How to order a cover artwork for your band and get an excellent result
This article was written as a guide for everyone who wants to order a cover artwork for the upcoming release, and who wants to get the most satisfying result. This guide was written specifically for the customers of our studio All4band.com, but it also applies to the majority of other studios and artists; therefore in any case, it will be useful for you. On our website you can also find a similar useful article for you, which is dedicated to band logo design.
We will consider several important aspects of the writing of technical specification for the studio (designer), describe how to come up with an interesting concept, tell about different techniques and styles of covers, as well as provide various recommendations that will help you to avoid the situation where your concept is realized not like you have imagined.
First of all, before ordering a cover design by the studio, you need to come up with a concept. Indeed, the artwork of the album has to be as the introduction of the main idea of the album, its style and concept. It's not just a pretty picture. You should also realize that if you do not know the main idea of your album and what should be depicted on the cover, there is no chance that the designer will know it better than you.
The designer can come up with the details, invent of how to interesting and stylish implement the concept, but only musicians or a band are responsible for the main idea. Now let's examine main aspects of how to come up with a concept and what mistakes you should avoid.
Most commonly, the cover artwork consists of the foreground and background. It is an objectcharacter on the foreground conveys the basic idea of the album. And that is what you should invent before writing the designer. The background has secondary importance, and often conveys the atmosphere and mood of the album. If you do not know what you want to portray on the background, you can entrust it to the designer.
Try to come up with some unusual concept. You cannot imagine HOW MANY covers there are with the destroyed cities, graves, death with a scythe, ships in the sea, and the planets in the space exist in the world. And a man on the background of the ruined city had become something of a commonplace. Try to be original. Indeed an interesting concept will attract much more interest from the listener.
Below you can find some interesting concepts that were realized by our studio.
Once you have come up with the concept, it is necessary to choose the style. There are two basic techniques by means of which the cover artwork can be realized. The first - is a photorealistic artwork using a matte painting technique. Such artworks are made with the use of stock photos and their subsequent post-processing. Below you can see a couple of examples of such covers made by our studio.
Unfortunately, not every idea can be realized using this technique, as sometimes suitable clipart is unavailable in the stock. This technique can be used when there is a character on the foreground of the artwork (human or humanoid creature, such as a demon, death, angel, etc.).
The second type - is a fully drawn cover. This technique is more complicated and requires more time and effort, but with the help of it you can implement ANYTHING YOU WANT. This technique is suitable for complex concepts, in which it is necessary to depict fantasy plots, sci-fi or unusual creatures, demons or monsters. Although, sometimes it is possible to represent simpler concept if you just prefer a cartoon style. Below you can see some hand-drawn covers made by our studio.
Sometimes these two techniques can be combined. For example, the background can be implemented in a photorealistic style, and the character on the foreground in a fully drawn. The mix of the two techniques can produce more interesting results.
Once you have chosen the concept and style, you should select the purpose of this cover artwork. If you want only digital release of your album, it is enough to order just the front cover artwork. If you plan to make physical copies of your album, you should choose the appropriate type of package.
There are two most popular types of CDs packaging - Digipack and Jewel case.
Digipack is a cardboard package, inside of which there is a transparent plastic tray for the disc. Standard 4 panel digipack includes front cover, back cover and two inside pages. Apart from the standard version there are also digipacks with 6 panels, 8 panels and even 12 panels. The more pages you need for the design, the more expensive it will cost.
The second popular type of CDs packaging is Jewel case. It is plastic packaging, which includes a square front cover, rectangular back cover and inlay (under the tray) and internal page. The front cover may also be designed as a folding booklet with any number of pages.
You should send all this information to the design studio, in order to calculate the price of work and completion date. In your letter it is worth to write the band name, genre, album title, artwork concept, its style and number of pages required for your type of release. It is also worth to write what should be depicted on the additional design pages. If you do not have any exact ideas you can entrust it to the designer.
The most budget choice is to make additional pages using different elements of the front cover with the addition of other elements.
I hope all this information will help you to order cover design for your band, and we will do our best to make you cool and top quality artwork!
More information about our services concerning cover artwork design you can find on this page.