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Self-made album cover?

josejherring

Senior Member
Thanks for all the helpful hints. I used the Adobe online cover art editor. I will try the others suggested now as I found that one limiting. But for a first time it was good.

I also found a great way to send around your link: Check out this link (this isn't a plug just the easiest way to show you what can be done)


Scroll to the bottom to learn more.
 

ghobii

Active Member
Thanks for all the helpful hints. I used the Adobe online cover art editor. I will try the others suggested now as I found that one limiting. But for a first time it was good.

I also found a great way to send around your link: Check out this link (this isn't a plug just the easiest way to show you what can be done)


Scroll to the bottom to learn more.
Pretty cool, thanks. Wish I had known about that yesterday when I was giving out links to my new album.
 
OP
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sIR dORT

Active Member
Really enjoyed hearing your track and I just did a quick, little mock-up for fun in Canva!
(Couldn't get your exact photo)

I think a cool, modern/futuristic font like Anurati would be even better and make things more 'cinematic'. (https://befonts.com/anurati-font.html)

View attachment 22514
Wowza. Thats awesome (and thank you!). I'm torn though on the font and feel. The album isn't really trailer-style, just cinematic, so I don't want people to think based on the cover that it's hybrid-orchestral epic. Thoughts?
 
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OP
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sIR dORT

Active Member
@BenG thank you for the idea, I started to use templates instead of doing everything myself and I'm getting results that are much better.

Came around this in 30 min. I know the white title isn't easy to read in stuff (still in progress), but here you go. I guess that I don't want people thinking that the album is gonna be trailer music, because it really isn't. It's very organic/cinematic, and then contemporary classical. Again though, please share your thoughts because I'm opinionated but I don't know ANYTHING.
 

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BenG

Senior Member
Ah, yes! Was totally making a epic/hybrid style trailer album cover and wasn't aware you were looking for something totally different!

But definitely agree that templates are the way to go, especially when starting out. Later on you can modify them, add elements and more, until you can even start creating ones from scratch!

Love what you have for the latest mock-up and the only issue is the faint text, was you mentioned. Maybe try it with a little placard behind it to separate from the image or something similar? Would love to see the final result!
 

angeruroth

Active Member
The last one is hard to read at lower resolutions, but looks nice.
But... the top-right corner bugs me a bit, 'cause that's where the eyes go and it's white, so it "calls" too much.

If you are really (I mean really) interested in design, may I suggest a book? Art & perception by Rudolph Arnheim. IMHO it's like Adler's book in the design realm.
 

re-peat

Senior Member

Still completely unreadable, Dort. If this were meant for a 12inch vinyl jacket, it wouldn't be that much of a problem, but since most people will, I assume, see this design only as a small thumbnail — either on the websites where the album is sold, or on their devices which they use to play it back with — you really should pay more attention, much more, to comfortable readability. (Readability can only be ignored when you're a firmly established artist and you have an eye-catching, instantly recognizable visual to decorate the front of your album with. "Dark Side Of the Moon" is a good example.)

While you're at it, I would suggest you also address another issue which, in my opinion, is just as bad, if not more so, than the problematic readability: the positioning and the alignment of the various elements that make up the design. The style of design you went for in this particular visual — clean, tight, sparse — demands pixelperfect alignment and solid centre-based balance. Otherwise it just looks sloppy and amateuristic.
In this case for example, the square isn't centered within the boundaries of the visual, and neither are the title and the artist's name. Furthermore, the latter isn't properly aligned with the square either (to an embarassing degree, if I may say so). It all combines, I'm sorry to have to say, into a visual that says "homemade, unprofessional effort".

If I may be honest, I wouldn't pursue this latest direction of the album design any further. For the simple reason that I don't see any satisfying solution for all the problems which this particular combination of image, typography and stylistic 'wrapping' presents, especially when considering the size at which the finished design will be most often looked at. There are solutions, sure, there are many, but they all require entirely different typographic choices and a wholly different approach to the layout.

In short, I would start all over again.
And when you do, maybe keep some of the following in mind. (I apologize for the unavoidable patronizing presumptuousness that's always such an unpleasantly awkward aspect of someone giving tips.)

• Never loose sight of the final size of your design while working. And check each and every one of your design choices against the consequences of that size. Very, very important.
• Visit a site where albums are presented — the iTunes store is a useful spot for this purpose —, see which designs stand out and try to analyze why it is they do. (Note that the best ones will usually have a strong focus of attention which immediately grabs the eye, through expert use of color, image, contrast, typo or some other design techniques.)
Your latest design, for instance, would, in its current state, simply be an unappealing, incommunicative square of dull grey with a few touches of red in it. It would go completely unnoticed amidst whatever else there is to see on the website.
• Choose fonts that are compatible. In your first design, for example, the two fonts were incompatible. Choosing and combining fonts — a most testing challenge that even experienced designers often have difficulty with — is actually *very* much like orchestrating. Just as orchestrating is all about picking, balancing and blending the right timbres in order to communicate musical content (and, in many cases, emotion) as effectively as possible, so is choosing fonts all about finding the right and aesthetically most pleasing typographic combination in order to express meaning (and, yes, emotion too). And your choice always has to be consistent with the rest of the design as well of course.
• Especially when still a somewhat inexperienced designer, obey the visually defining rules of whatever design style you decide to go with. Some styles require complete accuracy when it comes to positioning and alignment, while other styles allow, nay insist, that you work much looser. Know the idiom you're working in. Once you feel more confident as a designer, you can deviate all you want from rules, theories and axioms, but at this early first-toe-in-the-water stage, I would advise against it.
• Avoid cheap-looking graphic software preset solutions. I only mention this because the rather exaggerated shadows which you used behind the typo in your first design are a telling example of this painful practice. Exaggerated shadows, just like bevels, an abundance of lens flares, tasteless gradients, brushed metal surfaces, ill-chosen fonts, uninspired prefab lay-outs, templates, poor alignment and hundreds of other things which nearly all graphic software invites you to incorporate in your work, all scream 'amateur hour'. Don't go near any of them. (The designer of Jay's cover is to be seriously reprimanded for these very reasons too, I fear. That album cover exhibits all the flaws which graphic design software allows you to get away with — all too easily — when unhindered by whatever degree of talent and/or skill, or absence thereof, in the one using the software.)

__
 
OP
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sIR dORT

Active Member
In this case for example, the square isn't centered within the boundaries of the visual, and neither are the title and the artist's name. Furthermore, the latter isn't properly aligned with the square either (to an embarassing degree, if I may say so). It all combines, I'm sorry to have to say, into a visual that says "homemade, unprofessional effort".
Yea I realized that. Already fixed it.

• Never loose sight of the final size of your design while working. And check each and every one of your design choices against the consequences of that size. Very, very important.
• Visit a site where albums are presented — the iTunes store is a useful spot for this purpose —, see which designs stand out and try to analyze why it is they do. (Note that the best ones will usually have a strong focus of attention which immediately grabs the eye, through expert use of color, image, contrast, typo or some other design techniques.)
Your latest design, for instance, would, in its current state, simply be an unappealing, incommunicative square of dull grey with a few touches of red in it. It would go completely unnoticed amidst whatever else there is to see on the website.
• Choose fonts that are compatible. In your first design, for example, the two fonts were incompatible. Choosing and combining fonts — a most testing challenge that even experienced designers often have difficulty with — is actually *very* much like orchestrating. Just as orchestrating is all about picking, balancing and blending the right timbres in order to communicate musical content (and, in many cases, emotion) as effectively as possible, so is choosing fonts all about finding the right and aesthetically most pleasing typographic combination in order to express meaning (and, yes, emotion too). And your choice always has to be consistent with the rest of the design as well of course.
• Especially when still a somewhat inexperienced designer, obey the visually defining rules of whatever design style you decide to go with. Some styles require complete accuracy when it comes to positioning and alignment, while other styles allow, nay insist, that you work much looser. Know the idiom you're working in. Once you feel more confident as a designer, you can deviate all you want from rules, theories and axioms, but at this early first-toe-in-the-water stage, I would advise against it.
• Avoid cheap-looking graphic software preset solutions. I only mention this because the rather exaggerated shadows which you used behind the typo in your first design are a telling example of this painful practice. Exaggerated shadows, just like bevels, an abundance of lens flares, tasteless gradients, brushed metal surfaces, ill-chosen fonts, uninspired prefab lay-outs, templates, poor alignment and hundreds of other things which nearly all graphic software invites you to incorporate in your work, all scream 'amateur hour'. Don't go near any of them. (The designer of Jay's cover is to be seriously reprimanded for these very reasons too, I fear. That album cover exhibits all the flaws which graphic design software allows you to get away with — all too easily — when unhindered by whatever degree of talent and/or skill, or absence thereof, in the one using the software.)
I agree w/ you, but a lot of these issues (alignment being the exception) are with my first draft. I'm not using that one, so please keep that in mind. But I'll keep looking at the fonts and making them more readable/compatible.
 

Owen Smith

Member
Here is the site I got it from and what they said about using the photos:
All photos published on Unsplash can be used for free. You can use them for commercial and noncommercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the photographer or Unsplash, although it is appreciated when possible.

I liked your pic a lot actually, with the exception of the skull (you didn't have a lot of info tho to be fair). What did you use to put those effects on it? I'll turn down the contrast, as that's been a common theme. Thank you for the feedback, and please keep it coming!
I use unsplash as well and then use fotor.com to edit and add text to the photos. Before I was only using my own photos which was fun but limiting. Since discovering unsplash, I find they have a lot of really good variety and inspiring pictures on there that make it easier to find a picture that fits my song or to find one that inspires a song. For this track for example, looking on Unsplash helped me find the picture I used on Soundcloud and influenced the title I ended up choosing for the track:
 

Minko

New Member
Looks great! :)

I would also check out Canva, which is a free, online design platform that's is super easy to use and comes with many templates for album covers!
Plus one!

I used this for a lot of graphic things. But I also like to work with designers to get their input.
 

ghobii

Active Member
If you care enough about the music to want a good design for your album art, why not get a designer to do it?
 
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