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Music Marketing

10 of the Best Cover Art Services in the US

Photograph of the blog post author, Sebastian Wolf

Sebastian Wolf


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Best Cover Art Services in the US

Visual representation plays a crucial role in any creative work. This is particularly true for cover art, which often serves as the first point of contact between the artist and the potential audience. Now more than ever, in this digital age where visuals can make or break a project, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of high-quality cover art.

In this article, we’ll review ten of the best cover art options available to American musicians. Our list offers various options, including custom and pre-made artworks from both established professionals and talented freelancers. We’ll also examine popular gig economy options and consider DIY solutions for tight budgets.

What Is Cover Art?

Before we delve into the reviews, it’s essential to understand what cover art is. Simply put, cover art is the illustration or photograph that adorns the cover of a book, album, magazine, or any other published work. It acts as the face of the work, giving potential readers or listeners a glimpse into its content.

Cover art can take many forms. It can be a photograph, a painting, a drawing, a graphic design, or even a combination of these. The choice of cover art depends mainly on the nature of the work it represents. For instance, a crime novel may feature a dark, moody photograph to reflect its content, while a vinyl record cover of a pop album may have a bright, colourful design to match its upbeat tunes.

However, creating compelling cover art requires more than just artistic skill. It requires an understanding of the target audience, the market trends, and the essence of the work it represents. This is why it is often best left to professionals.

The Importance of Cover Art

Standout Album Covers

The importance of cover art lies in its ability to attract potential customers. In a world where consumers are bombarded with countless choices, captivating cover artwork can distinguish between successful and forgotten work.

Firstly, cover art plays a significant role in product marketing. It’s what catches the eye of a potential customer browsing through a record shop or scrolling through an online streaming platform. A well-designed cover can entice the customer to pick up or click on the album, increasing the chances of a sale.

Furthermore, cover art can enhance the overall user experience. A beautiful, thoughtfully designed cover can increase the pleasure of listening to an album. It can also contribute to the product’s perceived value, making it more appealing to the customer.

Lastly, cover art can help establish a brand. Consistent, high-quality cover art can become a trademark of an artist, making their works instantly recognisable to the audience.

Despite its importance, many artists and publishers overlook cover art, opting for generic designs or neglecting it altogether. This is a grave mistake, as a poor cover can undermine even the most exceptional content.

Choosing a Cover Art Service

Choosing the right cover art service for your needs is a personal decision that should be based on your specific requirements and preferences. Consider the type of work you are publishing, your target audience, and your budget.

Start by defining your needs and expectations. What is your vision for the cover? What emotions do you want it to evoke? Who is your target audience, and what appeals to them? What is your budget? Having clear answers to these questions can help you narrow down your options.

Choosing a service is not a decision to be taken lightly. The right service can elevate your work and set you apart from the competition. The wrong one, however, can do more harm than good.

The first and most important criterion to consider is the quality of the work. Review the service’s portfolio to see if its style aligns with your vision. Look for diversity in their designs, attention to detail, and a keen understanding of market trends.

Pricing is another crucial factor. While it is essential to stay within your budget, avoid services that offer suspiciously low prices. Remember, more often than not, you get what you pay for. A cheap service may cost you more in the long run if the cover fails to attract customers.

Turnaround time is also important, especially when working with tight deadlines. Ensure the service can deliver the work within your timeframe without compromising quality.

Also, consider the service’s customer service and overall customer experience. A top-notch cover art service should be responsive, respectful, and willing to collaborate with you to bring your vision to life.

Now that we have established what to look, for let’s dive into the reviews!

10 of the Best Cover Art Services in the US

Alpha Art

Alpha Art Cover Art Service

Alpha Art began with a mission to create a central platform for musicians and labels to source any design work they might need, and they’re well on their way to achieving that. Founded by Luka Tomazin and Ziga Zgalin, both experienced graphic designers in their own right, the company offers an impressive selection of custom and pre-finished artwork of the very highest quality.

Alpha Art’s selection of finished cover art allows customers to instantly source eye-catching designs with just a few clicks. The wide selection of designs includes a strong nod towards colourful and modern abstract pieces that would look good in various musical endeavours. So, whether your game is hip-hop, jazz, or post-hardcore, Alpha Art has you covered. Prices for finished art are incredibly competitive, with most designs available at around the $40 mark.

Alpha Art Examples

However, where Alpha Art shines is their custom cover art service. After reaching out to the company, they’ll get back to you within one business day to capture all your design needs before getting to work. The finished product is returned to you within a maximum of five business days, ready for loading to all streaming platforms.

In terms of pricing, the Alpha Art custom cover art service is incredibly competitive and flexible, depending on your needs and budget. Three different price bands are available, with the cheapest package, which includes one artwork revision, costing just $77. At the top end, the $147 gold service includes unlimited revision and several pieces of bonus content, including matching artwork for promoting your release. 

Alpha Art Pricing

If you’re an artist looking for quick, reliable, and budget-friendly custom cover art, then it’s tough to beat the services offered by Alpha Art.



Airgigs is a gig job platform akin to the more famous Fiverr (more on that later) but focusing solely on music services. Using the platform, you can find artists offering everything you might need for an upcoming release, including session drumming, studio production, audio editing, and cover art design. With a vast number of freelance artists offering their service, you can be sure there’s plenty of variety, whether you’re looking for a quick and easy cover art piece or a detailed hand-painted offering. 

Given the nature of Allgigs, however, there’s no guarantee of quality and no consistency in pricing. Anyone can offer their services and charge what they like for the privilege, so it’s essential to do your research, shop around for competitive prices, and check reviews of any artist that catches your eye.

Cover Art Factory

Cover Art Factory

Cover Art Factory offer a similar service to that of Alpha Art. There’s a large selection of pre-made designs that are ready to go and can be purchased in a few clicks, along with a custom design service that offers a two-day turnaround.

There’s a lot to like about Cover Art Factory. The custom designs are clean, modern, and attractive creations, while the pre-made designs are plentiful and can be searched according to genre. Furthermore, the company also offers services like video production, lyric videos, and logo design so that you can handle all your creative needs under one roof.

That said, a few things hold Cover Art Factory back. Their selection of pre-made cover art designs aren’t as eye-catching or creative as those offered by Alpha Art, with many based on a simple colour filter or logo applied over a photo you provide. The pre-made pieces are also typically more expensive, reaching as much as $79.

Additionally, while the custom cover art service is impressive, you’ll need to pay for it. The basic bronze package, which essentially offers the same service as Alpha Art’s analogous package, is priced at a hefty $149 – more than Alpha Art’s top-end gold service.

Cover Art Factory Pricing

If you’re looking for high-quality custom cover art designs and need them yesterday, then Cover Art Factory could be a good bet. But if budget is of any concern, then very similar services are available elsewhere for significantly less cost.

Don’t Sleep GFX

Dont Sleep GFX

Don’t Sleep GFX offer a range of design products, including custom cover art and a large number of pre-made designs. Interestingly, the pre-made designs are available in exclusive and non-exclusive categories. If you want quick, high-quality and low-budget artwork and don’t mind that other artists could use the same artwork for their releases, then the non-exclusive options are a great way to save money, with most pieces available for under $20. However, there are two critical things to note. Firstly, almost all of the work leans heavily towards a hip-hop/pop style. Great if that’s your thing, not so much if you’re looking for artwork for your debut black metal album. Furthermore, the exclusive pre-made artwork is expensive, with most pieces costing at least $100 and some as much as $150 – more than Alpha Art charges for their top-tier gold custom package.

Speaking of custom artwork, Don’t Sleep GFX’s service certainly includes high-quality designs, and the company says they offer fast turnaround times. However, after browsing their site, they don’t seem to actually specify what the turnaround will be. Furthermore, they only offer one price point for their custom service, which, at $250, is an expensive proposition compared to some alternatives.

Cover Art Market

Cover Art Market

Chicago’s Cover Art Market offers tens of thousands of pre-made cover art designs and a custom service for more bespoke pieces. With such a vast number of options, you can be sure you’ll find something suitable for your release, with search filters allowing you to narrow the field according to the suggested genre, price range, and product type. Prices start from as little as $30. However, the artwork you’re getting in this range is quite basic. If you’re looking for something more creative, you’ll need to be looking at the higher price ranges. The best pieces are mostly priced at over $100, some even as high as $200. However, on the plus side, the huge selection caters to all budgets and tastes.

CAM’s custom cover art service is mainly in line with other services, offering a 3000 x 3000 ready-for-streaming JPG and a five-day turnaround. The pricing is more competitive than some; however, at $115 for the basic package, it still isn’t the cheapest custom cover art option.

Cover Artworks

Cover Artworks

Cover Artworks offer an excellent range of exclusive and non-exclusive pre-made designs and a custom design service. Prices for non-exclusive pieces start from as little as $20. However, these are primarily simple font-over-plain-background designs. For some of the more interesting exclusive pieces, be prepared to pay over $100. 

While many of the designs are inventive and abstract, for the most part, they aren’t of the quality offered by the likes of Alpha Art or Custom Art Factory, who are also cheaper.

Information on Cover Artworks’ custom cover art service is minimal; there are no examples of their custom work and no definitive pricing or timeframe. Custom jobs start at $120 but can run higher depending on your needs. Regarding timeframe, the site’s FAQs section references a few hours to a few days; however, the custom art contact form asks how many WEEKS until you need your artwork.



Arguably the world’s most famous gig economy platform, Fiverr can be a great place to source cover art, with thousands of freelance artists all offering their services. With so many choices, you can almost certainly find the designs you want. On the other hand, the sheer number of freelancers means you might need to spend some time separating the wheat from the chaff. 

Fiverr being Fiverr, you can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars for the same service, with no real rhyme or reason to many of the prices on offer. It’s also vital to carefully study the portfolios and reviews of any artists that catch your eye, as it’s easy to be misled or end up with a product different from what you had in mind. That said, if budget is your primary concern, or if you’re looking for something really leftfield, Fiverr could be an excellent option.

Art Grab

Art Grab

Art Grab is an artist-owned platform that provides a space for fellow artists to share their designs. You can pick from around 1,000 pieces of pre-made cover art designs. However, there’s regrettably no option for custom designs. All pieces are guaranteed to be under exclusive licences, so you can rest easy knowing no one else is using the artwork you’ve purchased.

With such a wide choice of designs from a number of different artists, there’s a great range to choose from, with suitable pieces available no matter what genre your release falls under. However, given that the platform is a loose collection of freelance artists, pricing is somewhat erratic, with similar quality pieces going for anywhere from $50 to $200.



It’s everyone’s favourite vintage and craft e-commerce site, but did you know Etsy is also an option if you’re looking for cover art designs? It might take some browsing, but you can find a selection of pre-made and custom pieces from several freelancer artists. The process is much the same as the other options on our list; search through to find the pre-made design that fits the bill, or purchase one of the custom products and provide all your requirements to the vendor.

As with the other gig economy-type options on this list, both quality and pricing will be a bit hit-and-miss. But, if your primary concern is budget and you are okay with spending time searching for the right product, you could do worse than Etsy.

Canva – The DIY Cover Art Option

Canva Cover Art Maker

If your budget is really tight, or if you can’t find anything that ticks all the right boxes, then maybe it’s time to try making your own artwork. There are plenty of software options out there, but a good free one is Canva. You can select from thousands of templates, add your own custom text, and quickly get a workable piece of cover art for your release.

Since the options are template-based, you aren’t going to get exclusive content. Moreover, creating something as high-quality as the offerings from professional platforms like Alpha Art or Cover Art Factory will be tough. Still, if your budget (or lack thereof) is your only concern, then trying to create your own cover art is an option.

Final Thoughts on the Best US Cover Art Services

A captivating cover can make all the difference. As such, spending money on a professional cover art service is not an expense but an investment in your success. The best cover art services in the US exemplify a perfect blend of creativity, professionalism, and affordability. They ensure you receive stunning, eye-catching covers that captivate listeners and boost sales by offering a wide range of design options, catering to various genres and styles, and employing a team of skilled and experienced designers.

Choosing one of the best cover art services will go a long way towards ensuring that your release makes a lasting impression, enhancing your image and helping you to stand out in an increasingly competitive market.


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