Album covers can be so much more than just a picture of the artist on a background.
The best covers are artistic with illustrations or other types of models.
When you’re searching for album cover ideas, you may not know where to start, so we’re going to begin by discussing how to create covers as well as places to draw inspiration from.
Making an Album Cover
Album covers are meant to represent the musician as a performer as well as the music they play.
That’s the look you want to reflect from seeing the cover.
If you’re not sure about something, ask questions because every new answer can give you insight.
Working with Your Design
If you have been hired to create and design a unique album cover, it is probably because the band or musician can’t quite make it happen on their own. They are looking to you for help.
Give potential listeners the opportunity to find more information on the musician by mentioning something unique about the artist that can be found out on the website. The ones hiring you will appreciate that, too.
On to Inspirational Designs
Now that you’ve got some tips to work with, here are several design covers that will inspire your future cover album ideas.
1. All About the Face
If you’re working with a solo artist, this is a popular request when designing cover albums. The cover includes the musician’s face, but to make it artistic, it will need an added element of flair.
Consider some creative additions Ozzy Under Cover where a gothic cross was placed in the center of Ozzy’s sunglasses.
2. It’s About the Band
This cover is similar to the face cover, but includes the entire band. KISS has some fantastic album covers just like the one for their MONSTER album. The graphics are great and the band is front and center.
3. Minimalism at its Best
Less is more in many cases and you’ll see it in some really famous album covers. One of the more famous albums, The Beatles’ White Album, is a prime example of how less takes center stage.
4. Being Literal
Depending on what the name of your album is, you can take inspiration from the title, too. An album that exemplifies this type of technique is Pink Floyd’s The Wall. The background for the cover art is quite literally a brick wall.
5. Abstract Thoughts
These are the albums that make you go, “Whoa.” They are usually colorful and very artsy in their design.
MUSE has a perfect example of what abstract cover art can look like on their The Resistance album.
6. Lost in Fantasy
Fantasy designs tend to be very artistic and draw inspiration from the world of monsters, dragons, fairies, and all things mystical. Michael Jackson had many different albums of this design.
7. Seduction Beckons
Album covers that embrace a more seductive look also tend to sell really well. Take a look at the album, Boys and Girls by Bryan Ferry to see a great example of how this album seems to beckon.
8. Clever and Funny by Design
Some bands and musicians like to be funny, witty, and clever. These types of artists showcase their personality in a very obvious way. In comedian Jean Carroll’s vintage album, Girl in a Hot Steam Bath, you can tell she has a sense of humor.
9. Going Wild
These album covers will make you say things like, “Holy geez, that’s crazy!” Some might also make you wonder, “how exactly did they accomplish that?” or “I wonder what made them go that way.” Nirvana had plenty of covers like this in their repertoire just like the one on their Incesticide album.
You might say that psychedelic covers fall under abstract or fantasy covers, but they can also be a category all on their own. They tend to have a lot of colors combined with fantasy-like images like Hey Jude by The Beatles.
Sometimes, you may want to add a little bit of bling to your cover with some metallic highlights. Consider Beyond Magnetic by Metallica. Releases have silver lettering on a black background.
12. Epic Immortality
Every once in a while, you’ll stumble across an album cover that becomes part of pop culture and achieve immortality. Abbey Road by The Beatles is one of these albums.
13. Goofy Fun
Goofy fun is a whole different category than just clever wit because these albums just make you laugh. Weird Al is king of these types of album cover designs.
14. Sophisticated Elegance
Album covers of this variety tend to have more artistic creativity on them because they need that extra touch of elegance. An Elegant Fall by the Real Life Bears is a great example of appearing elegant. Clearly, inspiration was taken from the album’s name.
15. Cartoon Creations
These are quite whimsical by design and tend to look like something out of Adult Swim. Kanye West has a cartoon inspired album cover on his Graduation release.
With all of the various album cover ideas that you have here, go forth and create your own design.
Dive deep and get creative.
Above all, have fun with it!