Your album cover art is a crucial part of your success as an up-and-coming artist. While it is true that because of music platforms it may seem like the cover art isn’t worth much, it is still vital to put the time and effort to make it perfect. Music may be your primary focus, your album cover needs time as well.
While it is time-consuming the perfect cover art is needed because it is gonna be something you will use over and over again when the time comes for it. Even if in the end it ends up as a digital artwork on a screen, remember that having the proper visual art is important.
While this list is long it does not limit creativity. It was created to protect you and whoever else was involved in any sort of copyright acts or lawsuits. So while you’re starting your art here are some things to keep in mind.
THE COVER ART GUIDELINES
To have music industries accept your cover art you need to make sure you fall under these guidelines.
- JPEG (many companies don’t allow PNG or GIF)
- Make it the perfect square (1600 x 1600 pixels)
- For printing make it a resolution of 300 DPI
- If you want color RGB color makes the best quality
- If your format was not properly made images will be blurry. Blurry images will not be allowed.
- If adding text only add artist name as well as the title ( Do not add URLS, tags, logos, websites, etc.)
- Do not add “Exclusive” or “Limited Edition” or anything with a time frame.
After you have taken note of the dos and dont it’s time to get creative.
- Make it unique. Music has a theme and a story. Brainstorm what makes your story visually pleasing that helps your new release.
- Use AUTHORIZED images. If you want to use an image make sure that you get permission to use them and they are clear for commercial use. There is nothing wrong to look around for inspiration, but it is important to know if the image you want is authorized to use. Some stock photo websites you can use are Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay.
- Use legible font. Keep contrast and colors in mind. Make sure the font is legible as well as your art.
- If needed look for services. As a small artist, this can be your chance to help another small freelance artist. Use sites like Fiverr, Cover Art Factory, and others and recruit them to help you with your cover art dreams.
- And finally, make sure that your art can be viewed as a small thumbnail. Edits will happen and it is important that your cover art is not lost due to the sizing of the perfect square.
And now that you have perfected the album cover art that goes along with your release this is when you will begin using it. Use this art as your promotion, the visual that goes with your story. It can be the teaser to the song or the album, and every art piece to every release needs to be unique.
After all that work this will all end up as part of an experience for the listener, an invitation to stay and become a fan.