When you think of the most iconic album covers in the past decade, you’ll notice that they represent the essence of their records perfectly. If your album were a person, your album cover would be their overall look. You would want your cover to accurately define your music, style, and vibe of the whole record.
It is a unique and creative challenge for graphic designers to create an album cover design for clients. You’ll need to get to know the artist, their creative vision, and listen to their record to accurately represent the album’s spirit. Here are three tips you need to remember when creating an album cover:
1. Understand the artist and the album
When working on an album cover, you shouldn’t stray from the artist’s personality and vision of their record. When an artist creates an album, there’s an overall theme and story that comes with it. It would be a huge help to understand the context of the album by talking to the artist.
Understanding the story behind the record and the artist, you can create an authentic album cover that would help convey the message that the artist is trying to share. One way of truly appreciating the album is to sit with it and listen to the tracks. You’ll get creative inspiration that would help you move forward with this project.
2. Research on the artist’s aesthetic and fan base
Most bands and artists have a specific symbol or aesthetic that they consistently use. By incorporating this into the design, you can increase familiarity with their fan base. That will also build band or artist recognition and help set these artists apart from the rest.
Though each record is always different, each artist will always have a specific aesthetic and style that will keep them from blending in with the other creatives in the industry. It is best to use this tool to maximize and enhance the design of their album cover.
3. Think outside of the box
Album covers don’t need to be a standard square. What makes a lot of album covers successful and iconic is the use of different elements, styles, and even sizes. Make sure that your album cover design is optimized for different platforms–from CD covers to vinyl covers, streaming platforms, and other social media tools.
Making sure you have an album cover design that’s so versatile will maximize its use on different marketing methods to help your artist promote their record.
FAQ on album cover designs
Though these tips are significantly helpful in creating an authentic album cover design, here’s a list of FAQs that might help you with your design process:
1. What details should I check when proofing my album cover design?
Make sure the tracklist, producers, and other important information are spelled correctly and are accurate. Another thing you want to consider is that all elements are inside the safe area of your artboard. That will help in production so that the details of your design won’t be damaged and removed in the production and printing process.
2. What colour modes should I use?
RGB colour mode is what you usually use on computer screens, while CMYK colour mode is specially made for printing. It is best to design your album cover in a colour mode that would translate well in print.
3. What should my image resolution be?
If you want a high-quality image, make sure your design is in high-resolution. That means the resolution of your album cover design should be around 300ppi to 1,200ppi. It would be best to avoid fuzzy, and low-quality album covers for printing.
An album cover must translate the artist’s vision and record’s story. It is best to remember these elements when creating an authentic album design to create the best representation of your client’s art. If you’re ready, play that record and think of your artist’s story. Start conceptualizing and create the most effective and unique album cover design.
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