Most Common Cover Art Mistakes You Must Avoid

Even before your fans get to listen to your music, the first thing they see about your album is the cover art. We can even say it is the image of what people associate with your music. If it is terrible or confusing to people, they might not choose to play your music.

Most Common Cover Art Mistakes You Must Avoid

On the other hand, if the cover art does not comply with the guidelines issued by them, the streaming services might not be keen on making your music available on their platform. Here are the common mistakes to avoid.

The basic rule expects every single release to have a unique cover since the cover must help identify each release identically.

Best cover art guidelines for you

  • Ensure there is no information mismatch. The text on the cover must match thoroughly with the information you entered.
  • Be careful with abbreviations of artists’ names. Follow the convention thoroughly.
  • Keep the artwork of the cover art free of the record label information.
  • Include parental warning about ‘explicit content’ if at least one of your tracks has any explicit lyrics.
  • Include the featured artists’ details you display on the cover art in the metadata for the release.
  • Ensure there is no copyright or trademark infringement in any way.
  • Never use the picture of the artist you are covering or the one that has influenced you.
  • While referring to a cover song, never use the phrase ‘The Original’.
  • While using a stock image, ensure it does not have a watermark. If it has, choose another one or pay for downloading it without watermark.
  • Never stretch the image to result in blurriness, pixilation, or some kind of awkwardness.
  • Do not scale the image to a larger size as it can look like a crap.

What is not allowed on the cover art?

You must not include the following on the cover art.

  • Contact details
  • Any advertising content
  • Mention about the product format
  • Barcodes
  • Availability
  • Nazi logos
  • Violent or pornographic images
  • A blank square without any text
  • Pictures of a CD jewel case
  • Too much or irrelevant text
  • Images that are clouded with a bunch of text

What is perfectly allowed on the cover art?

  • The casing rules in place do not apply to the cover art. Hence you can choose to have all uppercase or all lowercase or a mix of both as you want.
  • Once the text differs on each release, you are free to use the same image for every single.
  • Though you are allowed to use an image with no text, you cannot use the same image for another release.
  • You can use the name of the artist you will cover if the release is a tributary one.
  • Karaoke tracks are expected to include the phrase ‘Originally performed by’ on the cover art
  • You can use fan art, images of public domains, stock art, and social media handle if you want to use them.

Final note

The most important thing is to get the cover art perfect in every regard well in advance so that you do not have to make last minute changes if they do not meet the guidelines.

By Patrick Hill on November 30, 2018.