Discover album cover ideas for your next LP
A great album cover is often as memorable as the album itself. An iconic image can live on long after the album has been released, which is why it’s so important to come up with album cover ideas that will resonate with people.
While people say never to judge a book by its cover (in this case an album), the reality is that many do. If you can create an album cover that sticks in the mind, your album will get recognised more often. This is easier said than done, as people see so many images every day that it can be hard to get their attention.
Get inspired and then get more listeners
This list of the 100 best album cover ideas for 2019 has lots of superb examples of how you can create an eye-catching album cover. It’s packed with a variety of impressive design styles that could look great on your own CD cover.
We’ve split the list of album cover ideas into Design Wizard’s CD cover templates and video templates, iconic album covers, new albums in 2019 and colourful album covers.
Design Wizard’s CD cover templates
Design Wizard has a fantastic selection of CD cover templates that you can personalise in your own unique style. Click on any of these images to begin customising the design. You can add your own text, upload images, change colour schemes and much more.
This vibrant design shows a man staring downward. He is the focus of the design, and his presence is complemented by the triangular patterns around him.
His moody complexion suggests a thoughtful album that’s full of songs of substance. It’s a cool, laid back album cover that could work just as well with your own image.
Click on the image to start editing the design and in minutes you’ll have a personalised album cover.
Black and white images can be used for any genre of music. This flexibility and their timeless nature is part of the reason why they’re so popular.
This minimalist style uses 3 parallel rectangles as the centrepiece of the design. A cityscape is used as the background of the cover.
The text in the design is subdued and evenly spaced. It’s modern artwork that could be a great design for bands.
Overlaying an image with text is a very popular choice when it comes to designing an album cover.
An image can convey a lot about what the album means and helps to give an artist a unique identity.
The text in the design is clear and vivid, easily standing out against the darker background.
A simple floral design adorns the cover of this album, suggesting a relaxed album with music that’s easy on the ears.
The dark red background provides a nice contrast to the radiant white petals, which brighten up the entire design.
This cover template would suit certain musical genres very well. For example, you could create a great design for a folk or pop singer.
Here we see a very modern piece of album artwork. In the design, large grey cubes sporadically jut out from a wall to form an uneven surface.
The text, which has been created to suit a dance-themed album, suits the overall design perfectly.
This abstract style is popular with many alternative dance acts that want to do something different with their imagery.
Some album cover ideas on this list manage to be energetic, but also reserved. This is one of them.
The jumping sound bars that convey motion in the design are thoughtfully placed over a clear, tranquil sky.
It’s a cover design could be well suited for an alternative pop or rock band.
In this scene, rolling waves cascade over a sandy beach. It’s a vast, inspiring image that’s suitable for many types of albums.
It has the potential to catch the attention of a passerby and hold their attention. Such is the beauty of the picture it could almost be a painting.
You could include your band’s name above the image and the album title below the image.
This album cover idea is casual and laid back, which could be used as a representation of the music on the CD.
It gives off chilled summer vibes, which might make it suitable for a light-hearted pop or rock album. The pose of the model is very similar to the album cover for Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A.
By clicking on the template, you can start editing it and then replacing the text with your own words.
This image is layered with parallel rectangles to give the album cover design more depth.
The thoughtful arrangement of the shapes serves to draw attention to the artwork.
The black and white photo is partially revealed, hinting at an album that may comprise of more than it seems.
Paint it Black
Add a splash of colour to your album art to make it stand out, even if that colour happens to be black!
The red background in this design creates a really eye-catching contrast that will get your album noticed.
Album cover ideas like these are usually good for creating designs for different genres of rock music.
Sometimes you might just want to focus on the music and forget about creating memorable album art.
Luckily, some album cover ideas aren’t complex or intricate. They will probably only take up a small portion of your time to create the design.
This cover is a prime example. It’s very minimal, but the black circle on a white background still manages to create a compelling visual.
Summer is Here!
This album design screams ‘summer compilation’ from first glance. The serene image of the beach is completely transformed by the vibrant colour scheme.
Yellow and turquoise are probably the two colours you think of first when it comes to summer days at the beach. This design uses the colour combination very well.
The album cover would be really suitable for a tropical house, electronic dance or ambient house record.
Shout from the Rooftops
The image in this design instantly demands attention, shouting out at anyone who sees it.
It’s an image that could just as easily be used on a rock album as a house album.
White space is used as a background for the text in the design, which makes it easily noticeable.
A Storm at Sea
The text in this design, ‘A beautiful storm’, is an apt description of the image on the album cover.
It’s almost as if the blue sea has been painted over by a smooth stroke of white paint.
The CD cover could be used to hint at dark and moody themes that might feature on the album.
Pink is an eye-catching colour in most designs, so it’s no surprise that it’s very effective on this album cover.
The woman in the white dress easily stands out against the pink background, and you could too!
With Design Wizard, you can easily personalise the CD cover and replace the image with a photo of your own.
A Glint of Metal
This black and white album cover has a sleek, metallic appearance that will look as good as your music sounds.
The large black rectangle in the centre of the design effectively communicates the artist’s name and the album title.
These type of album cover ideas would be great for a rock band, but it could just as easily be used to create album art for a pop record.
A vibrant burst of purple pulsates through this graceful image, wonderfully complementing the black and gold in the design.
Energetic white lines race through the cover, suggesting that this will be an up-tempo album.
Some album cover ideas are perfectly suited for certain genres of music and this image would look great on an electronic dance album.
Red and Grey
A strong shade of red is emblazoned over a grey cityscape, instantly invigorating the image.
The vertical rectangle in the design is complemented by the structure of the buildings, which are also rectangular in shape.
The thin red border that surrounds the text adds a nice finishing touch to this album cover. Borders are a common feature in album cover ideas and they can really enhance the overall design.
Dance Floor Vibes
Get your listeners flocking to the dance floor with a groovy album cover that matches the sound of your music.
This image of a dancing woman could provide a very good representation of the types of songs that you have on your album.
The underlined text is easy to see and you can change the message to suit what you want to say.
As the text suggests, this album cover would be very suitable for an acoustic CD.
The mellow appearance of the cover is created through its soft color scheme and the floral design that features on it.
The flowers are created in an outline style so that they don’t end up dominating the cover.
Diamonds are Forever
A blue diamond shape surrounds the centre of this album cover, highlighting the number in the centre of the design.
The designer uses this diamond to display the text in an unusual, but intriguing way.
The curved lines behind the diamond shape are included to add some depth to the design of the album.
This twilight shot of a city serves as a striking backdrop for this CD cover design.
It’s a chilled out design that would look good on the cover of an indie rock or indie pop album.
You can easily customise this template by clicking on it and adding your own text to the design.
White space segments this design into three pieces, resulting in a really cool album cover.
Surrounding the centre of the design with text makes for very good use of this white space.
This is a good example of how new album cover ideas can be thought up by making small changes to existing images.
A calm, soothing image adorns this album cover, which helps to create a thoroughly relaxing vibe.
The eye is drawn to the clear white text, which is emphasised by the lines above and below it.
This style of album cover idea would be great for a folk or soft rock album.
This fragmented design has the appearance of rugged terrain, like a desert or mountain range.
The landscape appears to be coming apart at the seams and rising into the sky.
A raucous, energetic album would be suitable for album cover ideas like this one.
Red Moon, Black Sky
A red moon, with shooting stars racing across it, holds our attention in the centre of this cover.
The white writing contrasts nicely with the rest of the design, ensuring that it doesn’t get lost amid the imagery.
The thick red border provides a nice frame for the rest of the design, which appears like a black night’s sky.
A stormy image of a windswept coastline is featured on this album cover, hinting that there are some songs on the album that will be moody and downcast.
The design is created in a letterbox style, with black space placed above and below the image.
This space is used to provide more information about the artist and the album. The amount of space you use in your album cover ideas really depends on what you need to use it for.
Roll with the Waves
Sea foam gently creeps up a beach, partially hidden by an white square that has been added to the image.
Thin bars of varying lengths are used to reveal the background, creating a really interesting visual effect.
Negative space is used to create the text in this CD cover design and it’s something that’s always worth considering when you are coming up with album cover ideas.
Focus on the Text
The decision to use a white background in this design allows the script text to stand out very clearly.
The design elements are mostly aligned to the left, which gives the text even more room to shine.
By clicking on the design, you can customise this template and add your own text.
Into the Desert
A 3D mesh effect is the stand out feature of this album cover design.
It is set against a desert background, which is similar to the cover of Darude’s famous single Sandstorm.
The squares in the design appear as if they are gradually moving outwards from the centre of the image.
Stay in the Shade
Start designing some cool album covers by customising this sunglasses-themed template.
It’s a simple, minimalist design, but it’s also eye-catching. As per usual, black and white make for an effective contrast.
White space is used as the background for the text, making it easy to read. Album cover ideas that use white space often have a really clean, professional look.
Try out video album designs
Design Wizard also has lots of CD cover video templates available to customise and download. These designs can be used to promote your album on social media, your website or your blog.
With Design Wizard Stories, you can combine multiple videos to create an ad and add animated text to your design.
Black on Red
Ink bursts across the screen in this video to create a captivating design.
The red, black and white colour scheme really suits this album cover, enhancing its natural visual appeal.
You can easily personalise the text and add even more words to describe what your album is all about.
On this album cover video template, we can see a stunning snowy landscape that stretches out into the distance.
It would make a good announcement video for your album, as the text is centred and clearly visible against the moving background.
If you plan to release your album in winter, this video template could be the perfect choice.
A design that’s similar to this video template can be seen on the cover of The Verve’s album ‘Forth’.
A vast sky is laid before us, where endless possibilities await. Seeing an image like this can give us a hopeful and optimistic feeling.
Album cover ideas like video template would be great for promoting an uplifting collection of tracks.
On the Beach
Give your fans a taste of the sound of summer with this summer-themed album video.
The gorgeous scenery in the background is reinforced by vivid graphics and clearly displayed text.
This template would be superb for creating a design for an electronic dance CD or a remix compilation.
Dance the Night Away
Show potential listeners how much fun they could be having when they hear your music by personalising this video template.
Dancing? Check. Sun? Check. Pool? Check. This design has all of the hallmarks of a fun summer album.
With Design Wizard Stories, you can customise and then animate the text in the design.
Iconic album covers
When you’re trying to think of new album cover ideas, looking to the past for inspiration can be a good idea. To help you with your design, here is a list of some of the most iconic album covers of all time.
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The instantly recognisable cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band showcases a wide array of famous faces.
In total, there are 58 people on the cover, and The Beatles paid a pretty penny to get them there. The cover art cost nearly £3000 to make, which included hefty fees for likenesses.
The colours of the album are loud and psychedelic, synonymous with the counterculture movement of the 60s.
Blondie – Parallel Lines
Despite the band’s objections to this picture being used on the cover of Parallel Lines, it went on to become a very famous design.
The black and white lines that serve as the background of the album cover are very striking and are well-suited to the band’s attire.
To accentuate the design’s contrast, Debbie Harry, the band’s lead singer, is scowling. This contradicts the mood of the rest of the band, who are smiling cheerfully.
Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley
The bright green and pink text on the cover of The King’s debut album really pops and complements the black and white photo of Elvis.
Even on its own, such a passionate and energetic image catches the eye, announcing Presley’s arrival to the world.
The designer of The Clash’s ‘London Calling’ created a pastiche of this cover, using the same lettering style and colours.
Van Halen – 1984
The image of the cover of Van Halen’s ‘1984’ shows a combination of innocence and sin.
It shows a baby with angel wings, or putto, smoking a pack of cigarettes. The putto has a devilish grin, as if to say he knows something we don’t.
It’s a very memorable image, but it proved too much for UK censors, who obscured the cigarettes with a conveniently placed sticker.
Ramones – Ramones
While some album cover ideas might seem very simple, it’s their execution that makes the difference.
This photo of the Ramones perfectly captured who they were and came to symbolise an entire generation of musicians.
It’s a timeless image that has found itself on lots of high-street merchandise throughout the years.
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
The cover of ‘Rumours’ bears an alternative depiction of some of Fleetwood Mac’s band members.
Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks are shown as alter egos, with Fleetwood a well-dressed man holding a snow globe and Nicks as the enigmatic Rhiannon from the song of the same name.
If you want to involve your band members in your album artwork, something along the lines of this design could help you come up with new album cover ideas.
The Velvet Underground and Nico – The Velvet Underground and Nico
Any album cover that Andy Warhol designs is bound to get noticed, and that proved to be the case with The Velvet Underground and Nico’s eponymous debut album.
The cover was interactive at the time of its release, with the banana being created as a peelable sticker.
It has since gone on to become one of the most recognisable album covers of all time.
Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction
The album artwork for ‘Appetite for Destruction’ shows skulls representing Guns N’ Rose’ five band members on a cross.
It helped to establish the band’s unique style, even though it was only used after the first choice design was deemed too controversial.
The text is loud, bold and easily stands out against the black background. Album cover ideas that use clear and colourful text can look very impressive.
New Order – Power, Corruption and Lies
The cover for New Order’s second album is in fact a reproduction of a painting by French artist Henri Fantin-Latour.
The visually striking design represents the means which power, corruption and lies enter our lives.
They are often presented to us as something alluring and seductive, like these flowers, but there is darkness behind the facade.
Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin
The cover of ‘Led Zeppelin’ uses a real-life image, taken at the Hindenburg disaster in 1937.
The whole idea of using a zeppelin going down as the album cover is based on the band’s name, which is essentially ‘lead zeppelin’.
The design acts as a symbol of the explosive music on the record itself.
Oasis – Definitely Maybe
The cover image of ‘Definitely Maybe’ shows a well taken photo of the band members of Oasis in a casual setting.
Items of personal value are strewn around the room, such as posters of the band’s favourite football players and actors.
The stand out feature of the cover is lead singer Liam Gallagher lying across the living room floor. It’s a simple design, but it helped announced the arrival of Oasis effectively.
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
The entrancing cover design of Pink Floyd’s ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ doesn’t have much detail, but it’s a much lauded design.
It depicts white light being refracted into a rainbow of colours when it shines through a prism.
The iconic image grew to become an instantly recognisable symbol of Pink Floyd, even more so than the band members themselves, who stayed away from the limelight while the album became a huge success.
The Beatles – Abbey Road
We mentioned ‘Abbey Road’ earlier in this post, but a list of the most iconic album cover ideas of all time wouldn’t be complete without its inclusion.
The cover image was inspired by a sketch by Paul McCartney, with details being added later before a final photoshoot took place.
At the time, The Beatles were easily the biggest band in the world and this shoot was another huge addition to their extensive legacy.
ZZ Top – Eliminator
The red car that’s featured on the cover of ZZ Top’s ‘Eliminator’ has become nearly as iconic as the bands’ trademark beards.
It has featured in a number of their videos, including ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ and ‘Sharp Dressed Man’.
The flash automobile perfectly fit their energetic and fervid brand of rock and roll.
The Who – Tommy
Negative and positive space are effortlessly combined on the cover of The Who’s ‘Tommy’.
Birds are shown flying across a clear blue sky, but this is punctuated by black areas where members of the band become visible.
The unique visual is instantly eye-catching and requires you to take a proper look at it to see everything that’s going on.
Duran Duran – Rio
American artist Patrick Nagel illustrated the woman on the cover of Duran Duran’s ‘Rio’ in his own unique style.
He tastefully mixed contemporary fashion with Art Deco to create an intriguing design.
It was a fitting image to accompany Duran Duran’s album of glamorous new wave music.
The Eagles – Hotel California
John Kosh, the designer of The Beatles’ ‘Abbey Road’ and The Who’s ‘Who’s Next’, was brought in to oversee the creation of the album cover for ‘Hotel California’.
His brief was clear, but not so simple to execute. Don Henley, one of The Eagles’ founding members, wanted to convey ‘faded glory, loss of innocence and decadence’ in the design.
To achieve the right image, Kosh stood in a cherry picker above the Beverly Hills Hotel until he captured the exact moment when the sun set behind the building.
Sex Pistols – Never Mind the B*llocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
The colour scheme on the front of Never Mind the B*llocks was openly garish and was completely different to other artwork of the time.
Like the music on the album itself, it symbolised the non-conformity and anarchism that punk was all about.
Rarely have album cover ideas been so simple yet so pertinent.
David Bowie – Aladdin Sane
The photo that graces the cover of David Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’ was chosen from a collection of shots of the British pop and rock icon.
It’s a shot that not only encapsulated what the album was about, but one that helped define the legend that was Bowie.
This glittering character of Aladdin Sane was essentially an evolution of Bowie’s enigmatic Ziggy Stardust.
Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A
Many people questioned the reason behind Bruce Springsteen’s rear appearing on the album cover for ‘Born in the U.S.A’, but the answer was not as interesting as they might have imagined.
Other shots of The Boss were taken, but none looked right, so they went with the one you see today. As the man himself said, “the picture of my ass looked better than the picture of my face”.
It’s an instantly recognisable image that shows the benefit of experimenting with your poses when thinking of album cover ideas.
Kraftwerk – The Man-Machine
This eye-catching image adorns the album cover of ‘The Man-Machine’ by German synth-pop powerhouses Kraftwerk.
It’s a very structured design that looks almost robotic, which fits with the futuristic themes of the band’s music.
The black and red colour scheme is very striking and red negative space is cleverly used to create the shirts that the band are wearing.
New albums in 2019
2019 has seen the release of many top-drawer albums, and that has coincided with a huge amount of striking album covers. Here are some of the best ones:
Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1
The artwork for this album, created using infrared film, was designed by Ecuadorian artist Vicente Muñoz.
The striking red trees are a stark contrast to the dark, colourless building in the background.
Muñoz has created a series of images, entitled ‘Sublimis’, that sets out to explore the conflicts between humans and nature in an urban setting.
The Chemical Brothers – No Geography
The album cover of ‘No Geography’ depicts a British tank making its way down an empty Autobahn.
Despite the fact that the image is based on a time of war, the scene is peaceful and pleasing to the eye.
The image originally features in the booklet the 1977 album ‘Consequences’ by Godley & Creme, highlighting how album cover ideas can be taken from art that already exists.
Iggy Pop – Free
Iggy Pop’s 18th album ‘Free’ offers a quiet reflection on the depression and exhaustion one faces when coming off the high of a tour.
The image on the cover reflects the contemplative nature of the music on the album.
It shows a lone figure standing on the shore staring out at the sea in the depths of night.
YAK – Pursuit of Momentary Happiness
The cover art of ‘Pursuit of Momentary Happiness’ is composed of lots of brush strokes in a variety of colours.
It’s an excessive, psychedelic record, which makes the cover design all the more apt.
If you are stuck for album cover ideas, just get a paint brush out and see what you can create. Who knows, you might end up with a great cover.
Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
‘Dogrel’ is a post-punk album from Irish band Fontaines D.C., its collection of songs are filled with snarling lyrics that don’t pull any punches.
The image on the cover is a continuation of a theme started on some of the band’s single covers. These covers show an insight into characters from an older version of their home city, Dublin.
The text in the design is particularly noticeable, it’s erratic and disconnected, which suits the style of punk music.
Ohtis – Curve of Earth
Old black and white images have been a popular inspiration for a long time when it comes to album cover ideas.
Ohtis continues this trend on the cover of ‘Curve of Earth’, which centres on the themes of addiction and recovery.
The image doesn’t have any obvious connection to the album, but it not all albums have to have covers that make sense at first glance.
Taylor Swift – Lover
The cover of ‘Lover’ reflects its summer release date with a sparkling, fluorescent image of Taylor Swift.
These types of colours were also featured in the music video for her single ‘ME’.
It’s a bright, fun design that is consistent with the upbeat nature of much of Swift’s music.
Pond – Tasmania
The rainbow style cover of Australian band Pond’s 8th studio album ‘Tasmania’ is a simple, but superb piece of graphic design.
Psychedelic rock is Pond’s forte and the eclectic colour scheme is very suited to that genre of music.
Unusually for an album cover, the track listing is displayed on the front of the CD.
Nick Murphy – Run Fast Sleep Naked
The contrast between the orange/brown hue of the sand dunes and the grey sky form a visually appealing contrast in this design.
The running man appears to be Murphy himself, who has cast away what seems to be some of his clothing.
It’s an expansive, thought-provoking design that goes hand in hand with Murphy’s ambitious music.
The Comet Is Coming – Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery
The vivid, trippy design on the cover of ‘Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery’ is a suitable look for The Comet Is Coming.
Their extremely varied style encompasses space rock, progressive rock, jazz, psychedelia and electronica.
The image looks like the surface of a planet that’s very different to our own. A door opens on the horizon and a blue sky lies beyond it.
Steve Mason – About the Light
The colourful text on the cover of Steve Mason’s ‘About the Light’ instantly makes this design stand out.
The yellow, blue, pink, green and red letters look great against the black and white image.
The square-shaped layout of the design further enhances its visual appeal. Experiment with the position of text in your album cover ideas to create an interesting aesthetic.
Toro y Moi – Outer Peace
The stylish, laid-back vocals of Toro y Moi are reflected on the cover of ‘Outer Peace’, which embraces warm, relaxing shades of colour.
A gorgeous pink, orange and yellow gradient forms the background of the image, with Toro y Moi himself in the foreground using a makeshift studio.
In an interesting move, the album title is written vertically on the left side of the cover on a white background.
Red Velvet – ‘The ReVe Festival’ Day 1
K-pop group Red Velvet’s ‘‘The ReVe Festival’ Day 1’ has a cover that suits its colourful, upbeat music.
The design shows the fictitious ‘ReVe Festival’ taking place, where there are a number of entertaining attractions.
The cover of follow-up EP ‘The ReVe Festival: Day 2’ is equally vivid and exuberant. When thinking of album cover ideas, always look at your earlier albums for inspiration.
Balthazar – Fever
A pack of African wild dogs stare inquisitively down the camera lens on the cover of Balthazar’s ‘Fever’.
Balthazar chose the image, taken from a National Geographic magazine, because the dogs looked curiously like a band.
Lead singer Jinte Deprez says, “There is a lead singer looking directly into the camera, and there is a guy staring into the void, that’s obviously the drummer.”
Jay Som – Anak Ko
The illustration on the cover of Jay Som’s ‘Anak Ko’ uses a warm, approachable palette that encourages us to pick up the album.
It’s a calm, laid-back image that shows a woman balancing on a platform as the sun sets.
The cover is very suited to the quiet, chilled out indie rock that Jay Som plays on the album.
William Tyler – Goes West
Designer Robert Beatty created the mesmeric design on the cover of ‘Goes West’ by William Tyler.
There’s a lot going on in this bizarre design, with the desert landscape seemingly escaping through an open window.
The sun, surrounded by fluffy pink clouds, shines down upon the arid terrain, where a green cube appears with an eye and an ear.
Claude Fontaine – Claude Fontaine
The debut studio album from Claude Fontaine bears some really unique album artwork.
In this intriguing photo, Fontaine stares down a giant macaw which she holds in her hand.
The black background and Fontaine’s choice of attire contrast brilliantly against the colourful macaw.
Blink-182 – Nine
Blink-182’s suitably named ‘Nine’ is their ninth album and it has a cover that is bound to get noticed.
As per usual with a Blink-182 album, drummer Travis Barker decided on the cover design, with graffiti artist RISK creating the final artwork.
RISK often uses the colour wash technique in his work and aimed to evoke emotion through colour in this design.
Maggie Rogers – Heard It in a Past Life
In the hazy cover image for ‘Heard It in a Past Life’, Maggie Rogers spreads her wings, or more accurately, her jacket.
With the evening sky in the background, it almost looks as if Rogers has taken flight.
It’s really cool design that’s simple to create and it’s definitely something you can take inspiration from when coming up with your own album cover ideas.
Thom Yorke – Anima
Thom Yorke has quite a knack of coming out with striking album covers. A previous release of his, ‘The Eraser’, is superbly designed.
‘Anima’ easily stands out with its large orange text set against a muted background.
The scrawled illustration in the background appears to show a man falling into a triangular abyss.
Emphasise colour on your album cover
Some album cover ideas focus on one colour in particular. Making your album cover monochrome can result in a really striking design that easily stands out. Here are some albums that used individual colours very appropriately in their designs.
The Smashing Pumpkins – Zeitgeist
It depicts the drowning of the Statue of Liberty, which Fairey says symbolises the “demise of many of the ideals upon which the nation was founded.”
On the reason for using red, he said red is a “visually powerful, emotionally potent color. Red gets people’s attention. In this case there is the added possibility that the red liquid could be blood, giving it an even more sinister sense of foreboding.”
Balbec – Behind the Red Curtain
Balbec’s 2006 release ‘Behind the Red Curtain’ shows red lips blending into a red background.
It’s a simple, sultry design that easily stands out from the crowd.
The uniform shade of bright red that’s used on the cover is instantly noticeable and attracts attention.
Sun Ra and his Arkestra – Universe in Blue
Originally released in 1972, this CD is a collection of live performances from jazz legend Sun Ra. Sun Ra is one of the most prolific artists of all time, recording over 100 albums.
Blue is a common theme on the artwork of many of Sun Ra’s albums and it’s used to great effect in this design.
Everything in the image is blue, apart from Sun Ra’s shades, which are a radiant shade of orange.
Seawind – Seawind
Seawind’s eponymous debut album shows a foreboding image of a house that could easily fall into the ‘haunted’ category.
The dark night is partially illuminated by the glowing blue text on the album cover, which appears suspended in the sky.
Despite the lack of brightness in this artwork, it still manages to be both eye-catching and engaging.
Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits
The colour scheme on the cover of ‘A Thing Called Divine Fits’ is bright, bold and easily noticeable.
The yellow, red and black colours manage to complement each other rather than drown each other out.
The yellow background serves to highlight the cherry, which is the centrepiece of the design. The bold, black text makes sure that the text doesn’t get lost amid this strong imagery.
Dizzee Rascal – Boy in da Corner
The shock yellow background for the cover of ‘Boy in da Corner’ is fitting for Dizzee Rascal’s acclaimed debut album.
Like yellow, it’s an album that jumps out at you. ‘Boy in da Corner’ broke the mould and was pivotal in bringing grime to a mainstream audience.
The three colours in the design, black, white and yellow, have a reputation for being easy to see. This is why they are commonly used on road warning signs.
GoldLink – Diaspora
This photo, shot by Hailey Bieber, shows singer and model Justine Skye basking in neon green light.
Skye poses in front of the light with her hair pulled back and wearing 90s style sunglasses. Vintage accessories like these can completely change the perspective of some album cover ideas.
It manages to be a very modern-looking album cover, all the while taking inspiration from previous decades.
The Miles Davis Quintet – Miles
Way back in the 1950s, the Miles Davis Quintet released their debut album ‘Miles’.
The luminous green on the design is extremely striking and the white typography is wide and clearly visible.
The countryside scene is something that you could replicate when thinking of album cover ideas of your own. Start looking out for good locations in your area and get snapping.
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
The crisp snowscape on Bloc Party’s ‘Silent Alarm’ came about as a result of bassist Gordon Moakes’ Google searches.
He had approached lots of design agencies in the hope of finding a snowy landscape that suited the band’s vision, but had continuously been frustrated in his efforts.
In the end, he stumbled across the website of photographer Ness Sherry, who never expected the serene image she captured in her home town would end up where it did.
Eric Clapton – Slowhand
Even the biggest musicians sometimes take album cover ideas into their own hands, or into their slow hands in this case.
With the help of Pattie Boyd and Dave Stewart, Clapton created this stripped back cover design.
The image alludes to the album title and Clapton’s nickname, ‘Slowhand’, which was ironically coined because Clapton was in fact a very fast guitar player.
Soulwax – Nite Versions
Soulwax’s ‘Nite Versions’ subtly hides the text on the album cover behind captivating pink and white lines.
Designed by Trevor Jackson, it’s a cover that still looks as appropriate today as it did in 2005.
There is no abrasive images or gaudy text on the design that might take away from its visual appeal.
Ikebe Shakedown – Kings Left Behind
Pink is the perfect colour for an album that drips of psychedelic sounds and funky beats.
The text in the design is also written in a psychedelic style that harks back to bands from the 60s.
The image itself is an incredible shot of a rural landscape, which is enlivened by the choice of colour.
Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around
The last album Johnny Cash released during his lifetime bears an image of the great man himself.
It’s a stark, minimal design that is the ideal fit for such a darkly contemplative album.
Cash appears pensive and somber, as if he is thinking about everything that he has done in his life.
Jay-Z – The Black Album
Metallica’s eponymous fifth album may mays always be known as the original black album, but Jay-Z’s 2003 release trumps it in the design stakes.
At the time of its release, Jay-Z said that ‘The Black Album’ was going to be his last ever output.
The image on the cover, which appears to fade to black, fits the narrative of saying farewell and departing.
Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs
To get the look right for the cover of ‘The Madcap Laughs’, Syd Barrett painted his bedroom orange and purple.
Luckily, we now have modern photo editing software that will save you painting your room when thinking up album cover ideas.
The cover image shows Barrett himself, perched on his bedroom floor beside a flower pot. It’s a weirdly wonderful design that grabs your attention when you see it.
Agent Orange – Bitchin’ Summer
When a band is called Agent Orange, it’s no surprise that some of their album artwork is also orange.
The custom typography is a good fit for the surf/punk rock music that Agent Orange play.
The squares in the design look like tiles on a floor and their orange and black colours contrast nicely.
School Food Punishment – Futuristic Imagination
The quirky design on the cover of ‘Futuristic Imagination’ by School Food Punishment looks like it’s come straight from a dream.
In an alluring image, a girl leaves her shoes behind and leaps from the top of a staircase into a swirling portal.
Someone who sees this album cover might not know what the album cover means, but it will certainly attract their attention.
Kanye West – Graduation
The colourful design on the cover of Kanye West’s ‘Graduation’ was created by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.
Murakami is known for images that look pleasant and innocent at first glance, but have sinister undertones.
The cover is in fact a metaphor for life in school. Initially we just see a cuddly teddy bear, but on closer inspection, the teddy bear (a student) is being spat out by a monster (school). It symbolises how school gives us lots of fun and enjoyment, but in other ways it inhibits freedom.
Jethro Tull – Aqualung
Aqualung is both the name of Jethro Tull’s fourth studio album and the title of the album’s first track. The song speaks of a dishevelled man with “snots running down his nose/Greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes.”
Painter Burton Silverman was tasked with creating the album cover and based it on the description of this character.
He journeyed around London to find a suitable street corner and posed in rags with his hair ruffled to get a photo he could use inspiration for the painting.
Rod Stewart – Every Picture Tells a Story
Rod Stewart’s classic third album ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ shows the British singer at full voice on stage.
Bright lights illuminate the stage around him, appearing as if they are emanating from Stewart himself.
The dark brown background really works well in this design. Sometimes brown can be dull and uninspiring, but it radiates off the cover here.
Jay-Z and Kanye West – Watch the Throne
Jay-Z and Kanye West show up again on this list thanks to the striking cover of their collaboration, ‘Watch the Throne’.
The impressive gold cover design is a symmetrical, angular creation by Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci.
The image seems to have a polished, metallic texture to it, which shines out from the cover of the album.
Stevie Wonder – Innervisions
The cover illustration for Stevie Wonder’s ‘Innervisions’ was created by Efram Wolff, who designed many 70s album covers.
Stevie is depicted as an oracle who can see all of the world’s problems, despite his physical blindness. This imagery fits the theme of the album, which examines social and political issues.
The gold in the design gives more power to the image and emphasises the strength of Stevie’s message.
Start creating your own album cover
Now that you browsed through our extensive list of the 100 best album cover ideas of 2019, it’s time to create your own album cover. Design Wizard’s easy-to-edit templates take away a lot of the hard work and give you a head start to creating an eye-catching design. Pick your favourite and start customising!
After you’ve read through all of these album cover ideas, make sure to tell us which ones were your favourite or let us know if we left something out. Share your thoughts by tweeting @getdesignwizard.
Designing a new CD cover will give your album a huge boost when people get their hands on it. Even if you’re just giving a mixtape to your friends, a cool album cover will make a big difference. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start creating an amazing album cover!