As a graphic designer, one of the things I’ve always wanted to work on was an album cover. Thankfully, I also happen to make music, which allowed me to work on my own album covers. This way, I can create the perfect visual representation of my music with ease. Today I would like to take you through the process behind the cover of my EP Le Duc.
Le Duc was an instrumental Hip-Hop EP that I released through Bandcamp in 2017. The beats on the release where the first ones I made using samples. This changed my way of making music for some time and still influences my process, depending on what I am working on.
Once I had the tracks and the tracklisting, I needed an artwork that would match my vibe and visual universe. I also wanted the artwork to reference the samples somehow, and one way to do that was to sample the artwork.
I sampled tracks from Miles Davis’ 1957 Miles Ahead album – released on Columbia records – and wanted to sample the original cover. Because my songs were a bit more rigid than the original material, I decided to create an illustrated version of the cover using solid colours and rectangles. However, that didn’t really work for the Miles Ahead artwork because of the lack of contrast and the minimal colour palette at my disposal.
I then decided to only reference Miles Davis and not the actual album I sampled. I went with E.S.P. My favourite Miles Davis album – released in 1965 on Columbia records. The photograph is more colourful and has a better composition, making the illustration a lot more interesting.
For this illustration, I worked in Photoshop and made sure that every colour was on a different layer. I then grouped all the colours to scale down the image in one go and add a background colour that fits well with the colour palette I have. Also, my canvas size is by default at 1600 px x 1600 px at 150 PPI. That way, I am sure that my artwork will look good on any device.
If you wish to listen to the whole thing, you can do so by clicking here and if you wish to see more posts like that one, let me know. I’ll be happy to share with you my process and how I’ve designed some of the covers I worked on.