Cover Art Designer

Think up irresistible album covers.
picture of Cover Art Designer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $77,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Cover Art Designers do?

Falling under the greater classification of Graphic Artists, Cover Art Designers create visually appealing covers for your favorite bands and Recording Artists. Using a variety of skills within a number of disciplines, a Cover Art Designer is responsible for catching the eye of passersby and holding their attention long enough to entice a purchase.

As a Cover Art Designer, you play a vital role in the music industry. Your job isn’t just slapping some random design on the cover of an album. It entails using the knowledge you gained through studying marketing, merchandising, advertising, and graphic design.

For example, a Recording Artist may have the next number one chart-topper ready for the masses, but unless the album cover is appealing enough to grab — and hold — the consumer’s attention, it may only sit on the shelves. You understand the message the Artist or band wants to convey, and it’s your responsibility as the Cover Art Designer to interpret that into a piece of artwork.

Coursework in marketing and advertising assists with making decisions on colors, styles, and fonts based on consumer behavior. For instance, most people associate the color green with health and freshness, while red is often thought of as a sign of danger or caution. Knowing this, you may decide to use a green, flowing font that conveys the peaceful, relaxed melodies of acoustic compositions.

An education in merchandising assists you with describing your vision to the Artists, Record Producers, and Artist Managers you work with. You know what it takes to covertly draw attention to your product, but they probably don’t. Explaining the reasons for your decisions using proven merchandising techniques helps you quickly make your point.

As the music industry begins to embrace the dependence on electronic music sales rather than actual compact disc purchases, the field will likely become more competitive. But Cover Art Designers with experience working in online settings will likely see an increase in employment.

Should I be a Cover Art Designer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Album Cover Designer, Creative Manager, Liner Note Designer

    How to become a Cover Art Designer

    Most Cover Art Designers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aci9aa&chl=|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%2811%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2885%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,85
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