How To Easily Create Amazing Cover Art for Your Music
If you haven’t noticed just yet, we are living in a visual world. From the creation of an entirely new term, “Selfies,” to instagram and the thousands of other photo editing apps, and everything in between. Bottom line is people love pictures. They are quickly and easily enjoyed, and very shareable. So when you are creating the artwork for your track, you need to keep this in mind.
Think of it like a movie poster for your song. You want it to capture people’s attention and entice them to listen to the track. And there are some artists doing an incredible job of this right now. Especially in the EDM world. Cover art has become extremely important and you can tell they are sparing no expense.
For me, the label that has always done this extremely well is former Swedish House Mafia member, Axwell’s label, Axtone.
One look at these covers and you are like, I have to hear this track. Obviously these are done custom and probably done by a pretty talented graphic designer. But how can you accomplish a similar feeling?
Well for starters, if you had a friend or family member that had the time and was willing, you can ask them to create some cool stuff for you. However, since that is not the case for most of us, we suggest you start by finding a program or software you can use. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or in depth at all. The program will have to allow you to add text, and some basic editing functions. Image, size, color, warmth, saturation, and maybe some filters.
Two web based applications that we like for this are Canva.com and Fotor.com – both are somewhat like Photoshop in a web browser with many readily available design templates. Other similar tools may be out there and available to you as well.
Once you found the program you like, from there it is easy. Next find a cool image you like. You will need an image or design that really captures the essence of the track. And on that obviously catches your eye and stands out. There are a couple of different ways you can go about this.
Create Your Own
That thing you have in your pocket, your iPhone or other smartphone, chances are the camera is pretty good. So just like you let your artistic side come out with the music, let your inner photographer come out. Take a picture of some cool shit, put it in the editor and start fooling around with it. Change the color, fade it out, whatever you think looks cool and would catch your audiences attention.
Free and Paid Stock Photos
This is a method we have always truly liked as long as you find an inexpensive or free site. You also need to make sure you’re allowed to use the images. Not all images are cleared for promotional use. However if you do find a good site you can really get some amazing images. Images that don’t need a thing done to them. All you have to do once you have the image is put your name and track title on it, and presto! Amazing cover art.
Two sites we love are 123rf.com, which is paid, and unspalsh.com, which is free. If you use 123rf they have excellent photos for pretty cheap. You have to buy a minimum of $40 in credits but that will get you 15-20 photos. You can also find some incredible photos at unsplash.com and I am sure there are many other sites like it.
Last but definitely not least, there is the title and text. . Although this may seem like a minor detail, we promise you it isn’t. A title very much like the cover art should grab the person’s attention and make them curious to hear the track. Once you have your title you need to place it and the artist or artists on the art.
First rule for this is, make sure the font is legible. We know sometimes crazy fonts look cool, but who cares if you can’t read it.
The second rule, make sure the text is large enough. Keep in mind many listeners are going to see your art only as a thumbnail. So a very small image. The art and the text should be both be legible and clear when it’s in this format.
A good way to determine this is once you create the cover art, zoom out either using the program you designed it in, or open it up in your computers image viewer and do it. If you zoom out to about 500% and the image still looks good, and you can read the title and artist. Great job, it’s ready to go.
One thing we want you to keep in mind is, once you nail down all of these little tricks and hacks, it will allow you to create some amazing promo material in a minimal amount of time. Leaving you more time to do what is really important, create great music.
Next we will have to give you tips on turning your cover art into promo material. So stay tuned for that.