Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Making a great first impression is more important than ever - especially if you are trying to break into the music industry. And with research showing that a consumer's average attention span is shorter than a goldfish's, you need to make sure that your album cover stands out and captivates your audience. The best way to achieve this goal is to choose the right cover art for your album or single. Below are some key reasons why your album cover is so important and five steps to help you grow your fan base with the right cover art.
Why Is Choosing the Right Cover Art so Important?
Consumer research shows that the typical person is bombarded with about 5,000 brand messages per day. In order for your album cover to register with your target audience, you need to do two things: First, make sure they notice your album cover. And second, make them want to listen to your music. The key to achieving both of these goals is to select the right cover art for your album. Here are three reasons why you should choose your cover art with care:
Superb cover art will help you grab the attention of prospective fans right away
Prospective fans will be more likely to listen to your music if they are drawn to your cover
The right art will help your cover stand out amidst a sea of competing covers
What Steps Should You Take to Make Sure You Select the Best Cover Art?
Recognizing your album cover's power is essential to your success as a musician. As you evaluate cover art options for your single or album, there are some key measures that you should always follow to make sure you capture the attention of prospective listeners and turn them into loyal fans. Below are five steps to help you choose the best cover art for your album.
Step One: Define Your Target Audience
For many new musicians, this is the toughest step to complete. It is natural for budding musicians to want to target everybody when promoting their music. However, you need to narrow your focus a bit so you can design a cover that appeals to the interests of the people who are most likely to buy your album. Here are a few questions to ask yourself if you are having a little trouble defining your target audience:
"What type of people am I trying to connect with when I record my songs?"
"Who inspires me to write and sing my songs?"
"What types of people have told me that they really love my music?"
Step Two: Start With an Eye-Catching Image That Conveys Your Message
Many people believe that the eyes are the windows of the soul. And in the world of music, album covers are the windows to the musical souls of song artists. Your album cover should tell a story about your music and the message you are trying to convey.
Step Three: Choose a Color Scheme That Conveys Your Musical Mood
The colors you select for your album cover will play a key role in helping you connect with your audience. In fact, color is such a powerful attribute that it can account for up to 60% of consumers' acceptance or rejection of your album. The colors you choose for your album can also help convey the emotions and moods associated with your songs. Here are some examples:
Red: Passion, power, and determination are all associated with the color red. It is also associated with danger and emergencies.
Blue: As the color of our oceans and our sky, blue is associated with water, calmness, and security.
White: Representing cleanliness and purity, white has a positive connotation.
Purple: Singers who target a youthful audience are wise to choose purple as 75% of pre-teens prefer purple over other colors.
Green: As the color of our grass, green symbolizes freshness and nature.
Step Four: Choose a Design That Will Show Well on Smartphones and Social Media Channels
Music buffs and consumers in general are more active than ever on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Over 84% of today's consumers now own a smartphone and over half the population is active on Facebook, highlighting the need for you to keep social media advertising in mind when you choose your cover art. In addition to choosing art that will show well on social media, make sure you select art that is not overly complicated or detailed, as the details will become blurred or lost when your cover is displayed on a smartphone or social media page.
Step Five: Carefully Review Your Art Through a Legal and Ethical Lens
You can select the most stunning art in the world for your cover but if you fail to adhere to industry regulations and legal guidelines, you could face steep penalties. You may even be shunned or rejected by chain stores. So before you finalize your design, be sure to have an experienced professional review your cover. In particular, to want to avoid featuring any of the following:
Copyright infringements or use of designs already being used by other artists or business
Nudity and sexual innuendo
Logos that belong to other people or businesses
Violence or grotesque depictions
How Can You Ensure That You Choose the Best Cover Art for Your Album?
Selecting the right cover art for your next album is your key to making a great first impression on prospective fans. As outlined above, there are many factors to consider when choosing your cover art. The best way to make sure that you cover all of your bases is to seek the guidance of an expert in the music recording industry.
We invite you to contact us at Mikes Mix & Master LLC to discover how we can help you grow your fan base through stellar music engineering and recording practices. Regardless of your genre, we are here to provide the guidance you need to succeed as a musician. And with over 15 years of experience and a presence in over 150 countries, we look forward to showing you why Mikes Mix & Master is the most trusted name in the music industry!