Talking with Type”. As it was my first attempt, I tried using simple images to try and get accustomed to using photoshop, so just using shapes and blurring out the edges of the circles to fade and smoothen out with the background. I then added my microphone which I struggled with, trying to crop and adjust the background so that it doesn’t override the actual colour of the background I had added.

For my second poster I kept it simple again using an image of a character by their phone waiting for the podcast to come on. For this I had to change the colours on the figure by cropping out the background and highlighting the areas which I wanted to amend and changed the colours.

For my third poster which is my favourite I used another microphone as the focal point of the postcard and amended the colours again. I also used simple circles to add some decorative effects to keep it simple. I then flipped the colours so that I would be predominantly white on black rather than black on white. I think this was my best attempt on the podcast as I got really comfortable with the composition and how to change the colours and tones of the shapes.

Software Tutorials­­


Watching these tutorials helped me to get an overview of how photoshop is set up and how to access certain tools which may not be so visible to me. It also helped me get more accustomed to certain shortcuts to do different kinds of things. The first software video basically explained what photoshop is and the main benefits of it, which helps you to understand and grasp the type of things you need to be focusing on working on in that space when you go into tasks. It gave me the first steps into actually creating a file and why to use certain measurements for different projects. Compared to InDesign its mainly using images and playing with the aesthetic of an image whereas with InDesign you are able to do that as well as have a large amount t of text in one file. Photoshop mainly works with images rather than words.



Resources for research and Inspiration

For my research I mainly looked through Pinterest to find some interesting podcast covers which I could take some ideas from. Most of the covers that I first saw seemed quite difficult in my point of view as I was only beginning to get used to using photoshop, so I searched for simple podcast covers which are just simple words and shapes, but is still very captivating and aesthetic to use for inspiration. Finding these I was still somewhat challenging for me to kind of recreate them using my own images and basing it on a typographic podcast. So I watched more videos and tutorials on how to edit certain things to help me expand on my ability to make the podcast cover better. These are some of the things that I used as inspiration to help me come up the covers.



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Photoshop Typography Podcast Cover

Design ideas and design process

I started my design process by looking at some existing examples of podcast covers. The covers I looked at had some noticeable themes that I intended to replicate. A fair few (The Joe Rogan Experience) featured a microphone in the cover so that was something interesting I wanted to explore. A lot also made use of an image of the podcast host (like the dropout and Joe Rogan examples) while others just had the podcast name displayed in a creative way (Like the buzz cast).

As I’d seen in my research, many podcasts covers incorporated the microphone so that’s where I started. I had this idea of someone talking into the microphone one end and out the other end there would spew subject specific vocabulary so from looking at the cover you could immediately tell what kind of topics would be discussed on the podcast. I also chose a catchy name for the podcast, ‘typography time.’ I enjoyed creating this idea and like the outcome, I think the cover incorporates typography well which reflects what the podcast is about.

For my second design I wanted to explore creative ways I could display the podcast name (like the buzz cast example). I started by choosing a tasteful colour scheme and a simple name. I then stretched the letters stems to create a striking linear pattern.  I then filled the gaps with the typical imagery you would see on a podcast cover (microphone and information). I experimented with this design by warping the lines to try and replicate sound waves emitting from the microphone but I decided to stick with the more simple idea.

For my final design I wanted to create something that incorporated as many of the archetypal qualities I had seen in my research. I thought an image of the host on the cover would make quite a convincing design however a problem I faced was that it was a made-up podcast with no actual host. I decided to just use stock images, one featured a man, the other featured a microphone, I then applied a black and white filter to both to keep the image consistent. Similar to my first idea I wanted to communicate what the podcast was about so I had this idea of a thought bubble coming from the hosts head which would have all the topics he would talk about in it. In the end I went with the idea of having books about graphic design and typography (that he might discuss on the podcast) flowing out of his head, as if all his knowledge is on display.

I started by removing the top half of his head and applied it at an angle to appear as if it was being opened. After that I found some of the best graphic design books and arranged them flowing out of his skull. I added shadow to the hosts head and to the books to give the image some depth. I did this by using tools like the drop shadow, curves adjustment layers and also just blending with the black paintbrush. I like this idea because It combines what I learnt from looking at existing podcast covers and overall looks quite convincing.


Software tutorials

I started by watching some of the official Photoshop tutorials. I watched a lot of the videos from the ‘working with layers’ link. This was very helpful as often my Photoshop layers get a little bit messy and this told me the importance of creating a Photoshop file that looks professional with correctly named layers. I did some further research into layers with just some basic google searches and discovered you can group layers when necessary which made a lot of this project more organised and effective. I also viewed the website ‘how to design a podcast cover’. This was really helpful as before I had a look through the website I had no idea how I was going to start with my designs but the website gave me some direction and discussed some good starting points and also some questions to ask yourself as you go through the design process. As I was working on Photoshop I had an issue where my images looked very flat on the background and I was not sure how to make layers look more natural and blend into the surroundings when on a page. A YouTube video called ‘Master Curves from Start to Finish in Photoshop’ really helped me out. I discovered you could use the curves adjustment layers to give an image darker tones and lighter tones in the appropriate places. This includes giving object shadows and highlights to make it look more natural. The curves adjustment layer also has a function where you can colour match two objects which will come in extremely useful. Skills I would like to develop in the future include mastering the pen tool as currently I am hopeless at using it. I would also like to improve at simple jobs like creating clean and crisp layer masks because currently when I cut out an image it takes ages and looks a bit dodgy.


Resources for research and inspiration 

Like i mentioned at the beginning, I started this project by looking for some inspiration and a great way to do this is by looking at existing designs. I started by googling ‘podcast covers’ which showed hundreds of results however each one incorporated some of the basic archetypes. To list a few: Vibrant colours, use of illustration, interesting typeface, experimental use of type, most of them reflect what they are about visually, use of a microphone, visuals that reflect radio or sound in some ways, most feature the hosts face. It would be difficult to include all of these stereotypes into one cover so I cherry picked 3 features that I wanted to include in my ideas.  1. have a microphone, 2. be experimental with the type, and 3. feature the podcast host. I also had a scroll through spotifiy to look at what the most successful podcasts had done on their covers ( Like I also said earlier I found the ‘how to design a podcast cover’ website extremely useful ( which addressed how to start a design and also went into detail about picking a theme and running with it. As I was designing I had this website up in  another tab just to refer back to and I feel like I was successful in following a lot of the instructions. For example it spoke a lot about picking a theme and colour and being consistent with those choices throughout, I’d like to think my covers have a solid style and a tasteful colour pallet. Topics I would like to explore further include colour theory, I’d love to learn about what colours work best together, combinations to avoid and also how colour can have an effect on the viewer. I’d also like to learn more

A source that was essential for this project was Unsplash, ( It provided me with a lot of the images I used throughout which were all very high quality and just made everything so much easier.


TYPE IT OUT – podcast

For my photoshop task we were asked to make a podcast cover for graphic communications. This was my first time using photoshop, so it was a challenge to begin with, and I had a few designs to start off with, that in all honestly looked very childish, simple, and I was not a fan of them. So I decided to go for a design that was a bit more simplistic in hopes, that while I’m still learning, simple would look more professional. I went online to look at other podcast designs for a better idea, and looked at graphic design posters as well to try and help with some inspiration. I came across a photo of a small podcast mic, and thought I would incorporate that into my design, and decided on a simple pattern behind it using just the shapes tools. I went for the circular pattern behind, as the circles could look slightly like sound radiating off the mike, and I think with the colours it looks slightly vintage, with a 60s, 70s kind of vibe to the cover.

Above you can see my two trails designs, it was my first time using the software so they are quite simple, especially the one with the circles, where i was just testing out what I could do with the software and how it worked. While I was not keen on this design it did defiantly help to inspire my final product, taking from it the colour scheme, and the circle kind of pattern. My second design was to look almost like a book cover with various fonts to the side, while I liked the idea of this design, I was not happy with the final product, and thought it looked a bit childish, I also don’t think the colour complimented each other in the end, maybe with the right colours this design could have worked, but I also struggled to find some more elegant fonts in photoshop as well. Despite the fact I feel this design was not particularly good, I did end up using the type face that I used for the heading.

When it came to colour scheme, I wanted to use colours that complimented another, and with it being autumn, ended up choosing some warm tones, of yellows, orange, purple. When I cut out the mic, I actually ended up using the outside part that I had cut out, layered it on top of my coloured pattern, so that the colours only shone through the mic, and the rest would be muted, allowing my text and title to stand out. I’m a big fan of record design and covers, and in fact have a large collection at home, so did look to them for some inspiration, with my Photoshop skills still being quite limited, I couldn’t yet create something like my favourite designs and covers but thought it was a reasonable start. I also liked working with a square base for design, as it is slightly unusual, but very common in podcast and music, I really hope we get a few more projects like these, to experiment with advertising something as well, as a cover is a form of advertisement that contributes to the consumer picking your product, or in this case, podcast.

Choosing a title and a font, I chose the name ‘Type It Out’, as a play on for the common saying ‘talk it out’, its simple and easy to recognise for people, and clarifies that the show will be about type and font. Below the bottom of the mic I wrote ‘graphic communications’ just for added clarity, as my design is very simplistic. I also changed the font, the title font, is bold and eye-catching, and has a slightly old fashioned look to it, with the added details, so went for something minimum for under the mic, and to give the title the forefront in the design. Chose for both pieces of text to also be in white to add contrast to the design, and again help them to stand out. I think I could of added something more about typography to my design, as perhaps an image would have made it slightly clearer what the podcasts subject was, however the title, and sub heading below the mic I think explains it well enough, and both are quite bold to create a hierarchy in the design. I also layered the text so it ever so slightly went on top of the mic, making sure it was in the foreground, and liked how the cross over looked.

I was quite happy with the end result of my podcast cover, however I hope with time to become more familiar with photoshop, and would have liked to have used my own photography, then edited a cover out of that for an extra challenge, to find and compose the right photo for a cover. I think the simplistic design did managed to work in my favour of looking more professional, rather than setting myself too challenging a design as I tried previously with my first couple attempts, and it looking quite cheap.

In conclusion I enjoyed learning the different software’s, and enjoyed the task using illustrator as well, to explore my designs further it would’ve been nice to see them in a few different colour swatches, perhaps this time in some cool tones, although I liked the fact that I had an autumnal theme, and the warm colours also gave it that 60’s look. I will definitely try improving my skills with a bit more time, and try to source some more videos and tutorials on YouTube, perhaps editing more photos, and learning how to manipulate and photos and colour swatches a bit better.

Let’s Talk About Typography

Our first task for this module was a Photoshop task, with the aim being to create a Podcast cover for a new podcast about typography and graphic communication. I decided to call mine  ‘Let’s Talk About Typography’ to create an inviting feel that encourages the idea of discussion and represents the content of the podcast.

Design Ideas and Design Process

I began my design process by researching existing podcast covers, including podcasts that focused on the topic of graphic design. Looking at these existing covers helped me to grasp that the ones that stood out the most to me were the ones with brightly coloured backgrounds, a relatively simple design and typography that stood out. Personally, I begin the design process by mind mapping my own ideas so I created a mind map of words relating to typography and graphics. I then went on to use these as a guide to search for images on free stock image sites. For this task, I mainly used Pixabey as recommended in the provided guidance, but I also looked at images on The keywords I was searching for were mainly: metal type, woodblocks, warped grid, laptops, and desk.

After downloading my chosen images, I began working on them in photoshop.

I began by cropping the original image and used the camera raw filter to adjust the exposure, contrast, highlights and shadows etc. My aim was to go for a brighter, higher-contrast image to make it ‘pop’. I feel I did this successfully and found the camera raw filter a very easy tool to use as you can see the adjustments you are making as you are changing the values. I also wanted to add a ‘grainy’ sort of effect to the image, almost making it appear faded and older to represent how metal type and woodblocks were used for bookmaking back in the 15th century. I played around with various different filters to give this effect such as: adding noise, grain and despeckling. I finally settled on adding noise as I felt it gave my most desired effect. I thought that the image still looked a bit dull therefore I went to image > selective colour and chose red to give the image warmth and make the red colours pop.

I used the image of woodblock type as I was inspired by our print and printmaking module where we have learned about the history of printing and how books were printed from the before and after the 15th century. I thought it would be interesting to use an image that had a historical context in the topic of the podcast cover, which my audience could connect with


I used two images to create this podcast cover. After importing the first image of the laptop and coffee and phone into photoshop, I used the direct selection tool to cut out the objects I wanted to use from the image and copied them into separate layers. I deleted the background from the image and imported an image of pieces of paper to create the background. Underneath this layer, I created a pink square and used the layer blend options to merge them together to create a textured background that made the design pop. After then watching a tutorial about how to blend out the edges of the cutout objects to make the concept look more well put together, I used layer masks and adjusted the feather, contrast, and shift edge in Global Refinements to give a blurred effect around the layers. For the text, I used two different fonts. Although in our integrated design module, we have learned to rarely use more than two typefaces at once, I felt it was appropriate to create emphasis on the topic of discussion. We have also been taught in integrated design to always track all caps, which I did for my capital letters. I changed by type to white and then placed it in the top left corner of the design.


For this design, I used an image from Pixabey and created a gradient map, and experimented with different gradients to change the color to give a duotone color effect. I tried to do this by creating an 8 bit grayscale of the image and then using photoshops duotone effect but I found that the results didn’t look how I wanted them to so looked at a tutorial online and learned how to achieve the effect using a gradient map.

Software Tutorials 

We were provided with a list of Photoshop tutorials that I found helpful to refresh my memory on how to use the basics such as importing photos and using layers and effects, as I hadn’t really used the software since GCSE/ AS level. I had rarely used layer masks before, so it was interesting to learn how to use them.

From this online tutorial, I learned how to soften edges of cut out objects which I found helpful in my first concept where I cut objects out of one image and placed them on top of another.

This tutorial was on how to create a duotone image in photoshop – I found this helpful in my last design and I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn how to do this as i find duotone images really interesting and have seen them gain popularity recently.

I also watched this tutorial on using the selective colour tool as I planned on making the red colours in my first design pop out.

All of these tutorials helped me with the technical side of creating my podcast covers, and aided me in my making. It was useful to watch the full videos even if I had already picked up what I felt I needed to learn, to explore the tools more.

I also watched this video on shortcuts in photoshop as I think it will help me in the future to make my workflow quicker and easier.


Resources for Research and Information–cms-34411

Looking at existing podcast covers helped me to grasp which stood out to me more, such as covers with an effective, bright but simple colour schemes. I was particularly inspired by looking at graphic design podcasts for inspiration as to which typography to use. I thought that the covers that used a script typeface for emphasis were effective, and appealing to my eye. Hence why I used this typography throughout my designs. Although most of the podcast covers that I looked at were vector or illustration based, I still wanted to focus my covers on the use of the image to improve my skills in photoshop,  as I knew that we would have time to develop other skills later on in the upcoming weeks in the module.

We were also provided with sources of inspiration which encouraged me to think about the audience of my podcast cover and the style that I wanted my designs to fit into. When thinking of my audience, I wanted the covers to appeal to people interested in design and typography therefore i feel like my image choices were appropriate. I think I could have made the style of my designs more consistent but I used the same typography in all of them to tie them all together, which got me thinking about the identity of the podcast which I have also been thinking about throughout the other tasks from this module.


Designing a podcast cover using illustration in photoshop


(left to right) Design 1, Design 2, Design 3.

Design ideas and Process

My design ideas stemmed from the idea of using illustration. I really enjoy simple illustration, and thought that it could be used  well to create a neat, clean podcast cover. I knew I wanted to use the idea of interviewing designers from looking at some design podcasts on Spotify, which provided commentary on design, or interviews with designers about their work. From there I developed the phrase ‘type talk’, as well as the idea of having a simple design to show that concept. I think illustrations work best when kept to a limited colour palette, so I decided to work with a mix of both cool and warm tones that complemented well. This way I could keep the design simple and aesthetically pleasing, while communicating the theme of the podcast. In the actual drawing process I used my Wacom drawing tablet, and the photoshop basic brush presets, the hard round brush, on full hardness and 10% softness. This gave me clear lines, while keeping a rounded edge. I drew some little character busts in my own illustration style, with simple features and colours. The idea was to have one speaking into a microphone, as if recording the podcast, and another listening. My three ideas for this project were playing with the layout, text colour and form. I wanted to keep the idea of the two figures being linked by a wire, so in my first one I placed the figures back to back, with their wires plugged into the text. In my second I did a similar effect, with the figures at both ends of the screen. In the third I used a circle, with the text in the middle, and the wires jutting out with the characters on the circumference. In the end I used the second one, as it was my favourite of the three visually, and I felt was the most eye catching and original.

the colour scheme i used for the work
plain digital sketches
characters with the microphone and headphones
first sketches
final character sketches!

Software tutorials

As I am relatively competent with photoshop as a design and illustration medium, I mostly knew how to go about creating me design, but the tutorials provided by Rachel were still very helpful, especially the video by Terry White on youtube ( . Although my initial plan was to work with illustration on photoshop, I still found videos explaining the uses of photoshop useful and helpful, such as the tutorial on embedding files in photoshop . I watched a few videos with tips on illustrating on photoshop, for example, Sophie Melissa on youtube has a video on her illustration process that I found helpful (, that allowed me to reflect on making a simpler design. These provided me with more knowledge about how to navigate photoshop and how to make my design cleaner and neater. Software skills wise, id like to try a more complex design perhaps, or the use of actual photos and editing them in photoshop, as this is something i’d like to become more competent in. This project provided great insight on what i would like to work on in the future regarding photoshop and developing my current skills further, and also provided me with an idea of my current competency level with illustration in photoshop, and taught me how to simplify my designs, as I often have the desire to make them complex, so it has definitely helped me with the ‘less is more’ side of design in being able to create a clean, simple design.

Resources for research and inspiration

Most of my research was based around sketching ideas in different styles and then transferring them over to digital, however I did look at a few minimalistic illustrative images for inspiration, on pinterest and instagram. The first was Benji Nate, a favourite artist of mine who uses a style similar to my own, with pretty simplistic features that I thought might work nicely, but eventually decided didn’t quite fit the aesthetic i was attempting to achieve. Another source of inspiration was the art magazine ‘fan club’ c which uses a simple style that I really enjoy, and inspired me a little more to look at making a more simple style of my own. From this I took away some features that made the image much more clear and simple, while retaining the message of what it was supposed to represent and advertise. Looking at different artists and images really helped me develop the imagery I wanted from something i was used to and comfortable with, into a more user/audience oriented design that could be used for advertising. It also helped me develop skills I had previously struggled with through research and trial. Topics in design I might like to explore further within this project might be looking at a more photographic approach, taking my own photographs and editing them, whether they would be of typography I find, or images I take from pre made environments, or images constructed in a set to achieve a specific look. Id like to work on my photo editing and manipulation skills in the future, as that is something I am less comfortable with than illustration, and I think it would be useful to explore in my own time using some of the skills I learned in this project, and this module as a whole.

Mining in Photoshop

Design Ideas

For this task, the design was supposed to relate to typography and graphic communication. I first decided to name it ‘History of Typography’, because giving a name to the podcast can make my design direction more specific.  ‘History of Typography’, the word history means the past and the story of old-time. I wanted to design each of the covers for a particular period, for example, the first one as the 1970s edition and the next one be the 1960s edition. To make the design feels like its responding year period, I searched for their own represented era as the design theme.

Design Process

Design 1

My first design idea came from the word, ‘disco 70s’. Mirror balls are one of the iconic elements in this disco era, so I used a picture of a woman lying on the mirror ball to give out this similar sensation. The original picture was in a brownish warm colour tone, I increased the noise level to add more texture to the image. To create the dreamy fantasy look, I changed the gradient fills into blue and purple. I also wanted the audience’s attention to go to the mirror ball rather than the woman next to it. In this case, I needed to emphasise the existence of the ball, so I added a glitter image on top of that area and blended it in the colour dodge mode. A soft paintbrush was then used to add white dots to make those sparkles more noticeable. In this version, I did not do much to the typography, I just simply turned on the drop shadow and the inner glow effect to make it look much more three-dimensional.

Design 2

Pop art was first introduced during the 1950s, it went viral onwards. Comic style, dots were the key features, so I decided to apply these effects to my second design. I first cropped the woman out and change the background to full white. After that, I applied the halftone pattern with dot size 3. I increased the brightness and shadow level to create a much stronger contrast. I also changed the background to red and filled in the colour of the character in a comic style.

Design 3

The last one was designed for the 1960s. I tried to make the picture look like an actual oil-painting by editing its contrast level and setting different blending modes like dissolve or multiply. I also added a mask on top to create the light and shadow parts. For the colour adjustment, I increased the hue and saturation to the point that the image looks vibrant enough.

These designs came out great but the choice of imagery was not appropriate to the topic, which made the whole design not relevant to what I was supposed to achieve. As a result, I started to think about changing the image to another choice that would fit better with typography. I was searching for something vintage and representable to the theme at the same time. Finally, I decided to use a typewriter and applied the same effect on it as my last design.


Software Tutorials

For the whole task, I watched six different videos online. The most memorable one was what I watched for my last design. It was about creating a retro imagery style. One of the reasons that made this video especially unforgettable to me was because I reviewed it at least ten times. As a Photoshop beginner, it was really hard to follow his instructions when he only used short-cuts to control, so I had to pause after every step he made. In the video, he taught me to use the filter gallery from the effect panel, and the filter gallery can only be available in RGB mode, but my design task was in CMYK, so I needed to use an alternative way to achieve a similar result. Instead of applying a filter gallery to the picture, I edited the levels of the image and also extra blurred the picture to make it look more like an oil painting. Even though the outcome looked a bit different from the video, I think it still presented the retro atmosphere in the design.

Another video resource I used was about making pop art. This one was not that difficult as the previous one. Having my last time experience of struggling between the RGB and CMYK mode, this time I started editing directly on the original picture rather than placing and edit the image on the CMYK preset. For this tutorial, it was much easier to follow because those short-cuts were clearly shown on the subtitle. This effect also required me to use the filter gallery, but with a different filter pattern, called the halftone pattern.

These two videos helped me to learn using different editing functions in Photoshop and guided me to explore how powerful it can be. I had no idea about this software before, but now I can do a few interesting photo editing after watching those tutorial videos. In the future, I would like to learn more about how to edit pictures apart from using filters, such as combining pictures by cropping or blending them.


Resources for Research and Inspiration

Before having the whole idea of what to create, I had a look at a bunch of existing podcast covers from the internet. I found out that most of them are simply an image and the podcast title. Instead of using or combining many pictures, they only have one focused imagery. Therefore, I mainly used one individual image in each of my designs. At first, I wanted to refer my design to some old podcast covers, but it was hard to find them because people before did not use podcast covers at all, they usually advertised the podcast by posters or leaflets.

In this task, I aimed to create designs in a vintage or retro style to relate to my podcast title. I compared the difference between a modern design and a ‘traditional’ one. It is common to see that nowadays podcast covers tend to have a simple and basic layout, meanwhile, texture or extra decoration is generally used in vintage design. Typography wise, I used serif fonts instead of a san serif, as it gave out an old style. A serif at the end of each typeface can also have a decorative purpose which made the font look much more fancy and elegant.

I also got inspiration from a 20th-century artist, called Earl Moran. His artworks were mostly pin-up paintings and they really gave out a vintage style. Pin-up art was first introduced as attractive pictures to men back then, so nearly all pin-up art had women to be the painting subject. Unlike any other art, pin-up art tends not to focus on the background of the painting. They might just leave it blank or using a few colours to create shades as the background. Therefore, when I was designing my cover, I did not add any fancy stuff at the back, instead, I paid more attention to edit the imagery.

Lastly, Photoshop still has many functions that I have not yet explored but I am really willing to know more about it. In my opinion, learning Adobe software is just like mining, the deeper I dig in or investigate, the more and precious skills I can learn from it.

World of Type

For our TY1SK module we were asked to create a typography podcast cover  in photoshop.

Typography has a diverse audience, so I decided to create three very different designs to try and engage different age groups, who have different visual needs.

I started off by brainstorming short phrases including the words type and time. Designing for a podcast implies that the user needs to take time out to engage with the content of the podcast. For my first design I came up with a few phrases like ’Time for Type’, ‘Type talks’, ‘It’s Type ‘o Clock’ and ‘Whats the Type?’

Design ideas and design process


 Time for Type



Original two images used to create design                                                                              


My final podcast design


For my first design I decided to use ‘Time for type‘ and chose two rather classical images from Pixabay, a clock and an hourglass. These images would appeal more to a more mature audience. Using the clone stamp tool and spot healing brush tool, I removed the numbers on the clock face and replaced them with letters instead, forming the words ‘Time for type‘. I also added the hourglass to the clock to fill the 11th hour space.

Experimenting further with the filters and adjustments, I landed on the word ‘posterize’. It opened up a variety of vibrant colours and gave me options to manipulate the mood of my design, adding an old world charm and warmth.

By posterizing the image I gave the old school clock a little contemporary edge. I also chose these rich colours because it is warm, welcoming and energetic. I placed the type clock wise on the clock face, which reads easily up to the 7th hour point where the type seems to be read in reverse. From that point the conventional way in which we read a clock, leads the eye to still make sense of the type. Although the overall appearance is unusual and challenging typographical conventions, I feel that it makes the reader think and engage a bit, suggesting that type is worth thinking about. I added visual texture through contrasting, but complimenting colours, which enhances the effect of distressed wood in the foreground. The orange colour suggests a border above the clock and helps define the space in which the clock stands. The type is in white to make it stand out and easier to read. The overall use of curvilinearity compliments the more classic atmosphere of my design.

 Stepping into Type 



Original two images used to create design



First attempt at my design                                         Second attempt at design 


My final podcast design


My second design is more focused on a younger audience, and came to life from visualising someone stepping out of their usual day and into a space of type. That is how I came to the potential titles for this podcast; ‘Stepping into type’, ‘Into type’, and ‘Type flies’.

I decided on ‘Stepping into type’ because it is a bit more playful. Expanding the idea of playfulness and fun, I imagined  stepping through a floating door to meet some flying type. That would give it a whimsical and mysterious feel with a door up in the sky and footprints in the air approaching an encounter with Type. I used scattered type in various sizes and boldness to create visual texture in the sky. The footprints achieve the same effect by breaking up the plane in the foreground, and suggest the way to reach the door. ‘Stepping’ stands out on the line that suggests the two different planes, which separates the ‘usual day’ from the ‘space of type’. The analogous colours I chose are light and cool, and suggest a sense of serenity and airiness. I also used colour to create interest with line and suggestion of shade to strengthen the idea of the door hovering above the ground. I stuck to geometric shapes. I decided not to frame my design to enhance the sense of free and floating text in space.

My approach to this cover is actually quite abstract in appearance. I found an image of an open door in a room, cut it out and placed it on a clean background. I then inserted images of footprints, positioning them in a way that leads your eye towards, and through the door to all the type. I tried to create a sense of depth by using larger footprints in the foreground which then gets smaller towards the background. I feel it creates distance and gives a dynamic feel to the image.

I then played around with the different effects, and I edited the footprints with the layer style palette, adding an outer glow to them. Posterizing my image gave it a more abstract 3-dimensional appearance, which is accentuated by the drop shadow. I actually accidentally created the blue and milky purple background whilst experimenting with the different adjustments. I decided to keep it like this because blue and purple are analogous colours, which support each other. The blue is dominant, supported by the milky purple and then white which accentuates the text. The colours work well next to each-other. The blue also gives an airy and light feeling which adds to the whimsical playfulness of my design. The faded purple suggests a more earthy tone which also grounds my design.

I played around with the wording, trying to find a good composition for them. The horizontal placement of the words ‘Stepping into type’ supports the linear structure of the composition, and appears solid amongst the flying letters. The more structured layout supports clear communication, especially because the conventional direction of reading is challenged by the layout. The footprints are key to direct the viewer’s eye from the bottom of the composition, guiding the reading and comprehension in the correct order.

 World of Type


Original image used to create design            The inverted design             


My final podcast design 


My third design came from the thought of how typography is global and how it affects everything. So I came up with ‘Type the world’, ‘Typo space’, ‘World of type’ and ‘Orbit into type’.

I decided to go with a simple title ‘World of type’, and chose an image of the globe, a clear symbol which is always relevant when depicting things that concern the world. To me an image of the globe is old and new in the same way, which will equally attract a young and mature audience.  I like this design the most. I think it will speak to a wider audience because it is very universal. It symbolises the relevance of Typography in the world and clearly communicates how text and typography makes the world go round. The deep blue background is solid, calm and reassuring, and form part of a grounding frame to globe. Visual texture is added by the scattered white type ‘in orbit’. Although I didn’t use formal lines, I did achieve it by a suggested line- the type running around the earth. The circular shape of the earth is hugged at the top with the podcast title written in a curve. This compliments the curvilinear elements in my design and adds visual balance to the centred composition.

I used one strong image to create this cover and removed the background of the image, inserting my own. The inspiration to incorporate the letters into the image came from looking at the planetary ring system around the planet Saturn. This inspired me to create a typographical ring consisting of letters spinning around the earth, reinforcing the idea of communication making the world go round.  So I did this through adding lots of letters in ‘orbit’. I wanted the earth to appear 3–dimensional, so I experimented with the filters and the layer styles, applying the inner and outer glow effects to the earth. I further experimented by inverting my image, however the colours appeared very toxic and unhealthy which would not support my communication.

All my ideas were developed using images that conveyed the key concepts of my design, which I could then enhance by adding type and manipulating the images to reflect what I visualised. My aim was to make my designs interesting, user friendly and appropriate, and I feel that I did achieve that.

Software tutorials


I watched the tutorials on adjusting the image quality in an image, and I applied the ‘Adjust brightness and contrast’ as well as the ‘Adjust colour vibranceto my ‘Time for type‘ image after posterizing it. It helped me to make my image stand out more because it enhanced the strong contrast in the colours that I used.


I also watched the videos on ‘Creating your first design’ and I found the ‘Get to know layersvery helpful, as well as the ‘Adding text and effectsand ‘Exporting and saving the design‘. ‘Get to know layersshowed me how to bring an image into photoshop and then showed me that when bringing another image into the workspace, or other elements like type, it is best to keep all of the layers separate so that it is easier to edit the different elements, without affecting the rest of the image. The video also talked about the magenta smart guides, and they helped me with the alignments of my designs. (applying special layer properties). The ‘Adding text and effects’ video explained how I can edit the text and other elements and apply special layer properties with the layer style panel. It also showed me that I can add effects like drop shadows,

patterns overlays, textures, contouring, strokes, as well as an outer glow.


Two additional Resources


I initially wanted to add text shadow to my ‘Stepping into type‘ design and watching the ‘Photoshop CC– How to add a text shadow’, helped me to understand where I had to go (layer style options), and what I had to do in order to accomplish this. 

I decided to add text shadow to the letters spelling out ‘Time for type’ on my clock face, because it made my letters more visible and I think that the effect gave them a 3–dimensional touch which makes them stand out.


I was not sure how to remove the numbering on my clock image in order to add the words ‘Time for type’, but after watching the YouTube video ‘How to use clone stamp tool in Photoshop CS6′, I found that I could remove the numbers easily using this tool.


Resources for research and inspiration


All of the images I used in my designs, were sourced from Pixabay. 


After watching Amr Elshamy’s video on how he created ‘Round things’, it inspired me to bring in circular shapes into my podcast because I think there is something very visually pleasing about circular shapes. It creates a feeling of continuity and seem softer and more welcoming than angular shapes.  That is why I chose to use the image of the earth in my ‘World of type’, because it is not only spherical and universal, but underlines wholesomeness and harmony.

Amr Elshamy’s video also inspired me to create something more abstract, which I did with my ‘Stepping into type’ podcast design. I included more angularity and line for structure, and less texture to achieve a light, smooth and airy background with the floating door.


I realised after reading through the article ‘How to design a podcast cover: the ultimate guide’, that before jumping into my design, I need to think about what I am actually designing, and who is my intended audience. I need to think about what age group I am targeting.

If I use an image, I need to think about what my podcast cover will depict and make sure that it is relevant to the topic: typography. I thought that if I can create a cover that is simplistic but clear and effective, with a catchy phrase relevant to the topic, I can create a design that appeals to the intended audience.

Lastly, the article helped me to think about the use of colour in my designs. Colour can have a big impact on the way that people see and understand things. It can even affect someone’s mood. So, using the correct colour palette is very important. As the article says, ‘warm colours are associated with energy, brightness, and action, while cool colours make you feel calm, serene and at peace.’

I decided to use very bright contrasting colours in my ‘Time for type’ design, to really make the image pop, and the variety in colour allowed me to manipulate the mood of the design, giving it a feeling of warmth and old-world charm.

My ‘Stepping into type’ design mostly uses the colours blue and purple, which are analogous colours that support each other rather than compete.

For ‘World of type’ I did not add a lot of extra colour because there are already so many different tones of green and blue on my image of the earth, so I stuck with a deep blue background which I think pushes the earth foreword slightly, adding to the 3-dimensionality of the image.


Additional Resource


I found another article called ‘8 things to keep in mind while designing your podcast cover art’. The ‘Keep it simple’ section made me think about how I can create a podcast cover that is simple and not overly complicated, but neat and effective. I realised that I do not need ‘complex elements to make something visually appealing.’

The article also stated not to use too many fonts, because writing on the podcast needs to be clearly visible. It also said that using fonts with thicker lines and clear characters help your writing to stand out more.