Canva: An Easy Album Cover Maker for MusiciansJul 01, 2021
We as musicians tend to be perfectionists. While there’s nothing wrong with a little perfectionism, but, a lot of times it can lead to unexpected delays.
This is especially the case while designing posters, logos or album art. While indie musicians today have to wear a lot of hats, thankfully, being a pro at Photoshop or Illustrator doesn’t have to be one of them.
But that doesn’t have to mean that you should compromise on the album cover design. No. Visuals are everything, especially when it comes to musicians. Canva can be the perfect album cover maker for your band without compromising on design or quality.
Canva is a graphic design platform that's great for making Instagram posts, YouTube thumbnails, posters, logos and much more. It features thousands of templates with a drag and drop interface that makes customizing them easy.
The entire point of Canva is to allow you to edit photos without extensive photo editing knowledge or experience. A lot of artists have already discovered Canva as a great tool for branding for musicians, and now, so have you!
Canva comes in two versions: Free and Pro. We’ll be discussing what you can do with both of them to further your music marketing campaign.
Canva: The Free Version
You can get a lot done with the free version of Canva. Here are a few things we recommend:
Designing Your Logo
A logo is something bands take into high regard, and understandably so, since the biggest bands are identified by their iconic logos.
If your band doesn’t have a logo yet, Canva can be a great place to start. Even if you don’t have a lot of ideas for the logo, Canva is a solid tool for ideation and you can find a lot of inspiration from the “Elements” tab.
Branding Across Social Media
Fans will recognise you better if you have a consistent, common theme across all of your channels. Even if a photo is only of your face, you want everything to look the same so that people can quickly recognize you across all platforms.
For each social networking platform, Canva has pre-sized templates. Canva also has specific filters you can use to keep the same colors and themes consistent throughout your channels.
Psst. You can follow Grease Release on Instagram for daily music marketing tips here.
Creating an Album Cover Design
Your album cover design doesn’t have to be personally painted by Van Gogh in order to look acceptable. Canva has a lot of templates that you can customize and add elements to, so many fonts you can play around with and if your album cover has a picture of your face (or any picture), there are a lot of filters you can apply to them.
What’s amazing about Canva is that the templates are pre-sized, so you don’t have to blindly guess at what size you need to use for your graphics. This saves a lot of time and research. Canva also has a host of album cover design templates to seek inspiration from.
Creating a Brand Kit to Save Time
If you’re actively posting on social media platforms like Instagram (which you should), you might as well want to create a few templates for the kinds of posts that you generally do. This will save a TON of time when designing a lot of things, so you don’t have to keep digging for the color code or font.
It also will ensure that everyone on your team (other band members, management, etc) can go in and use the same fonts and colors.
Canva: The Pro Version
If you have the free version, you’ll often see elements with a small crown on it. This means it is only accessible via Canva Pro. Once you upgrade, you’ll have access to all of the exclusive stuff like that and it’s an overall great tool for branding for musicians.
Scheduling Your Social Media Posts
This is one of the features that is worth going pro for, by itself. One of the biggest problems artists generally face is having to devote a huge chunk of their day to social media in order to stay relevant. Artists need their space to work on their art and staying on social media all day long can be draining.
With Canva, you can dedicate some time every few days and design and schedule all your social media posts ahead of time. This makes sure your music marketing campaign isn’t collecting dust and gives you the peace of time to work on what you love the most—the music making.
While there are other sites that can do this too, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, however since you’re already designing in Canva, it’s one less step for you to take.
Resizing Photos Easily
It can be pretty annoying to resize an Instagram photo to optimally post on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Within Instagram itself, you have 1:1 for feed posts and 9:16 for stories and so on. With Canva Pro, you have the feature to resize everything easily.
Let’s say you’re running a music marketing campaign and you just finished designing a new band logo as a part of it. Great, now you need to update your Facebook page banner, Facebook photo, Twitter header, Twitter photo, Instagram post, Youtube banner, LinkedIn, and on and on. There’s different size requirements for each of these photos and manually resizing from scratch is a lot of wasted energy and time.
Canva Pro will remake your photo for every one of the above with a simple click of a button. You might need to adjust the placement or size of graphics after resizing them, but it’s a couple of seconds in comparison to several hours spent resizing everything.
Removing Background of Photos
The feature to remove the background from an image goes beyond cropping your friend out of an image; it’s about customizing your images and designs for the right audience for your project. Especially useful for making YouTube thumbnails, this feature is a time-saving godsend.
Once you’ve navigated your way around the background remover tool, you’re free to experiment with a range of eye-catching or complementary backgrounds, depending on your brand and approach.
No, you don’t need to teach yourself Adobe After Effects to create minimal animations for yourself. Perfect for Instagram, TikToks and YouTube Shorts, there are a lot of variety for animations that you unlock once you go the Pro route with Canva. Animations add a very lively and catchy touch to the videos or motion posters that you make.
Canva is an amazing album cover maker that can really take care of the entire visual department for your band. Choosing whether you need the free version or the pro version really just depends on how serious a marketing campaign you’re planning to run. But if you are going to run a music marketing campaign in 2021, you should know these things first.
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