Designing Album Covers
The fun of being in a band and democracy
Sweaty Tuesday nights.
If you're dedicated it includes Thursday nights. And this night is without the band entourage, girlfriends, hang-er-on-er-ers!
If you are obsessed you might spend another night or two per week slaving away over these new musical ideas until the wee hours of the morning, only, you have to get up early to drag yourself to your day job,
But, it's a chance to get away from the mundane, family, chores, normality and unite with a band of likeminded folk who come together, to create a sonic heaven, or as close as you possibly can.
So as it happens there are ducks needing to be arranged. A serious agenda can emerge, with so much to cover, from discussing the merits of various song ideas, possible venues to gig, bringing in a manager, dissecting the last gig, sourcing appropriate apparel, through to what studio to record in, who does the producing, 'do we even do a video?', and 'what the hell is the concept going to be?'......and there begins all the spokes and nuances to make the band wheel turn.
A fun and pivotal part of releasing music is the artwork. It's window dressing. It may be the first thing a punter encounters when discovering your music.
Your 'vibe', your look, and art direction says so much. Then again so does the guitarist's girlfriend!
The simple solution a.k.a easy way out: Grab a stock photo image, add some text overlay, mess and manipulate the colours and that seems to procure most beginning acts a starting point. For those a little more dedicated, a graphic artist may be employed, a professional photographer joins the ranks, and to lift it another notch, a stylist may be employed to help design and fulfil the vision.
An important side note - it's always helpful if band members can adequately multi-task and these day it is not uncommon to find the singer is a stylist, and happens to own some video gear, and possesses an artistic flair........if the band or artist lacks in such additional skills, then it is almost mandatory that someone in the band dates one with potential skills to utilise.
To find a middle ground between band members is a difficult act to achieve at the best of times. A band who can be flexible will survive many altercations and near bust ups, though for some, the irony is that is absolutely necessary to creating great music. Being a solo artist gives you a little more control, but usually will require the help of a few strategic connections around them to bring their artwork to life.
I mean what stands out to you and catches your eyes, is probably different to what stands out to me. I love the colour and imagery of U2's Achtung Baby, or maybe you love the sheer cheekiness of The Beatle's White Album. Talking about cheeky there is always Nirvana's Nevermind. There are so many options available to you, and I am interested in those covers that stand the test of time, that are instantly recognisable.
Some of these bands take their artwork all the way through to their live stage set up, and that can be very impressive indeed. Expensive too.
So next time you buy your mate's band's album, or you invest in a well known artist, just know there was probably more than a few hoops for the artists to jump through before all the art work, cover work, imagery gets finalised. Appreciate that like a thirsty man discovering an oasis in the desert.
It may not make or break an artist, but by gee. it sure goes a long way to introducing and enticing you into their world.