Why Great Album Art Design is Worth the Effort

Who can forget the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind? Or The Beatles’ Abbey Road? There was a time when great album art meant everything. It made a statement about who you were and what you sounded like. But in this digital age, when MP3s are often floating around our hard drives unlinked to their covers, does album art still matter? Or is it irrelevant?

Dave Haynes, VP Business Development for SoundCloud says that “a band’s artwork acts as an anchor for an entire campaign.” And that “it all starts with the original album sleeve design.” We agree. Here’s why:

1. It’s the cornerstone of your web presence: Great album art becomes the basis for your web design, merch (posters, t-shirts, tote bags, etc), any online ads you make and backgrounds for social media pages. It’s the image that will get reposted on blogs and websites and become the cornerstone of your web presence. That image will live online for… ever. So choose wisely.

2. It sets the tone: As an indie artist, great design is incredibly important because often, potential fans and press will seeyou before they hear you. Having cover art and a web presence that makes a statement and presents you as credible, legitimate, interesting and talented is a key component to your success.

3. It’s Part of Your Brand and it Speaks to Your Fans: Your art should also tie into your brand and message, and be cohesive in a way that potential fans will see and remember. Consider your target demographic and their likes and dislikes when creating your album art. If you’re targeting moms over the age of 40, then it’s probably a bad idea to put a graphic or gory image on the cover of your album. Moms probably won’t buy that because as consumers, we value emotions and feelings when planning to purchase a product. If a mom has a negative feeling about your album art, she’s probably not interested in listening to what you sound like.

So, when creating album art, don’t choose the quick and easy route. Take some time toalbum_cd_designreally consider what you want your artwork to convey and who you’ll be targeting. Think about the look and feel of your art and where it’s going to be used. As Haynes says, perhaps it’s more about ‘art direction’ and the overall concept in general, but surely it all begins with one definitive piece of album art.

Tell us what you think: How and why did you choose your album art?

The SongCast Crew

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