When it comes to creating unusual designs, there’s absolutely nothing we like creating more than album art. We’re inherently music lovers, and there’s just something about the intersection of our two, greatest artistic loves that gets our blood pumping. However, creating an incredible bit of album art can be no small task, and without a few helpful pointers, you may quickly find your project rolling into a steep decline. If you’re looking for a bit of reassurance, or even just a bit of a guide, you’ll find it below as we list a few of our choice tips on the subject of album art creation.

  1. Listen to the Music: Hopefully you got our Doobie Brothers reference there, but even if you didn’t the point is still the same. With an album art project, you must always remember that you are literally creating the face of the album. Your graphics are the first things the listener will see, and as such, they must perfectly represent the music contained on the disc. As such, we highly encourage you to listen to the tracks at least half a dozen times before ever setting digital pen to virtual paper. Think about the tone of the music. Even go so far as to visualize the colors you’re hearing. Once you have that groundwork in place, only then should you proceed to sketching or actually designing.
  2. Be Playful: No matter what kind of music you’re representing with your design, we strongly suggest that you take a bit of artistic license with the project and flex some of that art school muscle you may have forgotten you even have. An album is a beautifully free and expressive thing, and as such, so should your designs be. Forget the forms and functions you rely on for print design, and think outside the box. What lingering ideas have you been harboring for some time now? Think about what you can do to break out of your typical mode and produce something at the fringe of your capabilities.
  3. Ask the Musicians: And above all else, when you’re really in doubt, just ask the musicians what they would like to see on the album. Typically, musicians are quite artsy, and they may just have the winning idea you haven’t been able to lock onto.