Your Approach to Album Art

So lately I’ve been wrapping up a few projects that I’m going to put on my band camp. However I’m running into a creative block making album art for my latest project. Anybody have any tips or tricks they’ve learned along the way in creating album art? Or perhaps it’s better to pay somebody to produce the artwork for you? I don’t want the album art to be the only thing that stands in the way of releasing my music but I do want it to be eye catching and reflect the body of work that it’s representing. Thanks Nauts!


I would maybe look at people doing physical releases, I think design wise generally they are thinking about it a bit more. If the album has a theme it becomes easier I think of ideas.

I think looking through these tape releases can be fun, they are all over the place in design.

I studied graphic design, typography and printmaking in school but I think anyone is capable of making some good album art, especially if you go for a more playful approach.

My latest was this

Which is maybe a more playful approach


…first thoughts for wrapping up sonic content in a somehow catchy way or another…

WHO r U…? an recording artist…
…got any attitude or message or both u wanna comunicate beyond ur sonic content…?

…not that much a genre question…more an overall texture and sounddesign approach one…

…whatever ur eyecandy should comunicate end of the day, make sure it’s matching with these two essential questions first…

…what’s ur overall attitude?..right in ur face or more understatement…

…there are always two things u got to consider…wanna feature some kind of artist image…
or some kind of message…or both at once…in best case…

…and then, the most obvious way…each collection of songs has some common ground within itself…what is that…answer that question to urself for each single release…

if u got a few releases to line up already…line them up and play around…the package is comunicating the content in first place…so take a moment to think twice…til u find the right balance all inbetween…u…ur work…each release…and the whole package…

the overall common ground starts to sparkle at some point…

if u release a certain row of releases, it’s always a good thing to fix the listeners collectors item fetish…they all got it…still…and find some details u always repeat…


Know your fonts.

Nothing says amateur more than a crappy photo with bad (and badly aligned) fonts.

Pick your ten favourite CDs/LP’s/cassettes (for cover art). Study them…what images do they use, how do they align their text, what kind of fonts etc? What do you like and why? Does it relate to your aesthetic etc.?

Down the rabbit hole :slightly_smiling_face:

Good luck!


I’m struggling with the whole process, especially the font selection and location. I’m actually becoming frustrated with the process because it’s

A : something I am not very good at
B : it’s preventing me from releasing music

However I’ll keep at it and try to improve over time. Maybe I’ll take a look at some tutorials online

Thank you!

I studied graphic design, and one thing I can tell, in regards to font choice, is to make sure it’s readable (style, color, etc.). Also, if trying to do the work yourself is causing you so much stress, maybe you should consider hiring someone (that is if you can afford to). Happy New Year. :partying_face:

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What I did, besides buying some books on graphic design and fonts, was to go through my cd collection and pulled out the 20 or whose design I really liked and used those as both inspiration and models…you can learn so much doing that!


I’ve also had a lot of training in art and design, but my album art process has stayed the same over the years.

  1. Make the music
  2. Frown really hard when I realize it needs a cover
  3. Try to find a piece I’ve already started that could serve as the cover
  4. Finish a piece at the “wrong” size
  5. Resize and hope nobody looks too hard

Design isn’t intuitive, it’s a practiced skill as much as music is. People often think it’s easy to just throw a couple of things out and pick the best one but there is genuinely a reason people get paid to do it. I totally believe anyone can do it if they’ve got the inclination to learn, but that’s the same as music. If you have no desire to jump into the visual arts you will have to rely entirely on your self expression. While it’s possible to make something good it’s much like a beginner musician making 100 tracks to make something tolerable. I would advise learning some form of visual art regardless if you enjoy what music gives you in life, it’s a whole new dimension, or 50.

Here’s a step in the right direction. The link seems focused around advertisement design but the principles are universal

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There’s so many ways and approaches. Photography, graphics, handmade, sculpture, collage.

It’s not album art but I’m loving what elektron are doin with their recent promo. Synths submerged in sand and crystals, knobs covered in melted plasticine.

Above all have fun with it! It’s a great part of the process to be savoured :slight_smile:

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Take a design class! I took a bunch when I was in an exploratory study mode before I entered university. Sometimes designing or conceiving a cover is the funnest part!

When I design a cover or do a write up, 1.) I listen and note down themes, feelings, phrases, expressions, metaphors (etc.) that come to mind. 2.) Then I start digging and working on it (Do I have photos that would fit this aesthetic? Can I make a collage of related source material? What kind of type/font fit?).

Also, if you plan to do anything that needs a somewhat complex layout, sketching up a bunch of ideas just to see weight and balance can really help. Just draw a bunch of boxes and shade them a bit.

Also, there’s nothing wrong with trying tons of different stuff and seeing which one fits best.

Good luck!

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Top Three Fonts

  1. Helvetica
  2. Helvetica
  3. Helvetica
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  1. Papyrus
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I thought all the cool kids were using Helvetica Neue these days. Not sure though.

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Top 3 fonts

  1. Comic sans
  2. Comic sans
  3. Comic sans

:rofl: not really

Verdana and Eurostile are pretty nice though.

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Comic Papyrus, the worst of both worlds.


Some people can be pleased to help you about this, maybe not paying !
I have sent some emails to artist that Iike to make them free stuf :confused:


This book was very clear and helpful for me:

The Nondesigners Design Book by Robin Williams