Even in 2014 where music has gone digital, cover art and sleeve designs are still being made to blend with the titles and subjects of the songs they represent. Some look good, some look awful and some are carbon copied concepts of popular projects.
Music and visuals have always interacted in an amazing way. In the art and culture of hip-hop graffiti is an element on its own. I believe computer graphic art in modern day plays the role graffiti plays in a way, because we now have a society on the web. A cover banner on your Facebook or twitter may be another place to spread a positive message and change the world. Whether it is minimalistic or minimalistic, a vector or raster image, it has that power. An image is said to be a thousand words in it.
I know there are many cover art designers in this age, like rappers most of them practically repeat the same concepts. Some have brilliant concepts that show creativity and innovation. I was moved to do this write up after seeing the works of Tinashe Kupfuwa from Bulawayo, a certain individual named Taffy Chinx and a popular cover art designer who runs the I Cover Art page. Of the 3 people mentioned, one makes money off his art; the others seem to do it for fun but are as good. I believe however they should start charging for the services as it creates a sense of seriousness in the industry.
While artists may not sell their music online, and give it for free. Their downloads are escalated by good cover art among many other influential factors. That reach may one day turn into shows, interviews and deals. You may overlook the cover art guy but he has contributed to the widespread reach process. Pictures are very visible in your timeline and get up to 120% more clicks than text posts.
Downloads are really hard to move these days with a cover artless song. I urge artists to go back to past projects and add cover art and lyrics. Nqobizitha Mlilo emphasized in his content is king post that artists needed to add an additional dimension to their story and I believe cover art is overlooked but could really attract people to a song. Ignore cover art at your own risk.
While everybody may have a cracked version of adobe illustrator, Photoshop or Corel Draw, I believe it is now wise to entrust those who have mastered these softwares to do your cover art. In as much as you can trust Begotten Sun to do a beat. Art has been important to all cultures; Africa had rock paintings before paper was there. Now that we have LCD screens there is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing it there.
How much do you think Cover Art designers should be paid?