Tha Artwork Stage

A little children comes into a candy store. She walks through the aisles drooling over the thousand different colors and shapes she sees in front of her. The most tasty candy in the world lays in an appropriate yet average looking wrapping. Right next to it there is a pretty average candy with the most beautiful and spectacular wrapping she has ever seen. It has vibrant colors and a well designed character stamped on the package. Will she take the most delicious candy in the world... or the one with the best presentation?

Lots of musicians underestimate the importance of a good professional cover for their releases. Their logic? "Music is what matters, it's where I've poured my soul into, it's what conveys the meaning of my work". Although that may be true, and a little embarrassing if you phrase it like that, a poorly chosen, badly made, or plain ugly cover work will become a burden when it comes to marketing your music, and your project in general. People will scrub between millions of album covers on Spotify, iTunes or their local outlet store, and ugly covers are an immediate no-go for most of us.

As with the mix stage I highly advice you to hire a professional designer. It doesn't matter if all he does is create a great looking cover, you may be able to sort out the rest of the booklet on your own (in case you are manufacturing). But a good presentation talks wonders about your music. We live in a visual driven society, don't forget that.

Lesson Plan

In these lessons I will give you a crash course on graphic design. As with any other craft it takes year of experience and countless mistakes to train your eye the way you have trained your ear. Nevertheless having all of this knowledge will help you solve a very simple artwork, guide a professional designer or shop around for some good images for your album.

Introduction

  1. Overview

Formats

  1. CD Format

  2. Vinyl Format

  3. Digital Format

Technical Aspects

  1. Vectors vs Images

  2. CMYK vs RGB

  3. DPI

Aesthetic Aspects

  1. Composition

  2. Negative Space

  3. Grids

  4. Photos or Illustrations

  5. Typefonts

Software

  1. Photoshop

  2. Illustrator

  3. InDesign

Making a Booklet

  1. Cover

  2. Back

  3. Splines

  4. Pages

  5. Assembling the files

  6. Barcode

Printing

  1. Delivery Files