Who invented the album cover?

That is how important your album cover artwork is

What people pay attention to

I stand in the foyer of Berlin's home port and wait for the concert of 'Get Well Soon' (the band is under contract with City Slang) to start. When I asked the seller at the merchandise stand which album he would recommend, he replied: “To be honest, I have no idea what kind of music is on the albums here, but I know that people like to buy this in the middle because of the cover art. ”He points to one of the 10 inch vinyl records in the middle of the merchandise table.

The history of the record cover

You probably know the wise words that you should never judge anything by how you look. That sounds like nice advice my grandmother would give me. In reality, however, we always judge everything based on first impressions - especially record covers! Since the LP was invented in 1948, the entire record industry has embraced the concept of using the album cover as one of its most important marketing tools. A large square with a picture on it that shows what the artists and the music are all about. Perhaps the greatest social impact record covers have had so far is the shaping of a certain lifestyle. It was only with the album cover artwork that music began to gain influence in the fashion industry, in politics and in terms of social identity.

Physical and digital squares

Who doesn't like a good record cover. But it's not quite what it used to be. Our first impression we have of an album is no longer a physical one. Today, the majority of album cover art is first viewed on a computer or smartphone screen, and it is usually small squares that cannot be touched. In the vinyl era you had to go to a record store to look at an album cover, or you might catch a picture in a newspaper or magazine. With the cassette and the CD came the smaller rectangles and squares, with their inner sleeve artwork and small text booklets. The digital data squares that represent us as musicians give us more opportunities to present our image and our music to the outside world, to more fans than ever before. And with the 'comeback' of vinyl records, which is continuously gaining momentum, we will be able to combine the advantages of both worlds: the reach and advantages of the digital album in combination with the physical and artistic components of a vinyl record.

Don't make the same mistake that I made!

With the first album I released in Europe, I was distributing blurry artwork all over the internet. Neither the label I worked with nor I knew how It was important to meet the quality requirements for imagesthat were intended for digital distribution and for the online press. The resolutions for the CD pressing plant were different from those required for the Internet. Physically my album looked very good, but online it looked like a pixelated orange cheese omlette. Despite the countless good reviews from music blogs and the press, my digital downloads were rarely bought. That experience taught me to, too Paying attention to details and not handing them over to someone else in full. After going through this long process and having written, recorded and released the album, it would be unfortunate if your album is not even listened to because the artwork doesn't look good on the screens.

Technical requirements and specifications

You should make sure that your artwork when uploading for the first timeall required specifications met. Make sure your picture is big enough - not that you stretch it and it becomes blurry. The standard dimensions for digital album art are 2000 x 2000 pixels JPG (we recommend 3000 x 3000). The the exact 'artist name' and 'album title' must be recognizable on the cover and with the Metadata to match. Itunes does NOT accept: blurry and pixelated images, website URL's, symbols from social networks, email addresses, images with pronographic content and images to which someone else has the right to the image. There is free open source software that you can download to work on your cover, such as Seashore, Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, etc.

Stand out and create a recognition value!

Your Artwork should be remembered by the audience no less than your music. It helps if your artwork has a very specific style, image or branding that fits your music and that tends to run through all of your releases. So you and your music can be found immediately between all the other artists. You can Use font, colors and designs as your unique trademark in such a way that they connect all aspects of your publication. Jack White uses unmistakable color codes for his releases, which he then uses for his album and single artwork, for his music videos, stage costumes, for merchandise and even for his instruments. His latest releases were all blue, white and black, and his White Stripes releases were red, white and black. Almost all famous artists have a logo and graphic design scheme that will help them stand out and be recognized without too much effort. Find out, what kind of graphic design fits the mood of your music and the expression of your stage personality and make clear, uniform decisions for all the details that you bring to the public.
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