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How to Create Low-Cost Visual Branding for Album Art

As humans, we are creative beings. We are not limited to one outlet, no matter how we may identify!

In whatever artistic discipline you are in, it is helpful to make a practice of stitching together other creative modalities into your art.

For instance, if you are a musician, how are you inspired by paintings? What kind of interior design makes you want to write that next song?

This article + video is about VISUAL BRANDING.

These are just a few small ways you can take that visual element into your own hands with today’s low-cost modern tools available to you through the use of technology.

You CAN create amazing album artwork for $0

Put on your song. Dive into a visionary portal…

What does your song make you feel? What does it represent? Have a sensory experience with it.

You can close your eyes or go for a walk in nature. Notice colors, shapes, symbols.

Note: Are YOU in it? Is it a photoshoot vision?

Option: start with a Pinterest vision board to get more specific ideas. Please don’t use any images directly from Pinterest, as your album art must be royalty free.


I like the flexibility of having apps on my phone! It lets you free your inner creative visual artist wherever you are, whenever the inspiration strikes.

Go to your App Store on your phone to download any of these apps. There is usually always a free version, and then a paid option. Don’t accidentally click on the ‘upgrade’ button by mistake unless you want to unlock the extra features!

Unsplash - free quality images // Tip: Fave artist Evie S.

Pixabay - transparent png’s

Carbon - Tasteful presets

Picsart - Good for photo editing and text

Artleap - Good for funking up photos / images

Motionleap -moving graphics (Maybe to be used for Spotify Canvas)


Generally you can go a lot more in depth and get a lot more precise on the computer. However, Photoshop takes a bit of learning to handle. I recommend looking up free YouTube tutorial videos if you decide to get Photoshop.

Photoshop - 9.99 - 20.99 / month. *Depending on which plan you want

Canva - free version to start, option to upgrade

*Free Canva training -

Album Art Dimensions: 3000x3000 pixels (for Distrokid)

Alternative low-cost options:

🌟 $120 per piece (To commission someone to make an art piece for you is anywhere from $150 to $800 generally, depending on how many IG followers they have. JK)

🌟 See who of your friends has a nice camera. Do a little trade with them or just have a fun casual shoot. I like Canons best for portraits and lighting.

🌟 Hire a local photographer. Anywhere from $250 to around $800 per shoot is usual. (Pro tip: search #location then #photographer on Instagram to find great people! Example #Seattlephotographer)

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