This article is a follow-up to the Importance Of Cover Art For Online Music Promotion, and it shows the qualities of good cover art for online music promotion.
Without much ado, let me show you the qualities of good music artwork.
What makes a good album cover?
A good music artwork, cover art, or album cover must have the following qualities:
- Nice studio photos.
- Design wallpapers.
- Your face on the cover art.
- A concept on the cover to make the design attractive.
- A name and song title.
- Social media URLs and other contacts.
- Be minimal.
1. Nice studio photos.
We already know that there are some good phones today that one can use to take niece-looking photos.
But I also want us to know that those photos are not good enough when it comes to making music artwork.
And this is because, during the designing process the photo will undergo lots of editing and adjustments, which may force it to drop or lose most of those great qualities you have after taking the snapshots.
That is one of the reasons why I will never recommend using phone photos for music artwork.
Rather, I will urge you to visit a photo studio and have a professional cameraman take good photographs with a digital camera like Canon 60D which is built specifically for that purpose.
Another point to note here is that you should not take only one photo, rather three to five photos are okay.
Now collect some of the photos and edit them.
Submit them all to your graphic designer who will know what best to do with them.
Also, note that medium and close-shot photos are the best for music cover art.
Never take a full shot and crop it to medium because the quality will reduce while doing so, and it might even introduce noise into the image.
A professional photographer should know about all these but be guided by this article in case that photographer is not professional enough.
A very important point to note again is that when taking your photo shots, have your song title at the back of your mind.
Ensure that your pose and facial expression communicate your title to your viewer.
For instance, if your music is a sad love song, don’t just go smiling or throwing your fingers at your photo shoots.
Instead, put yourself in the saddest possible mood you can, and if necessary, have some tear drops falling from your eyes.
And this will compel a viewer, who is going through the same thing in life, to relate with you to the point of listening to and downloading your music.
2. Design wallpapers.
Throwing an image and write-ups onto a natural or normal background in your design software, will somehow not make it nice and attractive.
That is why you should find a niece wallpaper design, as a background, your image and titles will be sitting on.
There are millions of wallpapers online so just go ahead and get one.
This however does not mean you should not use a natural color background for your music artwork or cover art.
If you or your graphic designer can decide to be creative and make something even more nice and attractive out of normal background color.
Just relax and go with it, but if in the end, you are not satisfied with the outcome, throw a wallpaper upon the design.
3. Your face on the cover art.
An album cover that features actual human faces, tends to draw more attention from online viewers than the ones that have something else or do not have a human face at all.
This often happens as a result of the natural feeling of personal connections, which comes from human beings gazing into each other eyes.
It can also be a result of one getting an instantaneous sense of the artist’s musical style and aesthetic.
For instance, the facial expression of sadness from the face of an artist during a photo shot will communicate more to someone who is currently going through such pain.
Then compel him to listen, watch and even end up downloading your song.
Another point is that, as life goes on people migrate from one place to another, and it’s therefore certain that you might have lost touch with some people in the physical world.
So if they happen to stumble upon something online with your face on it, there is no way they will waste time in clicking that post to satisfy their curiosity.
Probably some of them saw while you started out your music career.
And believe me, they will be more than happy to play that song to their friends, while relating your story to confirm that someone he knows is now a star.
4. A concept on the cover to make the artwork attractive.
The aim of your music artwork or cover art should not be to look cool alone, rather it should aim at communicating something about your musical style, personal beliefs, and probably the area you fit in.
This is because every area of life, as well as the genre of music, has followers.
As such, there is no way a member of a group will decide to pass by something relating to his interest on the internet.
For example, Naira Marley’s fan base ‘Marlians” are the hottest group in Naija at the moment, and so millions of Marlian online will be more than ready to click on a post that carries the Marlian identity.
And nothing will pass that message across online except your music artwork or cover art.
Even if the song is for or against Marlians, Marlians will always be ready to listen, and when they do your online views or download will add up.
5. A name and song title.
Imagine so many CDs sitting on the shelves of a music shop, how will you quickly identify whose album is this or that?
Of course, the artist’s name and the song title are what will help you retrieve your selection.
That is the same with your online music artwork cover art or album design.
Your face alone is not just enough to draw people’s attention to your online content; your name and title are also required.
Don’t forget that there are so many look-alikes on this earth, so therefore, add your name and song title to verify you are the owner of the song you are urging people to listen to, watch and download online.
6. Social media URLs and other contacts.
No upcoming artiste who wants to blow will want people to just listen, watch or download their track and walk away just like that.
Proper connections and interactions with people are just what you need to keep them coming back, most especially when your EP or Album will be out for sale, you need them by then to patronize you.
Aside from that you also need to grow your fan base for now, because for instance, if you are looking for a record deal, most record companies will never sign an artist who does not have a fan base, especially online.
So you must use this wonderful opportunity to add your social media URLs to your music artwork.
I will prefer a Facebook and Instagram URL, and probably a WhatsApp number that will make it easy for whoever cares to chat with you privately.
Whatever contact details you wish people to easily connect and interact with you, add them to your cover design.
7. Be minimal.
Just because you want your music artwork, cover art, or album cover to convey a message about you and draw people to click on your post does not mean that you should throw every single detail mentioned or not mentioned above on your cover art and cluster it.
Pick what’s most important for your music artwork or cover art, cut down on certain information, and make everything stay simple.
Don’t try to confuse your viewers and make them walk away without stopping over at your post.
The thumbnail is a term used by graphic designers and photographers for a small image representation of a larger image, usually intended to make it easier and faster to look at or manage a group of large images.
In the online community, the majority of people who will encounter your cover art will see a smaller version of it.
Therefore, before you finally export your music artwork or cover art to any format of your choice, make sure you shrink it down and observe if it still captures your attention.
Be certain that every single image and titles you threw on it are still clearly seen, and if not, you will just have to make the necessary adjustments by either editing or taking out some of them.