You! Be Inspired! – Best Designed Music Album Covers

Articles September 7, 2012

As creative people, designers consider so many places where to get the creative inspiration they need. And we here at YTD want to maximize your creative ideas by bringing another set of inspirational goodies that can be found in almost all corners around us – music.

Aside from browsing the Internet, visiting art galleries, scanning books, taking a walk outside and getting in touch with nature, listening to music can also be a nice source of creative inspiration. For some people, music is a relaxing medium that takes away all the stress from hard days at work. But for graphic designers, it is just more than enjoying the beat and feeling the lyrics. Yeah you guessed it right, creativity is also found in the album cover designs.

Throughout the history of music, designing a remarkable album cover is a big help not just in music branding, but as well as in setting up the mood of the listeners about the album compilation. Most covers with iconic designs from the past are clearly remembered until now. Who would not remember the iconic 1974 second  album cover design of Queen and the MJ’s 1991 “Dangerous” album?

 

Queen II | 1974 (Source)

 

“Dangerous” | Micheal Jackson | 1991 | (Source)

 

Album covers today as much as technology have also evolved into many variations when it comes to design, presentation and over-all impact. Some uses different concepts of creativity which resulted to today’s best designed album covers. Let’s take a look at some notable design techniques and some popular albums today as examples.

 

Use a Photograph of the Artist. This might be the most common technique especially to those musicians who are just starting out their career. The idea is very common but giving some tweaks on the artist’s photograph can make a huge difference. Here are some examples:

“Bionic” | Christina Aguilera | 2010 | (Source)

 

“Rolling Papers” | Wiz Khalifa | 2011 | (Source)

 

“Feast On Scraps” | Alanis Morissette |2002 | (Source)

 

“Sing when you’re winning” | RobbieWilliams | 2000 | (Source)

 

Use Of Human Body Parts.  Another nice technique in album cover design today is by using a certain body part that speaks about the whole concept of the album and the music in it.

 

 

“Science And Faith”  | The Script | 2010 | (Source)

 

“Karma and Effect” | Seether | 2005 | (Source)

 

“Hands All Over” | Maroon 5 | 2010 | (Source)

 

“Lungs” | Florence & The Machine | 2009 | (Source)

 

“Radiosurgery”  | New Found Glory | 2011 | (Source)

 

Draw the Album Cover. Some successful cover designs are not products of professional photography or some image manipulations. Some of them were hand drawn or digitally illustrated that made the album extra unique and remarkable.

 

“Beautiful Mess – Live On Earth” | Jason Mraz | 2009 | (Source)

 

“The Midsummer Station” | Owl City | 2012 | (Source)

 

“The Only Thing I Ever Wanted” | PSAPP | 2006 | (Source)

 

“Overexposed” | Maroon 5 | 2012 | (Source)

 

“Torches” | Foster The People | 2011 | (Source)

 

“The Quilt” | Gym Class Heroes | 2008 | (Source)

 

“Aim and Ignite” | Fun. | 2009 | (Source)

 

“American Idiot” | Green Day | 2004 | (Source)

 

 Experiment on Typography. Text can also be transformed into amazing album cover designs when used properly. Just by placing the album title and the name of the artist in plain text can sometimes stand out.

 

“Born And Raised” | John Mayer | 2012 | (Source)

 

“Riot!” | Paramore | 2007 | (Source)

 

“Rolled Gold+” | The Rolling Stones | 2007 | (Source)

 

Other Techniques: Surreal, Abstract, Minimalism. Some successful cover designs however, jumps out of the box and create amazing designs pulled out of surreal photos and artworks, abstract formation of shapes and minimalist effect on colors and lines.

 

“Waking Up” | OneRepublic | 2009 | (Source)

 

“Living Things” | Linkin Park | 2012 | (Source)

 

“Doo-Wops & Hooligans” | Bruno Mars | 2010 | (Source)

 

“Midnight Remember” | Little Red | 2010 | (Source)

 

“Making Mirrors” | Gotye | 2011 | (Source)

 

“Devils And Angels” |  Melee | 2007 | (Source)

 

“Habits” | Neon Trees | 2010 | (Source)

 

“A Thousand Suns” | Linkin Park | 2010 | (Source)

 

“Death Magnetic” | Metallica | 2008 | (Source)

 

There you have it guys! Tell us what’s your most favorite or might as well suggest other album covers by commenting below. Find us on FacebookTwitter and Google Plus for more updates. Don’t forget to subscribe to our blog for everyday design news, content and freebies. Stay awesome everyone!

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Kerby is an online marketer who has a keen eye in print design and creative artworks. When not at work, he spends most of his time in completing his sketchbooks with doodles and illustrations from anything that inspires him to draw. He is an avid fan of Japanese Anime, manga and some comic book characters. Check out his illustration blog and portfolio for more info.

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