Music tugs at the heart strings, reminds people of the past, and gives the listener something to think about. The same can be said for a band’s album cover. Good album cover art incorporates the band’s vision, music and ideals. Seems hard to create? Well it isn’t! There is no secret sauce to designing a quality album cover. Album cover art is a free flowing form, and there are great number of ways to design alluring art that will surely catch someone’s eye.
If you’re designing an album cover for a client, ask them about their bands aspirations and what they consider makes them unique. Most importantly, listen to their music. Consider this exercise, if you could represent the band’s music as an object or phenomena, what would it be? Is it sleek and beautiful as a fox, or wild, free and brutal like a hurricane?
If you’re designing your own band’s cover, consider brainstorming with your band members and rest of the crew. Do you want to go old school and evoke memories of the past? Do you want to go abstract and let people interpret the album in a variety of ways? Discussion is key.
Now let’s take a look at some of the common simple techniques that guarantee a great album cover:
1. Embrace digital
In this digital age, you need to cater for a digital version of your album cover as much as a physical version, probably even more. The digital version will only be covering an inch of space in the music store. So whatever way you choose to design your album, it should appear coherent and not a puddle of mess in there.
If you do not have any experience in digital graphic designing, you can use free online tools like PosterMyWall’s album cover maker to create your designs. Such tools give you access to thousands of editable album cover templates made by professionals and enormous pools of stock-free content that you can easily use to create your designs.
2. Use the correct size
The iTunes Official Album Cover Art specs go from no greater than 3000×3000 to a minimum of 1400×1400. The album cover art must also be square and in jpg format. PosterMyWall offers album cover sizes of 1500×1500 pixels. Use our design tools to make designing a straightforward and easy process! Using PosterMyWall’s design tools allow you to resize your image to the correct proportions.
3. Keep high contrast
Remember your band name is still the most important element to your album cover. Be creative, but make sure your band’s name doesn’t get lost in the wild mosaic of colors and images you’ve selected. Basically, your band’s name should stand out on the cover, while making the artwork also look good.
4. Play with text
You can produce amazing results by getting creative with just text. Use a variety of fonts, and couple it up with text effects, such as faded text. We recommend using fancy text at PosterMyWall. Use great visuals to enhance your text even further. A photo or abstract art works great. However, we recommend you to not get carried away with text, and writing song lyrics on your album isn’t the best course of action. You can do that on your band website, and put the link in your album cover.
5. Try minimalism
Sometimes, less is more. Minimalism is a good approach for designers of any skill level, from the the most novice but eager to the experienced but perhaps lackadaisical. It allows you to create amazing designs through simplicity, and the results are well worth it. With the tools and options provided on the site, it’s easy to get carried away with your designs. But sometimes, a simple design can do more than an intricate design can achieve. At PosterMyWall, we have designers who have delved in all kinds of styles to create stunning designs, including minimalism.
6. Embrace the weird
As mentioned earlier, in creating a nice album cover, there is no single way to achieve greatness. We only mentioned 2 commonly used ways, but there are loads of ways designers embrace the band’s uniqueness. In a nutshell, create an album cover that’s true to your band’s identity and your music’s direction.
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Senior editor at PosterMyWall.