Last week, I encouraged you to keep trying and not quit. Today, we’re going to look at an aspect of music that some musicians don’t pay much attention to; the artwork. So, let’s talk Song Artwork.
What’s a song artwork?
A song artwork is a picture usually attached to the song and shows on the screen of the playing device whenever the song is played.
Before the digital era, when music was only sold in Cassettes and CDs, songs were only released as albums (a compilation of songs). The artwork for the album used to be printed on the case of the cassette or CD. This implied that there was just one artwork for all the songs in the album (this is still valid till today).
However, you don’t need to have an album to release your music, today. Music can be released as singles, hence the need for song artworks for individual tracks that are not part of an album.
What’s the use of an artwork?
Can you imagine ordering a product online with no picture to see what exactly you’re buying? You can only do that if you completely trust the seller right? The artwork plays a very important role in promoting your song to prospective listeners, and many times, these are people who don’t know you. It’s what they see first before they hear the content of your song. Just like the song title, the song artwork can either attract someone to listen to your song or repel them from listening. This is especially important now that we’re in the age of music streaming, and remember that music steaming sites have millions of good music. It all boils down to which of the songs caught the attention of the listeners with their title and song artwork.
Are there specific rules for song artwork?
The mere fact that it is called artwork suggests that there is no limitation whatsoever to what your artwork should look like. It all depends on what the artist wants to depict. One time, a band I admire wanted their album art to be a plain reflective casing (like a mirror), so that anyone who purchases the CD would see their own face as the artwork. You might think that’s crazy, but I thought it was creative and I loved that idea.
Things to bear in mind in making your song artwork
- Your artwork should be attractive to your target audience. Think of your target audience (their age, cultural orientation, worldview, religious beliefs, etc) and what would be attractive to such people. This would help you decide on the concept of the design.
- Find out the specifications of the music streaming sites you hope to upload your music to, with regards to the size and format, and make sure you adhere to them. Many of these sites would require perfect squares, with a minimum of 1000 x 1000 size.
- Be original in your design. And be creative too. Don’t just use your picture because everybody is doing that (even though your picture is necessary if it’s your first song, so people can see who they’re listening too), but be yourself.
- As much as possible employ the services of a professional graphic designer. Explain the concept you have in mind for the artwork and let bring their professionalism into it. However, if you can’t afford one you can always do it yourself (watch out for next week’s article).
This is where we’ll stop today.
I’m sure you’ve learnt something about Song Artwork. In next week’s article, I’ll be featuring a guest; the C.EO. of Katapult Global Consulting Limited, a design company in Nigeria. He’ll be walking us through how to design your song artwork by yourself.
Remember that you can get unbiased song reviews for your songs (whether you’ve released them or not). We could review them privately (for your consumption only) or publish the review on our site. You’ll get honest appraisals as well as constructive criticism of your songs. This would help you get better in your music. Plus, other people who might never have heard about you before would get to listen to your songs when they read the published reviews (who knows, they might even turn to fans). If you’re interested to get your songs reviewed. Send an email to email@example.com and attach an mp3 of the song to be reviewed. Also state if you would like a private review or if you would want it published.
You can read my previous song reviews here.