how to make cover art

How to make cover art for your music

Nowadays, where every week the internet is flooded with dozens and sometimes hundreds of new premieres, a quite important element, apart from marketing and promotion, is also a proper graphic presentation of a song/ album with cover art. Until a few years ago, there was not as much diversity in this segment as there is today. Practically every record label has its own distinctive branding and covers artwork concept, thanks to which fans in the social media can identify its projects in a fraction of a second. Top DJs/ producers cooperate with professional graphic designers and graphic studios that prepare cover artworks, video animations, and visual effects for them. It is clear that graphic services are not among the cheapest. Being an initial producer who is forced to have a different source of income than music, spending tens or hundreds of dollars to create cover art for music is often way over a monthly budget. Additionally, when working with the person responsible for creating the graphics, you have to devote a lot of time to communication, presentation of the concept, and discussion about possible amendments. By doing all this yourself you save not only money but also time, which you can use for example to perfect your next single.


How to come up with an idea for cover art?

You can look at the social media profiles of your favorite labels & producers and try to get inspiration from the graphics and cover arts they publish. Remember to limit yourself to inspiration only, because copying design 1 to 1 is very unfair, you automatically get rid of your creativity, and you can also fall for people from the labels. One of the most interesting solutions is to try to find associations while listening to a song – what colors come to mind, what emotions and feelings accompany us, what images/ situations we see, what is the first moment from our life that we associate while listening to that song, etc. You can look up websites like ShutterStock, UnsplashTumblr and Pinterest, which are full of great photo/ video ideas, can be helpful here – maybe you find there a random photo that will somehow connect you to that track.

Where to get the materials for the cover (mainly background)?

In this matter, we usually have to take into account small costs, because practically all photographs available on the Internet are covered by copyright. The best solution is to subscribe to stock image banks, where for a small fee you have access to millions of images in great quality – Shutterstock, Adobe StockiStock or . If you want to use free equivalents, it is highly recommended to visit sites such as Unsplash and Pexels, which contain free photos.


artwork for music


What kind of graphics program should you use?

It is known that the first option that comes to mind is Photoshop, but not only it is paid, but you have to take some time to familiarize yourself with its interface, and how to move around. A very good free equivalent of Photoshop is Photopea with practically identical interface and basic functions. In our opinion the best device is Canva. Not only is it free, very intuitive, easy to use, and used by thousands of companies around the world, but it has a special Album Covers tab, with which you can create a completely professional cover art in a few minutes – within 5 easy steps.


Below we gathered a few really cool YouTube tutorials which are worth seeing before you start work on your cover art:


A program used by the author: Canva


A program used by the author: Pixelmator Pro


The app used by the author: Over

A program used by the author: Photoshop


A program used by the author: Placeit


A program used by the author: Photoshop


Photo credits: Photo by Per Lööv on Unsplash

22-year-old electronic dance music enthusiast born & raised in Poznan, Poland. Bass music and event management fiend, sincerely in love with trap music from the 2012-2015 era.

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