Coming up with an eye-catching podcast cover art plus a teaser that’s sure to hook in listeners is an exciting part of the podcast production process.
With the accessibility of microphones and headphones, podcasting has fast become a popular means of content creation. Nowadays, you can get a great pair of audio tools for an affordable price.
In this blog, we’ve interviewed multimedia artist and podcast editor Matt Carbonera to share his experience as an illustrator and podcast editor & producer in order to kickstart your artwork and teaser.
Matt Carbonera is currently the senior podcast editor for Gushcloud Philippines, a podcast editor and producer for RecordEditPodcast, and a video editor for Six Degrees of Influence.
“I started off as a comic flatter taking on commissioned work on DeviantArt,” said Matt while reflecting on the start of his career. “Then I met a comic illustrator and started off coloring flats and then moved on to graphic design, branding, digital art, and product design.”
His biggest design tip?
“Start early, learn as much as you can, try as much as you can, explore as much as you can, and keep creating things!” And as a half-joke, he often advises aspiring artists (children, actually) to use their computers 24/7 in order to get curious and passionate about digital arts.
Creating a Podcast Artwork Design
“Podcast cover art is usually just the name and title of the show along with a couple of design elements composed over it,” said Matt.
Professionally, there’s hardly any room for creative freedom. After all, it’s all about the clients and what they want. Your role would simply be to execute it.
“For podcast artwork, it sometimes comes solely from the vision of the client,” said Matt. “Clients sometimes already have a specific direction of where the design is going to go, what it’s going to look like, what elements will be utilized in the design, etc.”
A common struggle among graphic designers is when clients fail to communicate their ideas well. When reiterating your vision to a separate artist, it’s best to be aware of the graphic design process as well.
“But when I’m given total creative freedom, I just experiment and let the pieces figure themselves out, although it usually ends up as an amalgamation of all the unfinished drafts.”
When considering the approach to your personal podcast artwork, it’s best to take these into account:
- Industry (gaming, music, food, etc.)
- Design pegs (symbol vs wordy centerpiece, color palette)
“Browse through Behance, Pinterest, and other design groups, pages, subreddits, and other communities about design,” he adds. “Just keep yourself inspired and keep figuring out similarities in the designs, follow the trend, and try to start a trend of your own.”
2. Design Tools
“It doesn’t really matter what tools you have, it all depends on how you use it,” said Matt.
Any artist can make do with a phone, laptop, or PC. Cover art can be a lightly edited photo or an illustration from Microsoft Paint and still be as effective. After all, your cover art is only as good as your actual content, so the focus should be on reflecting your podcast’s personality.
3. Softwares Used
“I basically just use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. But I sketch all of the designs on paper first, so I already have a vision in mind once I start.
“Then create the first draft of the artwork as a vector in Illustrator because podcast cover arts aren’t that hard. If I like it as a vector, I keep it. But if not, I usually just refine the details I want to highlight on Photoshop.
“That includes digitally painting over it, or using photo manipulation and other editing techniques to make the final output come to life.”
Creating a Podcast Teaser
The teaser art can be a variation of the cover art, making use of the same graphic design elements applied. The only moving element to the snippet is the sound waves.
It generally consists of the following visual elements:
- Podcast logo
- Season and episode number
- Episode title
- Voice recording
- Other pertinent details
The snippet presented in the teaser is also entirely within your freedom to choose. Simply locate the most interesting, funniest, or most important highlight of the episode.
“It’s important to invest in any good quality monitor, headphones, and speakers especially when your job is 90% about audio,” stressed Matt.
“I have a 3-year-old Audio Technica M40x which is a great quality set. Plus, the quality is still divine after 3 years and there’s no sign of decay. Plus, it’s built like a tank and not too expensive either.”
Professional equipment isn’t at all necessary for creating a teaser. But it helps in detecting the minor details you need to clean and level in the audio.
“If I were to make any suggestions regarding the equipment I use personally to make my editing life easier?” he adds.“A Loupedeck+ is a console board for editing and it comes in customizable controls,” said Matt. “You can set it up however you want based on the software of the Adobe suite you’re using so it’s very user-friendly.
“It helped me a lot, especially with coloring and audio editing. It just makes my workflow ten times faster. It’ll take a while for you to get used to it though, but it’s not that steep of a learning curve.
3. Software Used
“For teasers, I mostly use Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro,” said Matt. “And Photoshop for creating assets that I want to animate in After Effects. Then I create the motion graphics parts and use Premiere Pro to sequence everything.”
“If you’re looking for a free or a cheaper alternative, there are apps on iOS that can create intricate motion graphic animation sequences using templates and other easy, drag and drop assets.“For podcast editing, you can also use Audacity. It’s pretty good and it’s free with millions of YouTube tutorials available online.”
“Same goes with Filmora, Canva, and other free-to-use software, I guess. It really depends on how you use it so it doesn’t really matter what software you go for,” he adds.
“As long as you understand the fundamentals of how every tool and software is created and apply those principles to your output whether it be audio editing, mixing, motion graphics, or graphic design. Just keep exploring and trying stuff out by creating something you can really be proud of.”
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