Kwettr -  How-to-design-and-promote-your-new-album-cover

How to design and promote your new album cover

Many people think it’s not important to judge an album by its cover. Because what matters is not the outside, but the music on the inside. However, the outside image, which is the visual cover, should attract the attention of new listeners, even inspire them, and give a representation of what the album contains on the inside. For this reason, it’s important to take good care of the cover of your album, because it’s the cover that reflects the identity of your musical image.

What should you consider when designing an album cover template that can reflect your true musical identity?

While your album cover needs to be original and expressive to reflect your musical identity, it’s important to design it according to standards. So, to achieve this, simply follow these steps.

Let's get started!

1. Establish Your Identity

Like when you are developing a brand, you have to know your identity and the message you want to communicate.

Start by identifying who you are: an artist? A band? A musician?

Then comes the question of the audience. Anyone can listen to your music, but you have to have a smaller audience. Whom do you want to reach? Who are the people in front of the stage?

Music conveys emotions. We all have our favourite track that gives us chill, one that inspires us with the joy of life, etc. And you? How do you want your audience to feel when listening to your album?

A final exercise in defining your identity is to explain in a few words what you do and what your music sounds like. This is one of the important steps that reflect your musical identity through your album cover.

2. Create a Unique Graphic Composition

Now that you have defined your identity and know who you are talking to, the stage of designing your cover will be easier.

As with any graphic composition, you should focus on the following:

  • The colour
  • The typography
  • The visual and the style

Kwettr -  Create a Unique Graphic Composition

The Colour

Colour is one of the most important aspects of defining an album cover design: whether you choose a black and white cover or prefer brighter colours, the message conveyed will not be the same.

If you want your listeners to feel happy while listening to your album,  you should select preferred warm colours like yellow and orange. Conversely, if you convey melancholy, you can opt for darker colours.

Ideally, your colours should blend well together, but since you are an artist, you can overcome this rule by choosing colours that will best suit your style.

By adopting more original colour combinations you express a completely different message: you suggest non-conformity, you show psychedelic inspiration or you simply seek to shock music lovers.

The Typography

Typography can also help you communicate the personality of your music.

There are different types of typography and not all of them will have the same meaning on your cover.

A Serif font, with serifs, expresses a more serious and traditional image. It’s therefore suitable for classical music, acoustic music or opera, for example.

A font that does not have a Serif, is considered more modern and can therefore be used with a variety of music: electronic, indie rock, etc.

A Script font can symbolize tradition as much as a disorder. It all depends on the font used. This typeface can be found on rock albums or solo artist albums to represent a signature.

Decorative fonts have a simpler meaning: Gothic fonts are associated with metal music, while a writing font with bubbles, for example, will find its place on a children's album.

You'll probably use text in several places when editing a template for an album cover. So you can combine different fonts for a more artistic cover.

The Visual and the Style

Even though most bands use a photograph to illustrate their album cover, know that anything is possible: you can opt for illustrations, abstract shapes and even collage.

Let's go back to photography first. If you want to attract attention, we advise you to insert a portrait. In addition, the face conveys emotions. You can therefore more easily transcribe the spirit of your album.

If neither style seems to suit you, you can try minimalism. Finally, simplicity also allows you to stand out and gives all its power to the name of your album.

Our advice

On a minimalist cover where the background is black, it’s advisable to have coloured typography rather than a simple white title.

Whatever you choose, the visual of your cover must be linked to your identity and find its place harmoniously with the colours and the typography. Moreover, to have a good album cover in a short time and at a lower cost, you can choose among the cover models already designed by professionals. This really saves your time and you can find the best designs among them. Then, all you will have to do is to edit this pre-designed cover template with your personal information!

Advice on How to Create Different Mock-Ups to Reach a Targeted Audience

We have just detailed the essential points to consider when designing an album cover template that can reflect your true musical identity. Now, for a good music promotion design, you will need videos and images for each platform.

Then discover below our best tips that will help you create different mock-ups with various environments to attract a targeted audience.

1. Advice on How to Create Different Mock-Ups With Different Environments to Reach a Targeted Audience on Facebook

If your goal is to launch and generate early sales on Facebook, make sure to display your Album Cover on a CD Case mockup. The advantage of using mockups is that it looks real, even though you may not have yet your CDs printed. For sure you can have a successful presale with this kind of presentation. Make sure to create a CTA that will launch to your online store, Spotify account or to any other platform where you're selling your music.

As for technical advice on how images perform on Facebook, take note of these:

  • The cover should highlight an image rather than text. Let the visual express itself. Choose simple graphics that call for action. You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of a potential client, so it's essential to get straight to the point.
  • Pay attention to the quality of your image, which can still deteriorate when compressed by Facebook. This will be particularly the case if you use photos in Jpeg format (this format is certainly very practical because it’s universal and readable everywhere, but it’s very poorly digested by our dear social network).
  • Avoid the degradation of your image, preferably use the PNG format (more precisely PNG 24 bits) which will keep a rather precise definition after uploading on your Facebook page.

2. Advice for Creating Different Mock-Ups With Different Environments to Reach a Targeted Audience on Instagram

Instagram is totally visual, and even though some users tend to add a lot of texts, not all of these posts are popular and to be honest they might just get swipe away. So use this platform to share pictures of details of your Album’s art or even the process of creating it. Here you can share all the creativity that made your album possible. You can create a big canvas by uploading your art divided by 9 squares, and combine images and videos. HeyTigerCo is a great account to follow and get inspired on how they use this platform. If they accomplished this, imagine what you can do with your art + your music?

Kwettr -  HeyTigerCo Instagram

As for technical advice on Instagram, here are some tips to make the most out of your images:

  • It’s important to use the square shape of your album cover (180 x 180 maximum and 110 x 110 minimum).
  • Make sure that your album cover for Instagram is really understandable, simple and clear on a Smartphone. Because most of your fans will see your album on mobiles.

3.  Advice to Create Different Mock-Ups With Different Environments to Reach a Targeted Audience on YouTube

YouTube is all about videos, so creating your trailer and giving your fans a glimpse of what is coming could be very exciting for them. You can use certain elements of your album art as clues, and this way when your album comes out, your audience will be hooked. However, there are some standards that should be taken into account when designing your album cover, here is our technical advice for this platform:

  • First, it’s important to consider the size of the image. It’s much better to design an image with a size of at least 800 x 800 pixels to have quality on any device.
  • On large screens, your cover is usually displayed in its entirety. This is why it’s important to use each space carefully.
  • Devices that are small, it will be necessary to crop your album cover. This means that it’s more important that the relevant information should be in the centre. In this way, it can be displayed on all devices.
  • Your album cover must meet the standard defined by YouTube. Make sure you get a transparent PNG file. This type of file will allow you to overlay your social media image on your video to increase your brand's visibility.

Conclusion

Album covers talk back and forth about an artist or a group of artists. Sometimes it’s the cover of your album that communicates the first impression to your audience. For this reason, your cover should be eye-catching, professional and quirky at the same time. After all the sweat, blood, and tears that went into making your music, you will need a design that can keep the same level of impact.

A designer can create your cover or you can DIY with online design tools that have a great quality of pre-designed album cover templates. Just pour in your musical image and you are ready to rock!  

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Instagram blog part 1: how to become a content king Music marketing: A guide to successfully promote a music album Music marketing handbook: a guide for indie record labels

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