Wanted: Album cover art

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  • Noggin

    I have an album coming out in May and need some album art.

    The title will be "Make Yourself At Home" and the visual will be a cyborg/robot/humanoid etc, making themselves at home.

    I have a budget of around $400, and I have no idea if this get what I want - I am sure you guys will have opinions on that.

    This image is conceptually close to what I am thinking but more techy (Ex Machina etc)...

  • soundofreason15

    "Make Yourself At Home"

  • microkorg0

    There's a QBN user (name escapes me) who did special effects on exmachina. Maybe you could buy a concept sketch?
    Also, SimonFFM takes photos of pretty girls.

    I'm assuming you're wanting a hot girl on the cover to help sell the album ;)

    • mugwart?tank02
    • I don't care for the gender, do cyborgs have a gender?Noggin
    • So this is 8G? https://i.pinimg.com…HijoDMaite
    • Sorry, with this budget, I won't be able to do it. Don't want to sound bitter, it's just not feasible (post production alone means a lot on such a concept).SimonFFM
  • Bennn-10

    400$ is about 5 hours of work max. You need just the cover or a booklet and everything else? I charge around 2,000 to 3,000$ for an album.

    • My work took 10min so I'm giving it away for free.
      Do you have examples of work you've done for 2,000 to 3,000$. I'm looking to branch off into the sector.
    • I will do for $1999fadein11
    • if you do album digipack for 400$ you're killing our industry, thank youBennn
    • 2000$ is one week of work at 50$/h wich is very normal even cheap for some. WTF people!Bennn
    • of course I can do a 400$ album COVER only, i'd put no more than 5 hours on the job tho.Bennn
    • 8 hours?fadein11
    • and great to hear there is an industry for this still, thought it had long died unless top-end artists.fadein11
    • 2000 to 3000$ is for a complete digipack, like i've said. Not just the cover.Bennn
    • yep cool. send me some work please :) have done a fair few album covers in my time but went off in diff directions after the rise of mp3 et alfadein11
    • although album covers can be a pain in the ass, particularly vinyl.fadein11
    • Fucking seriously?!?!?! And you pirate adobe creative suite?monospaced
    • 3k welp... I guess graphic design lives on.Al_dizzle
    • haha +1 monodetritus
    • mono - lolfadein11
    • the $ rate in canada for album packaging is in the $1.5K for indie/buddy up to $8K for the majors. (without art/photo costs)Gnash
    • $8K is high end. avg 3.5 - 5.5K for major labelGnash
    • hasn't changed in 15 years.Gnash
    • exactly Gnash, thank you.Bennn
    • I just stated that for 400$ i'd put ~5 hours of work on a project.Bennn
    • btw MONO, i pirate Adobe CS6 because I dont do freelance anymore. Take notes.Bennn
    • fuck me! when i was a lot younger. i did digipack for friend and charged $300. photography and design!futurefood
    • dude got so offended by price i havent heard from him since. LOLLLL really changed the way I work from then onfuturefood
    • 1.5K for a buddy lol. some buddy he/she must be.fadein11
    • So this is 8k ?HijoDMaite
    • Ok https://i.pinimg.com…HijoDMaite
  • soundofreason12

    Dear Bennn,
    I think 2000 to 3000$ is a very reasonable price for an album cover. But Noggin only has a budget of 400$. So maybe we can help him with shitty PS ideas, a link to a stock photo that fits his description or a plugin that turns a picture into ASCII to go around copyright issues.
    Making album art is every design student's dream job and you'll be sure to find mockups in their portfolio. But musicians are now putting out albums on their own and have a very limited budget. I've donated photos that I had taken for fun for an album before because I understood that this was a passion project for the musician. My images were clearly not going to sell their record! This is different than putting the time and work into a project from the beginning. Time and work for which everybody has to get paid for obviously.I called you out because I saw your portfolio with non-paid album mockups and that made you sound bitter.
    I'm just trying to help a brother out.

    • a very reasonable response.Al_dizzle
    • bands should make their own artsince1979
    • Bandz a make her dance
      These chicks clappin’, and they ain’t using hands
    • non-paid album mockup? You know I did those mockup myself right?Bennn
    • And so they're producing and sharing their own videos, their own news blogs, their own entertainment, their own knowledge with each other ... 1/2soundofreason
    • I totally agree with helping him out and I always adjust my price depending on the client.Bennn
    • ... in these lateral networks at near zero marginal costs and essentially for free bypassing the capitalist market, in many instances altogether. 2/2soundofreason
    • I'm torn between Juicy J and Jeremy Rifkinsoundofreason
    • "non-paid album mockup? You know I did those mockup myself right?"
    • i dont get your point about my mockupsBennn
    • You talking shit about charging 2-3k for this type of work but you don't seem to have done any of it for real.soundofreason
    • I can say I charge 100k for a movie poster behind my keyboard too.soundofreason
    • lol ok... no, i've done like 6 o 7 full digipack design. They're not in my portfolio atmBennn
    • waiting for your apologies...
    • Happy the message finally came through.
      As for the apologies, take a number.
    • i've got number 0001Bennn
    • Great!!!
      I'm currently serving 0005.
    • lol you twofuturefood
    • 0036...
      Could you guys hurry up?
    • Bennnn, your ticke'ts upside down - you're #1000detritus
    • dammit!Bennn
    • https://i.ytimg.com/…detritus
    • realisticMiguex
  • pinkfloyd5

    If you want to go the illustration route, I can draw something for $400.

  • sarahfailin7

    what about an ikea-style manual with comic illustrations of a cartoon man assembling a copy of himself? maybe 4 frames?

    • This is a great idea. Someone pay the man.Noggin
    • <<<e-wo
  • Noggin3

    Thanks for all the responses, I understand $400 is not very much but I thought of it from a musicians world, in an industry where you don't really make money. I equated $400 to 10 hours work, using an existing photo and adding 3D/art on top. I am only looking for artwork, the label will do the rest.

    If someone offered me $400 to write a track for a video for example, I would probably do it unless that someone was a business etc. which I would talk bigger numbers.

    Would it be my best work? Probably not, but I would still want to make something good that I would be proud of.

    Maybe if the incentive was base fee + % of sales? :)

    If any of this hasn't scared you off, post your portfolio please.

    • So far, in this thread, I’ve thankfully not seen the E-word.Continuity
    • Seems fair.monospaced
    • I am not capable of doing 3d art of a robot. If someone wants to add it to a picture I took, let me know.SimonFFM
  • soundofreason0

  • since19790

    why dont you make your own album cover?

    • I did make a conceptual mockup a while ago but far from what I wanted. I also like the idea of someone with better skills being part of it.Noggin
    • post itsince1979
  • Miguex4

    you are fine man, I'm happy people are wanting to charge 4k, but I work mainly in the music industry and 4k for album art sounds stepp, at least not for a self release, that's a lot of $$$ to drop on a cover.

    If you can afford 4k for album art then you wouldn't be coming here to ask for help.

    It's different if an established musician comes to you directly and wants to hire you because he/ she is familiar with your work, then I can see it and more too.

    Are you doing a physical release?

  • Noggin1

    Here is the album preview, can't post the full tracks yet.


    • nice man, still listening but shadow of the sutro is my fav so farMiguex
    • nice!Gnash
    • cool! listening to it.uan
  • antimotion0

    Noggin, There are some super talented folks on this forum, but I'd love to throw my portfolio over to you... I do a little illustration on the side... There an email or link I can connect?

  • tank022

    4K for a record cover? Never happened. Not even 4K for Videoclip. Harsh times in the record industry. I would do it, but I have one rule, I don't accept briefings for small budgets so what I make is what you get.

    Done for 1,5k. And this guy is famous in Belgian.

    • it costs 4k to record and mix a record in a well kitted out studio for 2 weeks with two engineers. 4k to press 500 copies and have them shipped from CZ...kingsteven
    • then some guy with a hacked copy of Adobe CC comes along :-Dkingsteven
    • My brother got as far as you can go in this field, consistently had one in the UK top 10 for a year... but you need to be at that level to make a living from itkingsteven
    • otherwise your just scalping artistskingsteven
    • And even than, the guy I made a clip for makes his money by being on The Voice as jury member, and does dubbing for movies in Dutch. Record industry is harsh.tank02
    • I wonder how money people who charge 4K for a sleeve design buy all their music legal?tank02
    • yep, this was my experience exactly.fadein11
    • @tank02
      You should work for Bennn. He's getting double that for digipacks.
    • Harsh time in the industry, so harsh time for graphic designers?Bennn
    • Benn, I've been working for 15 years, and there is no money in music, nightlife & press. But i'm wiliing to do but because of the rule i said.tank02
    • And i never choose this job for the money. Low budget mostly means more fun. Making now a newspaper for a client. Have no budget, but tons of good spirit.tank02
    • A good antidote for the corporate shit I have take day in day out.tank02
    • I miss doing my weekly promo poster for a well-known London promoter. Wasn't big bucks, but enough to be handy and shook me from my rut.detritus
    • Yep - the tracks sound fun, so could be cool just to rock out a visual for a cover - Agree with Benn though about devaluation - just make sure it doesnt consumeantimotion
    • - all your time and energy...antimotion
    • Used to work in industry as well and it can be hell because it's "art" and its so subjective - many opinions fly around - but try to get away from grindantimotion
  • Bennn0

    Seems like I've started some king of debate over here, i will make some comments to make my message clearer.

    First, I have a cracked copy of Adobe CS6, it's true. But I dont do freelance at home anymore since 2 years. So I'm not going to pay 960$CAD to Adobe each year just to play on my personal project. it's not OK, i know. If you've never done it, raise your hand

    When I was doing freelance, I was adjusting my price depending on client, always. The last digipack i've made was for a band with a ok-small budget, for 1,200$ i've made the whole digipack including booklet and a vinyl sleeve. I just worked faster than normal to fit the budget, the job was good and the client loved it.

    If you charge 500$ on a job and work on it during 2 weeks, you're devaluating your job.

    Have you ever heard of a dentist or an electrician doing a job half price because his client have a small budget? Never. Have you ever heard of a dentist or electrician doing a job hlaf price to get exposure? Never.

    Why graphic designers do this? No wonder many clients dont want to pay anymore and dont understand how we can charge 1,000$ to design something when they can have it for 20$ on the web!

    As for the music industry, I understand how hard it is for bands, and I know they have super small budget. If you want to design a whole digipack and stuff (because they're is always other stuff coming in on the side) for 400$ and put 50-60 hours on it... Well, I hope you have another job cuz you wont pay your bills like that. And you're sending the message that the work of a graphic designer can worth only 8$/h ...

    If you want to help someone, like a band, its OK to make a special price, but make sure they understand whats the real cost normally so they know how much valuable the work of a graphic designer worth. Dont just say "fine i'll do it for 400$" ... explain how much it normally worth.

    It's kind of frustating that all the creative jobs are devaluated like this. Photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, musicians, writers, tattoos artists, name it! Everyone thinks they can make special price for wathever reason... 'i have a small budget' 'its just for a joke' 'it wont take a long time for you to make' 'its just a logo' 'we wont make much money out of it anyway' ... Again, who say that to any other professionals?

    So I may have sounded direct when I answered Noggin by saying that for 400$ i'd put no more than 5 hours of work, but it's the reality. I also asked him if it was only the cover album or a whole digipack and made sure he know how I charge for such a job. I could have been more subtle and polite, I understand it was direct and harsh a bit.

    • 10 paragraphs??!
    • you are right about everything man, we are devaluating ourselves, it's true. But in an industry so competitive like music is, the rules change A LOTMiguex
    • I'm saying it's not realistic, I'm not saying you are wrong by any means.Miguex
    • thanksBennn
  • soundofreason0

  • hans_glib2

  • soundofreason2

  • Hayzilla0

    Can we put forward concepts for fun?

  • soundofreason-1

  • Projectile1

    I think it's okay to drop the price when all the below apply:

    a) Client has little money
    b) It sounds like a really interesting project
    c) They promise creative freedom and to pay more if they want significant changes. ie here's $2000 worth of work for $1000, take it and shut up or pay more.

    d/ Exposure has never been a draw for me. Maybe if someone proper famous asked me to do one I'd do it free but I'd never do work hoping they will show their mates.

    There is a problem with people offering to work for almost/free, but on the other hand you can't treat every client like a consultancy. There's no black and white here.