How to Design an Album Cover: 5 Tips You Should Remember
aaamusic | On 26, Sep 2019
Even in this digital age, album art is almost as important as the album itself. This can be both a blessing and a curse.
See, if you’re an independent artist, you can likely only afford one type of cover. This one image is what most of your listeners will associate your album with. That’s a lot of pressure, even if you know what the cover should look like.
Not sure how to design an album cover that will help communicate your message? Here are 5 tips that will help you in your quest.
1. Consider the Thumbnail
These days, most people who encounter your music will do so online. If they don’t see it on blogs or review sites, they’ll find it via Spotify or other digital music platforms. Oftentimes, all they’ll see of your album is the thumbnail.
Can your album cover still capture people’s attention in this form? To make sure, shrink the image to about 110px x 110px. If it doesn’t pop, consider going with a different approach.
2. Use the Right Tools
Many artists outsource album art, but the result often ends up lacking in the personal touch. Technical artistry is nice, but not if it takes attention away from the individuality of your ideas.
Plus, you don’t need to be a Photoshop wizard to design album art. In fact, there are plenty of online tools that streamline this process. For example, Adobe Spark’s album cover maker is both free and easy to use.
3. Include Faces
Science says that album covers featuring human faces get more attention. Seeing another person’s face instantly creates a personal connection. The artist’s style or posture can also tell you a lot about their musical taste.
Of course, depending on your brand, including a face on your cover may not be possible. If you can swing it, though, go for it! This is something you should keep in mind in your online interactions as well.
4. Keep It Minimal
In the modern era, minimalism rules supreme. In a way, this tip ties into the first one. Once you shrink your image to a certain point, the details get too hard to make out — so why have them at all?
The downside of minimalist aesthetic is that it can give off a “phoned in” vibe. Still, this is only true for uninspired examples. If you want to convey a single idea with your cover, minimalism is the way to go.
5. Evoke Emotion with Colors
There are plenty of studies that get into color psychology in detail. The gist of it is that your use of color should depend on the emotion you want to elicit. This is another way to make your album stick out in a crowd.
For instance, a hopeful mood is often associated with green and orange. Red is more of a passionate color, and blue is a synonym for sadness. Before making the final choice, keep your album’s theme in mind.
More on How to Design an Album Cover
By following these tips, you should find it easier to create an album cover that works for your brand. Remember: first impressions are crucial, especially on music platforms. Try to reflect your brand as best as you can.
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