How to make cover art for your album or single — for free

A free way to create eye-catching cover art for all your releases.

One of the most common places artists get stuck when signing up music for distribution is the cover art.

I get it. Most of us are musicians first and designers second, third, tenth, or dead last. Hiring a good designer can be expensive, and learning design programs like Photoshop can be time-intensive.

But creating good imagery for all your albums and singles is important, even in the streaming age when the majority of cover art gets displayed as a small picture on a tiny screen.

Good cover art gives you a chance to:

  • Amplify your brand
  • Set expectations about your sound/genre
  • Stir curiosity before someone hears your music
  • Quickly differentiate your releases from one another

In the short video above, I show you how I made the cover art for one of my upcoming singles for free using a tool called Canva and a royalty-free image I found after a few minutes of Google searching.

Once you’ve created an image you like, download a 3000×3000 pixel .png or .jpg file and upload it in your CD Baby dashboard the next time you’re distributing a single or album.


As you make cover art for your music, remember that your image must not violate any of the guidelines for our digital music partners such as Spotify and Apple Music.

To be sure you’re on the right track, check out Cover art tips to ensure your music goes live.


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