The music business these days is so competitive and artists have to stand out from their competitors. An artist will have to set himself apart from the rest in order to create a reputation for himself and gain fans. One area musicians invest their resources, time, and energy in order to stand out is in creating catchy cover arts.
Most times, covers are the first impression a listener gets of your music.
I remember when we used to buy records from vendors on the streets. Album covers were the first thing that would attract people to your music. My eyes would navigate a stack of records in seconds, the record with the best graphics, color, format, message, and layout would grab my attention and may likely be what would end up in my shopping cart. Today, the way music is bought and consumed is quite different but the significance of covers are still the same. Nowadays, Music is mostly downloaded, streamed, or viewed online, but pictures still play a vital role in what songs people choose to listen to. Therefore, A good album art should easily generate interest, convey your message, and speaks about the creativity that was put into making the body of work.
Album covers can provoke a reaction and generate the desired response. Therefore, covers are a great tool for music marketing, promotions, and distribution. It is not a coincidence that the most sold albums are usually the ones with the best album covers. They influence the buyers’ choice and hence directly impact sales. A bad album cover could cause people to reject the album and hence grossly affect sales. There have been cases where records flop or get banned due to issues with the album covers. Therefore, You have to understand how people would perceive your cover art in the environment you find yourself. What may be considered as insensitive in one society may be accepted in another.
A good cover will include the title of the project, Tracklisting, copyright information, warning label, credits, and contact information. It is a mystery why many streaming platforms refuse barcodes or contact information on the cover arts, but it is a wise decision to make two variations. One variant for the streaming platforms and the other variant for physical copies or blogs where you can display all relevant information. The reason why these platforms frown upon covers having contact information like social media handles is not really clear but I believe that they do not want people leaving their apps in search of the artist. They rather have you search for the artist on their platforms or maybe it raises some legal issues we are not really aware of
Most cover arts are derived from professionally taken portraits of the artists. However, quite a number of artists or graphic designers employ the use of abstract painting, canvass painting, 2D, and 3D animations to convey a vivid message to the consumer. In other words, Album art may not necessarily be derived from a picture of the artist, sometimes it is plain text or just a combination of colors. The important thing is to ensure that it is clean, attractive, and informative. Clarity is key, the design must allow for the write-up to be readable and clear and should be spaced-out.
Here are some of my best album covers of all time.
If you have not been paying attention to how your covers look, you have been missing out on a great opportunity to promote and market your music to millions of people. This may just be the reason why people are not listening to your content when they find them on streaming platforms. Hence quit using low-resolution photos or low budget photographs to make covers for your songs covers.
—Written by Mazifeanyi