When creating an album, your main focus should be the music. This is the most important element that determines the album’s overall success. However, once you’re done producing this music, it’s time to cover it with an image that is impacting and memorable. Here are some ways to do that and improve your album art!
1) Convey the Album’s Meaning – For example, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon contains songs relating to dark content, passage of time, greed, and deterioration of mental health. The prism on the album cover represents the elements of stage lighting, songs, and themes, probably inviting listeners to explore the whole spectrum of meanings in the album. What topics did you write songs about? Your album art should aim to display the same theme(s) visually.
2) Make a Statement – The cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind features a naked baby underwater, chasing a dollar bill on a fish hook. This is taken to challenge business values, shocking people with a depiction of the pressures of capitalism, affecting everyone, even at a young age. Though it is risky to feature a controversial image on your album, you can definitely make a bold statement by doing so.
3) Leave it Open to Interpretation – Sometimes, you don’t have to put so much effort into trying to convey a particular meaning. Often, your audience will do that for themselves. For example, the cover of The Beatles’ Abbey Road influenced so many conspiracy theories. People even thought that the band was trying to hint at Paul McCartney’s death, thinking that the photo symbolized his funeral procession.
Overall, try to produce album art that will leave your audience second-guessing at its wide range of possible meanings. This makes it mysterious and exciting and will probably get you more attention.
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Michelle Nguyen is a writer whose passions include music, sports, health, and wellness. She loves playing drums and bass guitar, as well as swimming. If she indirectly helps you write the next “Stairway to Heaven,” she will be very happy.