I thought it would be cool to walk you through some of the steps I took to create this album cover for Tuf Luv. This isn’t a tutorial as it only briefly goes through the main steps… all the work done between those steps is left out. Bare in mind, this is an album cover, not a mixtape cover which are too often is filled to the brim with cuts and glows.
1. First we have the original image. The photographer has taken care of the lighting that they want on the cover along with a few effects. This is the picture I got sent to work on. Photo credit: @ShinesFresh
2. Now to open the canvas for the front cover and work out what placement of the photograph works best. I went for him to be in the middle. This was the maximum the image would shrink to and fit on the canvas otherwise I would have opted to show more of the image. One thing I didn’t like is the lampshade, it ends up looking like a black box at first glance, but more of this later. 3. Time to take things into illustrator for the text. I think things work better that way but it’s all personal preference. At first I was using a chunkier typewriter style font, but I found this one on my list of fonts which worked a lot better. I decided the name should be the most prominent bit of text so I go for the top version. 4. I brought that text over to Photoshop and try various positions. Naturally I prefer the text which covers the lampshade. 5. I like to send over a few versions for the client to look over, so I had the basic text versions down. Now to try something a little more with the text. So I cut down and put together various paper and newspaper to create a backing. Then I messed with different dark grays and blending modes to get a look that made the text look like it belonged on the paper. It felt like it needed a little something else… ah yes! Blood! Great.
6. Next I try out various places for the text with backing and settle for two which will be sent in the previews. I’ll only be showing the development of the one which was chosen. 7. Looks okay… but needs work! So I decide to place it behind him and the horns. Ah… better! 8. Now…. time to get rid of the blue. I saw his latest video, it was dark (like… horror/murder dark), so a red look to the cover will work better. He also asked for his logos on the cover. Let’s have those on the back wall they don’t need to be in your face on the front cover. 9. Done. Now… it’s too damn soft! Let’s grunge it up a little… it’s a gritty release. Few layers of grunge later it’s looking more like the part. 10. Next step… adding the final effects which will end up changing the final look quite a bit. Let’s make it look less flat. 11. Ah there ya go! Now… what else? Oh! The PA sticker! …and a couple more adjustments and it’s done. Sent for approval and a few hours later: ACCEPTED. Now the same thing needs to happen for the back cover. - Liv x