Designing the Album art

 
 

Believe it or not, designing the physical album for Naked Prayers probably took me about a hundred hours - and that's not counting the thought and planning that went behind the photoshoot (previously on the blog). I didn't mind the time I was taking, though, because I was learning all kinds of new skills along the way: photo editing and retouching, layout and design, typeface selection... Today, I'm going to share a little about this process with you!

The first thing I had to do after the shoot was to choose a single image from all the pictures we took. Let me tell you, it's pretty odd having to compare a few hundred images of yourself looking essentially the same

 
 

I picked this one!

 
 

And then I spent a lot (A LOT!) of time playing with the image – I knew little about photo editing and retouching before this, and relied pretty heavily on Google's help. I also referenced a lot of images I liked, to try to imitate the color and feel.

 
 

Next was the inside (left) panel, the part that gives some basic information about the CD. For the first draft, I chose another image from the photoshoot, and put some text above it. I cleaned up the image. I picked colors from the image itself to use for the colors of the text. I played around with different fonts... 

 
 

But then I felt like there was no unity between this panel (above) and the cover image, so I decided to go with a different, more simple layout (below). Bye bye, 10-hours-work!

 
 

Next, I designed the back panel (with all the track names) with a similar style, and then tried a few ideas for the other inner panel (under the CD), and the CD itself. Here's how it looks together as I work on Illustrator. 

 
Full Album Art_Option 3.png
 

But then I decided I wanted a CD image that could tell you it was a part of "Naked Prayers" on its own, so I made this.

 
 

Finally, I had all the elements, and was ready to send the PDF to the manufacturer. And there, I had my album art!

 
 

I realize most people today stream music online, and have little desire to hold a physical album. But I'm old school, and for me, I love having something to hold, to touch, to smell and to create a tactile memory. So as far as I'm concerned, the many hours of labour was well worth it, and frankly, I'm kind of looking forward to designing more albums in the future!

 

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