Reasons Why Album Cover Art Is Important For Music Artistes
The album cover art is the front of the packaging of a commercially released audio recording product or album.
The history of the album cover art can be traced back as far as 1938 when Columbian Record employed the services of a Brooklyn born graphic designer Alex Steinweiss as its first art director. He single-handedly conducted research that led him to invent the concept of album covers and cover art, replacing the plain covers used earlier. By the late 1940s, all the major record companies had already copied his invention and featured their own colorful album covers.
The music industry has evolved from analog to digital; right before our eyes; stereo players, cassettes, CDs have gradually gone into extinction giving way for the digital streaming and online music mp3 downloads.
In view of the rapid evolvement, and owing to the constraints CDs have to deal with nowadays that music has moved online, one would be forced to conclude that the traditional album cover is also on its way out but research has shown that despite the constraints CDs face in this new era, album cover or cover art is still as important and even more important than it used to be in the past.
Does Album Cover Art Matter? Yes, It Does…
The album cover has evolved to be the accessory accompanying a digital download of the album, or of its single tracks.;
The importance of album covers in this 21st century can never be overemphasized. They serve as the mirror through which the audience see what stuff an artiste is made of and as such, it is worth leveraging on.
IMPORTANCE OF THE ALBUM COVER FOR AN UPCOMING ARTISTE
Most people that visit the internet to download or stream songs will most definitely go for their favorite among the familiar musicians first and when it comes to the unknown, that is where aesthetics come into play…
For an upcoming artiste in this modern era that the internet has taken over, artwork and album cover is the first penetration point being that 90 out of 100 of the people surfing the internet for new songs will always judge a book by its cover at a first glance then drop it or pick it depending on the satisfaction they get afterward.
Psychologically, it has been established that behavioral response to visual precedes the response to audio, this implies that for a band or artiste emerging onto the scene, the artwork or album cover is the key to the level of impressions they get which will also determine their success in the future.
We know very well that we listen to the music and not the artwork or album cover but it has to be well packaged, first thing first the listeners always need to be completely certain about the package before opening it.
The bottom line is that good and attractive cover art will always make way for the upcoming artiste first… It is now left for them to live up to the impression they gave the audience.
COVER ART FOR ANTICIPATION AND STORYTELLING Most of the times artiste unveil the cover art to their album or new singles before the release date to promote and build anticipation… While some do it because they think it is the trend, the main players do it for the sole purpose of building excitement, giving the audience insight into what the release is going to sound like and this is why when artistes unveil the artwork to their soon to come releases, you see and hear a lot of speculations on social media. People begin to read meaning into the cover art designs trying to decrypt the motives behind them.
Take, for instance, Olamide who is the leader of the most street acclaimed record label in Nigeria YBNL is also famous for using his album covers to convey first the message he has in his album. Let’s consider one of his recent albums “Lagos Na Wa”, also tagged the Wobey album released on the 17 November 2017. The album housed the biggest street song of 2017 “Wo!!”, and It was the same album Olamide bragged about recording within 48hours which means it was a rush work.
When he unveiled the album cover art with the official color of the Lagos mainland danfo buses I understood why he talked about recording the album in 48hours. It was an album for the street, the masses of Lagos and nothing could have described the streets and the masses of Lagos more than the rush hours and the famous danfo buses.
Some artistes will rather tell stories with their album covers or song artwork
In the album “Odysseus”, Jessi Jagz told us an encrypted story of where his journey originated. The hyper-intelligent musician told a story of a black girl sitting between three white toddlers; For the album cover, he used a picture of his mum dated back as far as 1975 in Baissa, Kurmi Local government, Taraba state where she grew up with the Boer family, who were Christian missionaries.
There are some other importance of cover arts but it is important to note that album cover arts play these crucial roles for music artistes
- Cover Art serves as a hook to attract potential loyal fans
- Album Covers should give examples of what the tone of your song is like.
- Your cover art should give an illustration of your style.