What Design Can Tell

by EsinYardimliAlvesPereira
10 minutes
What Design Can Tell

Check your stream history, check the homepage of your Spotify or Apple Music. Check the YouTube opening screen. They all represent you. You can learn about someone out of their homepage on either platform.

Which is why audience need to recognize what music you are making in a millisecond. They are good at recognizing because it is crucial for them. They go for the thing they can place in their orbit. Because although we are talking about music, we are talking about identity. And identity starts with first impression; often visual. 

The album cover art of any music needs to look good next to its consumer; it needs to fit well with the other album cover arts in the homepage of their Spotify account. It needs to sit well next to the other CDs on the bookshelf. Because what we listen can tell others about who we are, we all are very careful about picking the right image; starting from the album cover art.

Passing the message of your album cover via the album cover art is a tricky thing, needs lots of soul searching, looking into the mirror, listening to the songs over and over again; or sometimes it can come as a vision even before the song arrives to your mind; but then it might be very hard to put in words, or in any shape or form, in order to use it in your album cover art.

Passing the message of what genre your music style is is actually much easier. Because internet has a large community for most music styles if not all, and each genre sticks out via certain visual elements that make them recognizable. Trick is to realize them, and follow these qualities till the end; till your album cover art is selected.

Easy but still tricky. Especially today’s variety in album cover arts surprise everyone. Unlike what they say, folk still judge a book by its cover, and the same rule applies to the album cover art as well. Every one of us has experienced at some point in our lives that letdown; that book or music or movie you purchased or committed based on what you see not fulfilling your expectations. This doesn’t have to mean the product you buy is necessarily bad, it just means the cover was promising something else and the content is not matching with its presentation. Bad.

A rebellious artwork presenting a sweet sounding folk band, a very serious looking album cover art hiding behind the most freak punk album, a beach photo on a metal album and such; of course the element of surprise can be considered a positive attribute; but when it comes down to reaching out to the audience you are targeting, it is not a worthy risk to take.

Album cover art is a cross-genre style, since we are aiming to put the abstract into the concrete via the visual, there can be multiple ways of presenting a track or an entire album. In other words; a vintage photograph of a train station can present a pop album, or a rock album, or a hip-hop album. And typography comes on to the stage, at this point, carrying extremely great importance; because the text layout of an album cover art can tell so much, and sometimes even more specifiically than the cover artwork. If you picture the same photo with various text styles you can imagine various genres immediately shaping form.

So; looking for something original, we may place ourselves out of the orbit of our audience. Although required, the uniqueness of an album cover art is not always for the best; it comes with both success and failure stories because no matter how unique the sound of a musician is; the presentation has to be something relatable for the audience, one way or the other. Even though we are promising the audience a new, unique, and irreplaceable musical experience through an album cover art, we are also promising to the audience that they WILL like it, that it DOES fit their taste in music.

Which is why, how to choose the right album cover for you is crucially important. It has to pass on the quality of your message as much as your message, and it still has to look relatable to the targeted audience type. A successful album cover art has to create curiosity and still reassure that promises given will be kept. If you are aiming to become recognized by the community, you have to show them you are one of them. Because eventually even outsiders team up.

So, while choosing your cover art for your next album, pay attention to the genres of all covers you see are representing and go for the ones that you know would fit well next to the music of your heroes and heroines. Here in AlbumCoverZone we pay great attention to categorizing our album cover art designs based on the genres we see them fit, we imagine them to be; and we see that our customers are using them wisely regarding representing the genres of their music. So, join them and enjoy our collection of more than 3.000 unique album cover art and design, because we made some of them specially for you.