Creating an appropriate cover art
Choosing an appropriate cover artwork is one of the most fundamental aspects of releasing a new track. The artwork is the front cover for your release, determining whether or not listeners will decide to click ‘play’. Due to this, it is vital to make sure that your cover artwork is effective in representing your track well. Your cover art needs to give visitors the right first impression, but should also stand out in a crowd – for the right reasons! Selecting the right artwork may seem a tricky decision when you are not artistically inclined, but following these simple rules should enable you to make the right choice.
When looking at cover art as a whole you will see that different genres tend to have different cover art trends. This is particularly true with pop releases, which most often include a photo of the artist as the focus of the artwork. Within electronic music, the artwork is more diverse, but the trend is certainly darker colors and a more text-focussed image, particularly for compilation albums. While it is not compulsory to follow the genre-trends, you should make sure to research by browsing cover artworks, an activity that will no doubt provoke ideas for your own cover.
Following your branding
Another important aspect of choosing a cover artwork is ensuring that it flows with your current branding. Even if your cover art doesn’t include a picture of you, it should be clear that you are the source. You should always include your logo, whether it is front and centre or less prominent. Most importantly, it should be clear that the release is yours, and your identity should be signified in the artwork.
One of the biggest mistakes made when creating an album artwork is not using images with a high enough resolution. Your finished artwork should be high resolution, with no blurring or pixilation. With any kind of flaw, your release will quickly look unprofessional, and will likely be ignored by influencers, news outlets, journalists and most importantly, fans. This is certainly the most important aspect of choosing an appropriate cover art, as a blank canvas image would likely do less damage to your brand than an unprofessional, low resolution, blurry artwork.
Refrain from using too much text
It is also imperative to refrain from using too much text. Many artists try to covey a message using their artwork, this is fine, but writing out a message on top of your image will make your artwork look messy and unprofessional. Try to limit your text to five words or less, and convey messaging through the imagery itself. In order to really produce a high-quality piece of artwork, the message should be clear through the imagery rather than the text.
Choosing the right tool
Once you have a few ideas and know what you’d like to put across in your artwork, it is important to choose the right service or tool to create it. You may want to save money and create the art yourself, which is a great method if you are Photoshop-savvy with an eye for design. If you are less able to create the artwork yourself, there are plenty of tools on the market already to assist you in creating that perfect image. Places like Cover Art Factory allow you to select from a range of images, and they will edit it for you, exchanging the original artwork to a new one with your added image. Services like Canva allow you to create the image yourself but using their software so that even those unfamiliar with design and Photoshop are able to create a high-quality artwork. Another option is to hire a freelance designer to put together an artwork from scratch; you can find freelancers on sites like Fiverr.
Sticking to these simple rules when choosing a cover artwork ensures that your release will be represented in the best way possible. While the music is, of course, the most important aspect, choosing the right cover art ensures that people will be persuaded to hit play. Otherwise, people may miss out on hearing your music due to being put off by an unprofessional artwork. Take your time, think about the meaning behind the track, utilise the tools out there and you’ll be well on your way to creating an effective artwork.