This article originally appeared on The DIY Musician.
An album represents a chapter in your creative life. You put lots of emotion, time, energy, and money into the recording, mixing, and mastering process, and now it’s time to package that music up (as an LP, CD, download, stream, etc.) and deliver it to the world. Here’s the thing, though: most independent artists can only afford to have one set of designs for their album packaging and cover art. For most listeners, a single square-ish image will forever represent the collection of songs that comprise your album. So you’ve got to communicate an awful lot with that album art.