Saturday 27th of December 2014

Cover art

by ShiftyPixlz
Some cover art ideas for an EP. Any good?
Too plain?
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ShiftyPixlz on Jan 20th, 2015, 2:00am

lxtxcx thanks so much for your detailed feedback. You clearly have some awesome expertise in this area!

I think I have some thinking to with regards to doing the art myself or not :)
lxtxcx on Dec 29th, 2014, 5:03pm

Here is some advice, if you think it's rude let me know and i'll remove my comments:

- This may sound very elitist / mean, but if you are new to design / art, you should consider hiring / asking someone else to do the art for you. There are lots of people on the chiptune scene willing to do something cool for you (even for free, most of the time) Don't spoil your musical efforts with a very mediocre / bad looking artwork. I know half of the people in this community and half of the people in the world does not give a shit about the artwork as long as the music is great, but some people care, and trust me, releases with interesting / well done album art "sells" much more than others.

- Now you should be like "what an asshole i don't want to pay this arrogant prick a single coin for art, i did this EP myself and i can do the artwork myself too because i'm a very strong individual" etc. OK. I also tought that when i was just starting, back in 2006. My music was shit and my art was shittier, and today i really regreat releasing most of that stuff without putting more effort on it. I went full "DIY" anyways, and it was interesting and a crucial point on improving. So, why not?

- At this point you already decided you'll do your own "Cover Art". What makes a cover art a good one? Let's check some "real world" artwork to take some notes:

- Album artwork, in "digital" releases, should be square shaped. This is common sense, in my opinion. Since vinyl releases, album artwork came in squares, CD's too. Now most digital releases keep that. Simple, make your artwork a Square, not a rectangle.

- Album artwork should be big enough to be printed. This is not mandatory, but people like "high quality" images, not thumbnails. Optime resolution for digital should be around 1500x1500 pixels at 300 ppp. I usually do my comissions around 2000x2000, and when i was a noob i always created images around 700x700. That's enough for "casual" digital releases. Your widest size is 594, that's not enough. I assume it's a preview, but still keep this in mind

- Now let's talk about design and composition. It seems like you took some sort of "mobile photography" of a text painted on a canvas. This is a bad idea because the photography lacks quality and it's full of artifacts / noise. If you want to keep this idea, re-do the photography with a decent camera. If you want to keep the idea and get rid of the bad things about it: Why not just re-do the elements in the computer? It would look way cleaner and nicer

I see 5 elements on your "cover art". The "side-columns" could look cool in "pixel art style", and would be super easy to do, but they look pretty bad right now, and the placement is very asymmetric (unless it's intentional. IMO it doesn't add anything interesting into the composition).

The "Shifty-Pixlz" logo is pretty much perfect. I don't know if you used a font or did the logo yourself, but i've never seen that and i like it a lot. That's actually your only element remotely related to a "chiptune asthetic" or pixel art world. I assume you are a chiptune artist and that you like that kind of stuff since your nickname contains the word "pixlz". Then you need more stuff like this in your imaginary buddy, more "pixlz"

The "FANG" logo is pretty out of place and also out of style IMO. It should be centered and re-done using a font or making the letters more "symmetrical" "F" and "NG" are almost decent but that "A" is totally out of context. I would just use a font for that

The "symbols" could be pontentially cool, but let's be honsest, you need to take a while to recognize it's a square and a heart. Plus there are some random "erased" paintings around. What the heck is that? I would re-do the symbols in pixel art and abuse them around the composition. It's super easy to do

Finally the background. That "blank canvas" shade of grey it's the most depressing thing ever m8. If you re-did the whole thing using a image processor (Photoshop, Gimp, etc) would be easy to change to a better color. You really want that? I think it's what makes your design plain.

Keep in mind this is only my opinion. I'm like super into the artwork game and i care A LOT like you can see. Sorry for my bad english, hope you find this feedback more useful
ShiftyPixlz on Dec 28th, 2014, 7:17am

Thanks for the feedback :-)
lxtxcx on Dec 28th, 2014, 2:47am