Why cover art matters
A well-designed cover is one of the first ways to get people talking about your next release. It can bridge the gap between your music’s audio and visual components and, if done right, become iconic and a part of people’s everyday lives. We’ve seen cover art on the walls of homes and offices, in physical and digital art installations, and in promotions and merch — proof that a single piece of artwork can help define your artistic brand well beyond digital streaming platforms.
Cover art can be used as a tool of self-expression and convey broader themes about who you are to help distinguish yourself. For emerging artists, cover art is a way to establish your brand identity with logos, fonts, and other artistic elements that will over time become synonymous with your brand.
Remi Wolf’s artwork, for example, is frequently brought to you in technicolor, with inverted themes and effects, and often includes multiple areas of focus. In addition to Remi’s eye-popping elements, her cover art balances bold colors with a personal approach. Rarely taking the traditional route of including her name or song title on the cover, she opts to highlight her charisma, personality, and unique style.
Take a look at how Baby Keem captivates listeners through his single artwork:
Simplistically elegant, Baby Keem omits his likeness on his cover art but implements his now-signature color gradient theme to spark conversation among listeners about the song’s potential mood, subject matter, or tone.
Your artwork is a reflection of your artistry, brand, and likeness. To get started, create a mood board of images, artwork, color palettes, and other visual materials. If you need assistance, work with a graphic designer or other trusted colleagues to help execute your vision.
Cover art guidelines
We recognize the effort it takes to create impactful cover art and respect, value, and encourage artistic impression. To ensure that your artwork looks great on Apple Music to listeners around the world, follow these guidelines.
Cover art specifications:
- JPG, PNG, or GIF format.
- A perfect square.
- At least 4000 x 4000 pixels in size.
- No misleading or generic cover art (for example, prominently depicting or referencing an artist who does not perform on the album).
- Only include relevant information such as artist name, release title as text, and the exact song title or album as released.
No blurry, pixelated, tilted, or cropped images unless intended.
- No additional information (including social media handles, email, website, logos, or any other reference to competitors of Apple Music and the iTunes Store).
- No references to pricing (for example, “Reduced Price,” “Low Price,” or “For Promo Use”).
- No brands or advertising.
- No year or dates.
- No barcodes.
- No pornographic imagery or a URL for a website that contains or links to pornography.
- No images from other copyright holders without written permission.
- No references to physical packaging, digital packaging, or retailers (for example, vinyl or CD).
- No parental advisory logo if the release is not explicit.