Artists can make their record stand out from the crowd with eye-grabbing artwork. Check out these 5 tips for making amazing DIY custom album covers.
You’ve put your heart and soul into creating your newest collection of music. Are you ready to deliver it to the world, but still wondering how other artists afford those polished and eye-catching custom album covers?
Here’s the secret: they don’t! The amazing thing about the digital age is that anyone can create a beautiful album cover design. You just have to follow some simple guidelines for creating a cover that makes people take notice.
Ready to start brainstorming your ideas? Read on!
1. Keep it Simple
This may seem counter-intuitive, but a simple yet bold design is a great choice for custom album artwork. Why? Most music today is consumed digitally. It’s entirely possible that most of your fan base will never hold your physical album in their hands.
Simple doesn’t have to be boring. A bold geometric pattern or a striking portrait; these are great options for CD art. You may want to skip tiny details or busy artwork that will be lost in small format.
When your albums are for sale online, the most common views of their covers will be a thumbnail on a review site or a cover picture on a Pandora station.
Does that mean your album artwork is less important? Quite the contrary. Instead of seeing the album cover once, it may be the graphic of every track, every review, every Facebook share, and every tweet.
It is essential that the art is recognizable, with graphic elements that will make it identifiable and memorable. Though fewer people will buy a physical copy of an album today, the artwork from music albums has the potential for much further reach now than ever before.
Think of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album- the cover is a fairly simple, a close-up photograph of a baby underwater.
Yet, most music fans can instantly identify that cover from near or far. Equally identifiable is the extremely simple brick pattern on the cover of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”
2. A Unique Logo
Prince. Metallica. Rolling Stones. Kiss. What do these artists have in common?
Each musical artist mentioned has an established logo design that would be recognizable even if another word was written in their lettering style.
A stand-out logo can be a great way to establish and maintain your brand across multiple platforms and looks fantastic on the cover of an album. Using the same band logo graphic on your album, website, social media, and more creates branding consistency.
More than just a font, a logo is a custom graphic of the musician’s identity that can aid in significantly increasing recognition. An artistically rendered logo makes a musician look professional and polished.
3. Let the Sound Influence the Design
What do you sound like? Who is your target audience?
These questions are important for your album design as well. If your music is layered and melancholy, let the art reflect that with muted colors or an emotion-evoking photograph.
If the album is upbeat and poppy, consider using a vibrant and multi-colored graphic that will communicate those positive vibes.
Color psychology is your friend. Yellow communicates a bright, happy feeling. Blue and gray can effectively advertise a more somber emotional experience.
People will make assumptions about your music through the images they are presented with. You can help extend the feeling and message of the music through custom album covers that carry the same theme as the tracks they represent.
Ready to Design Your Custom Album Covers?
Once you’ve brainstormed a great design for your album, you can use that artwork to communicate to listeners and grab the attention of potential new fans.
With more DIY CD cover maker software available than ever before, it’s possible to easily make artwork yourself that will resonate with music fans for decades.
Let your imagination flow and create something that’s meaningful to your art and connects with the listener.
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