Music Production and Promotion Tips

How to Make an Album Cover

Posted on | March 13, 2012 | No Comments

So you’ve finished it. Your masterpiece, your piece de resistance, your “Blonde on Blonde” (*Bob Dylan album debates not welcome on this article). The time has come to get your CD ready to sell, you need to know how to make an album cover.

Dimensions. The standard dimensions for an insert for your average jewel case CD are 4.75″ w x 4.75″ h. This is without a bleed (a bleed is an area designed to compensate for any cutting inconsistencies, an extra amount of space on each side). If you’re using publishing software such as photoshop or GIMP you should create a 300 DPI image at 1425px X 1425px before filling it with your choice of graphic or photograph.

So what are my tips for making a quality album cover?

  • Professionalism – I’m guessing you’re looking to make your own album cover, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. However you don’t need to pay a pro to make your album cover look good. If you’re looking to sell it, or for people to take it seriously, you’ll want your CD to look great, but that can be achieved by simply taking care in your presentation. Use a photograph you or one of the band members has taken, Gorillaz recently used some photos taken on iPhone app “Hipstamatic” for album artwork, and it looked great.
  • Call on a favour from friends with an artistic edge to help you out, anybody who knows something about photography or graphic design should be able to sort out your dimensions and even provide artwork in return for a mention somewhere. Approach a local college or school and offer your artwork design as a competition for their students or run the same competition amongst your fans. There’s a lot of undiscovered talent out there and people that will be keen to help with little or no reward.
  • Stand out. Do something quirky. It doesn’t have to be complicated, look at some of the best album covers out there, simple but effective. Go against the grain, do something that will get people talking, early on in your career especially it’s important that you utilise things like your artwork to help you out with this. Its all part of your brand. It’s a fickle world we live in and whether your album cover looks good enough will make an impact on your music sales.

There we go. My advice on how to make an album cover. Any more tips to add? Any examples of your own self created album covers? Leave us a comment or get in touch.


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