How to Make Your Own Cover Art

By Jordan Gaither ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Personal photograph
  • Scanner/Printer
  • Art supplies
  • Photo-editing software (if necessary)
  • Clear adhesive
  • Empty CD case

Everyone is familiar with the clichés of album cover art; the half-naked pinup girl, the cool-looking car or the random picture of nothing in particular, all with the band's name sort of squashed in there.

As a musician, you know how important it is to set yourself apart from the herd, to have your albums be unique and eye-catching. The best way to achieve this is through customized album art, which this article will teach you how to make. We'll be using one of your photos (either printed or digital), but the concept can be tailored to fit any art style.

Choose a photograph that is unique to you, your music or your genre of music. If you don't have a good photo of your band, spend a day having a fun photoshoot with everyone, and pick a good one from that. Remember, your photo should be unique and representative. A head-shot of the lead singer is a classic, but is also boring and cliché.

Alter your photograph artistically, using anything that comes to mind; markers, paint, pens, pencils, cutouts or magazine letters. Follow your band's style and make the picture into something unique and fun.

If you're using a digital photograph and are technologically inclined, there is a variety of free and for-purchase photo-editing software available. This will allow you to do pretty much anything you can think of with a photograph.

To edit a physical photograph in a digital photo-editing program, use the scanner/printer to scan in the picture, alter it and then print it out again.

Create your final product to be 4.75-inches-square, and attach it to the inside of the CD case with the clear adhesive.

If you want to do back cover art as well, simply repeat steps 1-3 and attach it to the inside of the back cover. You'll have to remove the CD holder, which should be done carefully to avoid damage.

For a side panel showcasing the band's name, create a strip of art about a half-inch wide and 4.75 inches long, and paste it into the left vertical panel of the front cover.

Warning

Don't use just any image you can find online. Be sure any images you use are royalty-free, or you could face a lawsuit.

About the Author

Jordan Gaither is a degree-holding communications major with a successful freelance career. He's been writing professionally for over a year, and has just recently made the jump to full-time freelancer. Among others, he's been published by Internet Brands, Apartment Ratings, eHow, CV Tips and the Examiner.