How To

The Best Album Cover Makers For Artists & Bands

Photograph of the blog post author, Jodie Francis

Jodie Francis

23.4.2020

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Have you recently finished recording your album? Maybe the next step in your musical journey is to sort out your cover art, but this can sometimes feel like an overwhelming process. The good news is that this article will guide you through how to make an album cover, and the best album cover maker software to help you do so!

The Beatles Abbey Road album artwork

There are lots of options out there for you, you can call in the professionals or become your own album cover art maker! We will review the best album cover maker software out there so that you can make an informed decision that’s right for your music career. 

What Is Album Artwork? 

Album artwork is the design found on the cover of an album. This could be a photograph of the artist, or a carefully crafted graphical design. The importance of a successful album cover should never be overlooked, especially for new artists. Good cover art can attract a whole new legion of fans. 

Cover art works as a promotional tool, but also functions as a piece of art that lives forever. 

What Types Of Album Covers Are There? 

Searching through records

The truth is, there are loads of different types of album cover art out there. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options. 

Photoshoot Style

This type of cover art speaks for itself, and usually involves a photograph of the band or artist. The team behind the shoot will usually scout an interesting location for the artists to help capture the essence of the music and their personality. 

More often than not, included on the cover will be the artist’s name. An example of a truly iconic album cover is The Beatles‘ ‘Abbey Road‘, which is actually their first album cover that doesn’t show the band name or album title! 

Furthermore, it cost barely any money to make. The band just decided to go out to take a walk and get a photo! They then just named it after the street they walked on. 

The photographer Ian Macmillan captured the band’s personality in a matter of minutes. It definitely stuck, as lets face it, you probably know one or two people that have recreated the cover! It will live on forever because the location and pose is accessible to their fans, and creates a true moment around the artwork that people can live for themselves.

Brand Logo Designs

Brand Logo designs are important to include on cover art, as they not only build the musical brand, but they also create a logo that is instantly recognised by fans. 

The alternative rock band Gorillaz have managed to do just this; as soon as you see their graffiti-style font, you know exactly who’s album it is. They are proof that you can sum up the essence of a band simply by the use of a specific and individual style of font. The graphic style of music album cover art is very popular and, if done right, it can arguably be the most eye-catching. 

Styles can range from bright and quirky to moody and mysterious. A great example of the latter is Green Day’s 2004 American Idiot album cover art. The black background and white lettering ensure that the band’s name stands out. The hand holding the heart-shaped grenade also manages to reflect the band’s politically inspired album. 

Album Cover Maker Software Options 

Beatles Album

There are some fantastic software programs out there that make the process of designing your cover an easy and stress-free experience. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best album cover maker software programs. We have given them a helpful rating for their value for money, and the range of templates and images they offer. 

Adobe Spark 

Adobe Spark Logo

This is the most well-known graphic design software, and for good reason. They have arguably the best range of images and formatting plans. 

You can customise any part of your cover that you wish, and there’s even an opacity function that allows you to bring your background into the foreground for a striking and unique look. 

You can use their stock images or import your own from your device to make your cover more personalised and unique. Their design options range from fonts to colour schemes and help to reflect any genre of music, meaning that your creativity has no limits.

Just as you are not limited creatively, you are also not limited technologically. You can use this software on any standard web browser as well as on your mobile phone, should inspiration take you if you’re out and about! 

Once you have finished creating your masterpiece, all you need to do is print it off or share it on social media. Their album cover maker software is completely free, but it if you want to access their premium templates, you will have to pay. This is assessed on a case by case basis, so you would need to get a quote from them. 

Pricing – 2 months free then £10.10 per month for individual accounts, more for teams. 

  • Ease of use – 8.5 / 10
  • Value for money – 9.5 / 10
  • Range of services – 9.9 / 10

Canva 

Canva Logo

If you have heard of Abode Spark, then there is no doubt that you will have heard of Canva. 

Their album cover maker software is excellent, with thousands of templates for you to edit and customise. But you also have the option to create your cover completely from scratch for those of you that aren’t lacking in creativity! 

There is an incredible amount of images to choose from – over one million, in fact! They offer a range of fonts and colour schemes to help create your vision. One big plus is that the software is useable on a variety of desktops as well as your mobile or tablet, meaning you can use the software on the go if you are busy. 

Prices for Canva vary, you can use the software completely free but there are also some different packages available. There is Canva Pro for £10.99 a month, which will grant you access to thousands of extra templates, allow you to upload your own fonts and more. 

The Canva Enterprise will cost you £24.00 per month for a year’s commitment. If you ask us, the free version will provide you with everything you need.

  • Ease of use – 10/10
  • Value for money – 9/10
  • Range of services – 10/10

GraphicSprings

This software allows you to create your cover for free, in any musical genre that you can think of. 

Their album cover maker is really easy to follow, and you can have a fully created cover in less than five minutes – which is great for those of you with a tight deadline. 

You don’t have to be a graphic designer to use this software, as it’s created with artists in mind. The instructions are clear, and those of you that don’t regard yourselves as tech-savvy, you will still be able to navigate their website. 

GraphicSprings boasts a wide range of templates that you can customise to meet your tastes and style of music. Once you’re happy with your cover, simply download, print or share it online. 

You can access GraphicSprings album cover maker from any standard browser, meaning you won’t have to download anything special to access it. Also, they don’t just offer an album cover maker, they also have logo making functions and business card designs if you are also in the market for those. 

It’s important to note that while you can use their software for free, if you require any additional services that are not offered in their free software, you will need to pay. This depends on the services that you require.

Pricing: Free software but they do charge and upsell you within the site. This is not that transparent when looking at the cost, which can be frustrating.

  • Ease of use – 9.5 / 10
  • Value for money – 8.2 / 10
  • Range of services – 9 / 10

PosterMyWall 

This album cover maker tool allows you to create stunning cover art for your album. 

It may not be as well-known as others on this list, but it delivers in quality. They have over 4,070 album cover templates for you to edit and customise to your tastes. 

One slight drawback is that this software works best on Windows Google Chrome browser, and this isn’t an option for everyone. 

Their service is completely free, but if you want your images to be in high resolution, it will cost you. They also offer a premium package subscription, with the top one costing you $245.95

This will give you unlimited access to social media publishing tools and different design features. However, this may be a bit steep for independent artists with a limited budget. 

  • Ease of use – 8.3 / 10
  • Value for money – 8/10 
  • Range of services – 7/10 

Placeit

One of the great things about Placeit is that its software is versatile, as it can be used on mobile devices and a number of different desktops and servers. 

It is so easy to use, and is perhaps even the easiest on this list. To create your masterpiece, all you need to do is select your template and edit it until it meets your needs!

Then, simply save it to your desktop and begin sharing it however you see fit. Placeit offers a wide variety of other services that could be useful should you need them – from T-shirt designs to a Flyer maker. 

It provides everything you could need to market your music. Prices for their album cover maker vary, the cheapest is a monthly payment of $14.95 or $99.95, with these prices including access to logos, designs, mock-ups and more. 

This may not be one for struggling independent artists, as you can find quality services for free on any other of the software mentioned above. 

  • Ease of use – 10 / 10
  • Value for money – 7 / 10
  • Range of services – 9 / 10

How To Make An Album Cover… 

Queen Record Sleeve

Now that we have reviewed some of the best album cover maker software, let’s talk about how you should plan out your album cover in a way that’s best for you. As we know, there are a variety of factors consider before you even begin to create it. 

Look To Other Artists 

You should garner inspiration wherever you can, and a good tip is to look to other artists and take note of album covers that have struck a chord with their fans. 

Looking at other artists in your musical genre is a great start, but then consider what you want the cover to say about you and your music. Never simply copy a style of cover art, as you want your cover to be unique to you. Plus there are no rules, you don’t have to stick to just one concept, so get creative!

Make Sure You Budget 

It’s important that you don’t skimp on quality when you are designing your cover. After all, this is the first thing a consumer will see either online or in a store. 

Any photos of you or your band should be of professional quality. Don’t panic if you don’t have the funds for this. Be clever about it and hunt around. Maybe you have a friend with a professional camera, or perhaps you could hire a freelance photographer who is offering reasonable rates. 

Make sure that you set a budget for yourself – that way, you can’t get carried away with spending more money than you can afford. 

Consider Your Brand And Logo 

This is an important step, as including your logo or a specific font on your album cover will allow fans to link this to you specifically. This is a great way of ensuring visibility. Sharing your cover art on social media is also a great way of promoting your music for free. 

Make It Yourself 

Laptop Pen & Paper

As we have discovered, there’s a lot of fantastic album cover maker software out there that allows you to create your vision for free. This is a good option for those of you on a budget, or who need a finished and professional-looking cover in five minutes. 

Hire A Designer 

If designing your own cover fills you with dread and you have some money to spare, then you can consider hiring a professional. 

This way, you can be completely confident that your end product will be of a high standard. You could look at hiring a freelance graphic designer or go to a website like 99 Designs, Freelancer.com or Dribble that allow you to post exactly what you need. 

You then have different artists working for you, and the great thing is that you can set the price. 

Our Verdict 

So there we have it – the best album cover makers for artists and bands. Hopefully, this guide will have helped you to decide how best to create your vision.

Our personal favourite is Canva, but do shop around and try them a few out before you commit to a purchase.

Any of the album cover software makers will result in a great design and a quality product that you will be happy with. Of course, you can always call in a professional to create your designs if you have the budget. 

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but album cover art is really important to your brand. Remember, it’s always worth spending what you can to create your masterpiece. You have done the hard work in creating the music, so make sure that your album cover lives up to the quality of your tracks.

Looking to promote your release? Check out what we do here at MG for artists looking for Music Promotion. We would love to speak to you!

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