How to choose free album covers: 3 universal hints

Any producer will tell you not to underestimate the importance of the cover. With the variety of music on offer that we see today, a cover is an important tool for promoting your particular album. 

The appearance of your product can both interest the listener and scare it away. This applies not only to publications: on electronic resources, design directly affects the number of plays and downloads. The reason is simple – visualization sets the expectation of the album. If the cover is made carelessly, then the listener will perceive the work itself in absentia as the work of an amateur and will prefer not to waste time and money.

And if you don’t have enough ideas or time to design your cover from scratch that’s where free album covers step in!

Picking free album covers in 3 easy steps

If you think that there must be the plot of your records on the cover, you are mistaken. The listener has not yet turned on your record, they do not know what it is about. The task of the cover is not to tell your idea with one picture, but to attract the listener.

The points listed below may seem obvious to you, but these principles are indeed often violated:

1. Compliance with the content, logic

A glance at the cover should give the perceiver an idea of ​​the general content, and its genre. On the cover of a gloomy gothic track, images of blooming gardens or cute animals, and generally bright colors, are not appropriate. A black-and-white picture with an anime-style emo girl crying is also a losing option – not the right genre. Here it is more expedient to use the image of a Gothic cathedral or castle in rainy weather or at dusk.

2. Compliance with gender, age, and other parameters of the target audience

Works are written for a listener of a certain gender and age. The illustration on the cover is also subject to this requirement.

Not only the style of the image on the cover, but even the color scheme depends on the genre of the work. If you want to attract a certain group of people, be sure to take into account the following parameters:

  • age;
  • characteristics of the audience;
  • preferences;
  • interests;
  • etc. 

So, children’s free album covers are characterized by clarity and simplicity of forms, brightness, and contrast of color. Even the font differs – for children it is larger, more often informal in style. 

For teenagers, women, and men – each cover has its own characteristics and rules. They correlate with the psychological characteristics of the perception of people of different ages and gender, as well as with the expectations of a fan.

3. Matching the perceiver’s expectations: clichés, trends.

Whether it surprises you or not, there are cover clichés. And they are formed by the listeners themselves, buying albums with clichéd covers.

And this is true, the consumer reacts to things that are familiar and understandable to them. The man on the cover of a women’s song doesn’t have to be just some kind of male. He should be exactly the way the vast majority of women imagine the hero-lover (or, more precisely, the way popular culture presents him, which rootes the corresponding image in the minds of the majority). A sensual macho with a perfect body, a blue-eyed blond, or a passionate southerner. 

Of course, if this does not go against the plot described in the track itself. But, as a rule, the characters of the works also obey certain clichés in order to be understandable and close to the listener. It is not at all necessary that the cover is 100% related to the plot.

It is much more important that it be associative, leave the listener with the right first impression, and encourage them to turn it on and find out what is in it.

Over to you

If you understand that you are making the above mistakes and at this stage, you are unlikely to be able to give out anything else – do not despair. In our time of high technology, anyone can afford a stylish cover. For this, there are special online designers or ready-made album templates.