Time to distribute your music right?
Hang on… There is still one more necessary step! And it is just as creative as the rest of your workflow: Your mixtape or album cover art.
Album art continues to be necessary. However, the truth is, it is normally an afterthought in the creative process.
It makes sense—you spend enough time honing your music and probably do not have time to become a Photoshop wiz too.
No sweat. We put together this quick guide on methods to create your album cover online at no cost—including where to find free images, album cover templates, and methods to use online photo editors to make it your own.
1. Start with free photos
The first step is discovering royalty free photos to work with. Similar to audio samples, your album artwork needs to be copyright cleared to use.
Many free picture resources provide royalty free images which you could download, edit, remix, chop up and mix to create album artwork that’s all your own.
Here are eight royalty free image resources:
Canva goes method beyond an easy stock picture resource (however it’s that too). It is also a full-featured editing suite to edit your pictures, add text, change fonts and basically do all of the stuff you should do before you launch.
Their free online album cover maker will get you began on the right foot when it comes to adding visuals to your launch.
Use any of the images or layout templates at no cost, anytime. Just signup with your email for access (more than worth it for what they provide).
Unsplash is “over 550,000… free high-resolution images” that could be used but you want. That includes album art for your next launch.
Type in a keyword, browse the outcomes, discover something you like and edit it to fit your album. No fuss, just good photos ready to use and hassle-free.
Similar to the URL says, Free Images is a big website of over 600,000 (you guessed it) free photos.
Browse by collection or keywords to find the right picture.
Note: Some of the photos included are from the paid service iStock, however, lots of the search outcomes are free to use and cleared to go without paying any fees.
Every picture on Pexels is free to use for commercial or non-commercial use.
Plus, every high-quality picture is handpicked from images uploaded to Pexels or from other free picture resources to ensure a wide array of selections.
Pexels is browsable by useful collection tags or by keyword—Perfect for when you should match a picture to the mood of your latest album.
Burst is a free stock photo platform from Shopify.
While it is not as extensive as some of the other sources on this list, it does provide lots of excellent high-quality photos at no cost.
Browse by category, collection or keyword to find images or inspiration for your launch.
Free Photos bundles images from several other free picture resources all in one place to make browsing and discovering the right picture quick and easy.
Like every other resource on this list, the pictures on Free Photos are 100% royalty-free for personal or commercial use.
That means they’re all good to go for your album art.
Discover all types of album art inspiration through search, tags, or categories, edit them to fit your vision and you’re ready to go.
Pxhere is another CC0 stock image gallery good for finding beginning points for your album art.
Search by tag or keyword, or when you’re really stuck use the useful random tool to generate some ideas to get you began.
2. Edit your image to make it your own
Your album art is the visual representation of your music on all streaming platforms and shops, so you should take time to make it unique.
Every picture from each of those resources is not just free to download, they are free to edit too… So edit them!
You don’t need to be a top-notch designer either.
Here are some online photo editing tools:
Use them to collage several photos together, change the colors, add some layers and overlay your album title and artist name with a font you want.
It is completely up to you.
Your album artwork must characterize you and your music. Don’t simply accept the primary uncooked picture you discover.
Take the time to search out the suitable visible and tweak it to make it your individual.
3. Album cover size and specifications
To distribute your music to Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, and every other popular streaming platforms, your album artwork has to fit some standards.
Follow these tips and you will be good to go when it comes time to launch:
Album cover size:
- Minimum 3000 x 3000 pixels
- A square
- Minimum 72 DPI
- JPG or PNG format
Album cover specs:
- No blurriness or pixelation
- No URLs, hashtags or handles
- No pornographic photos
- No references to brands
Use the photo editing tools I mentioned above and your album art will be all set when it comes time to launch your music.
The finishing touch
Your album art matters.
Those tools and tips will provide you with everything you need to make something meaningful and interesting in no time flat.
So take the time to do your album art right. And launch your music knowing it sounds and looks its greatest.