advanced photoshop

Feature preview: Digital cover art

Posted in:
General, by Adam Smith

We discover which aspects make the most popular album covers

Album artwork has been under the influence of iconic designers for decades, perpetually inspiring generation after generation of artists.

Producers use imagery as a means to maximise the appeal of commercial brands, but the work created is more than just a marketing tool.

Many people very much revere album artwork as an expression of artistic intent – certainly this is an opinion shared by all of the artists in our latest feature.

Here, we take an in-depth look at the production of artwork for that album cover space, hearing directly from the artists that make it. Let’s start from the very top.


CD booklets and covers tend to be around 4.75 x 4.75 inches precisely, having recently moved away from the 12-inch models. Many believe that compact sizes have deterred from more expressive styles, but digital artists are doing things their own way.

This creative redux includes expressive CD packaging that extends branding into themed websites. Design has broken away from the confines of a rectilinear space. These forages into web have had a distinct effect on presented styles.

A specific example is the work produced by graphic designer Jorge El Soto ( for international DJ Jorge Prida ( “I thought it would be best to have a simple and attractive image, which wouldn’t include any other element than the background and typography. This made it adaptable to different media specs, without losing its visual power.”

However, the print space is not wholly forgotten, and lavish styles are still being produced. Panel foldouts are being used as a continued canvas space. Here, artists produce complementary visuals and material from the album artwork to create a completely new design.

Read more in Advanced Photoshop 110, now on sale at and

Feature preview: Digital cover art